26 Apr 2016 / Lumb Bank
Having not known much about it before we got there, we had no idea what to expect but we were all really excited to get to know each other better and improve our writing.
Our first thought upon getting off the bus was just, wow. It was such a picturesque and beautiful environment to be in and so different from Manchester. The group were all filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement for what was to come and were eager to get started. Having no distractions from the everyday like TV and Wifi really helped induct us into country life, it felt like we had left the stresses of the city behind us and that we could fully immerse ourselves in the Arvon experience.
The day started with a workshop from our tutors, script writer, Ishy Din and poet Louise Wallwein. It gave us great perspective to see things from two completely different types and styles of writers and consider different avenues that we’d never considered going down before such as writing a play or prose. Activities such as selecting images from a magazine and creating a detailed story allowed us to think outside of the box and gave us the chance to really get our creative juices flowing. One on one tutorials allowed us to narrow down and focus on what it was that we wanted to do and realise what we were capable of achieving. Shared cooking and cleaning was a really rewarding experience as not many of us had ever cooked for seventeen people before and it was lovely to all come together and enjoy delicious food whilst sharing our thoughts and ideas.
Stacey: I hadn’t ever really showcased any of my work before but during past experiences of public speaking I could never control my nerves. However, I felt confident and excited to share what I had been working on with the group knowing that I would be supported and praised for my achievement.
Tito: Yeah I agree, I have my own poetry blog which is essentially just words and images on a screen but it felt really empowering to deliver the words the way that they had formed in my head and be given the platform to do that. I now want to get involved in as many spoken words projects as possible and push myself further. It was the highlight of the experience for me, everyone really came in to their own and seeing them be so proud of their work put a massive smile on my face.
Although we were all familiar with each other, during this week we got to know one another in depth. Everyone had a different reason for being there and the collaborations that we had were unexpected but very welcome.
Stacey: I didn’t know how to structure or produce a song before Arvon, I wasn’t sure how to break up lyrics into verses and make sure that it flowed well. After a few days and with the help of one of the guys in the team, I produced my first single and wrote three poems which is something that I never thought could happen so quickly. Before Arvon, I had no interest in poetry and now I feel motivated to write poems as well now.
Tito: I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember, I also write my own songs and sometimes can struggle in creating new themes for them and also making sure that I am writing consistently. Arvon has really helped me to get into a regular pattern as well as give me some new techniques.
~ Stacey and Tito
Watch a video of Reform Radio’s Arvon Week at Lumb Bank.
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The Literary Life
I have found my place at Lumb Bank,
a wooden bench outside the communal dining room,
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