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.