Character Portraits – Escaping the Ego will focus upon constructing and depicting characters and personalities in poetry, using friends, family, lovers and strangers, objects and emotions, and most fundamentally, writing in the second and third person. This will inject verve and versatility into your writing, while sidestepping the inevitable trappings of purely autobiographical verse.

Tutor: Rhian Edwards – Poet

Rhian Edwards is a multi-award winning poet. Her first collection Clueless Dogs (Seren) won Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013 and the People’s Choice 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2012.

Rhian’s pamphlet Parade the Fib (Tall Lighthouse) was also the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for autumn 2008. Rhian’s pamphlet Brood (Seren) was published in March 2017, a sequence of haunting bird poems about motherhood and marriage.

Rhian’s poems have appeared in the Guardian, TLS, Poetry Review, New Statesman, Spectator, Poetry London, Poetry Wales, Arete and the London Magazine, Stand and Planet Magazine.

Guest, Wednesday evening: Polly Atkin – Poet

Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. Her first collection, Basic Nest Architecture, was published by Seren in February 2017. An extract from this was awarded New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse Prize in 2014 for ‘reflect[ing] a strong sense of place or the natural environment’.

Her first pamphlet bone song (Aussteiger, 2008) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award, 2009, and second, Shadow Dispatches (Seren, 2013), won the Mslexia Pamphlet Prize, 2012.

She has taught English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria. She is interested in site-specific work, as well as where poetry might intersect with Disability Studies and in writing about the body, in poetry and prose.

For further information, visit the Garsdale Retreat’s website here.