Poetry Workshop with Andrew McDonnell

On Tuesday 21st we had the pleasure of welcoming Andrew McDonnell, author of The Somnambulist Cookbook – a collection of poetry.

Andrew treated us to readings of several poems, including some hair raising horror sonnets.

Andrew explained that a big inspiration behind the collection was a sense of vanishing, of something being missing.


Then,  Andrew led us through some interesting exercises that called for us to imagine ourselves at a train station and imagine or remember things our senses picked up on.

Even those who were less than confident poets found themselves able to construct something from this exercise.

When asked about where poetry end and prose begins, Andrew commented that the two bleed into each other. There is no end or beginning.  Poetry is about capturing something without naming it, of saying something without really saying it. Understanding this can be beneficial to prose and in fact there is some prose which is more like poetry and vice-versa.

We would like to thank Andrew for a thought-provoking and informative workshop session. We’d also like to thank attendees for engaging with the workshop and offering Andrew a warm NWC welcome.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 4th February and will be a critique evening. Bring 6 double spaced hard copies of up 1000 words maximum of a work in progress. We will work in small groups and take it in turns to have our work critiqued constructively.

Alternatively you can use these sessions to bounce ideas around, or if you’re stuck on an aspect of your story, ask for second opinions, or even ask for feedback of a blurb. Complimentary light refreshments will be served.


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