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NAWE Conference on Writers and Location
Mon 22 Mar 2004
The programme for this event has now been mailed to all members. Further copies of the programme and booking form are available on request.
The full programme appears below. As you will see, there is a Friday evening event with readings by poets from around the globe. This promises to be a lively launch to the weekend and we hope that all those who are travelling some distance and therefore staying overnight will enjoy this extra dimension to the conference.

Programme: Friday 30 April - Saturday 1 May 2004

Friday 30 April

18.00 Registration and tea/coffee (Room D121)

18.30 Welcome - Peter Dewar

Poetry Readings: from Wales to Australia via Western Europe (Waldegrave Drawing Room)

Franz Andres Morrissey (Home Games and Away Matches);
Mick Leigh (An Australian Dreamtime);
Norman Schwenk (Welsh Locations). Norman will also introduce his recently co-edited anthology, The Hare that Hides Within: poems about St Melangell, her legend and her shrine by Anne Cluysenaar, John Freeman, David Hart, Gwyneth Lewis, Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, Norman Schwenk and others.

Saturday 1 May

09.15 Coffee and Registration (Waldegrave Drawing Room ante-room)

09.45 Welcome - Robyn Bolam (Waldegrave Drawing Room)

10.00 Workshop - Liz Cashdan (Room C104)
'Postcards, People, and Places' - a workshop for prose or poetry

Seminars: Chair: Conor Carville (Room D121)
'From Rome to Roscommon: the fiction of John McGahern & Adam Thorpe' - Tim Burke
'In my end is my beginning': Brian Moore and Ireland - Richard Mills

Seminars: Chair: Robyn Bolam (The Waldegrave Drawing Room)
'The use of known locations to anchor a book' - Martin Goodman
Martin will focus on passages from his books and will talk about the parts their locations played in the development of his writing.
'The Apricot Orchards of Maribor' - Keith Bennett
Keith will relive the journey taken from a single poem generated at a workshop, to a published collection of collaborative poetry that arose from exploring the creative potential of an imagined, real place. The location of Maribor was chosen from an old map of Yugoslavia...

11.20 Coffee (Waldegrave Drawing Room ante-room)

11.50 Panel Session (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
Royal Literary Fund Project Fellow, Brian Keaney, leads a panel of student writers from the Professional and Creative Writing Programme.

12.30 Lunch (Long Gallery)

13.40 Workshop - David Hart (Room C104)
'This side of beyond'
We will write into location, where we live, where we move, across boundaries of whatever kind, looking to make discoveries by way of poetry empathetically.

Workshop - David Greenslade (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
'Location & dislocation: active imagination and writing - the impossible things we expect our students to do...'
This workshop will be an exploration of writing and association - prose, poetry, free form - with the purpose of reminding us of the tremendous rewards of creativity, especially connecting with an awareness of the versatility within us all.

Seminar: Chair: Tim Burke (Room D121)
'Paul Muldoon's Other Spaces' - Conor Carville

Paper and discussion 'Poets and Place: an exploratory seminar' - Joan Michelson
Reading, analysis, and discussion of poems - including those by Ken Smith and Osip Mandelstam - to explore the role of place within them.

15.00 Tea

15.30 Workshop - Brian Docherty (Room C104)
'A trip round Memory Harbour: Ekphrasis and Creative Writing'
A reading from Brian's poem sequence, Memory Harbour (a response to Jack B Yeats's watercolours) will lead into a writing workshop in which Brian will demonstrate how ekphrasis can be used to stimulate creative writing.

Workshop - Franz Andres Morrissey (Room D121)
'Well-trodden Paths and Other Exotic Locations'
The workshop focuses on (re-) examining the familiar, both in terms of experience and language, and working towards a view point of the 'outsider looking in'. If possible, we will also explore techniques of using language in writing which could be used in a context where participants may not be native speakers of English.

Seminars: Chair: Paul Munden (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
'Working with writers in rural locations' - Lis Whitelaw
This seminar will explore my experience of working with writers in rural communities and of being a writer whose current writing draws heavily on my own memories of and ideas about life in the countryside. How much difference does it make whether the location is rural or urban?

'Artists' notebooks: poetry, drawing and creative journaling' - Christian McEwen
This seminar will be based on a series of workshops taught last autumn at Smith College, Massachusetts, in which venues alternated between the Art Museum and the Botanical Gardens.

16.50 Poetry Reading by Carol Rumens

17.30 Close

Finding your place in the community of writers: individual consultation sessions for writers.

By prior arrangement, writers at the conference will have the opportunity to have a one-to-one consultation with Brian Keaney, RLF Fellow at St Mary's. Some sessions may be available at the end of Friday afternoon, on request. Otherwise, these will take place during Saturday. Brian will be offering advice about strategies which can help writers: understand where their strengths lie; explore the sorts of outcomes they wish to achieve; decide upon a series of goals; consider how these fit into existing support structures; develop realistic career plans.

