Bank Street Arts Poetry Café

Over the last month, we’ve been relaunching the café at Bank Street as a poetry or writers café.  We’ve filled the space with books, and we’re planning some things for the wall, including a poem that will be written directly onto the wall, and will run throughout the Off the Shelf Festival in October, with the public invited to contribute a line, or maybe a stanza.

We are hosting monthly drop in poetry clinics – the next one is this Wednesday, 15th, 12:30-5pm.  People are invited to come along, perhaps with a poem they want workshopping, or with an idea they want to bounce around, or just for a cup of tea and a chance to talk to the wider writing community around Sheffield.  Our first event was good fun, with lots of people coming along to see what the whole thing was about.  We talked over lots of ideas, with people telling others what they are up to and what’s going on in the area.  We did some workshopping, too.  Come along if you have time.  Future drop in clinics will be announced on the new Bank Street Website, which goes live this week or follow us on Twitter @cafebankstreet.

Also, during Off the Shelf, we have invited poets to be poets in residence for a day, or an afternoon.  So from the 9th October, until the 30th, every Tuesday to Saturday, you can call in and find a poet working on their own stuff, and ready to work with you on yours.  We’ve had some really brilliant poets agree to be part of this, including Chris Jones, Linda Lee Welch and Tony Williams.  It will be a great opportunity to meet with published poets and get valuable feedback.

Additionally, Suzannah Evans, Poetry editor with Cadavarine, will be holding a writing workshop on the morning of the 13th October, 10-12pm.  Suzannah will use some of the artwork on display at Bank Street as a starting point for writing exercises and exploration.  Suzannah has previously run similar workshops in Leeds, and is published in a number of magazines, including The Rialto.

The full programme of poets in residence will be posted on the Bank Street Website.

Noel Williams and I are also running a writing day on Saturday the 23rd October, in association with Off the Shelf and artist Sarah Darling.  The day will be a multi media workshop. The group will be split into two. One group will spend the morning on writing exercises and workshopping; the other group will be working with collage canvases.

These morning sessions will use the exhibits on display at Bank Street Arts as a starting point. People can use them as a springboard for ideas. They are not restricted to description, or any set way of responding. The art work may take them in any number of directions. The workshops will help to explore this.

In the afternoon, the two groups will swap over. People can then respond to their mornings work using the other medium.

It’s likely that people coming to these workshops are approaching the day with a more comfortable, or familiar, relationship with one medium or the other. If so, we hope that the day will allow a chance to experiment with the less familiar, but also that trying to express ideas in different ways will help to inspire new approaches in the medium you are more used to.

The day runs from 10-4:30. £4/3. Please email me to book your place.

Most importantly, Bank Street Arts Poetry Café is there for you to use Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm.  The building is still undergoing improvement, but in the meantime, the kettle is on, and there’s an honesty box, so you can just mash, put the money in, sit down and relax in your new writing space.

See you there!


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