Previous Events

Below is a retrospective of some of the writing and poetry courses, workshops and events that I have delivered from 2016.

2022

Ecopoetry Workshop:

At the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Saturday 14 May 2022
Time 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

In a time of ecological anxiety, poetry can renew your relationship with the Earth.

This workshop will inspire you to reconnect both with yourself and with nature. Through exploration of a diverse poetic ecosystem, from traditional lyric nature poetry to contemporary ecopoems, you will look afresh at the natural world and how you relate to it.

Through creative reading and writing exercises, you will be guided in your engagement with the sensual pleasure and disruptive power of language.

Come and roam the wildness of poetry. Let it lead you back home. 

Poetry of Birds Workshop

At the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Saturday, 28 May 2022

1pm-5pm

Birds have flitted through our minds and nested in our imagination since ancient times. Inspired by birds’ flight and song, poets have written some of the greatest works of the English language.

This workshop explores the deep relationship between birds and poetry.

You will look at the rich tradition of avian poetry across a range of species, from swifts to songbirds, eagles to skylarks; and the myriad ways birds inspire contemporary poets in the light of the ecological crisis.

Through creative writing exercises in a supportive environment, you’ll also have the chance to test your own poetic wings and free your lyric song.

Beginners welcome.

Spring Awakening: One-Day Poetry Workshop

At the Marketplace, Armagh, 19 Feb 2022, 10am to 4pm

Whether you’re already writing poetry, or would like to start, this workshop invites you to bask in the season’s fresh light and rediscover your poetic self. You will be immersed in the poetry of spring and its continuous renewal of the lyric tradition, which will guide you to tune in to your own creativity. This will inspire you to produce new work in a safe, friendly andconstructive environment. Come and awaken your spring song!

Creative Writing: Fiction & Non Fiction:

A six-week course at The Marketplace, Armagh, 27 Jan to 3 March 2022

This six-week Creative Writing course is for those who want to discover and progress their creative writing skills. Looking at both fiction and non-fiction, we will explore how to bring ideas, images and characters to life. We look at ways of energising language and developing plot. We also discuss how to avoid problems and pitfalls. Through supportive and constructive feedback, you will learn the ways of drafting and crafting to make your own writing captivating.

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Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

The Poetry Of Nature

Date Saturday 23 November 2019
Time 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price£50 l £45

This poetry reading and writing workshop looks at both our rich tradition of nature poetry and the emerging ecopoetry that responds to the challenges of our contemporary natural world.

Using reading and creative writing exercises you will deepen your appreciation of the sensual pleasure of poetry and enhance your appreciation of nature and you will explore poetry’s immersive magic as well as its art and craft.

You’ll also be encouraged to develop your natural poetic voice in a constructive and supportive environment.

Come and enjoy the myriad ways that the poetry of nature opens the door to the heart.

ADVANCED POETRY

Date Saturday 17 August 2019
Time 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price£38 | £34

This one-day workshop is for those who are already writing poetry. You will explore the poet’s art and craft, examining how poetic form and language work together to make a successful poem. These discussions and creative exercises will be used to prompt you to produce your own work in a supportive environment.

You may also wish to have previous work critiqued during the workshop.

For this opportunity, please register promptly so that you may send your poem (40 line limit) as an attachment to marymontague.writer@gmail.com by 10 August 2019.

The Pleasures of Poetry

Date Wednesday 01 May 2019 until Wednesday 26 June 2019
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks 9
Price£83 | £78

This 9-week course is an opportunity to explore the pleasures and power of poetry.

Whether you’re already writing poetry or would like to start, you will be inspired to imaginatively transform your feelings and thoughts into a fresh creation.

You will look at poetry’s art and craft and discuss what makes a successful poem. Our poetic tradition will guide you as you forge a new path, producing your own work and receiving constructive feedback in a friendly, safe environment.

Beginners and more experienced writers/poets equally welcome.

Recommended text: “STAYING ALIVE: Real Poems for Unreal Times”. Ed. by Neil Astley. (Bloodaxe)

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Writing Ourselves

Date: Saturday 15 June 2019 / 18 Jan 2020
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price£50 | £45

You may have a great desire to write but don’t know how or where to start. Or you may simply want to explore your creativity through writing.

