Go & Open the Door (Birmingham)

Go & Open the Door (Birmingham)

Explore difficult moments in a safe space to reclaim their narrative and give your grief a home

Join us as we read and write poems about trauma, mental health, and human vulnerability. This is your time and space to write freely about moments in life that have proved difficult, gently engaging with personal struggle, and giving your life experiences a place to breathe on the page. We will work with a range of techniques and methods designed to give our grief a home. Examples will be plenty, studying work by poets who grappled openly with inner turmoil; from the stark, moon-lit verses of Sylvia Plath, to contemporary observations of mental health by Simon Armitage and Ruth Padel. We will also look at poems that heal, from Miroslav Holub and Janos Pilinszky, to Claire Williams and Christina Thatcher. We will always work from both sides of experience, finding a balance between raw honesty, and moments of peace.

Note: There will be no pressure to openly share with others in the group. Helen will check for trigger words before the writing begins, and if you have any concerns or special requirements, please email ahead of the workshop.

3 monthly sessions on Saturdays, 12–3pm, 12 October, 9 November, 7 December.

All classes will take place at The Pen Museum, Unit 3, The Argent Centre, 60 Frederick St, Birmingham B1 3HS.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

Image credit: maxxum_sky

About Helen Calcutt View Profile

Helen Calcutt’s poetry and criticism has featured in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The London Magazine, The Brooklyn Review, and Southbank Poetry. Her debut pamphlet Sudden rainfall was published by Perdika Press in 2014. It was a PBS Choice. Her full-length collection, Unable Mother, described as ‘a violent and tender grapple with our cosy notions of motherhood’ (Robert Peake) was published by V. Press in September 2018. Helen was awarded a professional development grant from Arts Council England in April 2019 to write her second collection of poems A mountain that is your grief you can’t utter. She is creator and editor of acclaimed anthology, Eighty-Four, a book of verse on the subject of male suicide, grief, and hope. It was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards 2019. She is a visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Loughborough University, and a professional dancer and choreographer.

‘I have been attending courses for the last five years. It is an affordable and accessible way to develop my writing and I always learn a lot from tutors and participants. The courses have enriched my retirement and made me feel I still have a lot to offer.’

– Spring 2019 survey response

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