Almost a month since the last Project post. You can see from the way the blog Pages are filling what a creative month it has been. Here are some February highlights, but this is by no means an exhaustive list!
THIRTY WRITERS are now actively engaged in Project 2017, from places as far afield as Taunton, Wimborne, Exeter, Malmesbury, Reading, Newport in Essex, Glastonbury and Wells.
Singer songwriter MIRANDA PENDER has just joined us as a long distance guest. Miranda is just completing her second album and has written about it extensively on her Page.
PAUL BROWNE from the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute is planning to let us share and respond to his exploration of the relationship between writing and film. ( This will be a special, extra workshop session, with details still to be announced.)
Those of us who have been brave enough to keep up with our online progress logs, are now running into obstacles… changing direction…. beginning to discover what our project commitments really mean. There are eloquent new ‘progress’ entries from LESLEY SAUNDERS, VERONA BASS, and MICHAEL LOVEDAY, to name three.
MICHAEL LOVEDAY’S progress piece draws attention to one of the core problems we all face when writing personal memoir/autobiography. He puts it very well. The process of writing and gathering (poems about a relative ) has raised doubts about the viability of my project. ….Tension and conflict is the stuff of writing, and the writer in me does not have the same agenda as the son. Can I produce a rounded portrait without risking offence? How does one write interesting biography about living relatives? So many of us have been in this place. We will certainly be visiting this conundrum when we meet up on February 25th.
February’s principal theme is the how writers select the individual words which are the raw materials of everything they do. A piece of writing can only be as good as its weakest word. What does this mean for our poems, our translations, our prose pieces, our magazine and competition entries? We will have three extraordinary contributions on this, one from LESLEY SAUNDERS who will be drawing us into her experience of translating from the Portuguese, and another from CLAIRE DYER, who is exploring how differently meaning arises from the conscious and the unconscious selves.
Writer/graphic artist SARAH GREGORY will be bringing images to spark verbal responses, and helping us think about how the processes of moving from image to word / word to image really work. How do they feed each other? How do they qualify each other? How do they complement each other? How do they conflict? All these ideas will inform our feedback sessions on the pieces of ongoing writing the thirteen workshop participants will bring in.
We will also be visiting ANN PRESTON’S project in relation to her fascinating piece about artist Djordje Ozbolt whose work has featured recently at the Holburne Museum. Please seek this out on Ann’s Page on the blog. We will be using this as our first portal into the EKPHRASTIC theme which has already appealed to so many writers who have joined Project 2017.
And finally, three marvellously chosen quotes from JANET McCLEAN who is rejoining the Writing Days this month.
QUOTE ONE : Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
QUOTE TWO : Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.” Mary Oliver
QUOTE THREE : If not now, when? Anon
A February Sky