24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
Art & CultureHistory, heritage & archeologyWorkshops & Learning

Poetry Workshop with Dorothy Whittaker

Knott Memorial Hall, The Towne Gate, Heddon-on-the-Wall, NE15 0DT

02 Nov 2022, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Delivered by Northumberland Libraries

As their Photographing the Roman Wall: Then and Now project, Northumberland Libraries plan to offer a programme of events celebrating the life and work of the Hexham photographer and archaeologist, John Pattison Gibson, and in this instance the acclaim of his family.

The poet Wilfrid Wilson Gibson (1878-1962) was the youngest of J.P. Gibson’s eight children. Like his father he took inspiration from the landscape and history of Northumberland. In this workshop, Dorothy Whittaker will be using Gibson’s poetry to explore what Hadrian’s Wall means to us today.

Dorothy began writing creatively several years ago. Since childhood, Dorothy’s been fascinated by our local history and the folk tales of Northumberland, so she enjoyed turning them into creative non-fiction. More recently, she has been exploring our relationship with the land and how it shapes our identity as individuals, and as Northumbrians. Dorothy is happiest walking among the Cheviot hills and this inspires most of her poetry.

After spending most of her working life teaching, Dorothy set up and ran Blyth Writers group. She now delivers creative writing and poetry workshops, including Duns Play Fest in 2019. These workshops have covered a variety of topics, including local history and legend, creating a treasure box of personal memories and Covid 19 experiences.

The poetry workshop will use Gibson’s poems to walk in the footsteps of a Roman soldier; to write about what the Wall means to us today; excavate the layers of history within the landscape of the Wall and explore what ‘belonging’ means to each of us.

The session will be designed to accommodate both beginners and more seasoned writers of poetry, and to try out different forms of poetry e.g. diamante and acrostic poems.

Weather permitting, it may be possible to take a short stroll along part of the Wall at Heddon and write a poem.

This project has been made possible thanks to a National Lottery Project Grant from Arts Council England.

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