Poetry in the Park

A band new project in Littleborough, the brainchild of artist, and writer, Liz White, who realised that many older people and people with visual impairments are not able to access poetry. Based in Hare Hill House I will be delivering a series of 6 two hour workshops using the Park, House, Littleborough and their history for inspiration.

The participants will contribute poems to a collection which will be produced as a large print book suitable for readers with visual impairments. The book will be distributed free of charge to local people with visual impairments. Participants will be supported in writing poetry in terms of style, language, poetic forms and technique.

To book one of the last few places please email: lizwhitecreative@gmail.com

If you have any questions you can comment below or email me: seamus@onepoesvision.co.uk

National Poetry Day – 6th October 2022

Having just delivered a project, Climate Worx, a series of creative writing workshops looking our planet, our environment and climate change I was delighted to see the announcement, this week, that the theme for National Poetry Day 2022 (NPD22) is the “Environment”.

Photo of trees in winter

For National Poetry Day in previous years I have run poetry workshops and delivered performances for libraries, schools and writing groups. This years theme promises to deliver lots of inspirational and thought provoking poetry.

With a lifelong interest in all things environmental and a degree in Ecology I always relish the opportunity to help spread appreciation and understanding of our natural world through creative writing, art and photography.

Image of planet earth as seen from lunar orbit

With that in mind I currently have a range of poetry creative writing workshops which focus on the environment and include sessions suitable for all ages from 5 upwards and with any level of experience in creative writing. Most importantly we can have fun whilst flexing our creative muscles and sharing the experience with others (hopefully in the room rather than only via Zoom).

Sessions for the day itself can be booked for two hours in the morning, the afternoon and the evening (depending on travel times) or half or full days. Poetry written in the workshops can be recorded on audio with a digital file provided to share with your group, family and friends.

For those that would like a more permanent and physical record of their work it is possible to run a series of workshops in the weeks before 6th October from which the work produced can be collected into an attractive book and the work can be performed at an event on or close to the NPD22.

NPD22 is still 7 months away but slots can book up quite quickly so if you’d like to discuss your requirements or plans please email seamus@onepoetsvision.co.uk

Prices start from £100 for a two hour session including travel within 20 miles of Littleborough.

One World One Chance – Dyslexia Friendly

This morning I approved the proofs from the printers and I’ll be awaiting the box/boxes of books arriving at my door ahead of our launch at 12.00 on 17th March in Falinge Park (cafe), Rochdale.

Once I’d finished that process I worked on a second version which will be available to download. That version uses a special font and a coloured background to make it easier for those with dyslexia to read. The cover for this version is shown below – it will be made available online after the launch event.

At the launch the writers who have contributed to the book will read some of their work, there will be a chance to chat and meet members of the group and pack up a copy of the book. There will, of course, be light refreshments.

If you haven’t received an invitation but would like to attend please let me know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you.

Today’s job: Book Editing and Layout

Over the last few days I’ve been compiling and editing the submissions from my Climate Worx project for a soft back book. The book features 10 writers, from the newly formed Falinge Park Writing Group, who took part in the “Climate Worx” project following the exhibition, in Rochdale, of Luke Jerram’s “Gaia” installation.

Today I’ve enjoyed creating the cover design using one of my own photos of the installation and working with a limited colour palette.

Image of the book cover design

The title of the book is “ONE WORLD: ONE CHANCE” and includes writing from 10 writers and will be launched on 17th March, at Falinge Park.

Climate Worx – Final Workshop – 17th Feb

A photo of the Gaia installation in Rochdale

The last of six workshops for the Climate Worx project I been running since November is taking place tomorrow morning from 10:00am to noon. This is the last chance to be involved in writing for the project but there will be plenty of opportunity to see the work produced after the launch of our collected writing in March.

A total of 15 people have taken part in the creative writing sessions that were inspired by the Gaia Installation, in Rochdale in November and December, and thinking about our environment and climate. The project, with Falinge Park Writing Group, was funded by the Rochdale Borough Creative Network and hosted by the Vintage Worx Community Development Trust in Falinge Park.

Lots of new writing has been created and I am currently compiling it into a book which will be a lasting legacy for the project. There will be a wide range of styles of writing in the book including poetry, short stories and non-fiction. All participants in the workshops are able to have at least one piece included in the publication which we expect to launch on 17th March (an auspicious date for a book edited by someone with my background).

OnePoetsVision artwork on sale at Touchstones in Rochdale

My artwork displayed in Touchstones

I was very pleased to be approached, in December, by Touchstones, Rochdale’s Art Gallery and Museum, asking if I’d agree to be a featured artist in the Gallery shop. After a successful Christmas Market I took a portfolio of images along and agreed the range that would be on sale, and the pricing.

As of today, 13th January, some my work is for sale in the gallery shop for the first time. The Touchstones gallery and museum is well worth a visit and is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 5.00pm and on Sundays from 10.00am to 4.00pm and admission of free of change.

