Flourish: August and September 2017


The second term of the Flourish project at The Barn, Banchory involved a summer-time drop-in session, a second series of Wild Words workshops, a Renga workshop, and more visits from local primary schools.

Wild Words 2


This second set of workshops involved another group of adults learning about the technique of free writing with the added bonus of writing out-doors.  I used poems by Mary Oliver and Sheenagh Pugh as well as the words hung in the Wild Garden as inspiration.  Alongside free writing, I also encouraged play and experimentation using Haiku and Pantoum poetic forms. A greater sense of connection, a willingness to try new things, increased sharing and learning to slow down and enjoy time in nature were the main characteristics of these workshops.  Much laughter, peace and an increased sense of wellbeing were the result.  Another group poem was produced and recorded for the final exhibition.

The Renga Workshop

This was the first time I had facilitated a Renga workshop and it was an invigorating learning curve!  The plan was to write a group poem outdoors over the course of four hours with an emphasis of being in the moment and observing nature.  We began the day in the garden but were soon rained indoors although we all felt we had more than enough inspiration from Mother Nature to write from.  Various haikus and couplets from all those present grew into a group poem in accordance with the structure laid out in this ancient form.  This was a most enjoyable first experience to lead and it’s something I will do more of in the future.  The poem produced will also be included in the final exhibition.

Aboyne Primary School


The first workshop with two P7 classes from Aboyne Primary School saw them visiting the Wild Garden in September.  They explored the space through the medium of the word search and created found poems from the words they were able to locate.  This method of poetry writing combined with the immediacy of outdoor exploration produced poems of a mature and profound nature alongside those that were fun and whimsical.

All images Copyright Elaine Reid.


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