The poetics of a serendipitous encounter

Yesterday I had a wonderfully inspiring meeting with Alice Hiller, who will be helping me put together a storytelling workshop. The idea is to take an item of clothing, or accessory, that holds emotional meaning and turn it into literal and visual poetry. Although there will be an end product, the objective of the workshop is the creative process, which will hopefully create moments of self-reflection and perhaps even some healing. Alice has a background in both journalistic and creative writing, and experience running a small poetry group herself so her input is exactly what I need and it will bring much added value to the intervention.

We decided to start by testing some ideas with a small, informal focus group to help us plan the first official workshop. Although the first workshop is by no means intended to be a finished end product, I do of course want it to be organised and planned in a way that the participants (as well as Alice and I) can benefit from the process.

Alice told me again how much she liked my black dress performance and that she would never have guessed that it is not something I do frequently. I said to her that I think it is perfect that we met by sharing our personal creative work; that we were drawn to each other through our stories and a moment of vulnerability and empathy. Had it not been for the language of poetry we may never have ended up collaborating on this workshop. And the fact that an intervention that was organically shaped during my research process – with roots in the Nightmare – serendipitously ended up catching the attention of a collaborator, is poetry in itself.

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