Archives for the month of: June, 2016

Thursday’s Poetry with Friends session was inevitably overshadowed by that day’s EU Referendum. Even if attendees wanted to ignore it they couldn’t. Why? Well because the referendum transformed our usual room in Whitley Bay’s library into a polling station!

We had to have our meeting in a room upstairs. It looked a bit like our regular room but was slightly different. I wondered if this “almost the same but different” vibe would match the following morning’s mood after the referendum result had been announced…

Back to Thursday’s PWF session which saw Tuesday evening stalwart Alan join us for his first Thursday morning session. Alan was reassuringly familiar in his trademark shorts and delivered fresh poems written that morning both before and during the session.


The session was well-attended and lively. Tessa shared Blake’s Holy Thursday (apt as Radio 4 ran a programme about Blake that morning) and the rest of us shared work by ee cummings, Mary Oliver and work by our group members Gail, Liz, Tessa and Alan.

A week or so ago Guardian journalist John Harris wrote a piece about the EU Referendum. In it he quoted Italian Marxist theorist and politician Antoni Gramsci who was describing the world around him in early 20th century Europe. Harris quoted Gramsci: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new is yet to be born.”


These words ring true with what is happening now in British politics as well as what is happening with Poetry with Friends. Our Tuesday evening group remains homeless as does its “parent” body, Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC. The new is yet to be born for Happy Planet but rest assured we’ll keep you posted with our news via this blog and

As for British politics, I’ll leave you to follow the news the way you choose: reading papers, listening to the radio, watching TV or following developments online. We live in interesting times…


How do you start to write? This Big Question is examined in a day of creative writing I’m running with my friend and fellow writer Jennifer C Wilson next month on Saturday 16th July.

finding the words logo 001

Finding the Words is an all day event consisting of two workshops: Scavenger Hunt in the morning and Found Poetry in the afternoon.

Finding the Words starts at 10am with a Scavenger Hunt around Whitley Bay’s second hand and charity shops. The session ends at 1pm.

After lunch from 1.30pm to 4.30pm Jennifer and I will take attendees on an exploration of Found Poetry in the library.

Both morning and afternoon sessions will include writing exercises, guidance, group feedback sessions and if possible, one to one advice.

For more information and booking visit


I’m a long-standing fan of Lucas Pilgham’s flash fiction. If  you enjoy Sci-Fi, pulp, obscure characters and the general weirdness of everyday life then check out this latest collection…

Here’s Jennifer Wilson talking about our creative writing workshops next month, July 16th…

Jennifer C. Wilson

I’ve always loved writing workshops, attending a range of events to discover a range of inspiration, and coming away with little sparks of ideas to develop in the days and weeks afterwards. Last August, I ran my first workshop, based around history, and partly historical fiction, and it was so inspiring, listening to what people had come up with.


And so to this July. On Saturday 16th July, at Whitley Bay Library, Elaine Cusack and I will be running two workshops: a morning scavenger hunt, looking around Whitley Bay, and in the afternoon, a session on found poetry. More information on the workshops can be found here.

Tickets are available online now, with each session being £20, or £30 for the whole day.

There’ll be plenty of prompts to get the inspiration flowing, and the chance for group feedback during sharing sessions, if you’re happy to do so.


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