WS (Sydney) Graham at his cottage in Madron after completing a poem for Andrew Lanyon

Image: photograph circa 1968 © Andrew Lanyon


A Cornish Review

Saturday 19 May, Sunday 20 May

Over two days, Master’s students from the Writing Programme at the Royal College of Art in London will convene a series of workshops and events at diverse locations in Helston and surrounding areas, to explore the relationship between writing and a set of wide-ranging themes: language, poetry, landscape, site, geography, choreography, movement, the body, health and wellbeing, and local cultural and industrial histories. The title of the programme is in part drawn from Denys Val Baker’s influential literary magazine, The Cornish Review (1949-59 and 1966-74), which highlighted the critical and creative activity of those living and working in the area. RCA Writing has invited practitioners from across Cornwall (and beyond) to co-lead the workshops, including Simon Bayliss, Katrina Brown, Abigail Reynolds and Steven Polglase.

Workshops are free and open to all, though spaces are limited – see below for booking information.

The programme will include an event led by poet Sam Buchan-Watts on the evening of Saturday 19 May, at which he will discuss his experience of critical research into the poetry of WS Graham, whose work was often written in explicit dialogue with the St Ives painters and associates: Bryan Wynter, Peter Lanyon, Karl Weschke, Sven Berlin, Alfred Wallis and others. Sam Buchan-Watts is the editor of a centenary publication, TRY TO BE BETTER, which will include artworks and new writing in response to the ‘prompts’ Graham used in his own work. The book will be published in November to coincide with the centenary of WS Graham’s birth.

The programme A Cornish Review will culminate in a final evening of readings, screenings and performances at the Epworth Hall in Coinagehall Street, Helston, convened and led by the Royal College of Art students and featuring guests from the workshops.


Saturday 19 May

10am – 1pm: Abigail Reynolds and Simon Bayliss lead two separate workshops around ideas of writing and landscape. Meet at CAST, 3 Penrose Road, Helston, TR13 8TP.

2 – 5pm: Lucy Stein, Ilker Cinarel and Rupert White lead a workshop about spell-writing, trances, folk culture and ritual. Meet at St Buryan Village Hall, Lands End Road, St Buryan, TR19 6ES.

7 – 9pm: Presentation by prize-winning Faber poet Sam Buchan-Watts about the work of the poet WS Graham and the publication that will be published later this year on the centenary of Graham’s birth. CAST Café, Helston.

Before the event CAST Café will offer a simple supper from 6pm, something hot and something sweet, from £7 for two courses.

Sunday 20 May

10am – 5pm: Full day workshop with RCA Writing, mining historian Steven Polglase and dancer Katrina Brown, looking at the relationships between local mining history, bodily movements, writing and choreography. Meet at CAST, Helston. There will be a break for lunch from 1pm to 2pm, following which the workshop will reconvene at The Andrew Hall, Church Street, Helston, TR13 8NJ.

CAST Café will offer an ‘indoor picnic’ lunch from 1pm, at £8 to £9 per person.

7 – 10pm: Closing event.
Epworth Hall, 42 Coinage Street, Helston, TR13 8EQ.


For more information, and to book free places on the workshops, visit

Please direct any enquiries to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @a_cornishreview

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