Activities and Commissions
As an experienced teacher and workshop leader, I am able to deliver creative activities to all ages - and help everyone to feel that they have tapped into their potential as a writer.
School visits about Greencoats can be adapted to fit the curriculum being studied. I do like to bring along my fossils from Wenlock Edge for the pupils to handle! Books can be provided at a discounted rate for schools & personally signed for the pupils. See the Greencoats page for free downloadable resources.
I've led poetry workshops & assemblies at Primary Schools for many years, as well as creative writing sessions at secondary schools and colleges. I have been DBS checked for working with pupils in museum education sessions.
I also run creative writing courses for adults either focussing on historic collections to inspire powerful work, or on another interest mutually agreed upon. Upcoming courses will appear on the News & Events page.
I've delivered lectures at the University of Wolverhampton and University of Chester at Shrewsbury - exploring indie publishing, historical fiction and running a creative writing workshop for undergraduates.
In 2016, I wrote a sequence of Stained Glass poems during a residency at the 'Heavenly Lights - The Stained Glass Art of Margaret Rope' exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. I'm always eager to discuss new ideas for residencies.
Groups such as U3A's, Societies, Libraries, Book Clubs and WI's have enjoyed my illustrated talk about the Medieval History of Shropshire. Poetry performances of various lengths can be arranged. Past venues have included Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (supporting Jo Bell), the Birmingham Literature Festival, Wolverhampton Lit Fest, and Wenlock Poetry Festival.
"Thank you so much for coming to talk to Harley and Kenley reading groups about your wonderful novel. We all really enjoyed meeting you and learning about the circumstances that inspired you to write. Your slides really brought your book alive for us." Jean - Harley Reading Group
"Thanks to you Kate, as you were the one who inspired the children to produce their fantastic writing. You completely inspired me too… One of my girls, who is quite shy and not overly keen on school, said she’d had the best day ever yesterday!" Emma Clarke - KS2 Teacher at Christchurch School Cressage
The community poem, below, came out of a residency at the Minton Library in Stoke-on-Trent during the Fun Palaces weekend October 2015.
It emerged from quotes from the potters and artists who visited that weekend.
Muck and Magic – for the Potters of Stoke
Clay is some kind of living thing –
a beast that’s hard to gauge.
It cries out to be changed and formed –
but fights at every stage.
It deceives us with its softness
and undoes our best attempts.
The next pot will be your best pot -
but today’s must pay the rent.
In touching clay we touch the past -
the skills, the pride, the ground
of men and women in black and white
who made Stoke strong and sound.
The mix must shine just like an eye -
a glass one - they would say.
They passed on lots of little tricks
we say ourselves today.
The firing phase is hazardous -
the ware can break apart.
If fire wins out - then all is lost -
if man – we call it art.
For clay has chemical innocence -
and you have to go along
with all its idiosyncrasies
so the pot can sing its song.
“Just read the community poem Muck and Magic. Unbelievable, I recognised my words, they've taken on so much more meaning. The impact gave me goose pimples.
This poem captures so well why I love to work with clay . . . I can now point to your poem and say that’s what I'm about and that’s what the exhibition’s about.“
Steve Shaw (Pottery artist)
I have written poems to order on topics as varied as rare breed sheep, the geology of Shropshire and a butcher's shop. I always discuss the requirements for the poem carefully and share drafts before the final version is printed. Please contact me to discuss ideas and costs.
This example was commissioned by Shropshire Council Libraries for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee and was read at the lighting of the beacon on Shrewsbury Castle.
“It's brilliant, we love it! No changes needed. This is so exciting, thank you so much.”
Mirka Duxberry - Library Development Manager, Shropshire Libraries