Common Room

Welcome

This is the space where we’ll host ‘Conversations’ around creativity and the Understory. These could be between members or with other commentators. And here we open with two Understory poems – perhaps in conversation with each other? Watch this space – and sign up to our Mailing List if you want email notifications – for more.

On Hugeness

For this Understory Conversation, Georgia Gildea and Charlotte compare notes on hugeness, need and containment.

An Honest Map

Hilary Menos shares a poem and chats to Charlotte about the importance of craft and remaking the world.

On ‘Baring’ the Understory

Heidi Beck chats to Sarah about one of her poems, and on working with discomfort, containment and risk.

On Seeing What’s Really There

For this conversation, Sarah invites guest poet and Poetry Business stablemate Helen Seymour in for a chat about Helen’s new collection The Underlook. They explore how humour and surrealism can help if we feel driven underground.

How Words Make it Possible

Here, Vic Pickup chats with Charlotte about how she rediscovered poetry, and found the (angry) friends she needed.

Through the Window of a Poem

In this Understory Conversation, Lorna Dowell chats with Anne Bailey. They look together at a poem Lorna chose from Anne’s new pamphlet.

Poem Exchange Part Two: ‘Corners’

Alan Buckley and Charlotte decided to frame their sample Understory Conversation as a ‘poem exchange’: they each chose a poem of the other’s to respond to. Alan chose Charlotte’s poem ‘Corners’.

Poem Exchange Part One: ‘Peaches’

Alan Buckley and Charlotte decided to frame their sample Understory Conversation as a ‘poem exchange’: they each chose a poem of the other’s to respond to. First up, Alan’s poem ‘Peaches’.

On Silence and Safety

Here, Kate Hendry shares a poem, and chats with Charlotte about the vital balance – in life and in poetry – between hiding and being seen.

Learning to Swim in Deep Water

Here’s another sample conversation between two Understory members. This time, Karen Smith chats with Charlotte about how mindfulness and writing entwine for her, and why she loves wild swimming.