Artistbooks for Poets

Sudley Field was commissioned by poet Helen Tookey for her work featured part of Almanac Arts and RISE Festival, Liverpool. More info here

Ripple was made in collaboration with Maya Chowdhry to house her audio, and digital poems on the Anthropocene. Read more here 

Imaginarium

the fold is a cross-genre, cross-discipline pair of writing workshops exploring how space and form can reshape your writing.

Eight writers. Two full day workshops. One tutorial.
Saturdays 23rd May & 6th June, 1030-1600
Friends Meeting House, Lancaster.

Using different book forms we will explore how enfolding and unfolding your writing into concertinas, graduated pages and other unusual forms can expand your work in ways you might not have previously considered. These two days aim to free you from writing for the flat page and discover new approaches to your writing and editing. These days will inject a sense of playful possibility into your writing.

“The imagination is the power of the mind over the possibilities of things.” Wallace Stevens

Making different forms of artistbooks has informed how I write and edit my work

Who’s it For

Any one who has written something, short story, novel, creative prose, poetry or something more hybrid, is welcome to participate. You do not need to have experience of making books. Nor do you need to be super experienced as a writer, just curious as to how you might develop your writing and thinking around writing .

You will need to be able to commit to both days and to bring some work you are willing or wanting to see reshaped as an artistbook. Depending on time, ambition and progress you may make one edition or multiples.

What happens

We will begin with a basic book form to explore how words and folds interact with each other and what happens to a piece of writing when it is set beyond the flat page. From early experiments we’ll edit writing, cut and fold paper and explore designs, illustrations and colour that will add new layers of meaning and connections to your original writing.

By keeping the group size small each participant will work closely with each other and me on their designs. Everyone is offered a one-to-one tutorial with me to be taken at some point to suit your process between the first session and end of June. This is intended to allow you a supportive and informal space to explore your chosen form in more depth.

Cost

For both full day workshops and a one-to-one tutorial, there are three self-selecting bands:
£160 full,
£100 part-waged or
£30 concessions 

To cover costs I can only take a maximum of two people in the lowest bracket. These will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. I’ll ask you to confirm your participation by payment in full in advance of both workshops.

*While I will provide some materials, for your final book (made in the second workshop) you will be invited to buy card or paper that suits your design. For small projects such as these, I recommend Studio Arts in Lancaster, Fred Aldous in Manchester, Rennies and Jacksons in Liverpool. We will discuss paper possibilities on the first day.

That is the true magnificence – if you can live in a culture that is so destructive as ours is, one that keeps you down and discouraged and broken-hearted and if you can still sing your song, dance your dance, cook your food and speak your mind, then you’ve won — Alice Walker 

How to apply
Email me at sehymas [at] gmail [dot] com , letting me know which band you’ve selected


The idea for these workshops grew from a ‘winged pamphlet’ writing workshop

Testimonials for A Writer’s Imaginarium

A safe space to be an unsafe writer – to push beyond your comfort zone, write stuff that doesn’t matter, chop it up, turn it round and then realise it’s like nothing you’ve written before, and that that does matter.  What it entails – better trusting the innate potency of the intangible to assist with your writing – writing, re-thinking time, colour, shape, ownership, associations, triggers. It allows you to write as your synapses actually fire, more than as society wishes your mind to work. Uncolonised writing.

I liked the inputs and reading you give us and the crazy exercises, not just writing and reading out. A group on imagination has to be imaginative after all

I didn’t really know what to expect from it but I’ve come away with some new and different ideas and a desire to finish my novel so I can chalk it up as a success … a melting pot of thoughts, discussions, ideas, views and useful written exercises for all genres of writing.

I found the one-to-one to be invaluable. Talking to someone about it and some of the problems I’m facing with it helped me to see it more clearly and gave me something of a different viewpoint on it, which was good.

Pulls you out of your writing and into yourself, then pushes you out of yourself and into your writing.

How can writers of different genres learn from each other? How might the work, ideas and interests cross-fertilize? What happens in that space where different imaginations meet? Read more about my thinking of the imaginarium here

If you have any questions, then get in touch via the below

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Writing a Migration

refugee smuggling stencil sm

Writing a Migration

Wednesday 16th March, 7-9pm
The Gallery, Storey Institute, Lancaster LA1 1TH.

Using sculptures and prints featured in Catriona Stamp‘s Where Are We Going? exhibition as departure points, this writing workshop will explore what migration means to us and how we’re connected to current and historical migrations. We will explore themes of home, alienation and change.

This is a session for play, investigation, art and imagery, open to all, however experienced you are as a writer and whatever form you usually write in.

