Tell us a little bit about Poetry in Motion
The society started in 2013, it’s a writing and performance poetry society, and we put on performances on campus, and get involved in open mic nights. A few members go to events outside of university and perform there. There was no writing society on campus. There was the Drama Society, where they did performances, but there was nowhere to write your own stuff and get your own stuff out there. We meet every Monday at the Cheshire campus in the Couzens Building, and we have socials where we just meet and go to the pub or watch a film at someone’s house.
What is the experience of writing live poetry like?
It’s fun, but I think it depends on what you are writing about I guess. Sometimes you are doing an event and the topic is not one you can sum up in ten minutes, you need more time to think about it and write about it. Then there are other events where the buzz and the atmosphere gives you inspiration and it comes out naturally. The way we usually do it is to give a prompt out, and everybody comes up with something individually, but sometimes we work as a group. When it comes to how easy the experience is, I think it depends what you are writing about. Sometimes you want to write something really personal and other people being involved makes that difficult, whereas other times it’s nice to have other people’s ideas to feed off and they give you things to think about that you might not have thought before. When it comes to tonight’s live writing, I was thinking with it being about The Union - I might write something about what The Union stands for, about inclusion.
What other things have you got planned for 2017?
The LGBT society from the Cheshire campus are doing a celebration week, so we are going to be running some writing workshops with them. We are also going to be involved with the Congleton Arts Festival, performing at that and doing some workshops with local schools, writing plays with them.
21 March is World Poetry Day. Do you have any favourite poems or poets that you can recommend?
One of my favourites from school is Gillian Clark’s ‘Catrin’. It’s about her relationship with her daughter and speaks about a rift between them, but that bond they have between mother and daughter always pulls them back.
What would you say to anyone who might want to start writing poetry?
It sounds like weird advice, but forget about what everyone else is doing, and do what you want to do. I know one of the things I struggled with when I first started was that my work didn’t sound like what everyone else was doing, so I thought it wasn’t good poetry. It comes more naturally if it comes from you, and the people hearing it or reading it can tell that it’s true if it’s what you’ve written and not copied someone else’s style.
To find out more about Poetry in Motion or join the society, check out their page or Facebook group.
Holly’s Poem from Results Night
A safe space
A friendly face
A place to be open
To be me, to be you
A sanctuary for all
To rise, to fall
Invaluable chances to grow
This is your time
To ask for help
To show what you can do
So come one and all,
Be made welcome
Be who you want to be
And find your second family.