We shall look briefly at a range of formal poetry – sonnet, roundel, blank verse, villanelle, ballad, etc. – from different cultural backgrounds, and then at contemporary free verse. Participants will be asked to pick out features that they like and dislike, in order to establish what we expect from a poem. They will then be asked to write short poems (in English or Armenian), on both a given topic and a topic of their choosing, and to share some of what they have written, whether completed or not. This is immaterial, since the aim is to gain an insight into the nature of poetry and the process of writing rather than to produce finished work. No knowledge or experience is therefore necessary, although participants who have written poetry may wish to bring an example of their work.
Fee: £10 to include refreshments
Places are limited. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Peter Sutton is an experienced translator and editor, poet and playwright, and a former Head of Publications at the Unesco Institute for Education. His alliterative verse translation of the medieval masterpiece Piers Plowman appeared in 2014 (mcfarlandpub.com), and he has given readings from this and his own poems at festivals, conferences and poetry events in the UK and the US. He has a long association with Armenia, having taught English at Yerevan State University in 1979-80. For more see www.petersutton.eu