DR JAMES C.Q. Stewart was the visiting speaker at the Angus Writers’ Circle last Wednesday. A lecturer in the English department of the University of Dundee, Dr Stewart had been invited to conduct a poetry workshop.
Some weeks before, members had submitted examples of their poetry to Dr Stewart. In total there were 28 poems and the poetry styles ranged from haiku to comic, narrative to double ballade and villanelle, to name a few.
Jim Stewart’s love of poetry was reflected in his encouragement and guidance to the poets. As each author read his or her work, he suggested changes in the use of language. He said: “Don’t mix metaphors, or confuse similes and metaphors. Also watch the voice. For example, do not have a child speaking like an adult.”
Rhyme and rhythm, the length of a line, and other problems in poetry were discussed with the authors and the other circle members.
Dr Stewart also commented on the different styles used by the poets.
He said: “The guidelines laid down can be a challenge, but if followed correctly excellent poetry will be the result.”
Heather Gourlay, the president, thanked Dr Stewart for the interesting way his help and experience had benefited everyone, and finished by inviting him to return on another occasion.
The Angus Writers’ Circle meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 7.30 until 10 p.m. in the Rosely Hotel, Arbroath. New members are always welcome. For further details, phone the secretary, Eleanor Fordyce, on 01307 465056.