Transcripts of Online Community Poetry Workshops

Segments and Poetry and Pictures online Workshops

Welcome to Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Community Programme Poetry Workshops! We offer two a month: Segments, and Poetry and Pictures. Make yourself a cup of tea and imagine you are in a group, and let Sara-Jane’s instructions gently lead you through a very enjoyable writing session.

These workshops are made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England


Segments is a poetry workshop which gains inspiration from artefacts from Ledbury’s Butcher Row museum, and uses them as springboards for poetry, memories and discussion. The sessions are drop-in, and need no former experience. All are welcome. See poster for dates and message for zoom link. In these lockdown sessions, Sara Jane finds artefacts from her own home and we are finding them very fruitful inspiration for poetry-making. Each transcript contains all the guidance, pictures and links to featured poems you need to create your own pieces of writing.

Segments June 2021. Theme: Poetry on Platforms

Take a tour of the stations along the rail line from Worcester Shrub Hill, alighting at Ledbury, Junction for Poetry. Hear about poets past and present who have travelled the line, ranging from the Dymock Poets and their families, to the scores of national and international poets who have travelled to Ledbury Poetry Festival. This session forms part of the Festival’s joint “Poetry on Platforms” project with West Midlands Railway “Your Community Your Fund”

Click HERE for Segments Transcript June 21 Poetry on Platforms

Segments May 2021 Workshop. Theme: Ablutions

Wash away your cares in this soapy sudsy washday workshop and learn about Ledbury’s rare boot bath, a truly immersive experience!

Click HERE for Segments Transcript May 21

Segments April 2021 Workshop. Theme: Shoes

Concealed shoes found in ancient Ledbury buildings, what are their stories? A history of functional and fashionable footwear for our humble feet which may lead you to step out in a different direction with your poetry writing.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript April 21

March 2021 Workshop. Theme: Bottled Poetry

A fascinating look at the glass bottle collection from Ledbury’s Butcher Row House Museum, including a “Harden Star Grenade”, and “Lamplouch’s Effervescing Pyretic Saline”. See what bottled poetry you create from these glass gems.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript March 21

Segments February 2021 Workshop. Theme: Windows, or “Wind – Eyes”

Did you know the English language word for ‘window’ originates from the Old Norse ‘vindauga’, from ‘vindr’ (‘wind’) and ‘auga’ (‘eye’), i.e., ‘wind eye’. Gaze through your window, or your mind’s eye, and create poetry from what you can spy.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript Feb 21

Segments January 2021 Workshop. Theme: School

Schooldays are back! From fascinating beginnings in Roman times, to the Victorian Ragged Schools for the poor, we gave this session an A+ for interest!

Click HERE for the Segments Transcript January 21

Segments December 2020 Workshop. Theme: Teeth and Dental Hygiene

This was a thoroughly engaging session held on 9 December 2020. Caution: there are some gruesome details! However, everyone agreed it was a very rich topic for a poetry workshop. Two hours of thinking about something completely different!

Click HERE for the December session transcript on Teeth and Dental Hygiene

Segments November 2020 Workshop. Theme: Ocular Apparatus

This session is all about all things optical! See (ha!) what poems you make from this session.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript November 20

Segments October 2020 Workshop. Theme: Indoor Nature

We are surrounded by nature even in our indoor spaces, learn to look anew at the things around us.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript October 20

Segments September 2020 Workshop. Theme: Horology

Delve into the fascinating history of time pieces and visit inspiring and unusual clocks around the world. Did you know there is a museum for cuckoo clocks? Find out more in this session, and see what poetry you can create

Click HERE for Segments Transcript September 20

Segments June 2020 Workshop. Theme: Jigsaws or Dissectology

Put together the pieces of your life, is there a missing piece? Jigsaws provide the perfect metaphor for the multiple components of our existence, take a deep dive into dissectology and find where it leads you

Click HERE for Segments Transcript June 20

Segments May 2020 Workshop. Theme: Bread

Everything you “knead to know” about bread, so flour up your hands and mix up some words to prove your own word-loaf!

Click HERE for Segments Transcript May 20

Segments April 2020 Workshop. Theme: The Vinyl Revolution!