There are handmade linocut prints in two sizes, greeting cards, photographic prints, Rochdale postcards and copies of my poetry book, Thinking TooMuch.

Over the next few weeks I will be adding some recently completed greeting card designs and a number of giclee prints.

Wide shot of the Touchstones shop
Three linocut prints on display
10×8 Handmade Linocut Prints on Japanese Agwami paper with archival oil based ink and mounts
Photos and postcards of Rochdale
A selection of professionally printed 10×8 photographic prints and postcards of Rochdale landmarks
Mounted photos of Hollingworth lake and waterfowl
10×8 professionally printed photographs of Hollingworth Lake at sunrise, a duckling and a gull at sunrise
Three small linocut prints
Small 8×6 handmade linocut prints of a vintage Kodak Brownie camera, Whitby Pier and Whitby Abbey

Climate Worx first workshop

Image from NASA of the Earth rising as seen from Apollo 8 orbiting the Moon
NASA image of earthrise from Apollo 8
orbiting the moon

Today I delivered the first workshop of the Climate Worx project. With a total of six workshop sessions we will look at writing about the climate, climate change, our environment and the world we live in. We’ll draw on our reactions to the Gaia installation opening this Saturday, 20th November, at Number One Riverside in Rochdale and we’ll share our ideas, tips, techniques and stories.

Todays workshop was hosted by Eileen Earnshaw and Falinge Writers, the new group that itself launched just a week ago, with the meeting room provided by Vintage Worx. The Falinge Writers group will meet weekly on Thursday mornings from 10.00 to 12.00. Next week Eileen will deliver her workshop looking at prose poetry.

The group really has got off to a flying start with new faces and some familiar ones and the atmosphere and creativity has been great. The quality and variety of writing is always inspiring and it seems that if you put a dozen people in a room you’ll get at least a baker’s dozen of ideas and approaches. In several examples of writing today, whilst writing about climate change, a theme of cooperation shone through, and that is perhaps the most important value for any group of creatives, whether in writing, art, music or other genres.

The next workshop in the Climate Worx project will take place at Number One Riverside on 2nd December from 10.00 to 12.00 so that we can explore our reactions to seeing the massive impression of our planet close up. Anyone who would like to be part of the group and this project but who can’t make it on the day can message me and I’ll share the notes and prompts for the session which you can use for your own visit.

The end point of the project, but of course not the ideas, writing, discussion and sharing, will be the launch of our pamphlet scheduled for 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day) 2022. We’ll make sure everyone has submission guidelines for the pamphlet and all members of the group will receive free copies.

Printmaking afternoon preparing for Touchstones Christmas Market

A picture of some of the prints I've made including a tree, an owl, and our black cat Bluebell

This afternoon I’ve been making some prints ready for the first ever Touchstones Christmas Market.

This is an artists and makers market so you’ll have a chance to browse and buy goods from local creators who will be happy to tell you about their work

The market will feature arts, crafts and handmade goods just in time for those last Christmas gifts and cards. The market will take place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 11th December and will be open from 10:00am to 4:00pm on both days.

I’ll be bringing a range of greeting cards, hand-pulled prints, photography and books.

I’m sure there will be a great range of products from local creators and it promises be a great event.

New creative writing project in Rochdale

An image of the Gaia installation in The Natural History Museum in London
Gaia Installation in London, Image from my-earth.org

I’m delighted to receive confirmation that my funding bid for an exciting new creative writing project in Rochdale has been approved.

The project, ClimateWorx, with a newly formed creative writing group with Vintage Worx will look at issues around climate change and take inspiration from the upcoming Gaia Installation at Number One Riverside in Rochdale.

“Climate Worx” will consist of a series of free creative writing workshops, themed around the Climate emergency and inspired by the Gaia installation. The workshops delivered to the creative writing group currently being established by Vintage Worx will include; introduction to creative writing techniques, development of new writing, editing and investigating climate change and actions communities can take to mitigate its effects

VintageWorx is based in Falinge Park, a stunning Victorian park in Rochdale, and are working to transform the Park, the local area and the lives of local people. The organisation offers a range of workshops, classes, events and activities including arts, crafts, up-cycling, health walks, volunteering opportunities and a job club. For more details CLICK HERE for the VintageWorx website.

NASA image of the earth rising over the moon - taken by Astronaut Bill Anders in 1968
NASA image of the earth rising over the moon – taken by Astronaut Bill Anders in 1

The Gaia Installation features a huge 3-dimensional globe of the earth measuring 7 metres in diameter with imagery from NASA’s photography. In Greek mythology Gaia in the personification of the Earth.

The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth’s surface. By standing 211m away from the artwork, the public will be able to see the Earth as it appears from the moon.

The installation aims to create a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. 