In this workshop, you play with your imagination and dreams to challenge your fears; of the blank page, of feeling foolish, of failure and through this charm our inner critic. You will experience the delight of the creativity that is at your core.

This will let you explore ways of giving yourself permission to write with courage and trust.

Wild Writing

Date Tuesday 19 February 2019 until Tuesday 09 April 2019
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks8
Price£74 | £70
TutorMary Montague

Is your language too tame? Do your ideas need liberated? Why can’t they break free to prowl across the page?

This rule-breaking 8-week creative writing course will encourage you to explore the untamed borders of your desires and fears, daring you to express your inner voice and release the long-smothered cry of your wilderness.

You will be supported in a friendly, safe environment to test your comfort zones and push your own boundaries so that you can tune into language that will electrify, stun and move.

To roam the Serengeti of the self, all you need is pen and paper, and a willingness to be wild!

All stages and abilities (including beginners) are welcome to explore poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction.

Recommended reading: ‘Wild’, by Cheryl Strayed.

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Nature’s Poetry

Date Tuesday 15 January 2019 until Monday 04 February 2019
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks4
Price£38 | £36
TutorMary Montague

Poetry enhances the depth of our connection to nature, connecting us more profoundly and personally to the natural world.

In this 4-week course you will be inspired by the wonderful range of traditional and contemporary nature poems, from the Romantics to the Eco-poets. Explore how the sensual pleasure of poetry relates to our experience of nature.

Through creative exercises you will develop your own natural poetic voice and get constructive feedback in a supportive environment.

Come and enjoy the wonderful landscape of nature poetry and the door it opens to the heart.

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Ways Of Writing

Date Tuesday 06 November 2018 until Tuesday 04 December 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks5
Price£46 | £43

Ways of Writing

This five-week course lets you engage with your inner wisdom and creativity through writing.

In poetry and prose, through fiction and non-fiction, you’ll explore ways of claiming your voice and enjoying your gifts.

It’s a chance to devote yourself to developing your powers of bringing ideas and images to life, and learn techniques for structuring language, energising characters, and making your writing captivating.

You’ll be encouraged to produce your own work and receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment.

Beginners and emergent writers equally welcome.

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Writing Ourselves

Date Saturday 22 September 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price£47 | £42

You may have a great desire to write but don’t know how or where to start; or you may simply want to explore your creativity through writing.

In this One Day Creative Writing Workshop for beginners/returners, we play with our imagination and dreams.

We challenge our fears: of the blank page; of feeling foolish; of failure. We charm our inner critic, giving ourselves permission to write with courage and trust so we can persist with creative enchantment into our so-called real lives.

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Writing Your Wild

Date Saturday 17 November 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price£47 | £42

Writing Your Wild

This rule-breaking one-day creative writing workshop encourages you to explore the untamed borders of your desires and fears.

You will have the chance to express your inner voice and release the long-smothered cry of your wilderness.

You’ll be supported in a friendly, safe environment to explore beyond comfort zones, liberate your language and free your ideas.

To start prowling across the page, all you need is pen and paper, and a willingness to be wild!

Beginners welcome.

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The Path to Poetry

Tuesday 11 September 2018 until Tuesday 23 October 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks7
Price£65 | £60

This seven-week course is designed to roam the pleasures of language that are the source of poetry. You will experience the power of a primal verbal art to imaginatively transform your feelings and thoughts into a fresh creation. Guidance in following poetry’s history and craft will be offered; but you’ll also get the chance to strike out alone, producing your own work and receiving constructive feedback in a friendly, safe environment. Beginners and more experienced writers/poets equally welcome. Come and explore!

Recommended text: “STAYING ALIVE: real poems for unreal times”. Edited by Neil Astley. Published by Bloodaxe.

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A Passion For Poetry

Date Tuesday 15 May 2018 until Tuesday 05 June 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks4
Price£36 | £34
 This course explores the power of poetry to release your voice and snare your dreams and desires.Whether you’re already writing poetry or would like to start, this your chance to dally and dance with poetry, as we look at its history, art and craft.We’ll discuss what makes a successful poem and you’ll be invited to produce
your own work and receive constructive feedback in a friendly and safe environment. Come for the inspiration!

