Monthly Archives: October 2017

‘Theatre is a protected space …’

‘Theatre is a protected space in which we may tell the stories of our shared humanity ‘

(Sir Nicolas Haytner artistic director of the new Bridge Theatre in London)

My Writing Life

So too is poetry, or any art form for that matter. But poetry offers an intimacy that the play or the concert doesn’t. It is an intimacy we share with the painter, and like the painter it is an intimacy of absence. Someone reads my poems and thinks about them and I am, more often than not, not there to see how they react, yet somehow it remains a very personal encounter.

This last Saturday I travelled to Penrith to read at the northern launch of Write to be Counted, an anthology of poetry to uphold human rights. (The Book Mill 2017). Those of us who read at the launch were duly applauded but I found myself thinking about the poets  who contributed from other countries, such as Lebanon and Cambodia? Those poems will be read in sitting rooms and at kitchen tables in moments  of reflection.  The poets will not ever know how their poems are received and understood, but during the time that it takes to read a poem they can rely on the intimacy of the readers’ concentration on the page with their words, on the readers’ respect and attention, to tell a story of our shared humanity.

The inclusion of my poem If Only (2013) in this anthology is a great privilege and actually also very exciting because it is the first time I have been anthologised!

During this last month my writing has been laid aside while I have been returning to theatre work, having been invited by the associate director at the Duke’s Theatre here in Lancaster where I have been working on the latest production ‘Blackout, their latest community/ professional combined production which retells stories of the blackout and flooding which storm Desmond brought upon us in December 2015. It has been great fun to go back to performance work after eight years. So no blog until now…

My Reading Week(s)

My poetry writing is still being guided by Glynn Maxwell as I find time every now and then to read a chapter in his book On Poetry.

When I think about politics, which is far too much and makes me  feel profoundly depressed, I have found some consolation and food for thought in Naomi Klein’s inspiring book No is Not Enough. She is a very accessible and excellent writer and journalist, giving a terrifying, but also cogent and enlightening, analysis of how the whole Trump phenomenon came about. Read it! It won’t cheer you up but it will leave you feeling you understand a bit more about what ‘s going on out there!

 Hare in the Headlights

I am looking forward to a full programme for the long dark days of winter ahead. On the 4th of November I am off to Tyn y Coed for their five day writing course, a real treat and I am looking forward to it. Then as soon as I am back I have next in my series of writing workshops to teach in Ambleside. This one is about memoirs and full details are at the end of this blog. There are still paces left. And then in November I have my first online mentoring session with Katrina Naomi…

Bye for now and scroll down for workshop details below

 Fancy a day out in the Lake District?

Then why not come along to a creative writing workshop on Memoirs?

On Saturday 11th November 2017

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At Ambleside Parish centre

Tutor Dr Elizabeth Hare

Cost £8

For more information and to sign up for the workshop please email

[This workshop is subsidised by Learning Plus Ambleside, a self-help, learning and community support registered charity.]

What is a memoir?

The dictionary says  A memoir is a book or other piece of writing based on the writer’s personal knowledge of people, places, or events: Or A written record of a (usually famous) person’s own life and experiences

Come and explore some other definitions and try writing a memoir yourself. You don’t have to be famous to take part!