Rediscover the dens, playgrounds and treehouses of your childhood
The places we knew intimately as children continue to live within us through our adult years: the houses, streets, playgrounds and sidings where everything happened; the cupboards we hid in, the woods where we lit fires and made plots. We know they are half-real, half-fiction – as unstable as the dens we used to build out of old carpet and cardboard – and that time has collapsed and reconstructed them over and over again. Nevertheless, they are often recalled in startlingly vivid detail. Writing a poem about a childhood place can be like making a map to experience itself: to the texture and quality of that thing called ‘childhood’, which only has meaning once it’s over. Do the landscapes or streetscapes we grew up with help shape the topography of our poetry? And how can we conjure them into language which opens up other, less tangible kinds of space for the reader? We’ll try out some ways of writing about our own lost haunts, guided by poets like Eavan Boland, Jacob Polley, Matthew Sweeney and Colette Bryce.
Saturday 4 May, 10.30am – 4.30pm.
All classes will be in our offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.
More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.
Image credit: Andrés de León
About Jean Sprackland View Profile
Jean Sprackland has published five poetry collections, most recently Green Noise. Tilt was the winner of the Costa Poetry Award in 2008. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Chair of the Poetry Archive.
‘Though this was a sensitive subject matter, it was handled with a very thoughtful tone, and form of organisation. This has given me a great deal to think about as far as presentation for my writing.’