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The Joy Of Writing, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Date Tuesday 10 April 2018 until Tuesday 08 May 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Weeks5
Price£45 | £42

This course harnesses the energy of your creativity to help you translate your desire to write onto the page. Exploring fiction and non-fiction, you will discover how use written language to make new worlds out of dreams and visions. You will sharpen your gaze and hone your voice using the tools and developing the skills you need for your task, with supportive feedback in a friendly and safe environment.Beginners welcome.

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THE POETRY OF NATURE,  Four week course, Tuesday, 10am-12pm, 27 February 2018 until  20 March 2018, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. 

The relationship between poetry and nature runs deep. Many nature lovers enjoy   poetry because it taps into this relationship, connecting us more profoundly and personally to the natural world. In this four-week course, you will be inspired by the wonderful range of traditional and contemporary nature poems to explore how the sensual pleasure of poetry enhances our experience of nature. Through creative exercises you will get the chance to develop your own natural poetic voice, receiving constructive feedback in a supportive environment. Come and enjoy the wonderful landscape of nature poetry and the door it opens to the heart.

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THE POETRY OF BIRDS
Saturday 10 March 2018
Time 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Price£45 | £40
 Flitting through our minds, settling in our imagination, in omens and augury, birds have been part of human artistic expression from ancient times.

Poetry is a natural environment for a community of species that appear as symbols and metaphors, sing of belonging and yearning, and let dreams take flight.

You will explore the relationship between poetry and birds with close reading and discussion of a wide range of avian-inspired poems.

You’ll also be inspired to write new work, gaining constructive feedback in a supportive environment.

Like a lark, a nightingale, an eagle, you’ll have the chance to test your wings and free your creative aspirations.

Recommended reading: ‘The Poetry of Birds’, edited by Tim Dee & Simon Armitage.

Beginners welcome.

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WILD WRITING, 6 week course: 9 Jan – 20 Feb 2018, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Is your language too tame? Do your ideas need to be set free? Why don’t you liberate them and let them prowl across the page? This rule-breaking creative writing course will encourage you to explore the untamed borders of your desires and fears, to express your inner voice, to release the long-smothered cry of your wilderness. You’ll be supported in a friendly, safe environment to explore beyond comfort zones and tune into language that can electrify, stun and move. All you need is pen and paper and a  to be wild! Beginners welcome.

3)  ADVANCED POETRY        10am-4pm, Saturday 20 May 2017

This one-day workshop is for those who are already writing poetry.

We explore the poet’s art and craft, examining how poetic form and language work together to make a successful poem. Creative exercises will prompt you to produce your own work in a supportive environment.

If you would like to have previous work critiqued, please bring 10 copies of your poem (40 line limit).

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WRITING OURSELVES: A one-day Creative Writing Workshop for Beginners / Returners

You may have a great desire to write but don’t know how or where to start; or you may simply want to explore your creativity through writing. In this ONE DAY workshop, we play with our imagination and dreams. We challenge our fears – of the blank page, of feeling foolish, of failure. We charm our inner critic, giving ourselves permission to write with courage and trust so we can persist with creative enchantment into our so-called real lives.

10am – 4pm, Saturday 29 April  and 2 December 2017; 21 April 2018

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 Reading and Writing Nature Poetry

This one-day Nature Poetry workshop is a chance to contemplate both our rich tradition of nature poetry and contemporary voices of ecopoetry. We explore poetry’s art and craft through creative exercises that will deepen your own experience of nature. This will help develop your natural poetic voice through constructive individual feedback in a supportive environment.

Saturday 25 March 2017, 10am – 4pm

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At First Steps Women’s Centre, Dungannon:

CREATIVE WRITING

Two six week daytime courses:

  • 12:30 to 2:30pm, from Wednesday 18 January to 1 March 2017 (mid-term break 15 February)
  • 09:45-11:45am, Wednesday 8 Nov – 13 Dec 2017.

