Falling & Fake News

Write Poetry - Monday 27th February, Richard Jefferies Museum. 

Thank you to the online resources of the Poetry Foundation for James Dickey's poem, 'Falling'.

I am hearing the word 'Fake News' everyday - but what does it mean? I decided to base tonight's session around that idea of playing with news. Here's what Wikipedia says 'Fake News' is: 

Fake news is a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation, be it via the traditional news media or via social media, with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or political.

The gain in the sessions is to be inspired by new poetries, to read more widely, and try out new ideas. There's no political or financial gain, although we have been raising money for a new library at the museum with the income from attendees. 

James Dickey's poem 'Falling' came into my mind as I prepared the session. I wondered if the news report at the beginning of his poem was real. It is real, but it has been arranged in a poetic way. This is what is on the New York Times website:

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn., Oct. 19--A 29-year-old stewardess fell 1,500 feet to her death tonight when she was swept through an emergency door that suddenly sprang open on an Allegheny Airlines plane. The craft was approaching Bradley Field here for a landing.

I had people think up a news head-line. Anything they liked, it could be from real life, their own life, or completely made up. We then read the long poem, 'Falling', by James Dickey. 


I asked the group to find the one word that sums up their headline. Michael's was extinct, Anna-May's was naked, Bethan's was Facebook. I asked them to obsess on that word and create their response to the headline. 

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