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Liz Cashdan


Writing & illustrating – A tutor & student co-operative project

I’d like to report on a co-operative project between myself, a writer/tutor and poet on one hand, and Dorothy Flint, a second year illustration student on the other..  We worked together over several months. The co-operative project grew out of Dorothy’s need to find a client for her illustration course and my need to find an artist who wanted a client to make a visual contribution to the  poems I had already written between 2015 and 2018.

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Coming to your senses 

I’ve been thinking about the senses recently. Kit de Waal claimed  in a Guardian interview about her reading habits that audio books were now her preferred way of reading.

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How to sequence a sequence

“We looked for connecting themes, for a narrative, for a chronology.. Having achieved an order that I have to admit at first I doubted was going to be possible, I began to feel quite pleased with the way this random selection of poems had turned into a sequence.”

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Ekphrastic Poetry

It’s easy to look at a painting, for example, Van Gogh’s yellow bed and chair,, and respond with words. You might write a short story or a narrative poem about someone, possibly Van Gogh himself, who lived here. You might write a poem reproducing what you see in the painting, or something slightly more philosophical about bedrooms and their owners. But what do you write when the painting you are looking at is abstract?

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Women’s History Month: Aemilia Lanyer

Since March is Women’s History Month it seems like a good time to celebrate the work of women writers from an earlier age. Fortuitously, as joint editor of NAWE’s Higher Education Journal, Writing in Practice No 5, I read an article by Sally O’Reilly analysing her approach to writing a historical novel, Dark Aemelia,  (Myriad Editions, 2015) about Shakespeare and his relationship with Aemilia Lanyer, a contemporary poet, and a possible identity for the Dark Lady of his sonnets.

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Writing Tales: Amos Oz (1939 – 2018) Israeli writer of novels, tales, poems and essays.

Amos Oz, who died in December 2018,  has always been an important writer for me, not only because of his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock, but also because of his multi-part solutions to writing, whether it be with reference to subject matter, context, genre or viewpoint.

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Transitioning

My old school. Well they’ve still got the 11+ but never mind, I’ll  go along all the same, do a talk and maybe a workshop. They still sing the Harrow School Song as their school song: the tramp of the 22 men  in a single sex girls’ school. Well maybe they are transitioning. After all this is LGBT history month.

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Bringing it all together: the genesis of a poem

I want to share details of how I wrote a poem recently, bringing several aspects of my writing life together. The idea for the poem started with a workshop I was doing for the WEA in Weston Super Mare.

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Sentences

I was intrigued reading some of the visual arts, students and tutors, writing about the materials and techniques at their disposal. It made me realise that all the writer has is very little in comparison: words and nothing more. We can splash them across the page, join them into sentences, paragraphs, lines, stanzas, novellas, chapters, scripts; or we can sound them out at performances, readings, and online, visually and orally.

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