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THE MARKETPLACE THEATRE AND ARTS CENTRE, Armagh:

THE MARKETPLACE THEATRE AND ARTS CENTRE, Armagh:

Creative Writing: Fiction & Non-Fiction

Thurs 17 Jan – Thurs 21 Feb [6 Weeks] | 7.00pm – 9.00pm | £65.00 | £60.00 [conc]

Join Mary Montague poet, fiction writer and essayist for a six-week creative writing course aimed at developing your creative writing skills and techniques. Looking at both fiction and non-fiction, this course explores how to bring ideas and images to life. We examine ways of energising and structuring written language, as well as how to develop character and plot. We also discuss how to avoid problems and pitfalls. Through supportive and constructive feedback, you will learn ways to draft and craft to make your own writing captivating.

Mary Montague has authored two highly-praised collections of poetry and her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals.

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Creative Writing: Fiction & Non-Fiction

Thurs 17 Jan – Thurs 21 Feb [6 Weeks] | 7.00pm – 9.00pm | £65.00 | £60.00 [conc]

Join Mary Montague poet, fiction writer and essayist for a six-week creative writing course aimed at developing your creative writing skills and techniques. Looking at both fiction and non-fiction, this course explores how to bring ideas and images to life. We examine ways of energising and structuring written language, as well as how to develop character and plot. We also discuss how to avoid problems and pitfalls. Through supportive and constructive feedback, you will learn ways to draft and craft to make your own writing captivating.

Mary Montague has authored two highly-praised collections of poetry and her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals.

Max No. 12

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Sat 27 Oct 2018 | 10.00am – 4.00pm | £18.00 & £14.00 [conc]

Autumn is a season of harvest and drawing down of the light; of bounty and quiet reflection; a good time to engage with your inner wisdom and creativity through writing. In poetry and prose, through fiction and non-fiction, this one-day workshop
explores ways to claim your voice and enjoy your gifts. You’ll be encouraged to produce your own work and receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment. Beginners and emergent writers equally welcome.

Mary Montague is a poet, fiction writer and essayist. She has authored two highly-praised collections of poetry and her work
has been published in numerous anthologies and journals.

Max No: 12

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10am-4pm, Saturday 5 May 2018, MarketPlace Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh. £18.00 & £14.00 [conc]

This rule-breaking one-day creative writing workshop encourages you to explore the untamed borders of your desires and fears. You will have the chance to express your inner voice and release the longsmothered cry of your wilderness. You’ll be supported in a friendly, safe environment to explore beyond comfort zones, liberate your language and free your ideas. To start prowling across the page, all you need is pen and paper, and a willingness to be wild! Beginners welcome.

***

  • Reading and Writing Nature Poetry, One-day workshop. 10am-4pm, 18 Nov 2017

This one-day Nature Poetry workshop is a chance to contemplate both our rich tradition of nature poetry and contemporary voices of ecopoetry. We explore poetry’s art and craft through creative exercises that will deepen your own experience of nature. This will help develop your natural poetic voice through constructive individual feedback in a supportive environment.

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CREATIVE WRITING (Thursday evenings, 7- 9pm)

  • 25 Jan – 1 March 2018
  • 5 October – 9 November, 2017
  • 26 Jan – 2 March 2017
  • 13 Oct – 17 Nov 2016

This six-week Creative Writing course is for those who want to develop their creative writing skills. Looking at both fiction and non-fiction, we explore how to bring ideas and images to life. We examine ways of energising and structuring written language and how to develop character and plot. We also discuss how to avoid problems and pitfalls. Through supportive and constructive feedback, you will learn the ways of drafting and crafting to make your own writing captivating.

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  •  WRITING OURSELVES. One-day workshop: 8 October 2016; 21 January 2017; 10am-4pm

You may have a great desire to write but don’t know how or where to start; or you may simply want to explore your creativity through writing. In this ONE DAY workshop, we play with our imagination and dreams. We challenge our fears – of the blank page, of feeling foolish, of failure. We charm our inner critic, giving ourselves permission to write with courage and trust so we can persist with creative enchantment into our so-called real lives.

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  •  ADVANCED POETRY. One-day workshop. 3 Dec 2016, 10am – 4pm
    This one-day workshop is for those who are already writing poetry. We explore the poet’s art and craft, examining how poetic form and language work together to make a successful poem. These discussions and other stimulating activities and creative exercises will be used to prompt you to produce your own work in a supportive environment.

