• Picture:  The Guardian
Read Jude Rogers’ Guardian Piece on her Tŷ Newydd Experience
Fri 3 May 2024 / Written by Literature Wales

Arts critic, Jude Rogers, recently attended a Poetry and Songwriting course here at Tŷ Newydd, with the aim of finding out whether, having written about songs for 20 years, she could turn her hand to writing them.

In her piece in The Guardian,  ‘Push through the feelings of: I’m worthless, this sucks’: can anyone learn to be a top songwriter? Jude recounts her experience at our “inspirational” writing centre where an “intimate creative community” was constructed.

This course was held in March 2024 under the expert guidance of singer/songwriter Brian Briggs of Stornoway fame, and award-winning poet, Paul Henry. It explored the borders between poem and song lyrics, and appealed to both poets and songwriters alike.

The course is about links between poetry and songwriting, and my classmates include people who have published poetry collections, played on folk-rock albums, and regularly perform humorous songs”.

“When we come to perform [our song], I’m terrified, but also strangely excited. As our group has built a shared sense of trust and loyalty, it feels OK that what we’ve made is pretty rough and ready. I also realise that these courses aren’t about writing hit singles, but the joy of trying out new things with new people.

If you’d like a similar experience to Jude’s, our next Songwriting offering is a weekend course in October tutored by musical power-couple, Iwan Huws and Georgia Ruth.

The weekend will include group workshops, one-to-one tutorials, and opportunities to listen and perform in an encouraging and friendly setting. Where possible, musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments along with them. For writers without musical experience, the week has been designed to enable you to participate fully.

This is a bilingual course, and the tutors will be on-hand to support both Welsh and English-speaking participants.


Listen to Jude’s song below!