Journalling Through a Time of Corona 3

  One great thing about writing is that even if we are physically stuck in one place, our writing is not in lockdown. Although in recent days, the Foreign Office has warned against holidaying abroad, we can still travel with our pens. This week’s journalling suggestions focus on writing about place.  Before we set off, it can be good to settle ourselves down in the here and now. One way of warming up is to
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Poems for Challenging Times

David Whyte’s The House of Belonging is – literally – a long poem, but it is rich with possibilities and is indeed, itself about possibilities. The poem points to an epiphany of some kind, as light literally dawns. it marks a shift to a new settledness, a fresh awareness.  This poem, with its short, resonating phrases, lends itself  to become a springboard for our own reflective writing. The space o
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Journalling Through a Time of Corona 2

Life has certainly changed over the last week: Many of us are getting used to the space of self-isolation as those looking after our health and welfare grapple with the pressures of frontline working.  Wherever we are in this new territory, the advice of those ahead of us on the journey is to take things steady. If we are journalling through this unprecedented time, as I know many are, we can have high expectatio
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Journalling through a Time of Corona 1

‘I’ve started journalling again,’ says my husband, as we talk about the world events causing our world to turn on a sixpence. As someone who prefers the immediacy of the spoken word, he has been an intermittent journaller. But times are changing. Many of us are facing increased time alone, self-isolating to stay out of harm’s way. A change of life’s season can precipitate a desire to write, from bereavem
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Encountering the Knife Angel

Throughout November, Chester Cathedral was host to the imposing Knife Angel sculpture. This extraordinary piece was created by artist Alfie Bradley from 100,000 knives handed in during police amnesties nationwide. The Angel brings its own message to the cities it visits about the horrors and sorrowful impact of knife crime. The Knife Angel’s stay coincided with a Poetry Workshop I was running at Chester Cat
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Cathedral Poet-in-Residence: A Sociable October

Although writing is a solitary activity, it can also be very much a shared and social one. It’s an aspect of writing I’ve been very much aware of during October in my tenure as Chester Cathedral’s Poet-in-Residence. ‘A contained vastness,’ a sense of being in the present moment but standing under ‘the weight of time’ are two comments made by workshop participants in Write for Growth’s ‘From Stone
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Cathedral Poet-in-Residence: Making Waves and a Monk Seal

‘Careful now!’ the Organist calls out as I gingerly tread the stone spiral staircase leading to the Cathedral’s organ loft. ‘I broke my leg coming down here a couple of years ago.’ It doesn’t bode well. We are on our way up. At the top, we shuffle past the wooden seat to look at the hard tiled floor way down below, alongside a Verger who, somewhat inexplicably, we find already up here. ‘Whatever you
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Do you have to live in the Cathedral now?

  This comment from a former student of mine popped up on LinkedIn as I updated my job profile to include ‘Poet-in-Residence at Chester Cathedral,’ the year’s Volunteer Role I’m privileged to have started on August 1st. I’ve had excited smiles from my friends and a warm welcome from the Cathedral community as I’ve taken up the role, alongside two recurring questions: What does that mean? What are
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Turning Points at Write for Growth

It so often happens: A Write for Growth topic I thought would be quite straightforward is more complicated than expected.  As we gathered at Gladstone’s Library earlier in July to explore our theme of Turning Points, we started by looking at Robert Frost’s deceptively simple poem, ‘The Road Not Taken.’ The reader can easily be soothed into a false sense of security by the regular rhythm and rhyme
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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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  • About 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.

    Read more about Julia
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