Reading As Above So Below

  ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ So says Shakespeare’s Hamlet to his friend, shaken by the sight of Hamlet’s father’s ghost. As Above So Below is a new online magazine dedicated to poetry in the territory of these ‘more things.’ It explores themes of spirituality and is initiated and edited by poet and creative writing practitioner Be
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Journalling into 2019

Write for Growth’s  New Year, New Journal Workshop at Gladstone’s Library on a January Saturday always draws a full house. We gathered to explore fresh angles on journalling our way through 2019. Making space to write is one thing, but once we’ve done that, we can find another gap – between our desire to write and actually putting words on a page. Closing that gap can be a challenge for every writer.
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Coffee with a Poem

‘It’s all about how we have choices,’ said a Write for Growth participant, as we looked at this poem under our workshop theme Space and Light. See what you think over a cup of coffee as we sit down with Naomi Shihab Nye’s ‘The Art of Disappearing.’    The Art of Disappearing When they say Don’t I know you? say no.   When they invite you to the party remember what parties are like before an
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Poetic Spirit in the City

It was Race Day in Chester in Saturday as we came together at Retreat House Chester for the more gentle pursuit of the poetic spirit.  Poetry and spirituality inhabit a common landscape. Derek Walcott, whose poem Love after Love was amongst those we read, has said, ‘I never separated the writing of poetry from prayer.…it is a vocation.’       The writer Mark Oakley comments that God gives us our being; w
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Between Seasons

When  August is drawing to a close – particularly after the Bank Holiday – I always have a sense of the season starting to shift. The light becomes more tawny and slant; there’s a new chill in the breeze and the clear, light evenings of June have given way to twilight’s earlier curtain. It may not be Autumn quite yet, but it is no longer quite Summer.  Change is in the air. September brings the n
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Encountering Animals at Frodsham

Animal Encounters was our theme for April’s Write for Growth at Castle Park Arts Centre, amid the stimulus of the annual exhibition of the Association of Animal Artists This year’s exhibition is even more inspirational than last year, incorporating categories from Power and Pace of Life to Fragile World and Windows to the Soul. It’s on until mid-May, so do go and see it for yourself if you can. We wrote about
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Dancing with Words at Hawarden

Dear Body… be a bell that rings your presence, singles your space, O acolyte of days.… These were words that flowed from my head down my arm and hand, through pen to paper, surprising my mind as my eyes read them back to me on the page. I was at poet Polly Atkins’ ‘Writing the Body’ Masterclass along with fourteen other bodies cosied round the large table in the Anwyl Room at Gladstone’s Library in Ha
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Words for Unwanted Journeys

  It was only after I’d finished writing the poem that I realised: this would be the last one I would write about my mother. From the time she had started to decline in health as Parkinson’s Disease advanced, I found some of the poems I wrote began to reflect this unwanted journey. I needed words to express the impact of what was happening on both our lives and our relationship. The poems continued as I g
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New Year Resolve?

At the turn of the year, thoughts can gravitate to the 3 Rs – Review, Reflection and Resolution. Some make that third R a different one – Rebellion! Dissatisfied by the crash and burn of past years, they determine NOT to resolve anything, and so avoid the mid-January tail-spin into disappointment. I remember how every new ‘rough book’ of my schooldays, with its fresh, blank pages, inspired resoluti
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Chester Poets Visit the ARK

    Over the summer, I’ve being doing some Tour Guiding for the wonderful ARK exhibition, hosted by Chester Cathedral. 90 ARK-themed sculptures inside and outside the building reflect a range of styles, subjects and materials. They represent the work of over 50 artists. On Saturday, I took round a group of fellow Chester Poets. We engaged with these pieces together: looking and learning: discovering wh
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  • About Julia

    Julia

    From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.

    I started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor. I have counselled in a GP Surgery and worked with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts alongside seeing private clients.

    Although I have done some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become my main focus in recent years.

    My poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. I have been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. My first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.

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