Poet Ruth Padel launches the first edition in a four part landmark series "Poetry Workshop" which taps into the excitement and pleasures of writing and reading poetry. More and more of us are connecting with poetry for pleasure or emotional insight, for memorable comfort at moments of personal crisis, and to discover new ways of seeing our own lives. Unprecedented access to poems and poets means that any of us can engage with it even if we have felt shut out from it in the past. Poetry and its fans are everywhere - on the underground, internet and in science labs; on the stage at slams and festivals; in pubs, schools, colleges and in workshops and reading groups. Radio 4's Poetry Workshop aims to deepen the experience for those who love to spend time with poetry and to open up to everybody new ways of connecting with it. By exploring how specific poems work in a practical setting the series will profile the talent and enormous enthusiasm for poetry round the country. The first workshop comes from Exeter where members of ExCite - one of the Poetry Society's regional "Stanza" groups - join Ruth Padel and fellow poet Lawrence Sail to work on some of their poems in progress. Radio 4 listeners get to eavesdrop as Ruth and Lawrence guide the Workshop members through the process of writing and improving their poems, sharing practical and inspirational pointers as well as encouraging new ways of thinking. As they go behind the scenes of the poems to look at their techniques, language and wordplay, they reveal the creative processes and craft that make poetry so rewarding.
Ruth Padel is the author of 'Darwin - A Life in Poems'; the best-selling book '52 Ways of Looking at a Poem'.
Producers: Sara Davies and Sarah Langan.