This week, Maureen Boon talks about a recent couple of workshops she’s taken part in at the Custom House on Exeter Quay.
“Nature Writing for Performance was a free course organised by Literature Works at Exeter Custom House. I enrolled for the workshops which were run over two afternoons and led by Quay Words Writer in Residence, Naomi Westerman. The first one was on 19th July which was the day COVID restrictions were partially lifted, although we were advised to wear masks inside the Custom House, and it was decided as it was a warm sunny day to do the workshop outside. When I arrived, there were only four of us: Naomi, Helen Chaloner from Literature Works and two participants: myself and Plymouth Laureate of Words, Laura Horton. We wandered along the quay and sat down on a grassy bank where we did some free writing. Then, Helen had a phone call from the Custom House saying three more people had turned up. We returned to meet them and then walked across the river where we sat down, listened to poems, wrote and shared our ideas.
Following this workshop, we met Banana, Naomi’s very cute pet rat who had travelled with her from London (as he was on medication). Apparently, he has starred in two short films.
The second workshop was on 27th July and to my surprise there was only me, Naomi and Heather Holcroft-Pinn from Literature Work – no Banana the rat this time. We started walking outside but eventually ended back at the Custom House to escape the rain. We had a creative afternoon listening to and writing haiku and monologues.
The workshops were going to be followed by a live filmed performance in August but due to lack of numbers this has been postponed until 20th October. Information about this event and how to participate can be found here.
Naomi has created a resource on Nature Writing for Performance which is accessed from the link above and is also running a Zoom session on 1st September from 1pm to 2 pm. Literature Works is keen for local writers to join in and submit short pieces of writing to be performed.
I am now brushing up the pieces created in the workshops and will definitely be attending the Zoom session.”