Last Saturday, I went along to Tower House to attend award-winning poet, Rhian Edwards’ “Escaping the Ego” writing workshop. Rhian explored emotions and friendship with us, helping us to learn how to describe them in concrete ways through poetry.
Exercise 1, Icebreaker. 9 in attendance.
- To help her learn everyone’s names, Rhian asked the group to think of three fascinating facts about themselves.
- This lead to a whole range of interesting facts, from famous encounters, accidental vandalism to writing awards.
Exercise 2, Emotions.
- To begin this exercise, and encourage us to think about emotions, Rhian asked the group “what are emotions?”, and then together, we listed as many as we could think of.
- Rhian then asked us to pick an emotion, and gave us a list of ways to try and think about it. These included its texture and colour, as well as more imaginative descriptions, of the emotion as an animal or food.
- Rhian shared with us her own emotion poem, “Unmentionable”, which was portraying fear. I wrote about grief.
Exercise 3, Character Poems.
- Next, Rhian asked us to write about an old friend or family member. Rhian gave us another list, telling us to visualise our characters’ face, voice and style.
- Rhian then shared her poems “Petra” and “Rhys” with the group, about her own friends. There were some wonderful lines written by the other writers, such as ‘Bourneville eyes’.
The workshop was fun and challenging, getting us to try and write about both the abstract and the concreate in more physical, tangible ways then perhaps we had done before. She then worked with each of us, reading through our work and making suggestions about how we could improve our writing. Rhian is a dynamic writer and teacher, and I hope she returns to Southampton for more workshops!