Poet, Matthew Rice, discusses his approach to the Poetry in Motion Masterclass

How did you become involved with Community Arts Partnership’s Poetry Masterclasses?

Shelley Tracey contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in delivering a Masterclass for CAP in connection with the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, and I was thrilled to be asked and I accepted immediately.

What are your aims when facilitating a Masterclass?

My aim is firstly to allow the poem to develop towards its own meaning, to grow into itself, which could mean developing an image or simplifying a line. Secondly, I aim to develop confidence in the author of the poem itself, to encourage the author to trust their own impulses.

What do you think is useful about having a working poet facilitate workshops with new writers?

I think it’s useful to have a working practitioner of poems as a facilitator because it allows said poet a chance to offer some of their own experience from an authentic standpoint. 

What methods do you utilise to encourage participants to think about their work and their proces?

I plan to investigate, among other things, how one can take a real memory and reinterpret it into a whole new image, so that a fresh invention may be born of a true and genuine seed.

What do you think about CAP’s PIM project and the Seamus Heaney Awards?

CAP’s initiatives are second to none in Northern Ireland, particularly their work with schools, where so much of our future writers and artists will be forged and encouraged. As for the Seamus Heaney awards, I was thrilled to be awarded runner up in 2017, and I can say from my own experience there that it gave me the affirmation I needed at a crucial point in my development.

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