Full £10
Concessions £5

To book use the contact form below

Where Are We Going?
Paper sculpture | prints | artistsbooks | film by Catriona Stamp
Featuring new work on human migration alongside a retrospective
The Gallery, Storey Institute, Lancaster LA1 1TH
Fri 4 March – Tues 22 March. Noon – 6pm Monday – Fridays.

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Remix the Poet

Remix the Poet: What song offers poetry
A Poetry and Music workshop with Hymas & Lewis

Saturday 14 November, 10-4pm
The Olive Room, Gregson Centre, Lancaster, LA1 3PY

Turn a poem into a song and back into a poem. Edit with your ears and see how the process impacts your imagining of its potential. In this playful, exploratory workshop we will be using the song form to transform the way you think about writing.

Using a variety of activities, writing and thinking time, discussions, silence and time outdoors, poet Sarah Hymas & musician Steve Lewis will share their practice as collaborators and turn the volume up on your own processes.

We have found that setting poetry to music encourages the light in. Once the words are sung, resonances spark, new phrases are found, and different ways of speaking them emerge. The poem matures. This workshop will offer you alternative ways of editing and give you a fresh confidence in your writing and how you share it.

Attending the workshop includes the option to air the results of the day at the following week’s Spotlight Club in Lancaster.

All writers, of any genre and experience level, are welcome.

More info about Hymas&Lewis

Cost
Early Birds £60 available until 30th September
Full Price or post 30th September £80.

There are limited places available for this workshop, so we need full payment in advance

If you have any questions, just ask…

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Workshop Archives

Writing the Ritual

SUMIT SARKER

Understanding the Ritual exhibition (Storey Gallery, Lancaster: 26th May – 29th June 2014) explores the Shamanistic tradition of ritual and belief in art.

This writing workshop, in the gallery, offers the chance to create a narrative from selected works, experimenting with persona and voice. We will question what wildness is and our relationship to it. What spirits, ghosts and gods occupy us to influence our view of the world? How can these influence what we write?

A workshop of play, investigation, art and imagery, open to all, however experienced you are as a writer and whatever form you usually write in.

Remix the Poet: What song offers poetry
A Poetry and Music workshop with Hymas & Lewis

Turn a poem into a song and back into a poem. Edit with your ears and see how the process impacts your imagining of its potential. In this playful, exploratory workshop we will be using the song form to transform the way you think about writing.

Using a variety of activities, writing and thinking time, discussions, silence and time outdoors, poet Sarah Hymas & musician Steve Lewis will share their practice as collaborators and turn the volume up on your own processes.

We have found that setting poetry to music encourages the light in. Once the words are sung, resonances spark, new phrases are found, and different ways of speaking them emerge. The poem matures. This workshop will offer you alternative ways of editing and give you a fresh confidence in your writing and how you share it.

 

Visioning Day for Writers

Bay Light_cropped

Myself and Maya Chowdhry led a visioning day on Morecambe Bay in February 2015, drawing on the expanse of sea, sky and fresh air to gain clarity and focus on your writing practice.

Using a one to one coaching session, a variety of creative tools (including writing time), and group discussions we aimed to activate the participants’ creative missions.

This was a pilot day and we received very positive feedback:

“Group size was great… very relaxed and, at the same time, challenging”

“This is the time you can’t find in your office, the thinking and dreaming time, the time to plant seeds and water them.”

“The culture of the entire day was conducive to trust and relaxation. I felt refreshed after it.”

“I feel able to make some very positive steps towards my goal.”

“The walking coaching was brilliant. I loved the combination of moving in physical space and talking about quite big, otherwise difficult to identify, things. It helped me get out of my head and into intuition.”

This workshop is suitable for writers with some writing experience as you will be discussing your current creative projects. Each day will involve a short walk and some physical movement.

We are planning future days around the coast. If you would like to be told of the next day when it is finalised or one specific to your area, please get in touch

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Event Maker

poetry tours

I have produced poetry readings, poetry tours, multimedia exhibits and small literature festivals.

In 2012 and 2013 I produced, marketed and managed two tours for Arc Publications.

In 2012 the tour comprised seven international poets (from Iceland, Turkey, Burma, Punjab, Armenia and Brazil) visiting 29 venues for readings, discussions and workshops on translation.

In 2013 the tour took 12 poets (four from the UK, others from Sri Lanka, Serbia, Germany, New Zealand, Armenia and Catalonia) and two translators around 34 venues giving readings, workshops and discussions.

Before working with international poets I orchestrated smaller tours for North West writers featured in the Flax publications.022 launch

And before that I worked for Calderdale Libraries as their poet in residence where I orchestrated, alongside the Reader in Residence two mini festivals.

Before that I skated the freelance world and made events to suit whatever project I was involved in