THE WORD SHELTER
... This Wasted Land
The Word Shelter brought back the essence of writer TS Eliot to the shelter at Nayland Rock, where he sat to write The Waste Land in 1922. For this year’s Margate Festival, for Sightseekers, the shelter became a pop-up and drop-in Writing Retreat. Created for Margate Sightseeking 2016.
For two days only Wordsmithery held a pop-up and drop-in writing retreat in the historic listed shelter in Margate where TS Eliot wrote bits of The Waste Land and in Dreamland.
As well as wrapping the shelter in a version of the poem that is 86 feet long - we also had a series of writing prompts and exercises that people could do - or add to our collective poem.
On the second weekend, the weather was inclement, so we moved our base of operations to Dreamland.
Here are some comments about the workshops:
‘I liked that. I didn’t think I could write a poem, but it makes you think, being here.’
‘We couldn’t get them out of the arcade and now we can’t get them out of the writing room.’ (Mum with two young teenagers.)
‘It’s good sometimes when you’re challenged to do something.’
‘Something interesting, creative, just what Margate needs.’
A place. Homely.
Walking the dog
On a stretch of sand.
A wonderful place to live,
Modern then charming:
The derelict facade of Dreamland
And the Turner, like sliced off flats.
It’s sunny - I like the views
... But it smells funny.
On a sunny day, a place to swim;
On a windy day it’s like living on
the edge of hell.
A lovely coastline, lovely people
You’ve got to be careful
It’s stuck in the ‘60s... the ‘70s maybe
We’ve started the Christmas shopping.
The Turner’s like Minecraft
Or like sails.
full of historic cultural gems
My beloved Margate...
Light, space, sand, huge skies.
It’s really on the up.