Imaginarium

One Day Plus

is a day-long, online / offline, writing laboratory for kick-starting a new project, picking up the threads of an old one, tinkering with an unfledged idea. In short, it offers the space to play, think, write, and discuss around something – a word, an image, a story – that just won’t let you go, with the hope of ripening the idea/writing/project plan. 

One Day Plus offers a small group of eight people, working in pairs, small and larger groups, as well as solo, to flesh out words, ideas, forms to develop confidence and/or a more tangible vision for your new project. The day will be a mix of group workshops, on zoom, and guided solo activities offline. Creative play and exploration are the foundations of this full day of unfolding and unknowing. The plan is to nourish your imagination and stimulate your creative practice. 

More than a single day – each participant is offered a follow-up one-to-one tutorial with me to keep the motivation buoyant and words flowing beyond the day’s stimulation

Writers of any experience and genre interested in expanding their imaginative process are welcome. The aim is to draw together a dynamic mix of writers working across genres and subject areas. 

Eight writers. One full day workshop. One tutorial. | Saturday 27th June

Details
Saturday 27th June, 1030-1630
on zoom, on the page and on the hoof. Zoom details will be sent closer to the day.

Cost of full day workshop & one-to-one
I have priced this workshop in order to offer support to writers whose income has been impacted by the pandemic; and to encourage those with more funds to support those without. 

There are three self-selecting bands, with a limited number of places for each band (in brackets):
£5;  £20 – £30 ;  £40 – £75 .
Please choose the amount that best fits your capacity.

To Apply
Please express your interest, by letting me know the following three things

• what you might begin to explore, and what stage you’re at with it;
• what would you like to achieve in the day/tutorial;
• how much you’ll be paying;

and send to    sehymas @ gmail.com   —- by end of day of 15th June
(close the gaps in the email)

* Deciding whether you are a concession is at your discretion. I want this to be accessible to anyone interested in developing their writing. In making your selection, please consider this workshop is three hours on zoom, three hours of self-guided activities and a one-to-one tutorial. Please make your selection based on how much your income has greatly been reduced by lockdown.

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

The Spirit of the Imaginarium

Imaginariums offer a structured space to support your thinking, writing and experimentation. They rise out of my own creative practice and respond to other artforms and across genres in their aim to widen, stimulate and flex our imaginations. To take what Richard Powers wrote in his recent novel, The Overstory, ‘liking and not liking [are] the rod and staff of commodity culture’, Imaginarums are not about writer feedback and creative criticism. They are places of incubation, and quiet resistance to rushing towards an ‘end product’.

They explore how writing isn’t necessarily fast acting: either in its creation or in how it is received. Imagining operates on different timescales to our daily work/life, home/office, inside/outside worlds. It resists our consumerist culture and refuses to be commodified. It does not follow expected narratives. Imaginariums relish the joy, struggle and complexity of creation. They share a love of communication, expression, bewilderment, confusion, chaos, disruption and whatever else you unearth. Each Imaginarium is provocative: changing one thing into another, or at least how we see one thing into another (which might be the same thing).

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 writing very much, or you could have three novels under your belt. Imaginariums are for the curious; writers who are interested in how they might develop their writing and thinking around writing .

You will need to be able to commit to the full day. We will fix dates for the tutorials at the end of that day or soon after.

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

How previous participants found the Imaginarium:

A loose collective of other creative people.

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.

It made me think about writing in a more physical way.

Such a generous and kind tutor … love your bubblin joyousness and playfulness…so infectious.

It opens up what process is …  taking you outside of your usual or imagined self. I wouldn’t say out of your comfort zone because it felt like a very safe and supportive space, but perhaps that, in terms of what you imagine your writing or practice to be.

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

A melting pot of thoughts, discussions, ideas, views and useful writing exercises for all genres.

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.

This is very different from more conventional writing workshops and might particularly suit people who are not so much wanting very specific writing support but more interested in exploring their own and others’ creative process.

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

About my workshop practice

I have been creating spaces in which to think, write and experiment across the community for over twenty years. I draw on my practice as a poet, performer and artistbook maker. I devise the sessions from my own writing processes  that have created work for print, multimedia exhibits, dance videos, lyrics, pyrotechnical installations, on stage and as an improvised opera. I have written books:  Host, my first poetry collection, was published by Waterloo Press (2010), and melt is due out Autumn this year. Between the two collections I have also co-written site-specific immersive stories, told through geocaching, augmented reality, micro-print & performance. I also work as a coach, mentor and editor.
I hope the diversity of my work, plus my collaborations and interactions with the visual, digital and sound artists, musicians, scientists, writers and makers all play a part in influencing the creative and fluid space of my workshops.

