I got back from Tallinn two days ago and I have unpacked the suitcase, filled the fridge and I'm now collecting the photographs and writing this post.
Tallinn is a most beautiful city. Its old town reminds me of Paris and Brno – full of charm and magic. And then it has this whole modern part with uber contemporary architecture and urban sass. It also has the sea leading out to two of its own small islands and onward to Scandanavia.
The reading and workshop was held at the Tallinn Backpackers venue and the events were organised by Míša Dlouhá, who organises Tallinn Creative Writers and had invited me to come to perform and host a workshop. There was a strong turnout of people for both my events and you can see the photographs at the end of this post, all kindly taken by Juan P. Ortiz to get a flavour. Unfortunately there were not many taken of my reading but you can still get a flavour from reading the content.
My reading on the 25th January consisted of a set themed on love, revolution and identity. The 25th January 2020 was the 9th anniversary of the Egyptian uprising – a time in history that I was present for as I was living in Cairo between 2009 and 2015. The set content can be read here: https://www.freewriterscentre.org/blog/tallinn-reading-poetry-film-set
On the afternoon of the 26th January I gave a two and half hour Creative Writing workshop themed on 'identity, distorted reflections and doppelgängers, looking at an extract from Murakami and working on characters, scenes and narratives producing pieces of writing within session time and utilising various writing techniques and methods.'
Míša mentioned about my reading and workshop in this blog post:
It was a true boon to not just be in Tallinn but to be amongst so many writers from various parts of the world and throughout my stay to be immersed in arts and culture as I visited many fabulous exhibitions, installations and performances – amongst them Kumu https://kumu.ekm.ee/, KAI https://kai.center/, met people from KORDON residency https://www.kordon.ee/ where I hope to go for a week's writer's residency later this year and saw A Streetcar Named Desire performed by the Estonian National Ballet http://www.opera.ee/en/lavastus/a-streetcar-named-desire/ and I also had a meeting with the backpackers regarding helping set up a yearly Creative Writing festival in Tallinn – watch this space.
I also visited Helsinki for a few days where I saw some further amazing art – you can see this reactions video I made for information about that: https://youtu.be/Fik_p4YmCx4
I wish to thank again all the people that donated to my crowdfunder campaign which enabled me to fund the travel to Tallinn and accommodation whilst there – you are all true gems.
Now back on Cornish terra firma I am looking forward to giving the full course material that the Tallinn workshop was sampled from and all interested can view and book for that here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/two-part-return-a-creative-writing-course-tickets-90009981277
Meanwhile, individual Editing and Mentoring Services are available by appointment. You can read about the process here: https://www.freewriterscentre.com/editing.html So get in touch if you want to check my availability. And the online shop is always open! :) https://www.freewriterscentre.org/online-courses.html