Introducing a specialist counselling service for writers and artists

The Leaping Word is delighted to announce a specialist counselling service for writers and artists, delivered by our own Colin Brown.

This service is primarily intended for those engaging with personal experience through their work. Counselling support can be sought in relation to specific issues that are being explored, or the feelings engendered by such exploration. Or maybe you are struggling with issues of privacy – both yours and that of people who feature in your work. Perhaps you need to consider how to exercise self-care whilst turning your experiences into art.

And of course, Colin also offers more general counselling for anyone who seeks it, regardless of how they express their creativity. His areas of special interest include bereavement, domestic abuse, emotional regulation, estrangement, anxiety, identity issues, long-term health conditions, loss and grief, low self-esteem, narcissistic abuse, relationships, suicidal thoughts, trauma, victims of crime, and work and career issues.

For more details, please see Colin’s counselling website, Longships Counselling.



A Plague on Plagiarism

Magpie

I don’t understand why a poet would plagiarise another poet’s work. It goes so deeply against the reasons why people are drawn to poetry, both as readers and writers. It’s a betrayal of another and it’s a betrayal of self. It’s sad and it’s despicable. I suppose in the poetry community it’s just about the worse thing you can do. The financial rewards of writing poetry are not huge, certainly not worth risking one’s reputation for, because poets exposed as plagiarists pretty much become persona non grata to other poets. It’s worse than being a drugs cheat in athletics. You would have to be really lost to do it.

One of the worst ways in which plagiarism takes place, because of the intimacy and the direct betrayal of trust, is when a poet steals a fellow poet’s work in a poetry writing group or workshop, and even more so if it is the workshop leader actually doing the stealing! Real poets don’t magpie.

I run poetry writing groups in Bristol. Amongst the ground rules, discussed from time to time and always when a new person comes into the group, are the importance of confidentiality and the absolute prohibition against ripping off the work of fellow group members. Happily, plagiarism’s never been a problem for our groups.

Sadly, I’ve recently heard of a number of instances where plagiarism has taken place in poetry workshops, which is what prompts me to write this.

I would advise anyone attending a poetry workshop to raise the issue at the start of the workshop by reminding the group about the importance of respect, confidentiality and the prohibition against plagiarism, which includes nicking a line and altering it just a little bit. It might not stop a determined plagiarist but hopefully it will give them pause to consider what they’re doing.

And if anyone tells you it’s not plagiarism if the line concerned hasn’t been published, they are wrong and it is.

Be safe out there!

 

Bob Dylan brings it all back home … almost

Bob Dylan

The celebrated American photographer Barry Feinstein’s famous photograph of Bob Dylan standing on the jetty at Aust in May 1966, along with a visit to the same spot earlier this year, was the inspiration for our Deb to write a poem about this small moment in rock history, and the subsequent changes to this spot in the intervening years.

‘Bob Dylan waits for the ferry at Aust’ was the result, and the Leaping Word is delighted to announce that it has just been awarded fourth place in the 2019 Welsh Poetry Competition.

Congratulations to the writers of the winning poems, and all those on the short-list or with special mentions.