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Poetry, History and the Tales of Newstead Abbey

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Course Information

Newstead Abbey

Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm, two weeks

Indicative maximum class size: 15

Join us for a writing tour of Newstead Abbey, the jewel in the crown of Nottinghamshire, and former home of the internationally renowned poet George Gordon, Lord Byron.

Guided by Newstead’s second Poet-in-Residence, Becky Cullen, you’ll have the unique opportunity to use the history, house and grounds of the Abbey as inspiration for your writing. 

Course Code


Course Dates

10th March 2018 – 17th March 2018

Course Fee

Course Description

Byron inspires fun, excitement and adventure, as well as beautiful writing.

But there are also 800 years of history and artefacts to inspire you. This course is your chance to explore a new way of writing creatively and a new source of inspiration.

On this course you will:

  • use history and examples of poetry and prose as a frame for practical exercises
  • develop your skills in writing from history, using the past as inspiration for writing now
  • go on a celebratory reading tour where you share your work next to the part of the house which inspired it
  • gain confidence in giving and receiving feedback.

No experience of writing or studying Byron is necessary. It’s more important that you to want to write, so enthusiastic amateurs as well as experienced writers are welcome. The course is also good for anyone regularly writing non-fiction who needs to free up their creative thinking, or for amateur historians who wish to learn more about Newstead through writing.

What will I gain?

By the end of the course you’ll have developed prose and poems for possible publication. You might also be inspired to pursue further writing courses.

Tutor profile: Becky Cullen is a poet and AHRC-Midlands3Cities funded researcher at Nottingham Trent University. Her thesis explores how poetry breaks time through repetition, pace and stratification.

Becky was winner of the inaugural Midlands3Cities Cultural Engagement Award for her work leading writing projects in the community, including her time as Poet-in-Residence at Newstead Abbey. Her work has been published in journals including the prestigious PN Review. She’s also host of the Totally Wired early evening poetry series, currently in its third season.

Becky is particularly skilled in giving feedback. Her students achieve a great deal in a short time, surprising themselves with the level and range of their writing.

Becky can also sing and has a contagious laugh! And being from Nottingham she’s well placed to help participants feel at home.

Any questions? Contact the short course team:


Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2813