Raging Sea Poetry and Creative Writing

The first three workshops in this series were facilitated by Rachel Long, a poet and the founder of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, founded in response to the lack of diversity in literature and academia. Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions (2020), was awarded a number of prizes, including Best Poetry Book by The Guardian. The collection explores love, family and sexual politics.

The fourth creative writing workshop was facilitated by Olumide Popoola, a London-based Nigerian German writer. Her publications include this is not about sadness (2010), Also by Mail (2013), and When we Speak of Nothing (2017). Olumide holds a PhD in Creative Writing and a BSc in Ayurvedic Medicine.

The creative writing and poetry workshops explored a range of methods and exercises, inviting participants to reflect on the themes of solitude, belonging, home, rest and community. The facilitators used extracts and images, including famous representations of beds by Tracey Emin and Van Gogh, as prompts for free writing exercises. Free writing involves continuously writing for a number of minutes in response to a prompt, allowing whatever comes to mind to be put down on the page. It is a method that encourages writers to tap into the imagination and to become less inhibited, quieting one’s inner editor.

Scroll down to read the zine of participants’ writing, entitled ‘Raging Sea’.