Iolaire Centenary : Poetry workshops for schools

‘Iolaire’ Centenary : Poetry Workshops for Schools with Poet Ken Cockburn.

27th – 30th November 2018

The workshops are suitable for upper primary and secondary pupils. The aim is for pupils to compose a poem considering the ‘Iolaire’ disaster from the points of view of Experience, Memory, Knowledge and Imagination.

The workshop begins with a visit to the site of the ‘Iolaire’ disaster, near Sandwick east of Stornoway, where we’ll look at the old and new memorials. The rest of the session takes place at An Lanntair, and consists of two writing sessions either side of a visit to the gallery, which is showing work by Mairi Law (photography) and Alex Galloway (stained glass) relating to the ‘Iolaire’.

During the writing sessions pupils will be guided to write a poem whose effect derives from the combination of different writing perspectives – personal and impersonal, present and past, emotional and factual, sensory and intellectual. I will provide models to help (especially younger) pupils structure their stanzas, but they can also devise their own.

  • Experience: a stanza describing the experience of visiting the memorial site – views, the memorials, weather, birds, conversations, etc.
  • Memory: a stanza drawing on any personal memories – a previous visit to the site, school work, conversations with family and friends, references online, on tv or in books, etc.
  • Knowledge: a stanza describing something learned about the disaster from the site visit or the exhibition
  • Imagination: a stanza imagining the men boarding or on board the ‘Iolaire’ before the disaster, or a family member on the island anticipating their return home

Workshops available morning or afternoon on Tues 27th to Fri 30th November.  Contact our Education and Outreach team on 01851 708493 or email to book a workshop for your class.