Paperplanes did a workshop in Burnley recently, and it went very well, despite us getting a bit bogged down in philosophical questions at one time. The Red Triangle Cafe on St James Street is a wonderful place, with good food if the bean & butternut squash casserole with polenta was anything to go by. And they do lovely coffee - good, strong filter coffee.
The people who came along were interesting and engaged fully with the discussions and the exercises. We even persuaded two people who had never read their work in public before to do so, which I suspect was a real breakthrough for them. Actually acknowledging that the stuff you write is actually worth revealing to other people is the first step on becoming a writer who is willing to publish their work. It takes a leap of faith.
So what was the "philosophical issue"? It had to do with making sense. Should a story or a film or a poem actually make sense? Well, of course, there's no real answer. There's such a thing as "artistic sense:" no-one expects a picture these days to "look like" what it's a painting of. Even in the past, the picture space was manipulated to make a harmonious painting, rather than to reflect reality. Nowadays, an artwork is seen as different from the thing or idea it is supposed to represent, and nobody complains about that. Much.
The same is true of stories and poems. They make a kind of poetic sense, in that they connect with a feeling, with a kind of linguistic pulse, with an idea; but they don't neccessarily follow in a logical order from beginning to end, with a neat conclusion at the end. Sometimes, they're all middle. Sometimes they exist merely as a game with words. Sometimes they give off a strong feeling, but are unpindownable (is that a word? It is now...)
TS Eliot's contention that a poem is appreciated before it's understood is still true. Poems communicate through rhythm, through image, through rhyme (not just end rhyme) and in all kinds of ways that can't be put into any other words than the ones on the page. And that's OK.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
IF YOU WANT TO ATTEND OUR WORKSHOP
WRITE, REFINE AND GET PUBLISHED
YOU NEED TO BOOK YOUR PLACE BEFORE 2 PM
ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11
You can book your place by phoning Steve on 07954 369 774,
or call in person at the Red Triangle Cafe, 160 St James Street, Burnley BB11 1NR,
or you can phone Andy at the cafe on 01282 832 319.
You can book by e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, though the above methods are more immediate.
Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to seeing you.