Poet in Residence, Hannah Cooper-Smithson, will release a new video and writing challenge every week in June.

Creswell Crags, near Worksop, is best known for its prehistoric archaeology and caves, but it is also a source of creative inspiration: from Ice Age cave art to modern day writers. Now you can take part in a writing workshop inspired by Creswell Crags from home.

Hannah Cooper-Smithson, who is working towards her PhD at Nottingham Trent University, has been the first ever Poet in Residence at Creswell Crags since January. She had hoped to run a series of workshops at the site, which would have included writing in its famous caves. However, Creswell Crags closed due to COVID-19 precautions on 17 March. However, Hannah still wanted to run the workshops, and has been hard at work designing an online version.

Hannah Cooper-Smithson, Poet in Residence

Hannah says, “I’m delighted to be able to launch this series of workshops inspired by my time spent at Creswell Crags as Poet in Residence. I adapted these sessions from workshops I’d planned to deliver at the Crags, so that they can be available to you at home. Hopefully I’ve managed to capture the spirit of the Crags, so that you can be inspired by the combination of nature and heritage that makes the Crags so unique, and so special. I’ve designed the programme so that it can be completed from home, and you don’t need any previous experience of writing poetry. If you’ve ever wanted to take a poetry class, or if you’ve been writing poetry for years and are looking for some new inspiration, please get involved!”

The series of four workshops will be launched on 1st June. Creswell Crags, which is run by a registered charity, recently warned that it is in danger of not re-opening due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 closure and loss of visitor income. Hannah is not charging for the workshops, but asks for a suggested donation of £5 to Creswell Crags via their JustGiving page and hopes that this will make a difference to the prospects of a site that means so much to so many people.

Creswell Crags

Rebecca Morris-Buck, Communications and Programmes Manager at Creswell Crags said: “It’s been a delight having Hannah in residence with us since January. She’s become a member of our team and we’ll miss her when her residency is over. It’s a real shame that she couldn’t run her workshops in person, but we’re excited to be able to offer them online. Hannah is particularly keen to stress that poetry – and nature poetry especially – should be accessible to everyone, no matter whether you think of yourself as a poet or not. And that’s what we love about Creswell Crags: it has the power to move and inspire people from all walks of life. It’s also brilliant that Hannah is doing this to help us raise money, which is so important to our future prospects. We hope lots of people will participate in, and really enjoy, the workshops.”

Access the online workshops and see the introductory video here. The first workshop will go live on 1st June.

Donate to Creswell Crags here.