Have a rootle around the website to find out more about me.

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 sehymas [at] gmail [dot] com

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.

[contact-form-7 id=”287″ title=”Contact Me”]

Natural Burials

DSCN0754 Any ceremony that accompanies a natural burial is as flexible as your imagination, takes into consideration the environment and has minimum impact upon it.

I’ve been honoured to work with people on planning their funerals and found natural burials offer the chance to explore what living and dying means in a spiritually fulfilling way.

The Dalton Woodlands Burial Ground, near Burton-in-Kendal Cumbria UK, is a 30 acre mature woodland, a quiet and restful place to be buried. Francis Mason-Hornby, the registrar there, is a straight talking, compassionate man, open-minded and accommodating to what people want.

Natural burials are an environmentally sustainable alternative to cremations and churchyard burials. If you respect the natural world, a woodland burial is the chance to take a positive step at the end of your life.

To discuss that rite of passage, in advance, offers a chance to step consciously towards death, prepare how you want your life to be celebrated, how to mark your departure for those left behind. It can be a point of coming to terms with the end of an illness or old-age.

It can also alleviate the stress for others who have to plan and prepare at the disorientating time of grief.

My eight years of coaching gives me the skills and depth of experience to ensure we will plan the ceremony you want. My interest lies in you expressing your life and anticipation of death. How you want to do this and who you want involved is the focus of our meetings. I would hope to meet any family or friends you would want to participate to ensure the smoothest experience for us all.

I can write anything for the ceremony, help you to write something, read it or merely orchestrate the ceremony while others read and speak.

Celebrant

civil celebrant north west englandI am an independent celebrant, based in north west England. I work with people to create authentic ceremonies to celebrate and mark their rites of passage in life.

I devise and deliver Weddings, Namings, Vow Renewals,
Birthdays and Launches. More details on my ceremony making are here.

I can travel easily to Cumbria, Lancashire and  Yorkshire. I’m also able to travel farther, depending on the occasion. Get in touch and ask.

My work as a writer and coach underpins my approach to being a celebrant. I am an active listener and aim to clarify exactly what you want for the ceremony. It is the dynamic between me and you that lays the foundation for your ceremony. The process will be creative, engaging and energising, as enriching as the event itself.

I was trained in 2013 by Sue Gill and Gilly Adams, of the Dead Good Guides. They are both well-respected secular celebrants who promote the artistry and creative element of ceremony.

I have devised and delivered events and ceremonies for over ten years, for festivals and community events. Becoming a celebrant fuses my love for words, occasion and collaboration.

“Each something is a celebration of the nothing that supports it.”
John Cage

Poems

You can read other poems in the Modernist Review, And Other PoemsThe Island Review and Stride

The Census of Seamounts

Everything is falling
silent
in a deep history
where plains are noduled with shipwrecks,
upended submarines
and skeletons.

Canisters, chains, tanks and bullets falling
at the same speed the sea falls from the sky

to a bed lined with silver, gold, nickel
visible only in someone’s dream.

Another dreamer swims through a rerun
of themselves discovering
a sunken truth in Planet of the Apes.

Elsewhere a hermit crab
takes an aspirin bottle for its shell.

Not newborn, not dead, there’s life unaware
of the wind above pressing these currents

this way, that, they fall
a slow synthesis into dark, sucked closer to the vents
where heat crushes
the last flecks of sun from memory.

featured in Sea-Creatures


If You were Walney Lighthouse and I Cockersands

At dusk we break open the loneliness of night,
hold steady on each muddied tide
and fix ourselves; keepers of light.

The gulls and boats of dawn blot you from sight:
you’re far further than the Bay’s northside.
But at dusk we break open the loneliness of night.

All I do, you reflect back at me, at times too bright;
a warning sign, you stand a quiet guide,
fix me, keep my light.

My wood, your stone; as such, we’re unalike,
cut by this channel that keeps us tied.
At dusk we break open the loneliness of night.

Closer when water’s at its height,
a flooding shoal of silt as shores collide
we fix ourselves; keeping our lights.

Throughout the long dark, we transit white,
our worlds made one: two-eyed
at dusk we break open the loneliness of night
and fix ourselves; keepers of light.

Published in The Rialto


Hold Fast

In readiness for the rising seas
he roped all his fears into one final tattoo, a bicep piece
of lightning forks astride a girl whose flesh he’ll never touch,
a dagger through the blossoming rose of Lancashire
a compass with no marked cardinals.

His skin disappeared in the blur of rain,
low wind. The propellers on his back,
the shoulder scrolls of lovers and family,
protected him from anonymity.

