At my money-earning job with Adult Education, I’m known by my married name, while in my alter ego as a poet and novelist, I use the name I was born with, Christine Coleman. I get a particular enjoyment from fusing the two roles, so this afternoon was especially enjoyable.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I see a strong link between my teaching and my writing (particularly teaching adult literacy - see the post ‘A Beginner reader is not a Beginner Thinker’) This afternoon I’d been invited by the tutor, Jan Watts, to help launch the little book that she’d helped the creative writing group to produce : ‘A little Book of Smells.’ This very evocative sense was stimulated on every page and it was lovely to hear the proud authors reading some of their own pieces. The high standard of their delivery was a tribute Jan’s drama background.
The group meets once a month at Erdington library, and in my then role as manager of the nearby Osborne A.E. Centre, I had set up this class several years ago. It was a joy to be back there, sharing the ‘Visiting Professional Writer’ role with Chris Morgan, Birmingham’s current Poet Laureate.
The group were keenly interested in what Chris Morgan and I had to say about our own writing practices. This is one of the reasons why I started this blog: Writing Matters - so many people enjoy writing and are fascinated by the varied experiences of others, particularly those who’ve progressed a little further along the journey.
While answering questions from the group, I was suddenly struck by a thought which I’d never articultated before in quite this way: one of the things I love about writing is that I’m always learning. If I ever I lose that joy in learning, I’ll stop writing!
When I was asked which I preferred, writing fiction or poetry, I couldn’t give a definte answer, though I’ll explore that question in more detail later.
Right now, I know I want to continue writing about the events leading to the publication of The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society. In my last post, I’d just finished a wonderful writing course on the Greek island of Kithera that was in May 2002 and I’ve not mentioned my poetry career, since the first performance of my poetry group, Late Shift, at Ledbury in 1998? or was it 99?
I’ve got lots more to say about the way my poetry developed from the late 90’s to the present day, but that will have to wait for a few days.