Collaborative Scribbles (and Poetry Day Ireland)

collaborative scribbleHere’s a great creative writing prompt which we did in our writers’ group last week; it was great fun and we discovered the unexpected (and quite spooky) power of creative consciousness…

There were six of us, and each person took a sheet of A4 paper and was asked to draw on it – any form of scribble would do, just marks on the paper. The point was to unleash creativity, not expose artistic ability. Pastels, wax crayons, coloured pencils and chalks were provided for us to choose from (I picked Wimbledon coloured pencils, purple and green, my go-to favourites).  After a few minutes we had to pass the paper to the person on our left, who then had to give it a title before handing it back.

My green and purple swirls prompted ‘On Summer Wings’, and that title was the writing prompt. All good so far.

The second phase was more drawing/colouring/scribbling on a new piece of paper.  But for a short time only, then the paper was passed to the person on the left and we continued making marks, then passed it on again to the left, until we each ended up with the picture we started with. A composite piece of artwork  (pictured here) which was then the prompt for the next writing session.

We shared our writing, as usual a wonderful mix of poetry, prose, memoir and fiction, all raw and newly minted.

Then the fun really started. The facilitator asked us each to highlight a few words or a phrase from our first pieces of writing and she then assembled them into a six-line poem. Same again for the second pieces of writing and voila, another collaborative poem.

I think we were all blown away by the cohesion that was evident at this point. We were all writing separately and in our own individual styles, yet on some unconscious level we were part of a creative communion which produced two rather neat little poems.

We were so pleased with the result that we’ve submitted the two poems for an event at our local library (Ballaghaderreen) on Poetry Day Ireland (on Thursday, April 28th 2016). They’ll go public alongside offerings from other poets (including me).  There’s lots going on that day – check out events here. The theme is ‘Revolution’.

I will be leading a poetry workshop (alongside my friends Jessamine O’Connor and Catherine Ryan) that day in Roscommon Library, starting at 10.30am. All welcome (it’s free!).  See you there?

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