Next workshop Thursday 7th September: Seamus Kelly

Shay the Poet: Seamus Kelly
Shay the Poet: Seamus Kelly

Seamus Kelly, is a Rochdale based Irish / English poet originally from the Midlands. In 2015 Seamus took the plunge giving up his full time job in sustainable travel to become a professional poet and writer.

The next Touchstones Creative Writing Group Workshop will be on Thursday 7th September from 2 – 4pm at Touchstones Heritage Centre.  We hope that you can join us to learn more about writing professionally and the writer’s life.

Seamus’s website can be found here: Thinking Too Much.

Pulling Threads Update: Postcards from Passchendaele

Pulling Threads, Touchstones Creative Writing Group’s performance arm, are being busy bees this summer; they’re preparing for a piece of original writing. Here are notes from the meeting and the performance dates.

Reflecting on the pity of war: draft script, replica pistol & cloth to clean it.

Pulling threads rehearsal & planning meeting, Falinge Park 13th July 2017

To commemorate one of the “greatest of the four battles of Ypres”, Pulling Threads are pulling together a piece of original drama based on testimonials from the battle. Annette Martens is the artistic director for this production which features dramatic true stories, horrific images, and sound. The italicised phrases are from some of the writers.

“Here are our gifts to the Gods” “roads that lead to the killing Fields”
The voluntary group of players have all contributed pieces to this performance in order to capture the human element; it’s not just the facts, the sheer number of the dead or the time and slog of the battle it’s about getting to the heart of it. The facts are woven in and there is compromise and cooperation in editing the pieces.

“I don’t usually carry a weapon, I carry arms… I’m a stretcher bearer”
There is pathos, and sympathy, created for the characters – the nurse, the stretcher bearer, the man who had his face half blown off but lived. And there is so much mud, a mud world, who thought you could drown in the battlefield?”. The emotion and empathy that has been created shows that “bravery can take many forms”.

“The government, the general, and the Kaiser sat down”
For a small piece of land many gave their lives, and as the performance comes together the script is becoming stronger. Any audience will be moved.

Performance Dates
10th November Oldham British legion, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Oldham. 19:50 – 20:20
22nd October, Part of Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival Fringe. Vibe, Drake Street, Rochdale. 13:00 – 13:40

Next meeting: Thursday 27th July 3pm, the Heritage Cafe in Falinge Park.

Next workshop 6th July: Jennie Bailey

Writer, researcher and workshop facilitator: Jennie Bailey
Writer, researcher and workshop facilitator: Jennie Bailey

Jennie Bailey is a writer and researcher. She has run workshops for all ages believing that creative writing has the ability to empower and delight. She is the co-author of Lancashire Folk Tales (2014, The History Press). Her poetry has been published in Loose Muse Anthology, The Best of Manchester Poets (vols 1 and 3), and Nine Arches Under the Radar.

The next Touchstones Creative Writing Group Workshop will be on Thursday 6th July from 2 – 4pm at Touchstones Heritage Centre.  We hope that you can join us for some experimental and fun writing activities!

You can see Jennie’s website here: Wild Writes.