Here’s where some of us show our age – how many of us remember vinyl discs? Music and the equipment we use to play it can be incredibly evocative. Immerse yourself in a trip down memory lane to uncover some of your own revolutions.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript April 20

Segments March 2020 Workshop. Theme: Lighting

Look around and see what is lighting up your world.

Click HERE for Segments Transcript March 20

Participants’ poetry inspired by this session


© Sara-Jane Arbury




Poetry and Pictures Transcripts

In these workshops, we use artworks as the inspiration for writing ekphrastic poetry (poetry inspired by pictures). They are run in partnership with Hereford Mind, Heffernan House, Hereford, to help people maintain their mental health and equilibrium, which is of course all of us! Now in the lockdown we are delivering these sessions via zoom, see poster at top of page. If you would like to attend the next session, please message

Thank you so much Sara Jane for an inspirational workshop today. I got more from it than any other workshop I have done over the past ten years.” – a new participant

Poetry and Pictures May 2021. Theme: Outdoor Art

Immerse yourself in these large scale landscape artworks. How will the lie of the land and sea inspire you?

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript May2021

Poetry and Pictures April 2021. Theme: Courtroom Art

Discover the sensational high society court case that meant no cameras were thenceforth allowed in British courtrooms. Marvel in the detailed immediacy of court room artists’ sketches and what they reveal about the defendants. This session is sure to raise the bar of your poetry writing!

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript April 2021

Poetry and Pictures March 2021 . Theme: The Price of Art

What are the most expensive paintings in the world and why? The answers might surprise you. And what undiscovered gem sits in Ledbury’s own St Michael’s and All Angels Church?

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript March 2021

Poetry and Pictures February 2021. Theme: Suffering for your Art

Some startling pictures and artistic experiences here, from Michelangelo, to Frida Kahlo and experimental artist Orlan. How might their experiences inspire you?

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript February 2021

Poetry and Pictures January 2021 Workshop. Theme: The Art of Staying in Bed

January is a time for staying in bed! This session explores the artwork of beds and staying in bed, from Tracey Emin, to Robert Rauschenberg and Toulouse-Lautrec.  Grab your duvet and cosy up for some inspired writing!

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript January 2021

Poetry and Pictures December 2020 Workshop. Theme: Quilting

The gentle craft of quilting has a fascinating history.

Click HERE for December Quilting Poetry Workshop transcript

Image: Nan’s Quilt by Sara Jane Arbury

Read Rainbow Poem, created by the participants of this poetry workshop

Poetry and Pictures November 2020 Workshop. Theme: Tattoos

Warning – one or two rather unsettling images! However a really interesting exploration of body art, how we present ourselves, and indigenous tattooing traditions

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript November 20

Poetry and Pictures October 2020 Workshop. Theme: Trompe L’Oeil (“Deceive the Eye”)

Trompe-l’œil (French for “deceive the eye”) is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Take a trip through these amazing pictures to see the world differently, all is not what it seems!

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript October 20

Poetry and Pictures September 2020 Workshop. Theme: Self Portraits

In the zoom era, we are constantly faced with our own image staring back at us from our conference screens. This got Sara Jane thinking about self-portraits….who is the ‘self’ looking back at you?

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript September 20

Poetry and Pictures July 2020 Workshop. Theme: The Art of L S Lowry

“I wanted to paint myself into what absorbed me … Natural figures would have broken the spell of it, so I made my figures half unreal.” So said L S Lowry, the artist known for his “matchstick” workers set against sombre industrial backgrounds. Enjoy the detail and the inspiration these works evoke

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript July 20

Poetry and Pictures May 2020 Workshop. Theme: Journeys

We are all on a journey of some sort, sometimes we arrive in joy, others we depart in sadness, always we can enjoy the ride! Sara-Jane shows us art depicting journeys of all kinds as rich inspiration for writing

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript May 20

Poetry and Pictures April 2020 Workshop. Theme: The Art of Edward Hopper

Our first experience of lockdown produced this eerie feeling – were we all living in Edward Hopper paintings? This workshop explores his work and the feelings it may evoke.

Click HERE for Poetry and Pictures Transcript April 20

Have you uploaded your Poetry of the Woods on our online submission?


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