Last weekend, I arrived at one of my favorite cities on earth.
London is like second home to me. It was here that I attended my first creative writing class (live one), made the decision to focus on writing for children and met a very important person in my life – Tessa Dummet.
Tessa is a poet and poetry teacher based in Islington. We met during my au pair years in London and became friends – IMO every writer needs to have a poet friend to keep things in perspective! We have collaborated on a few projects, the most notable one being the poetry workshop we facilitated at British Council Library, Chennai.
Tessa is actively involved in teaching poetry at community projects in Islington, and we are currently discussing a possible collaboration to publish an anthology of her poetry group’s (named Pegasus) works over the years, along with creating an online presence for them and she had kindly sponsored me to come to UK and meet the group.
So yesterday, I went to Hill drop Community Center, where I made a short presentation on Julia Cameron’s morning pages. The meet up with Pegasus poetry group was memorable, two hours spent talking and discussing about poetry and creativity. The experience reminded me of what I loved about literary London. The city has great, low cost or free projects for those interested in creative writing and those interested never missed the opportunity to be a part of them. Their dedication will stun you.
Running a community project is a two way process. I have often been motivated to start one in my hometown but have lost focus because I could not work with a single component. Both the organizer and the participant need to be sincere and passionate in what they want to offer each other. Something I wish more writers/readers understood (which is a gripe that belongs to a different post – stay tuned).
After I introduced myself and talked a bit about my favorite creative writing exercise, Julia Cameron’s Morning pages, we read two Indian poems – Meena Kandaswamy’s EATING DIRT (from Ms. Militancy) and Anita Nair’s IT HAPPENED ON THE DISTRICT LINE (from Malabar Mind). I will write about how the readers perceived both poems in my next post.