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Creating Rescue Contraptions: Making sense of loss through writing

17/09/2020 @ 19:00 - 21:00

This is a free creative writing workshop for people who have experienced grief and bereavement. This is the second of a series of three workshops facilitated by Joe Duggan running through September. This event is part of a series of creative events from The Loss Project’s Covid-19 Response.

“And if they could have

they would have

built him

a rescue contraption

like McGyver or The A-Team

with welding torches and lathes

and paint-tins and concrete and planks”

Joe says:

The intention of the workshop series is to create a space and structure where participants can express their memories of people and moments through writing.

The idea of a “rescue contraption” poem is that of an imperfect tool that might look a bit ungainly and doesn’t always work, but through writing it, we can start to make sense of an experience, capture some moments that are valuable, and maybe even move towards transforming some of of our feelings and memories into something we can “handle” better. The phrase comes from my poem “Notes From Oakland” and reflects on the very difficult memory of my younger brother’s death, but also on the incredible kindness, I witnessed from the Irish builder community over there.

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Workshop 2: Celebrating lives

“The bell rings,

and he comes out punching

for the 47th round”

I found the idea of boxing rounds a useful way to capture my brother’s life. How do we capture a life ?

A movie scene, a Russian doll, landmarks on a familiar route.

In this workshop, we will find different ways through writing to celebrate the stories of the people we want to remember.

About the Facilitator

Originally from Northern Ireland, Joe Duggan has been writing since the late 90s, with his first full collection “Fizzbombs” published by Tall Lighthouse in 2008, with included work highly commended in The Forward Prize 2009 and featured in the Forward Book of Poetry 2010.

He has been published widely and enjoys performing on the London poetry scene, featuring at Latitude, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, the Southbank Centre, Cuirt Poetry Festival, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, and a host of other venues.

A qualified primary school teacher, he is also an experienced creative writing facilitator, working in both school and community settings. In 2019 he delivered workshops with two South London hospices exploring how we can explore grief and compassion through writing. The same year, his show “Rescue Contraptions” (Attic Arts Club) with musician Declan Feenan explored how spoken words and poetry can help us make sense of grief and the challenges that life throws at us.

“Under the chatty vernacular is a lovely, casual sharpness, like an unexpected hot chilli in something sold as sweet. There’s power and tenderness together here.” Cherry Smith Poetry Editor BRAND MAGAZINE

“There’s a forgotten sector of society here that Duggan speaks directly to……As plain speaking and direct as poetry gets” VERBAL MAGAZINE

Register here


19:00 - 21:00