16th February 2017
Selkirk-based poet Jane Pearn gave an illuminating and entertaining talk about her work and key influences at the February meeting. She provided an insight into the poet’s craft and underlined the discipline’s many forms, from a Shakespeare sonnet to Gerard Manley Hopkins to a poem written for her family. She emphasised the need for poets to be precise with language, edit judiciously and be mindful of grammar and punctuation. Jane also called on publishers to give poems space to ‘breathe’ on the printed page.
For her workshop session, a large range of picture postcards were laid on a desk. She asked those present to choose one that caught the eye and use the image to spark a word, idea or phrase that might lead to a poem. Working in groups of six or so, there followed an exercise in poetic consequences, with participants, in turn, looking at each postcard and contributing a line or two. Several of these ‘poems by committee’ were read out, with pleasing and surprising results.
Many thanks to Jane for shedding light on the poetry process and to members and visitors who supported the event.