Philippa Johnston, of literaturetraining, will also be available to answer specific queries about training and professional development.

Please indicate on the booking form if you wish to book one of these consultations.

Biographical notes

Keith Bennett is a poet, performer and playwright with an MPhil in Creative Writing from Glamorgan University. He is currently a mentor for NAWE and his second collection of poetry, The Clockwork Poetry Machine, is due out later this year from Dionysia Press, Edinburgh.

Robyn Bolam lectures on the English and Professional & Creative Writing programmes at St Mary's College. More information can be found at:

Tim Burke lectures on the English and Professional & Creative Writing programmes at St Mary's College. He edited Ann Yearsley: Selected Poems for the Cyder Press (University of Gloucestershire) in 2003.

Liz Cashdan teaches Creative Writing for the WEA and at Sheffield University Institute of Life-long Learning. Her last collection was Laughing All the Way (Five Leaves Publications, 1995).

Conor Carville lectures on the Professional & Creative Writing and Irish Studies Programmes at St Mary's College.

Peter Dewar is Director of the Professional & Creative Writing programme at St Mary's College.

Brian Docherty is a PhD candidate on the Professional & Creative Writing programme at St Mary's College. His first collection of poems, Armchair Theatre, was published by Hearing Eye Press in 1999. He has co-edited three anthologies by Word for Word Writers' Group and seven titles in the Insights Series published by Macmillan.

Martin Goodman_s novel, On Bended Knees (Macmillan, 1992) was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. He has also published In Search of the Divine Mother (Harper, 1998), I Was Carlos Castaneda (Rivers/Random House, 2001), and On Sacred Mountains (Heart of Albion, 2002). His most recent novel is Look Who's Watching.

David Greenslade has many books in print and is a regular visitor to The Abbey. He teaches in Wales and Edinburgh and is External Examiner for a Creative Writing course at the University of Essex. His latest novel is Celtic Hot Tub; his latest book of poetry is Weak Eros.

David Hart was Birmingham Poet Laureate (1997-98) and has held numerous residencies, including Arts Council Poetry Fellow, University of Warwick (2001-2). His publications include The Men's Hut (Worcester Cathedral residency poems, Flarestack, 2000), and Crag Inspector (Five Seasons Press, 2002).

Brian Keaney is best known as a writer of novels for young people. He has also written both fiction and non-fiction, had a number of plays performed and published, worked as a journalist, written promotional materials for large corporations, government organisations and charities and been writer-in-residence in two London boroughs.

Mick Leigh writes poems for both children and adults. An Australian, he makes regular visits to the UK where his workshops have proved opular in libraries across the west of England.

Christian McEwen was born in London, grew up in Scotland and has lived in the US for the past 24 years, where she works as writer, teacher and editor. Her books include The Alphabet of the Trees: A Guide to Nature Writing, co-edited with Mark Statman (Teachers & Writers, 2000), and In the Wake of Home (Meadowlark Press, 2004).

Joan Michelson, for many years responsible for Creative Writing at the University of Wolverhampton, now teaches at Birkbeck College, London. Her chapbook of poems, Letting in the Light, was the 2002 competition winner published by PoeticMatrix Press, USA.

Richard Mills lectures on the Professional & Creative Writing & Irish Studies Programmes at St Mary's College.

Franz Andres Morrissey teaches creative writing at Berne University and in teacher training workshops in Switzerland. He has written EFL textbooks and manuals on creative writing, including Creative Ways (British Council and BBC World Service). He has also written children's fairytale musicals and one-act plays.

Norman Schwenk was, until his retirement, Convenor of Creative Writing at Cardiff University. He now works as a freelance writer and teacher. He has published two collections of poetry, The Black Goddess (Chiron Press) and How to Pronounce Welsh Place Names (Alley Press). He has lived in Wales since the 1960s.

Lis Whitelaw has written biography, fiction, criticism and translations and is now working on a book about what it means to live a rural life in the 21st century. She has taught in Adult and Higher Education for most of her working life and has recently returned to the freedom and anxiety of life as a freelance.

Conference Venue

The conference will take place at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, TW1 4SX.

Please note: St Mary's College is based at Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill villa, which is a listed building. Access to the main rooms of the conference is by a short flight of stairs.

Conference Fee

NAWE Members: £25
Non-Members: £40
St Mary's College Students: £15

The conference fee includes all refreshments (tea/coffee, lunch and evening drinks)

Conference Booking

If you wish to book a place on the conference, please contact the NAWE office for a booking form and return it together with a cheque for the appropriate amount. Please book as early as possible and no later than 19 April 2004.

Please remember to notify us of any special access or dietary requirements.

Confirmation, directions and accommodation information will be sent to all delegates within 14 days after receipt of their booking.

Contact Information:
National Association of Writers in Education