Writing School East Midlands is taking a leaf from the books of writers like Stephen King, Jeanette Winterson and Michael Rosen and putting on two reading features in our new Leicester programme.
Most published writers agree that reading is at the heart of developing your writing. King, in his influencial craft memoir On Writing talks frankly of the importance of dedicating time to develop your skills through reading:
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
and Michael Rosen in his book Good Ideas (2014) believes:
“Writing cannot be separated from reading. When we write, we read what we write…We can learn something of how to write from reading. We can learn something of how to read from writing. We become ‘reading writers’ and ‘writing readers'”
Jeanette Winterson, a novelist known for her love of poetry, wrote in an article for the Guardian:
“when people say that poetry is merely a luxury for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read much at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is.”
We can’t say it more eloquently than these writers but developing reading skills is the thought behind programming these courses. Starting in September we are putting on a one-day special event, followed by an 8-week course on 20th Century poetry, both taught by Carcanet poet and translator, John Gallas.
John has published fifteen poetry collections and his newest, The Little Sublime Comedy, is due from Carcanet in 2017. What he doesn’t know about reading poetry probably isn’t worth remembering, and he’s an experienced creative writing tutor. The poets he’ll be looking at in the special event English Express: 20th Century Poetry in a Day and the 8-week course Mainlines include WH Auden, Rudyard Kipling, Stevie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Wilfred Owens, TS Eliot, and BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please presenter Roger McGough.
If you want to learn more about the poems you love, or if you want to dip your toe into how to read poetry, then book your place by clicking on the links above or contacting Writing School East Midlands on 0115 959 7929, firstname.lastname@example.org.