Writers set to brave the high seas

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A CULLERCOATS fisherman is preparing for his strangest ‘cargo’ next month – a whole clutch of poets

The poets from throughout the country will be heading out to sea as part of the IRON AGE Festival in John Stock’s small boat Laura June 11.

The object is for the authors to pen some sea haiku – small three line poems which originated in Japan.

To help them create the poems, the day after their sea trip, the authors will take part in a special workshop run by David Cobb, accomplished haiku poet and founder of the British Haiku Society.

The two-hour workshop will be held in Bills’ Fish Restaurant on Cullercoats seafront after which the participants will tuck into a fish and chips dinner.

A maximum of 18 writers are due to take part in three separate sea trips.

John said: “Let’s hope for fine weather. It should prove an unusual experience for the poets.”

Participants are urged to wear warm waterproof clothing and arrange their own insurance. Most booked so far are female.

This is just one of many unusual events taking place in the festival from May 15 to 19 in Cullercoats as IRON Press celebrates 40 years of publishing new writing from the region, rest of the country and abroad.

Among the authors taking part are Melvyn Bragg, Ian McMillan, Kate Fox and David Almond, who launches a new book of IRON Press stories on the Saturday

Many of the area’s leading musicians are also involved.

For bookings and more on the festival call (0191) 251 6009 or visit www.ironpress.co.uk