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Poetry course

What: Eight-week poetry writing course

When: Monday 27 June 2022 at 11am

Where: Zoom (please register via Eventbrite)

About the course 

Whether you’re a complete beginner in poetry or you are looking to develop your existing writing, this eight-week course is an opportunity to explore poetry writing in a supportive, friendly and relaxed environment.  

Writing poems is a creative way of exploring and recording your thoughts and feelings about a wide range of topics. Plus, because poems are usually short and can take on many different shapes and styles, poetry can be perfect for writers with MS. The shortness and flexibility of poems can make them more accessible for people who find fatigue, pain or discomfort make longer forms such as fiction or memoir writing too challenging. 

The sessions will be led by Georgi Gill, a poet who is living with MS. Each session will explore a subject for writing (e.g. Dreams, Summer, Food etc) and, as the course develops, a number of poetry forms will be introduced and explored (e.g. haiku, epistolary, free verse). MS is not given as an explicit theme for poems, but participants will be encouraged to bring any aspects of their lives that they wish to write about into their poems.   

There will be eight sessions on the course and each session will be approximately 90 minutes long, with an option to extend if the group wish to do so. In each session we will read and discuss a prompt poem about the week’s theme and use it as a jumping off point for our own writing. Georgi will introduce a number of activities that will help us generate ideas for writing and support us in drafting our own poems. Towards the end of each session, people will have an opportunity to share their poems in small group breakout spaces. However, no one has to share their writing if they do not wish to do so. 

Optional extras 

Some people on the course may wish to explore the editing process and learn how to polish or make changes to their poems. However, others may not be interested in the editing process, having found enough satisfaction or creative challenge in writing a first draft. With this in mind, there will be optional homework assignments after each class which allow those who wish to do so to explore editing their poems. The homework is not compulsory. You are encouraged to approach the course in whatever way feels right for you. 

Participants can email Georgi at any point in the course, either for feedback on their poems or regarding homework or other aspects of the sessions.

What benefits can you expect from the course? 

  • Developing new skills and therefore providing good exercise for the brain 
  • Writing poems is a great way to focus deeply on something other than the usual stresses of the day 
  • Engaging with creative activities has been shown to increase a sense of wellbeing 
  • Poetry can help to develop insight and empathy 
  • Chances to socialise and chat with others 

The course has a suggested donation of £40, but you can donate an amount of your choosing to take part. 

If you would like to know more about the course or need help registering, please email register@ms-uk.org. 

About Georgi Gill

Georgi is an Edinburgh based poet and researcher who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003. Georgi’s experiences with MS inspired her to develop her current PhD research at the University of Edinburgh, exploring how poetry might inform and transform dialogues between individuals with multiple sclerosis and others.

With a previous career in teaching and also as Learning Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library, Georgi has devised and delivered creative writing workshops and projects for participants of all ages and from all walks of life for over a decade.

One of Georgi’s core beliefs is that poetry lets people experiment with words to find new ways of speaking to themselves and each other from the heart. Poetry is not just for academics or people who did well at school. It’s a creative act we can all enjoy and benefit from!

Georgi’s work is widely published and the first full length collection of poetry has recently been published. You can find out more Georgi Gill at https://georgigill.com/

Course feedback 

Please see the feedback below from participants of our previous poetry course

It was really good to meet others with MS and do something creative with them.  The opportunity to be creative and have allocated time for this was a really good thing, as it meant I was more likely to be creative for a while rather than having to try and fit it in to daily life

This was an amazing course, very worthwhile and I would recommend to anyone.  It was really good as everyone on the class had MS and knew the struggles and difficulties it causes. It was quite freeing to have a specific time to spend on doing something with a creative outlet. The tutor was really lovely and very approachable.  I feel I have learnt a lot from this course and it’s given me a bit of a confidence boost for my writing in the future

I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of the course but Georgi inspired us all to write. I enjoyed the writing process and learnt many different techniques. I would thoroughly recommend the course for anyone who has an interest in starting to write poetry