"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Me and my girl - workshopping

As part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series I attended a workshop at the Damer Hall on the Green yesterday. Workshop was held by Jim McAulay who is mad as a March hare, but then aren't we all?
All the attendees brought along a poem, read it out and the rest of the group offered criticism. When we'd all had our say, James savaged it.
It was good to meet the other participants, only two of whom, Martin Dyar (Patrick Kavanagh winner) and Andrew Caldicott (whose poems I have seen around) I had heard of. Other attendees were Jessica Colley, Pauline Hall, Andrew Jamison, Niamh MacAlister, David Mohan and Rosie Shepperd.
Personally I found all the other poems terrific and what's more, I could understand them. I felt very much the interloper, the one who perhaps didn't really deserve their place. Martin Dyar's piece, in particular, I thought was incredible. Jim said he had a lot of work to do on it. Shows how much I know.
I was intrigued when I heard that one poet had brought along a semi-finished piece, knowing it would be savaged but hoping to use the criticism to get it completed! I brought along my best piece, believing it to be so good, nobody could possibly find fault with it.
Of course it was savaged. And rightly so.
Only my second workshop but I found it really useful. And hopefully I'll bump into some of the others again in the future!
Now roll on next month for the reading.


  1. Sounds interesting Peter. I've neve been to a workshop so I'm always fascinated to get an insiders view.I just can't imagine the ripping apart bit! I'd be too tempted to tell them to fugh off with themselves!Hope you enjoy it though and get some use out of it.Mucho Kudos for being selected.

    Ps.Don't know any of the others but I'm sure I've heard Dave Mohan on Niamh Bagnell's radio show.

  2. The writer's workshop is terrifying, mortifying, challenging and exhilarating. And absolutely crucial to the process. Good on you Pete.

  3. I had a long chat with David who I'd never heard of. He has a very self-effacing and self-deprecating manner and I assumed he was only starting out. When I came home I googled him and found he's a tremendously experienced poet and shoert story writer with a long list of credits to his name!