A weekend of Performance Poetry at Tŷ Newydd
Tue 9 July 2024 / , , / Written by Leila Platt

In June, 2024, Leila Platt joined us for our Performance Poetry weekend with Hollie McNish and Michael Pedersen, read on to find out more about the experience…



Arrived by train to Cricieth thinking have I come to the end of the Earth!  This part of Wales sure is a trek to get to…. Welcomed by Hollie and Michael who ran an informal session asking why we had come on the course. I had come because “future Leila” said YES!


 S A T U R D A Y 


Slept well in my little room in the centre. Went to the kitchen where some kind soup was making fresh coffee… In bundled others. “Still up for a swim?” someone asked. “Sure, best take a banana for safety”…said I. So off we trotted armed with our brews at 7.30am down the drive, and left down the road until we came to Lloyd George’s grave. Down the river bank to where there was a swimming pool. Brave wild swimmers. Quick dip. And out for a banana Back to the house/centre for a delicious breakfast of muesli, yoghurt, fruit, juice and more coffee. Penned a quick poem called “Bananas and Bathing”. Started our first workshop with Hollie Several interesting and enlightening exercises and by 1pm lunch I had another poem called “Second date”. Scrumptious lunch of soup, bread and salads. From 2-4pm we had a Q&A with Hollie and Michael on all things poetry: performance, publishing, gigs etc. Then to the pub in Criccieth where the beer was cheap and there was a bitter on from Bragdy Conwy. Back to the house for a Power Nap. And 6.30pm we ate a delicious dinner of sweet potato Thai curry, rice garlic bread and salad. Yummy strawberries and cream for pudding. Next we went to the library and Hollie and Michael each read a few poems of their own. After which all course participants took turns to read some of their own poetry or a poem of someone else’s that resonates with them. I read “Drowning in Custard”, “Gurnal Dubs” and “The Good Life”. Such an amazing safe welcoming space to share our work! All in all a brilliant day at Tŷ Newydd. 


S U N D A Y 


Slept really well and was up again at 7.30 to meet in the kitchen for a coffee and a decision on swimming. We decided to go to Cricieth to the beach to swim today. It was lovely but quite a few jellyfish so it was more of a dip than a swim! Back to the house for a shower and strawberries and yogurt for breakfast. We started a workshop with Michael at 9.30 and the morning flew by. Prompt after prompt and poem after poem, we wrote and read and listened. What a feast of learning and so much laughter. Michael shared quite a few poems as prompt so I have a plethora of new poets and work to feast on. As I said the morning raced by. Lunch was again delicious, a smörgåsbord of salads, cold meat, fish, cheese and grapes. Thank you to the chef Tony!  Then after eating, a group photograph outside the front of the house. Lora from Literature Wales then kindly drove myself and another course attendee to Cricieth train station for our 2pm train. And that’s where I am now, somewhere in north Wales, trundling along by rail, new friend and jelly babies for company, perusing my newly signed books by Hollie and Michael. The long journey home…. All in all, a brilliant weekend at Tŷ Newydd.