Arvon at Home Writing Week: Poetry

On possibility; poetry and its boundaries

Monday January 18th - Friday January 22nd 2021

Online

‘No not poems, instead: the energy that comes through them like yellow lightning through the back of a broken mirror propped up in the roots of a tree at the place where the forest meets the flank of the meadow’s grass…’ Bhanu Kapil

What is a poem and what does it mean to be a poet? Can a piece of music be a poem? A photograph? A film? A person? A dragonfly? Is writing a poem an inherently solitary experience or is there a way, at this time of social isolation, that we can write collaboratively with fellow poets? During this week of shared dreaming and experimentation, we will think about how poems function in different contexts, and how those contexts can, in turn, change our poems. By the end of the week, our sense of what poems can be – to each other and the world – will be transformed and renewed.


We’ll help you to make ‘Arvon at Home’, turning your own place into a writing cocoon, capturing the transformative power of our acclaimed Arvon residential courses: two brilliant author-tutors at your service, a caring and sharing group, the time and space to devote to your writing, invaluable feedback, new writing pals, and the unique creative progress that happens in a dedicated week. 

You will be offered the best of a classic Arvon residential week, with a few virtual tweaks. Spot the difference: a carefully balanced combination of tips to help you focus, daily morning workshops, one-to-one tutorials with both tutors, three evening get-togethers to chat about the day’s work, a mid-week guest reading offer, the celebratory Friday-evening collective reading, and lots of time and encouragement for you to write every day. You will receive a free ticket to our Wednesday evening Live Guest Reading.

All gatherings, one-to-one or group, will be delivered via our own Arvon Zoom, so you’ll need to have a reliable internet connection. Your Arvon Centre host will be on call to offer support as you need it, including any help you may need with your computer set-up.

To participate, and to get the most out of the week, you’ll need to turn up online for all planned morning sessions, Monday to Friday. You should also set aside your afternoons for tutorials and independent writing time.  Last but not least, we urge you to read your tutors’ published work before the week starts.

Dates: Monday 18 January 4.30pm  — Friday 22 March 8pm
Cost: £375

If you have any questions about how the week works, or are on a low income and would like to apply for a grant to reduce the course fee please contact communications@arvon.org (grants are limited to four places).

Grants are available to help with the course fee

COURSE TUTORS

I had the chance to speak with two well respected tutors about my work. Being able to do this in one-to-one tutorials was excellent and not reduced in any way by being on Zoom. A good chance for some very good advice. I am now determined to set to work on my writing.

—Writing Week Participant

What a lovely week—worked so well. It’s not the Hurst, but something different and equally special.

—Writing Week Participant

Monday

4.30pm—6.30pm: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. The Arvon Centre Director will welcome you and the tutors, giving you an overview of the week, technology support, and some ideas for making your writing ‘cocoon’. You’ll get to meet everyone, ask questions, and settle in. Your tutors will ask you to start thinking about your writing, perhaps setting an exercise. There’s likely to be some homework for tomorrow morning

Tuesday

10am—1pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, which includes writing exercises, discussion. There’ll be a break in the middle of the session.

2.30pm—4.00pm: One-to-one tutorials lasting about 20 minutes each. You’ll have a tutorial each day with each tutor during the week; the rest of the afternoon is your time to think and write.

5.30pm—6pm: Informal evening get-together (optional). This is a chance to discuss the day’s work, any writing issues, what you’re drinking/eating, and anything else that springs to mind.

6-7pm: The tutors read from their own work and take questions.

Wednesday

The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2.30pm—4.00pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: evening group get-together (optional)

+

7.15pm: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading—you get a free ticket to this.

Thursday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2.30pm—4.00pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: evening group get-together (optional)

6-7pm: A chance to read some of your favourite poetry, or prose and talk about why you like it. If you wish you can even share an image or short video – perhaps a piece of art that you find particularly appealing or inspiring.

Friday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2.30pm—4.00pm: afternoon tutorials

5.30- 6pm: evening group get-together (optional)

6pm—8pm: Friday evening culminates with a celebratory reading where you have the chance to share some of your new writing. Expect laughter, tears and a huge sense of pride for all you have learned, written and achieved this week. There’ll be plenty of virtual hugs.

And then...

The week doesn’t stop here. You now have a writing community. Stay in touch. Share your work with each other, and take it forward.

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