Shrinking as the Atlantic swelled, he couldn’t resist
and ink-anchored both feet,
insured the buoyancy of his left knee with a pig,
a rooster on his right.

Then hung another coil
on the LoveLoveLove necklace about his throat.

Published in issue 32 of the Ofi Press

 

Hammock

swings
the outdoors in
——– oceans dry
—- latitude a spine
———- shoulders to wings
—–tomorrow today
———– an open shroud
cumulus low
that pause before

published as part of the Burns Night Celebrations in Dumfries, Windaes Project, 2012

 

Migration

Compressed between chalky light and sea,
the lowest island is glacial but
for the dimple of footprints.

—- Elsewhere bladderwrack redefines a land drifting east.
—- Children’s eyes wink from the shale.

The channel cutting that and a third
slips so slowly
granite is doubled, reflected block cut below block.
A library of stones, lettered in algae.

—- A shoreline of limestone pleats.
—- Here, birds are white,
—- and skin flakes like ash from a volcano.

Two miles south, and chimneys unbrick gradually.
Clay exposed where potatoes once grew.
At low tide fossils swim another cove.

A different, although equally treeless, skyline churns,
lumpy as the bedbound, facing dawn.

Across the thinnest sound,
slowly widening,
a kelp causeway foams,
knitted by eddies and fish into empty Sunday suits.

The long dead, buried under firs on a windward shore,
wrapped in oilcloth, reel with landslides,
dipping closer to each tide.

Published in Poetry Wales 2013

 

Lost, with all hands

Winched pewter and perry at Archangel,
hauled flax and hemp onboard,
weighed anchor, hoisted sails (crew);
tilted sextant over Hammerfest (Captain);
pumped bilges, hitched rigging, oiled mast,
tarred the hull, grasped at whisky (crew);
plucked poultry, cut cheese (cabin boy);
stroked thighs, sealed lips, clenched at floggings (crew);
gripped helm, plotted past Shetland (mate);
scrubbed on deck (crew), filthed (Capn’s wife);
snatched at sheets, slackened sails (crew);
dropped the lead (mate), prayed for once (crew);
jabbed at Seldom Seen (all),
shifted cargo (crew), clung to rigging (wife and kids),
tore at railings (crew), slung the whisky (Captain),
combed the tide, kneaded mud (all).

Published in Under the Radar

 

 

 

 

Vow Renewals

strawberriesA wedding anniversary is an opportunity to renew vows made – five or fifty – years previously.  A ceremony acknowledges the time you’ve shared and your commitment to a joint future.

If you married abroad, a Vow Renewal Ceremony can provide a
opportunity for you to celebrate with your family and friends.
Email: sehymas at a gmail dot com

Birthdays

birthdaysBirthdays, especially the big 0s, are worth marking. Either for a handful or hundreds of loved ones, I will devise, with you, a unique ceremony that will celebrate you and embrace your past and future.

Once devised I can hold the space, run proceedings and keep an eye on timings so you fully enjoy your party.

Or I can help you devise your own personalised ceremony and once  it’s decided upon, provide you with a script and other prompts for a friend or family member to run.

Example A 50th
Outset
The Birthday Girl had booked the venue and was now wondering if she actually did want a party. It all seemed rather daunting. Although she knew she wanted to mark her birthday somehow. We talked about what was important to her: her friends, celebrating the spiritual and creative elements in her life, her connection with the environment and her philosophy of recycling. We also established she wanted a small ritual that had a discreet place to the evening, that, on further investigation, would involve everyone and focus on her.  And a poem to convey growth. By the end of our conversation she announced how much she was looking forward to the night.
Outcome
I made small planters, filled with soil, and topped with a cardboard leaf, found seeds that would grow from that time of year and took enough candles and lighters etc.
On the night I welcomed people by inviting them to light a candle and decorate the path to the venue with them in candle bags. At the designated time, I drew the crowd together, introduced the ceremony, explained what we were going to do. Everyone was given a seed to plant in their planter and asked to write a wish on the leaf for the Bday Girl. Those that wanted read out their wishes as the Bday Girl glowed and growed from the goodwill. The poem was read out – by her oldest friend there – and she responded to the crowd with a few beautiful, heartfelt words she’d prepared. And then there was cake.
She took the wishes and seeds home, to read again and watch as the seeds germinated over the following weeks.
Simple, authentic, inclusive and long-lasting.

I understand the ceremony has to be absolutely right for you and am happy to meet or talk over the phone for you get to a feel of my style before booking me. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions without any obligation to continue.

Fees will vary depending on the nature of your event, beginning at £50 for consultancy & devising only.
Email: sehymas at a gmail dot com