Angels at Barton Turf

Posted by Tim Lenton on 22 September 2011 at 14:41

Tags: bayfield caroline church life writing

Caroline Gilfillan

This summer I was commissioned to write a poem for Art Alive in Churches, a Norfolk initiative linking churches with artistic and community projects. Did you know that Norfolk has more medieval churches and rood screens (which used to separated the chancel and altar from the nave) than any other place in the world? No: neither did I. But, full of curiosity I bowled over to the church or St Michael and All Angels at Barton Turf, to marvel at one of the best preserved rood screens in the country, and wrote a poem (below) to celebrate the painter of the angels that are depicted on the screens. It was exhibited, beside photographs of the rood screen and paintings by Maz Jackson, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.

June, July and August found me working as poet-in-residence at Natural Surroundings, a small and beautiful nature reserve at Bayfield near Holt. I wrote poems, ran workshops and hosted readings in the café. A beautiful place that deserves your support.

Annette Rolston and I ran a brilliant workshop at Burlingham Hall, in which we combined poetry and print. Run over two days, most of the first was devoted to writing short pieces inspired by the setting, then these poems were combined with artwork to make prints on the second day.

The next few months are going to be busy for me. I’ll be running a Life Writing workshop as part of the COAST Cromer and Sheringham Arts Festival on Wednesday 26 October from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 pm. Details from www.casaf.co.uk Early October will find me running a reminiscence project with patients of the Mile End Hospital. I’m also offering a memoir writing course in Burnham Market in October and November, on Tuesday mornings. If interested, please email me on Caroline.Gilfillan@btinternet.com

I’ve got my nose stuck into the Diary of Samuel Pepys right now as I’m drafting a series of poems about his life and his family. The poems will appear in my new collection, to be published by Hawthorn Press in 2012. I’m also working on a series of poems based on earlier flings, affairs and great loves (which could be risky, but is certainly interesting).

Click here for Poem commissioned for Art Alive 2011

Caroline Gilfillan

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