The Nine Realms Poetry Workshop Special

5 Oct





We ran two workshops in The Gallery at Hanse House on the 4th day of The Nine Realms: a Norse-themed poetry workshop in the morning, and an art workshop experimenting with the printing technique of monotypes in the afternoon.  Both workshops were facilitated by creatives involved in The Nine Realms project: poet, Rebecca Audra Smith and artist, Robert Fitzmaurice.

What you’ll find below is the first of 2 specials on the workshops. This week we’re focusing on the poetry, with an overview by Becca of  her  poetry workshop and what was created in it. 


Poetry Workshop 3

Poetry Workshop 2



On Monday 14th September we ran a poetry workshop as part of The Nine Realms- a 5 day festival of events for the ArtiPeeps  combined arts experience themed on the Icelandic Norse myths.

Many thanks to Elaine, Jan, Karen, Louise, Shelia, Denise, Sandra, Caitlin and Karin for being such great participants!

We started by creating phonetic translations of Old Norse, translating by sound and look of the word rather than meaning!


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Then we free wrote from two lines of the translated Poetic Edda; there were some great pieces flowing out of this. Below are two group poems collected of lines from everyone’s free writing:


If I journeyed with thee to the giant’s home

But honey and honour I’m expecting to find
Our world is changing before our very eyes:
Beasts and mankind softening and blending together.
I would feel the pressure of the surroundings bury into my soul.
Would our way be smooth as honey or would we find trauma?
I will protect you from the perils ahead.
We moved tip toe terrified testing the tunnel
How will I show thee a single vision?
The stern of the ship turned
The giant’s home where legends are born and honour won.


.We pulled suggestions for prompts from people’s Nordic translations, some of these prompt words for the second piece were: eye-opener, single, eight, haven, stern.

 Do you still seek to know? And what?

Like stern Odin who seeks for an eye-opener but with a single eye
Let us drink the mead of poetry
From it’s primeval, battered beginnings new life sparked and bubbled into being
Will our haven be ahead?
Have we left it behind?
A single word can set off a journey into the unknown
I have my eight-pointed scimitar
An eye-opener for you, my friend
Can we find the eighth haven to read the home of the honey seekers?
Stern words will no doubt hiss and spit
From this forked tongue
I was supposed to be there at the crack of dawn.


We also created our own kennings, match the kenning with the object it describes below:



The last exercise was to respond to a selection of the different realms from the five. First we created our own map of the realms, then we wrote a piece examining the piece of realm we had deciphered. It was a great experience to be facilitating the workshop and I really enjoyed everyone’s amazing words! The space of Hanse House was really beautiful and conducive to writing, the art from the afternoon session also looked amazing. I hope to see some of the free writes again on the blog.


A map of the realms and some kennings

A map of the realms and some kennings


Roaming the Realms with Giants and Words

I would taste of honey and mead
only a woman
wearing a cloak can come and
be beloved of the giants
tall and huge and thumb-like

Your hammer is too big to carry
what a honey trap filled with oil
tasting of lizards and smoking of heat
If I journeyed with thee I might end nowhere

Hiding in a single leaf
a haven of the heavenly giants
You’ve produced an eye-opener of a tale
long as the serpent that circles the world

A storm of the end with a single eye- seconds later
I look- you spy- you caught my answer
A fish in the water a river-dancer
Hand me your words we’ve come so far


Rebecca Audra Smith



In case you ever wondered what a Norse-inspired Poetry workshop sounds like it sounds something like this:



And here is Becca reading the collaborative poem created at the workshop:


As Becca has said, many thanks to all those who participated in the poetry workshop, and to Hanse House for the great gallery space which was the perfect environment for our workshops. Watch out for the art workshop post coming up shortly. 


Thank you for your interest.

2 Responses to “The Nine Realms Poetry Workshop Special”

  1. Gill O October 5, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    What a wonderful creative workshop it sounds – sorry I couldn’t be there that day. Great poetry teamwork too!

  2. Kev October 6, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    I would loved to have attended, but sadly had to work. Just my luck!

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