Valerie Thornton – 27th February 2013

Club members were privileged to welcome Valerie Thornton, poet, writer, creative writing tutor and editor to the club this week.
Before the meeting, Valerie had read and studied our poems on Clyde Wildlife; she opened in a very encouraging way, proclaiming each and every poem to have merit.
Valerie went on to read each poem aloud clearly and sensitively followed by individual feedback delivered in a warm, friendly and approachable style. Two stars and a wish for everyone!
We celebrated ‘excellent images, well-handled rhyme and rhythm, superb use of sound and contrast’. Tailored advice was given for each poet, with time for discussion or questions throughout.
Jennifer West’s poem ‘Industrial Reality’ was placed first in the competition; Carolyn O’Hara’s poem ‘Squirrel’ came second and Alison Craig’s poem, ‘Swans’ was third.
Valerie’s generous tips and advice were offered as suggestions, something to think about or try.
‘Interrogate each decision you make before writing.’
‘Introduce conflict in the poem.’
‘Try using singular nouns in place of plurals.’
Valerie read us a favourite poem by Billy Collins, ‘Another Reason I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House’; she told us she writes best in the quiet of a morning and advised us, in the interests of progress, not to open e-mails before midday!
A wonderful evening of focussed and constructive feedback. Thank you to Valerie.
Rhona Anderson

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