Creswell Crags' Poet in Residence leads online workshops

Online poetry workshops will be launched this week to stimulate the creativity of people in lockdown.

Hannah Cooper=Smithson is Poet in Residence at Creswell Crags.
Hannah Cooper=Smithson is Poet in Residence at Creswell Crags.

The series of four workshops start today (Monday) and will be led by Hannah Cooper-Smithson.

Hannah, who is working towards her PhD at Nottingham Trent University, has been the first ever Poet in Residence at Creswell Crags since January.

She had hoped to run a series of workshops at the site, which would have included writing in its famous caves. However, since the closure of the popular tourist attraction due to Covid-19 precautions in March, Hannah has been hard at work designing an online version.

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    Hannah said: “Hopefully I’ve managed to capture the spirit of the Crags, so that you can be inspired by the combination of nature and heritage that makes the Crags so unique, and so special. I’ve designed the programme so that it can be completed from home, and you don’t need any previous experience of writing poetry. If you’ve ever wanted to take a poetry class, or if you’ve been writing poetry for years and are looking for some new inspiration, please get involved!”

    Creswell Crags, which is run by a registered charity, recently warned that it is in danger of not re-opening due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 closure and loss of visitor income. Hannah is not charging for the workshops, but asks for a suggested donation of £5 to Creswell Crags via their JustGiving page and hopes that this will make a difference to the prospects of a site that means so much to so many people.

    Rebecca Morris-Buck, communications and programmes manager at Creswell Crags said: “It’s been a delight having Hannah in residence with us since January. She’s become a member of our team and we’ll miss her when her residency is over. It’s a real shame that she couldn’t run her workshops in person, but we’re excited to be able to offer them online.

    “Hannah is particularly keen to stress that poetry – and nature poetry especially – should be accessible to everyone, no matter whether you think of yourself as a poet or not. And that’s what we love about Creswell Crags: it has the power to move and inspire people from all walks of life.

    “It’s also brilliant that Hannah is doing this to help us raise money, which is so important to our future prospects. We hope lots of people will participate in, and really enjoy, the workshops.”

    To access the workshops, go to https://creswellcragspoetry.wordpress.com/