This week's prompt: dictionary definitions
This weeks’ prompt is taken from one of the exercises we did at the workshop in Brentwood Library as part of the Essex Poetry Festival 2008. On Friday I posted some terms from one of Brentwood’s specialist subject dictionaries, with the promise of posting the definitions this week. How close are the definitions to your imaginings? Can the definitions add an extra layer to your poem...
Wellcome Collection Headlining Cilip in London...
It’s good to see an article on the Wellcome Collection on the front of Cilip in London’s Newsletter. The article is based on its current exhibition, Identity, which takes a story-bsed approach to exploring what makes us who we are as human beings. The exhibition website has lots of interesting images and videos and is well worth a look even if you can’t make it into London to see...
This week's writing prompt →
I’m planning on posting a writing prompt each week, normally on a Friday. To start off, I thought it would be a good idea to use one of the exercises from Brentwood (the first workshop on inspiring libraries). Click on the link above for the exercise.
Upcoming Workshop - "A Room of One's Own": Finding...
On Saturday 13 March, I’ll be leading a workshop at the Women’s Liberation @ 40 Conference in Oxford: “A room of one’s own”: finding inspiration in Feminist collections WLM activists write for many different reasons: for self-expression; as an art-form; to raise awareness of the cause. Whatever your reason(s) for putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), this workshop explores...
A Martian Sends A Postcard Home by Craig Raine →
Although martians are not quite “heroes”, we used this brilliant poem as a jumping off point in one of the exercises. It got across the ideas of dramatic monologue and, most importantly, of surreal definitions and alien ways of looking at things. After reading and discussing the poem, I read out a list of things for the students to define through the eyes of their superhero or...
Dictionary Exercise from Brentwood Workshop 2008
Brentwood holds a range of dictionaries, and the following terms have been taken from one of them: Simon Blackburn. The Oxford dictionary of philosophy. Oxford University Press, 1994. What images do these terms conjure in your mind? Chinese box Brain in a vat Beetle in the box Millet seed paradox Chain of being Quiddity Saccada Twin-earth Tarwater This is just an extract from the...
Bread and Butter and the Encyclopaedia Britannica are all I need!– ~ Robert Chambers, first editor of Chambers’ Dictionary
A couple of years ago, Essex Poetry Festival organiser Derek Adams asked me to run a poetry workshop at Brentwood Public Library based on the National Poetry Day theme of ‘work’. As a librarian, the obvious thing seemed to be to base activities around the sort of things that I come across in my working life that inspire my poems. It seemed a good way to promote tucked away sections of...