Autumn Poetry Masterclass
Tue 8 November 2016 / Written by Aziz Dixon

Aziz Dixon came to Tŷ Newydd for the Autumn Poetry Masterclass in October 2016, tutored by Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker with guest reader Jane Clarke. He’s written about his week below. 

– Miriam


My journey with poetry has its roots in Llŷn, on a pilgrimage over two weeks from near Holywell to Enlli, as I delighted in reading the landscape at walking pace.

Then this autumn, I journeyed in the footsteps of RS Thomas, visiting his homes and his churches nearby, and reading his poems in places where they might have been written. On the Poetry Masterclass we were prompted to find a presiding spirit – RS was the one for me.

I had been to hear Gillian Clarke at y Tabernacl in Machynlleth on her Shore to Shore tour, and Imtiaz Dharker in Bradford, and was so grateful to spend nearly a week with them, and to hear Jane Clarke for the first time. But it was only when I arrived at Tŷ Newydd bursting with excitement that I realised quite how much I had to learn about writing poetry. We were led to expect tough love.

The structure of the course was a great combination of writing to a brief, space and time for writing and redrafting, and the stimulus of learning through group work with 15 other poets with a rich range of experience and variety of voices. I found the group process very nourishing, not to mention Tony’s creative arts in the kitchen.

I could not believe I would actually have to go home, but I did book for my next course then and there, so I know I’m coming back, and I did fill in a feedback form.

A big thank you to all my fellow travellers and the team at Tŷ Newydd for a life-changing week.

– Aziz Dixon


Feedback form

Tick the box that applies –

what age, more or less?

I hope to live longer than that,

though the food was to die for.
The course? Thought I’d gone to heaven.
Where else could I grow,

with your help, surrounded by long-dead poets

all bursting with life, here

where we share our own efforts?

Accommodation excellent, although

I could not control the heating. In fact,

could I change my room please?

I was rather hoping, for eternity,

to watch the sun rise out of the sea, here,

all day, every day,

and I need a quiet space

to write my obituary.