Hello and welcome to the new Arts Council England
funded project from Offa’s Press

If you’ve attended any of the workshops Offa’s Press has run over the years at Pant or The Stiperstones, you’ll know we’re passionate about the beautiful countryside we have here in the West Midlands. Humans have a long, complex history of living and working in the countryside – sometimes to its benefit, sometimes to its detriment.

In the Sticks Virtual Poetry Workshop

Poets have been inspired by the human impact on nature (and vice versa!) for centuries, and we want to explore this relationship further with the In the Sticks project. 

Poets have been inspired by the human impact on nature (and vice versa!) for centuries, and we want to explore this relationship further in this project.

From June 2020, we were planning to run workshops all over the West Midlands, focusing on different aspects of how people interact with the countryside around them. However, as we’re in a very strange time of lockdown and social distancing, it’s not possible to run in-person workshops right now, so we’re inviting you to take part in our virtual workshops (links below).

We’ve compiled a host of resources for you to learn all about the areas we’re focusing on – and even to visit yourself, if you like! 

Alternatively, you can take a tour from the comfort of your armchair. Take a look through our notes, photographs, and walking guides to get a feel for the areas. Read our recommended poems to consider the impact of human activity on the countryside, and finally, work through our writing exercises to get those creative juices flowing.

At the end of the In the Sticks project we’re aiming to create an anthology which represents the reality of life ‘In the Sticks’, and we want to include plenty of poems written in response to our workshops. 

We’ll let you know on the website and social media when we’re able to hold face-to-face workshops again. In the meantime, take a look through our workshops, and polish those poems up for when we open our submission window!

Spring Writing Workshop

Celebrating Spring

The Spring workshop looks at changes in the landscape as winter eases and the weather starts to warm up. 

Fallen-oak-tree-countryside-winter

Countryside in Winter

For our latest exercise we’re thinking about activity which happens all over our rural areas during winter.

Brindley Heath View Cannock Chase

Cannock Chase

Take a tour of Brindley Village and consider how people and the countryside they live in impact each other.

in the sticks - Forest Road

Wyre Forest

How has the history of forestry activities in the Wyre Forest shaped the ecosystem of the forest we see today?