Gary Studley – Poet in Residence

Hastings boy, Deal resident & ex Canterbury Laureate Squadder, Gary Studley, taught pupils (aged 4 -18) for 25 years with specialisms in Early Years, PSHE, art & literacy. He won UKC’s TS Eliot Prize & is often placed in Canterbury Festival’s Poet of the Year Competition. In 2019 Gary will be a judge for the competition, which regularly has 400+ international entries.

A writer of poetry & prose, he has been Poet in Residence at Canterbury’s Roman Museum, Margate’s Dreamland & will be PIR & workshop leader of Westgate Literary Festival, 2019.

For the past three years Gary has run creative writing courses for new or experienced poets & prose writers at Beach Creative CIC, with safe sharing & good well being for participants.

In addition, Gary tutored vulnerable young adults in Margate Bookie’s Poetry Journey; facilitates workshops for ex-detainees alongside Kent Refugee Help & teaches children art.

Co-founder of SoundLines’ Poets, he designed their eponymous anthology & illustrates many publications, including SaveAs Writers’ Between The Lines and The Bigger Picture; & his own poetry collection, There Is Another Way.

Gary runs 3 Dead Hoarse Writers groups for prose & poetry enthusiasts in Deal & Margate.

Compering three monthly live-lit nights in Herne Bay, Canterbury & beyond, Gary has also performed or led workshops at Lumen; Hop Fest Fringe; Sandwich Arts’ Week; Canterbury Festival; Broadstairs Folk Week; Wise Words; Folkestone Tri; Whit Lit & Margate Soul Festival.

 In 2018, he created & led two, week-long creative arts events, Dead Hoarse! Festival (Margate)& The Cruellest Month Festival (Herne Bay), the latter being part of The Turner Contemporary’s, Journey Through The Waste Land, inc art, workshops & performances.

 In 2017/18 Gary was Community Playwright for The Marlowe Theatre & his WW1 themed play, Poem, recently debuted as part of the theatre’s Return of The Unknown project.

In 2019 Gary’s poemplay, There Are Worse things, explored The Royal Marines’ Band bombing of 1989, as part of The Marlowe’s (Arts Council funded) How Time Marches On.

In 2018/19 he acts as a volunteer mentor for Arts Emergency & Arts Education Exchange, working on career advice & youth in the community art projects in East Kent.

In 2019 Gary is working with English Heritage on creative arts projects with schools in East Kent, including Myths&Legends at Deal Castle (7-11)& Photography at Walmer Castle(16+).

Currently Gary promotes good mental health through creativity via his Writing For Life service, working independently and through Aspirations (Canterbury) & The Activity Box (Herne Bay) with clients from Porchlight, Shaw Trust, Suicide Prevention & Ageless Thanet.


Gary, along with his Poet in Residence activities will be running three workshops:

Hot Penny Joy! – Writing Workshop

By way of an eclectic mix of prompts, decide whether you wish to sidle into writing gently or jump straight in with abandon. Writing times will increase as the session progresses, with an opportunity to voluntarily share your creations in a friendly & supportive atmosphere. Light, on the spot, constructive peer feedback will also be available if desired by the group. This very accessible & fun workshop is suitable for both new or experienced writers of poetry or prose & provides ideas for future writing.

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Block & Tackle – Writing Workshop

Every one of has a unique starting point in life, yet we undergo mutual experiences & restraints. By responding to prompts & exercises around some of life’s building blocks – family, education, work & play – participants can explore their origins ; tap into how they got to be who they are; what – if anything – they would do differently; or if preferable, simply go off on flights of fancy. As serious or entertaining as individuals make it, this person-centric workshop regularly provides starting points for what become more involved, intimate work. Suitable for new or experienced writers of poetry or prose.

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Cannibal Bounce – Writing Workshop

A truly organic & collaborative writing experience. Starting with the written word of other writers &/or found objects, we will respond individually to each. When willing participants then voluntarily share their work, the group will note down a few words, phrases or ideas that we love/appreciate & these bones will become the start of our new writing skeleton. Everyone’s interests & reactions will be unique, but as the session progresses, strange fusions take place. We will thus create pieces which may well go on to being fully fleshed out at a later date, but which would not exist without the ingredients of other group members. Our words will have given someone else new life. Suitable for novice or experienced poets or prose writers.

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