Friday 18 September 2020

Bury Art Museum Workshop 1



In July 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown I ran an online creative writing workshop.  This invited attendees to engage with what they had at home and what they could find on the museum’s web site. In this post and the following ones I shall go over the exercises and showcase the attendees’ writing.

The Haiku Exercise

Sit by a window in your home and look and listen for ten minutes. Make a list of what you see or hear. Or maybe even feel or smell.  Jot down a few words and phrases as you are observing. You can write down odd thoughts as well. Don’t worry if you can’t write all of the time. 

Here are some words and phrases I found earlier by looking out of my window:

TV aerial at jaunty angles, trees fluttering, old trees with TPOs, next door’s roses dancing, blotches on the brickwork, radiator creaking, clock ticking,  whoosh, grey clouds, old brick wall, warmth on my toes,  in June, Metrolink, that woman, isn’t she locked down? Some red trees, near the flats, that’s the graveyard, ping pong, an email arrives, aeroplane, are those leaves yellower? Clock on wall, satellite dish, rumble rumble, tick tock, tick tock, measuring time, PVC, plastic doors, lamppost looks like Narnia, blackbird flies   


Writing Haiku

      A haiku is a short poem consisting of three lines.

      The first line has five syllables

      The second has seven syllables

      The third has five

      There is some sort of shift often between the second and third line. 

Some examples

      Five syllables:

     Old trees fluttering

      Seven syllables

     Are those leaves there yellower?

      Five syllables and change

     Trees with red leaves dance.    


old TV ariels

 stuck at jaunty angles mock

 satellite dishes


radiator creaks

clock on wall tick tock tick tock

measuring out time

Follow up work

You can write a lot of these. Some you may throw away. Some that you think work really well you can put in a notebook and collect.  It’s also fun to make them into cards, wall hangings, coffee mugs, mouse-mats, tote bags, calendars, and many other items. 

Try or    

Show case

Tall Silver Birches
Tops of their branches dancing,
Swaying in the wind.

Patterns in our Lawn
Mowing grass on Saturdays;
I cannot cut straight!

Empty Washing Line
Its Whirly Arms beg for more
Clothes; I’ll make it wait!

Allison Symes

View obscured by tree

Photographs on the window

Me and Phil in Greece


No birds singing here

Is it the double glazing?

Is it too early?

 Jean Foster   

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