Happy Autumn to all! A lot has been going on here at the Trust since our last 2023 update, and as Winter is fast approaching, we look back at our activities and events which took place from May to now.
In May, we welcomed poet Sue Wallace-Shaddad to host a digital poetry reading session. This marked the publication of Sue’s new poetry and art book titled, Sleeping Under Clouds, which was published earlier this year. Embarking on a journey of kinship, nature and survival, the book explores these themes through poetry and images of displaced people and children, and was made in collaboration with Sula Rubens. Sue’s fantastic session also revisited her pamphlet about people, language, customs and culture in Khartoum, Sudan, called A City Waking Up.
We were able to run this session for free – thank you to all who donated.
We announced the winners of the 2023 Charles Causley Trust Young People’s Poetry Competition! Well done and congratulations to all our fantastic young poets. Read more about our winners and their eloquent, creative, and emotive poetry here.
We couldn’t write a 6 month look back and not include our very own Commemorative Festival Weekend! Continuing our ambitions of supporting writers, artists, and creatives alike, we held a range of exciting events dedicated to Charles Causley and his legacy.
Our weekend kicked off with a day to explore Charles as an artistic inspiration. With complimentary drinks at the reception of Foyer Bar, visitors head to the Southgate Arch to ask artists Jill Swarbrick-Banks, June Forster and Wayne Summers about how Causley’s work has inspired them and their own creative practice.
Heading into the evening, we held talks by the Trust’s Director, Nicola Nuttall, as well as an interview with Mother’s Boy author and Sunday Times bestselling writer Patrick Gale, an artistic unveiling of work by fine artist Jill Swarbrick-Banks, a musical performance from composer Arlo Anwin and a panel discussion chaired by Patrick Gale, featuring Caroline Walter from the University of Exeter Special Collections, and writers David Devanny, Rachel Piercey and Anthony Vahni Capildeo. The events not only explored Causley’s creative journey, but how he continues to inspire a range of creatives and their practice today.
On the Saturday, attendees could see more of beautiful Launceston with an English Heritage Tour of Launceston Castle. The community came together to deliver creative drop-ins at Country Chic, and a bustling town centre saw live performances from Launceston Town Band and Pop Choir, and Charles’ home was available to tour, memorialising his legacy and poetry in physical form.
We also heard live reading of Charles’ poetry, got a sneak peek of his poetry archives, learned how to write and read spoken poetry in a workshop, and had the pleasure of attending creative drop-ins with Anthony Capildeo, Caroline Walters, Peter Ursem, and Sophie Pierce. For our younger creatives, we held a children’s art workshop, Lego Club, and arts and crafts.
Heading out and about, we took our imagination outside on a drawing walk with Karen Howse, tried our hand at being a Town Crier, and saw our surroundings in a new light during a town walk with Councillor Rob Tremain.
We look forward to next year!
In August, our International Poetry Competition winner Vera Yuen did some reflecting of her own. Having attended our Commemorative Festival Weekend, in which Vera read some of her poignant poetry, our winning writer looked back on her experiences of her residency in July. Read more about Vera’s beautiful words for Launceston, the Trust, Cyprus Well, and on reading her poetry, here.
As part of #HeritageOpenDays, Cyprus Well was open to all last month. The home belonged to Charles Causley where he lived for 50 years, and we invited you to step into his world.
The building has now been fully restored and refurbished to modern standards, after a long campaign of planning, fund-raising and organising by the Causley Trust. It is mainly used for the Trust’s residency and project activities.
Whether you’re planning a weekend away or missed your visit in September, you can book your stay at Cyprus Well by getting in touch: email@example.com.
The work we do could not be possible without the support of our funders, members, volunteers and all of those who donate to us at our events. The last six months have been difficult for the Trust – we’re still finding our feet with funding, and our endeavours to provide fun, engaging and creative ways for eager poets and lovers of literature to engage with arts and culture have faced financial barriers.
Our ambitions, however, remain the same: we hope to continue to support artists, writers and creatives in and around Launceston and more broadly, while also developing opportunities for young people to get involved with arts, culture, heritage and literature. In doing so, the legacy of Charles Causley will take on new meanings for you creatives out there – and his work can be celebrated for many years to come.
Find out how you can support the Trust here.
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