Award-winning Hadleigh poet offers workshop to support local community

Award-winning poet Rebecca Goss is running a workshop from Hadleigh Library. Picture by Rosie Bennett. ANL-161114-155829001
Award-winning poet Rebecca Goss is running a workshop from Hadleigh Library. Picture by Rosie Bennett. ANL-161114-155829001

An award-winning Hadleigh poet is to run a course for aspiring writers in her local library giving them the chance to develop their skills.

Rebecca Goss, whose last collection “Her Birth” was short-listed for several prestigious awards including the Forward Prize, the Warwick Prize for Writing and the Portico Prize for Literature, will be running the classes from Hadleigh library starting in January - with just ten places on the course.

“Her Birth” was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection, won the Poetry category in The East Anglian Book Awards 2013, and last year was also shortlisted for The Warwick Prize for Writing and The Portico Prize for Literature.

And to add to her impressive writing CV, in 2014, she was selected as one of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets - twenty writers chosen to take poetry forward for the next decade.

The 42-year-old said: “Since coming to Hadleigh three years ago my daughter and I have spent lots of time at the library there. The library offers many services, including family art and craft days on a Sunday, live cinema experiences, a well-organised Summer Reading Challenge and events with local authors.

“I wanted to use the space to offer something to the surrounding community. I have taught creative writing at all levels, including universities, schools, literary festivals, as well as on specialist courses run by The Arvon Foundation.

“I meet people from all across the country who want to write and I am discovering that Suffolk is home to thriving creative communities - I have met a lot of people who write poetry. I have been to many literary events and have been welcomed by several creative organisations since moving back to East Anglia.”

Early next year Rebecca will tutor a poetry writing course at Hadleigh Library beginning on January 18, it will run every Wednesday evening for ten weeks.

It is aimed at intermediate level and numbers are being kept deliberately down to ten so they can work closely as a group. Rebecca is also looking to establish a weekly slot for writers, where new work can be created, shared, improved.

The course will include stimulating writing workshops designed to create new work, concentrated time for writing, development of editing and drafting techniques and a chance to explore and learn from the work of contemporary writers.

Other elements will include the opportunity to share work with others, helping to develop critical skills, receive regular feedback including a one-to-one tutorial, as well as information and discussion of the contemporary poetry scene - and routes into publication.

Rebecca has just won the Roger Deakin award - from the Society of Authors and named after the distinguished Suffolk nature writer who lived in Mellis - and the grant is already used as she works on a smaller collection while her next book is being edited by Carcanet

She said: “It will look at Suffolk’s rural skills and trades - thatcher, farmer, blacksmith - people who work here and who have established a real connection between their jobs and the places where they work.

“It also contain a personal thread, about our house - when we moved to Suffolk, we bought a 16th century cottage, which my husband is currently restoring.

“Through the restoration we’ve met lots of skilled people who work with their hands and I wanted to write poems about them. It is something I have been thinking about since coming back to live in the county, and has a lot to do with my husband’s new life as a furniture maker.”

“I want to write about the interesting, unique existences that are tucked away in this bucolic place. You can follow the project as it progresses on Instagram. “

The course costs £375. Bookings are via Rebecca’s blog - rebeccagoss.wordpress.com