Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Homescholing Mama : Poetry Masterclass Ty Newydd

Through the train window - Wales

Over the last couple of weeks it was my turn to further my education. I headed off to Wales to participate in a poetry master-class with the great poets, Gillian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy, former national poet of Wales and poet laureate of England respectively. 

To say I had a great time would be a glaring understatement. I found myself thinking perhaps I'd died on the plane and gone to heaven! Surrounded by like-minded people, or should I say similarly bonkers people in a beautiful house I was told to treat as my home, there to write poetry and learn from the best - what more could I ask for. 

The view from the garden

Ty Newydd is a very special place, a beautiful, old house with a lot of character, it's been lovingly renovated with great care and attention paid to comfort. The result is a cosy, homelike haven in which people come to write and learn. It's rural setting close to the sea, surrounded by rolling hills and fields makes it very peaceful and refreshing. On my walks I saw wildflowers, herons, plovers and sheep (I'm rather partial to the latter who aren't so common here in Brittany).

The back of the house
With all that beauty around you, the inside more than matches up. After all, what more can a poet ask for than a room full of poetry books! The Ty Newydd library pictured below is probably one of the most beautiful and cosy rooms I've spent time in. It was the venue for nightly poetry readings firstly by Carol Ann and Gillian, then the wonderful Imtiaz Dharker and finally on the last evening, us - the participants. I loved spending all day working on poetry, eating a fantastic meal and then getting right back into poetry again right there in that room.  

View of the garden from the Library window
The other end of the Library

After a week of workshops, group work and rich conversation, I've come back inspired and invigorated with a bunch of new friends who are all as talented and amazing as each other. I feel very lucky to have had this time for myself; to learn, to grow, to meet new people and take a few steps further with my writing. Thank you to my family, especially Frank for managing without me for ten days and to all the wonderful people at Ty Newydd who really make the house a home from home for all who visit!

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