Luke Jerram, the creator of the artwork has said “I hope visitors to Gaia get to see the Earth as if from space; an incredibly beautiful and precious place. An ecosystem we urgently need to look after – our only home.”

The Gaia exhibition runs from 20th November to 24th December and I would be pleased to discuss additional workshops with schools or community groups relating to Gaia and to the issue of climate change. Please email for further information to: seamus@onepoetsvision.co.uk

New creative writing workshops added

Details of my most recent creative writing workshops have been added to the “Workshops” page on this site. Clicking the tab will take you to a full list of workshops along with details for bookings and prices.

Workshops that are particularly suitable for schools include:

  • Superheroes and mini-beasts (Key Stages 1/2/3)
  • Dinobirds (Dinosaurs and birds) (Key Stages 1/2/3)
  • Endangered (Key Stages 2/3/4)
  • Fun with words and poems (Key Stages 2/3/4)
  • Pyramid poetry (Key Stages 2/3)

Workshops suitable for adults as well as young people include:

  • The worlds inside my head
  • I’m not supposed to be here
  • The power of poetry

Bespoke workshops are always available. Bespoke workshops can be designed and themed to fit with current projects, areas of study, art installations and exhibitions etc. Please allow 4 weeks from booking for development and planning before delivery of bespoke workshops.

Should you wish to discuss any workshops or projects or to make bookings please email seamus@onepoetsvision.co.uk

Pigments – a poem written in lockdown about changing stories and fading colours

Pigments

My metal nib dips

in the dappled green bottle,

quietly bubbling, drinking in Midnight Blue.

Tapped on glass rims

the thin remnant stains

sink back into the pooled pigment;

and I replace the lid.

My metal nib scratches and slides,

scratches and slides,

laying its snail-trail of ideas

in, none-too-neat,

left to right rows.

Shimmering slick tracks

dry to sharp edged characters.

Chrysalis stories open their wings

emerging into the light of day

fading from the moment of creation.

Details bleed from the edges,

Midnight fades through

Raw Umber to Charcoal Grey

as spilled blood changes

from Crushed Raspberry,

Burnt Sienna, to Lamp Black.

And the paper, musty,

like undried washing, 

softens, flakes and peels.

We re-tell the tale,

re-write the ideas.

Copy, re-write and re-type.

Reformed, intensified,

Carmine replacing Cinnamon,

Lagoon Blue for Faded Tattoo

and Deep India Black for Payne’d Grey.

Copy, re-write and pupate.

Re-written words,

stretch their wings in new light,

painting new stories.

My metal nib scratches and slides,

scratches and slides,

laying its snail-trail of ideas.

“Dinobirds” Creative Writing Workshops

New 2021 Summer School Workshops (2)

Workshops for KS1, KS2 and KS3 (time 1 to 2 hours per group)

Following the success of the Insect and Mini-Beast Superhero workshops for #HAF2021 Summer Schools I have been delivering another brand new workshop for children aged 5 to 12. The topics for this new “Dinobirds” workshop are dinosaurs and birds. The “Dinobirds” workshop is now available for bookings from September onwards – please email seamus@onepoetsvision.co.uk for availability.

In this fun and informative workshop children write either poems or stories after hearing my light hearted poem, “My Pet T-Rex”, followed by discussion about dinosaurs and birds. They will learn about the different types of creatures, what are the largest and smallest, what they looked like, what they eat and how birds evolved from dinosaurs and how their feathers developed to enable them to fly. Children are encouraged to be creative and think beyond the usual constraints they might sometimes have in a classroom setting. By mixing together birds and dinosaurs the poems and stories have a unique appeal with each child given free rein to extend their creativity.

An image of the T-Rex footprint leaned against a microphone stand

To help get ideas flowing a wide range of visual images are available, including a life size Tyrannosaurus foot print and template sheets for poems or stories.

When the children have finished their poems or stories they can read them out, if they choose to, and audio recordings can be made. If children are not comfortable reading their work out they can choose for an adult to read for them.

During the workshops delivered for the Health Activity and Food sessions by YourTrust, Rochdale, young people have created a Golden-Rex that likes to play dodge ball, a Golden Eagle-Velociraptor that likes to ride on the bus and a Golden-Eagle Ostrich that sings like a broken record.

For young people the opportunity to write creatively, without being tied by specific rules, or being limited by their ability to spell or use perfect grammar, helps to develop creative thought and imagination. Working in this way helps with problem solving skills and logic whilst still allowing them to explore the familiar alongside the unknown and magic. Telling stories and writing poems is a highly personal set of skills and children benefit from exploring their own opinions and their own creative voices.

After completing their poems the children have the opportunity to draw or colour images using the range of source material provided.

To do this without being judged, marked or graded, brings a freedom that can rarely exist in the school curriculum. That freedom makes it fun to write, read and in some cases to record of perform their work. Such enjoyment of reading, writing and literature can continue to bring benefits throughout our lives.