Like all good writers, everyone made great use of their notebooks (kindly provided by Dublin City Council Culture Company) and the group actively took notes in these writer journals, recorded details they found useful to their development as writers, and wrote new poems and prose work inspired by weekly prompts I gave them. All of the sessions proved to be happy, encouraging and creative, and everyone was really pleased to have such a wonderful space in Richmond Barracks to meet on a weekly basis and hold our writing classes.
The work produced was often inspired by poets we read or listened to from audio files I played for them from my laptop. We listened to and read poems by poets like Simon Armitage, Paula Meehan, Charles Causley, Peter Sirr, Stephen James Smith, Anna Akhmatova, Vona Groarke, Mark Roper. But new poems from the group themselves also grew from memories of their past, loved family members, places that held special meaning, and other themes. We came to recognise that every person in the group had their own unique writing voice that was waiting to be released onto the page. And what better place to do this than in a supportive writing group such as that which was initiated, grew and developed over ten sessions at Richmond Barracks, thanks to Dublin City Council Culture Company.
Even in Lockdown, the writings still came through, and the group were happy to respond online to writing creative ideas I sent them and to forward their new writing to me by email.