In May 2016, Hannah was one of eight young people who attended a creative writing weekend in Cromarty as part of a larger HYAH pilot project, Poetry in Motion.
I had the most fantastic time during the Poetry in Motion weekend. Cromarty’s Old Brewery turned out to be the perfect location; what a gorgeous place to stay and generate poetry! We were lead by the remarkable and intriguing performance poet, Harry Giles. His unique poetic flair and friendly sense of humour made the weekend really enjoyable and kept our spirits high. Despite travelling all the way up from Edinburgh, he did his utmost best to prize us out of our introverted comfort-zones whilst coming across as genuine, down-to-earth and very understanding when expressing thoughts and ideas.
An entire six hours was dedicated to opening up our emotional, sensory and imaginative channels; allowing us to free our brains of lyrical cloggage. It was an ideal getaway upon which to focus purely on personal writing -free from distractions from the outer world (except, perhaps, the caw of passing seagulls outside the Old Brewery’s charming stone walls). The poetry drafting was initially sparked by a mind-limbering ‘free-write’ that got us all expressing how we perceive ourselves. As the pen wasn’t allowed to stop, edit or correct, this exercise seemed to make room for the following rhythm and rhyme to flow out.
The next focus that our writing took was a personal experience that has sculpted our life as it presently stands. This was a very therapeutic and life-affirming task. Harry also showed us some interesting poetic techniques, including the Twitter-born ‘Pwoermd’. These are one word poems constructed of two words that are combined to form one amusing new word -with a new meaning. Much laughter was had over our varying interpretations of Harry’s eclectic examples. It was great fun coming up with new ones, too! We also ventured out into nature to observe the wealth of fascinating occurrences that are otherwise overlooked.
By Sunday lunchtime we all had a piece of poetic writing worthy of a listen. With many thanks to Stacey Toner and the Highland Youth arts Hub, we have the opportunity for our poems to be interpreted by young musicians into melodic compositions. Skye Dance will then choreograph a routine to suit the sounds. Everyone will come together for one final performance in September at The Ironworks in Inverness. I am so glad that got to take part in such an encouraging event, run by the generous HYAH. I have taken lots of inspiration and many fond memories away with me. What a superb experience!
To find out more about Harry, please visit his website at www.harrygiles.org
Poetry In Motion will be showcased as part of Blas Festival 2016; original work from three different groups (young writers, musicians and dancers) will come together in a collaborative perfomance. For tickets to the event, visit EventBrite; www.eventbrite.co.uk