Visit of Dr Erin Halliday to Creative Writing Club

On the 18 December 2012,  Dr Erin Halliday, not only a lecturer from Queens University in Belfast but also a former pupil of Glenlola, visited the Creative Writers’ Group and offered us some guidance on how to write poems and the writing process in general.  As a published writer Dr Halliday was in a position to give advice from a firsthand perspective.

“She was very intriguing and her poems were written in a manner that inspired the imagination through her metaphors and imagery.” – Anna Wolsey.

Dr Halliday won the Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection Award for 2012 from which she was able to publish her first short collection: “Chrysalis”.  She donated a copy of her book to our library so that we could easily access her poetry.  She has just returned from opening the prestigious Derwent Poetry Festival in Bath where her own poetry collection was launched.

During her talk she asked the group what poetry was, and she quickly added that there was no right or wrong answer to this question.  It was without doubt a difficult question and I, like most of the other English students in the room, wanted to give her a clever answer.  But that wasn’t what she was looking for.

She explained that Poetry is about projecting an image in the mind of the reader through effective imagery and analogy.  She explained that a poem can be a narrative or an abstract concept that the writer is trying portray to the reader and that less can be more.

“Her talk was inspirational and I loved the imagery in her poems.” – Eve Bryans.

One of the most striking things about Dr Halliday is that she is a former pupil of Glenlola. She was one of us years ago, she was where we are now and now she is a published writer with a PhD.

“It’s brilliant to see someone who has been where we are and has achieved what she has achieved, it is very motivational.  Her talk was warm, insightful and extremely enjoyable.” – Jenna Simpson.

She made the idea of being a writer professionally more accessible to us.  Especially as some of the older students are considering university courses and which paths to take after school, it was inspiring and reassuring at the same time.

“It was nice to see that it really is possible to make it in the tough world of literature.” – Natasha Corken.

Hannah Eves  Year 13.