PASSION FOR POETRY: Barnard Castle writer and town councillor Judi Sutherland will lead the ten-week Poetry for Pleasure course at The Witham
PASSION FOR POETRY: Barnard Castle writer and town councillor Judi Sutherland will lead the ten-week Poetry for Pleasure course at The Witham

A TEN week poetry course which will help raise funds for Barnard Castle’s arts centre begins next week.

Poetry for Pleasure is being run by town-based writer Judi Sutherland, who last year published a collection of her work titled The Ship Owner's House.

Ms Sutherland, a town councillor, is donating the course costs to the Investing in the Witham fund.

She said anyone was welcome to come along irrespective of background, including those who have never written a line of poetry.

Despite a background in the pharmaceutical industry, and the holder of a Phd in biochemistry, Ms Sutherland said she had maintained an interest in poetry.

“It’s about looking at the world and writing down what you think about it,” she said.

“Whatever your back ground, you can do it. It’s finding a way of expressing yourself.”

Ms Sutherland has led poetry courses in the past, including one at The Witham a couple of years ago.

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“I have taught everyone from a police officer and retired teachers to people who have worked in shops. They have all got things to say.”

She said one of the delights of the course was meeting an eclectic group of people.

“As you go through the course you get to know people and the things they care about,” she added.

The course will also include a section on how to read to an audience.

This could prove useful as anyone taking part in the course can also be part of Sunday Night at The Witham, a fundraising showcase of local talent, which will take place on April 14.

Poetry for Pleasure begins on Thursday, January 10, at The Witham, from 7pm to 9pm, with sessions each Thursday until March 21.

It costs £5 per session to take part.

For more details, contact The Witham box office on 01833 631107 or go to www.thewitham.org.uk.