On Monday 18 August, poet Bernard Young led two poetry writing workshops at the Gallery. This was a new activity, kindly funded by the National Theatre Wales TEAM, which meant we could offer the workshops for free.
The first workshop, 11am to 1pm, was aimed at family groups. We had a disappointing turnout of just one family of mother, father and 4 year old daughter (3 in total). But the workshop went ahead anyway. Bernard performed some of his songs with guitar (videos will be on the Gallery YouTube channel soon) and read example poems and then worked with the group to write their own, a short one was then read out and recorded.
The second workshop 2-4pm was aimed at adults. This had better attendance. 9 adults in total, 4 who had never written any poetry before. All ‘locals’ not holiday visitors. 1 came by train from neighbouring village. Bernard read a few of his poems then did some short writing exercises and each person read out what they had written. Then they wrote a poem about earliest memories. Then looked at pictures in the gallery and postcards as a source for inspiration. They again read out their pieces. All seemed to enjoy the experience of both writing and performing to others.
It’s hard to know whether the poor response to the morning workshop was a result of marketing not being targeted right or lack of demand. We discussed it and feel that if aiming at holiday makers in future then maybe towards the end of the week (Thursday or Friday) is better, as there is generally a weekly turn around of visitors arriving on Friday or Saturdays, so that would allow time to see the marketing. But we suspect the tourist population visiting Barmouth in the school holiday season are more interested in beach-based activities and we may have more success aiming at locals out of season.
If you would be interested in more regular activities like this at the Gallery, please comment below or use the contact details on the contact us page.