Today staff from Sport Studies at the University of Canberra met the poet Harry Laing at the Old Cheese Factory at Reidsdale to develop our writing skills as part of the Faculty of Health‘s 2010 Writing Week. We visited Reidsdale on one of the wettest days of the year in the wettest week of the year so that the glories of the Monga National Park were obscured by cloud and mist.
Harry was a delightful facilitator and manged to guide us through a great day of writing and voice exercises.
Our day included:
- Two free flow writing exercises (writing without taking the pen off the paper as a stream of expression).
- Writing about an object (two truths, four lies).
- Completing a fifty-word piece that followed from the starting line I stroked the tiger one last time then …
- Writing about a person we know well.
- Completing a fifty-word piece that followed from the starting line The stadium went quiet then …
- Writing about My Left Hand.
- Writing about an object (description then an imagination piece about the object).
- Two voice exercises: one to Charles Causley‘s I Am The Song and one as a Chant.
- Writing a Tanka on the theme of a Hero or Fallen Idol.
- Exquisite corpse exercise (partners take it in turn to write words: adjective, noun, verb, adjective, noun without seeing what each other has written) to develop unimagined sentences.
Harry interspersed these activities with readings from his own collections, Philip Larkin and Simon Armitage.
There was lots of opportunity to discuss writing and narrative whilst having the most wonderful food and drinks from the Old Cheese Factory kitchen (provided by Gary, Gina, Margaret and Robert).