It is great to see that there are many poetry work shops sprouting up in most towns and cities with a huge demand by wannabe and established writers, packing out classes and enjoying the creativity and editing of their poems or short stories. I am lucky to live in a town (Galway) that has an appetite for good literature and poetry, a thriving writing and listening community and some of the best creative writing classes in Ireland.
As I said I have been lucky enough to do a masterclass with Simon Armitage during the Cuirt Festival and also do the on-going excellent creative writing class provided by Poet Kevin Higgins (highly recommended) and now, a chance to participate with other talented writers in a masterclass provided by the energetic poet Stephen Murray.
On Saturday morning on the 17th of August, 8 eager writers huddled together in a room smelling of acrylic paint and tea. Self employed and the owner of his own company Inspireland.ie, Stephen has been providing these unique writing classes for a few years now for transition students around the country and boasts (yes boasts-chest out) that his classes and teaching methods are unique, unlike any creative writing class in Ireland, and will have anybody, novice or pro, have a poem on paper (or the makings of a poem), by the end of the session, intriguing.
Stephen is only providing two classes, one on Saturday the 17th which has passed and the other this Saturday 24th. The class costs only 20 euros and I can only say, if you are a novice, an aspiring writer or a published master, I can not recommend a better way to spend a few hours.
As I said, Mr Murray likes to boast like a proud peacock that his teaching system is so good it will have you pumped and writing plenty of poems by the end of the class. As I’m always skeptical when it comes to shady sales men (which of course Stephen is not) I was curious what type of methods he would use and how unique they are and glad to say, the class was a huge success with plenty of fun and strange writing exercises, a lot of writing from many angles working the brain and technique of the writer until finally, piecing together a poem (or the makings or ramblings of a poem).
Very enjoyable and most of the class produced some really excellent work indeed. Stephens teaching techniques are engrossing, full on with a lot of writing, extremely fun and most importantly, productive. If you get a chance to do a class with Stephen, do it as he only does a couple a year, you will not be disappointed, and he also provides would you believe, tea and chocolate biscuits. The last class is this Saturday 24th August in the Galway Arts Center. Contact him here on his Facebook page .