Hot on the heels of a very successful ‘Painting in the Pub’ session, the Bolton Over 50s Culture Champions held a ‘Poetry in the Pub’ session last week, in The Southfields, and 17 people turned up to join in.

Here our reporter and resident wordsmith Carole Ogden tells us all about it.

First we had a few poems from Bill, who recited a particularly stirring ballad to get us all in the mood for writing, then we started by talking about haiku – the Polaroid picture of the poetry world, where a single moment is captured in a three-line poem containing just 17 syllables.

Using specially created ‘urban haiku’ poetry strips, we worked together to make original poems that we then shared with everyone. Buoyed by our success, we then created some acrostics. These are often seen at Christmas, where you pick a word and write the letters down the page, using each letter in turn, to start a line, to create a poem about the main word.

Everyone joined in with great enthusiasm, especially as we had the theme of food and drink! There were some interesting variations, including one about mushrooms from Colin, the forager, and Gaynor’s homage to olives that was given an entirely different slant when read out by Betty! (What happens in Poetry in the Pub stays in Poetry in the Pub.)

Our final task was to write a poem about an object, which we picked at random from a selection. These were very wide-ranging and brought out some very interesting and creative ideas. Literally everybody in the room wrote at least three poems during the afternoon and we all enjoyed helping each other, and sharing them.

The session ended with a read-round of some favourite poems, which rounded off a great afternoon, and we all agreed that we should have another. In fact our next creative foray may well be bringing painting and poetry in the pub together! Watch this space…