You may also wish to have previous work critiqued during the workshop.

For this opportunity, please register promptly so that you may send your poem (40 line limit) as an attachment to marymontague.writer@gmail.com by 25 Nov 2016.

SAT 3 DEC 2016 | 10.00AM – 4.00PM |

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SAT 6 FEB 2016| 10.00AM – 4.00PM | £16.00 & £14.00 [CONC]

Whether you’re already writing poetry or would like to start, this one-day Poetry Writing Workshop is a chance to explore its art and craft. We will explore what makes a successful poem through close reading of a range of poems. These discussions and other stimulating activities and creative exercises will be used to prompt you to produce your own work and give you the opportunity to get constructive individual feedback in a supportive environment.

Max No: 12 | Tutor: Mary Montague

***

Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced writer, this four-week Creative Writing course will help you get your brilliant ideas out of your head and onto the page [or screen!]. We explore how to mine memory and imagination for plot and character, how to energise and structure written language, and how to avoid problems and pitfalls. Through constructive individual feedback in a supportive environment, you will learn the ways of drafting and crafting that make captivating writing.

THURS 18 FEB – THURS 10 MARCH 2016 [4 WEEKS] | 7.00PM – 9.00PM | £45.00 & £40.00 [CONC]

Max No. 12 | Tutor: Mary Montague

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STRANMILLIS COLLEGE, LIFELONG LEARNING, Belfast

  1. WILD WRITING           A six-week course

img_0018
Is your language too tame? Do your ideas need to be set free? Why don’t you liberate them and let them prowl across the page? This rule-breaking creative writing course will encourage you to explore the untamed borders of your desires and fears, to express your inner voice, to release the long-smothered cry of your wilderness. You’ll be supported in a friendly, safe environment to explore beyond comfort zones and tune into language that can electrify, stun and move. All you need is pen and paper and a  to be wild! Beginners welcome.

Tutor: Dr Mary Montague, PhD PGCE
27 April 2017 – 01 June 2017
Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Duration: 6 Weeks
Cost: £52.00
Location: Central
Code: LIT216

Recommended Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

2) WRITING POETRY

Whether you’re already writing poetry or would like to start, this four-week Poetry Writing course is a chance to explore its art and craft. We will explore what makes a successful poem through close reading of a range of poems. These discussions and other stimulating activities and creative exercises will be used to prompt you to produce your own work and give you the opportunity to get constructive individual feedback in a supportive environment.

Recommended Reading: Staying Alive: real poems for unreal times, by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe)

10.00am – 12.00noon, Wednesday, 4 weeks
16th November – 7th December 2016

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3) FIRST STEPS IN CREATIVE WRITING  

Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced writer, this six-week Creative Writing course will help you get your brilliant ideas out of your head and on to the page. We start by looking at how to overcome the fear of the blank page. We explore how to energise and structure written language.

We look at form and how to develop character and plot. We also discuss how to avoid problems and pitfalls. Through constructive individual feedback in a supportive environment, you will learn the ways of drafting and crafting that will make your own writing captivating.

10.00am – 12.00noon, Wed, 6 weeks.

5 October – 9 November 2016.

Recommended Reading: The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story, edited by Anne Enright, (Granta Books 2011)

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4) Signs and Wonders: Reading and Writing the Poetry of Birds

Flitting through our minds, settling in our imagination, in omens and augury, birds have been part of human artistic expression from ancient times. Poetry provides a natural environment for a diverse and expanding community of species that appear as symbols and metaphors, sing of belonging and yearning, and let our dreams take flight. This course explores the relationship between poetry and birds with close reading and discussion of a wide range of classic and contemporary poems. There will also be the opportunity to produce and gain feedback of your own work written out of observation and listening exercises. Beginners welcome.

10.00am – 12.00noon, Monday, 6 weeks.

11th April – 23rd May 2016. No class Monday, 2nd June

Recommended reading: The Poetry of Birds, Simon Armitage and Tim Dee, Penguin

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WRITERS IN SCHOOLS

Poetry Ireland WIS Author Week Reading and workshop in the Model School, Belfast, 25 Oct 2016