We were delighted to welcome Alison Carr and our old friend Andy Croft from Smokestack Books to our annual Poetry Evening. Andy has previously worked with Alison, a playwright and poet from the North-East, and assisted her in publishing her first volume of poetry, ‘Corner Shop Cowgirl’. In it she combined to great effect the language of the industrial North-East with the vocabulary of cowboy stories. Andy is supporting Alison on an Arts Council funded project which includes another series of workshops.
Alison is now working on ‘Black Bullets in the Sweet Jar’. a collection harking back to her childhood but with regret and loss being more prominent than nostalgia. Alison was involved in a serious accident around the age of ten and expressing herself through writing has been a vital component of her recovery. She refers to the process as ‘getting herself through the black mists’. Throughout the evening, Alison read out material already collected for her new book. Touches of this darkness in her work are balanced out with happier elements of childhood.
The Group was invited to attempt two writing exercises. The first involved choosing a sense, and then suggesting its effects without actually naming it. The second had to be based on an object from the natural world, the task set being to bring out another possible meaning in three or four lines.
Plenty of time for discussion and useful help with our own work also contributed to making the evening a success. Thank you very much, Alison and Andy.