Tag Archives: TCWG Workshop

February Workshop





Management Committee


presents its




at Touchstones Arts & Heritage Centre, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ,

on Thursday, 3rd February, at 2pm,

facilitated by writer and actor,



Atar is a new ‘recruit’ of Touchstones Creative Writing Group and we look forward to working with him in the future.

The subject of Atar’s February 2022 workshop will be:


‘Three Approaches to the Love Poem’

All three will be drawn from the work of Israeli satirist, Hanoch Levin, whose ‘Lives of the Dead: Collected Poems’ I will bring to class and have the students read as I read the poems aloud to them, and then work from to write an imitation of one of the poems.


Atar Hadari trained as an actor before studying playwrighting with Derek Walcott at Boston University. His plays have won awards from the BBC, Arts Council of England, National Foundation of Jewish Culture (New York), European Association of Jewish Culture (Brussels) and the RSC, where he was Young Writer in Residence. Plays have been staged at Finborough Theatre, Wimbledon Studio Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and West Yorkshire Playhouse. His sit com script ‘Strictly Kosher’ won an Alfred Bradley award from the BBC. His ‘Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H.N.Bialik’ (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award, his first collection, ‘Rembrandt’s Bible’, published by Indigo Dreams. The Pen Translates award winning ‘Lives of the Dead: Collected Poems of Hanoch Levin’ is out now from Arc Publications.

Dear Life by Ray Stearn

In October 2021 we shared our last workshop with Anthony Costello. After writing this poem we talked about how important a title can be. In this poem, without the title it is simply a travelog. Add the title “Dear Life” and a completely different piece emerges.


Dear Life


Driving North it is well hidden,

Until that final bend in the road

Where it dominates the view.

The Angel of the North.

Ugly slab of rusting metal

Or iconic, beautiful sculpture.

After all these years I still can’t decide which


That simple act of driving past

Takes us North,

Northumberland, Beadnell,


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Here our dreams are met

In serenity, beauty, solitude.

For Northumbria is yet to be discovered,

Even through the pandemic,

By the Ibiza crowd.

Seals sing at Seahouses.

Buntings bathe at Bamborough,

Home of the famous Bamborough Banger,

Smoked, like the Craster kippers

And the Swallow Fish prawns.

The Angel, going North

A beacon for happiness,

Relaxation, rest, peace.


A week later

We travel South.

Southward, The Angel is visible

From a distance.

Growing reminder of the return

To daily tasks.

Living, breathing,

Paying bills mending ills.

Does The Angel frown as we pass,

That smooth, expressionless face

Above the monoplane wings

The car climbs the hill

The Angel disappears

Until the next time


Driving North

The Angel smiles again.


©Ray Stearn 7th October 2021