Wilderness Workshop

We have been unable to organise a live workshop this month so Anna Percy has written you a workshop you can do at home, if you can gather a fellow poet/s to join while you do these exercises over a cup of tea or a glass of wine (cake is also very important to the poetry process) the more the merrier. We find the workshop atmosphere makes all our poems seem better as your negative opinions of your just written work is immediately challenged.

Use the first three lines of this poem: ‘Bailing Out – A Poem for the 1970s’ – Eleanor Wilner

‘’The landings had gone wrong; white silk,/
like shrouds, covered the woods./
The trees had trapped the flimsy fabric’’

Set a timer on your phone and write solidly for five to ten minutes depending on how ambitious you are feeling. Don’t read too deeply into the rest of your poem – you want to go your own way – this is just a kicker line. Don’t think about length of lines or writing a poem just yet, just keep that pen moving and follow the ink. Don’t worry about your handwriting, spelling, punctuation or making sense. This is free writing. Be free!

Write about your own Wilderness. When have you ever felt truly lost? This can be geographically, emotionally or socially – whatever your wilderness was and whether it was freedom or frightening. Write a short poem describing your experience.

Wilderness would not be complete without a Kate Bush song. This time, similar to the above, you will be writing to a stimulus but this time watch and listen to this video in full of Kate Bush’s the Sensual World where she dances through a Forest and describes a musical wilderness of sexuality. Play it one more time and write till the song finishes.

Write ‘’Kissing-gate’’ in the top left hand corner of the page and ‘’sunlight’’ at the bottom right. The blank page is your wilderness, your woods, your desert. Use the whole page to write your way out of it into the sunlight, go wild and weird – don’t think left aligned lines, use the whole page. You can do this on a computer but we would suggest paper and pen for this where possible.


The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in stirred october, wilderness
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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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