Posted by: robbedlyric | September 23, 2012

Intern Interview with Abi Walton

Name: Abi Walton

Specialisation: Contemporary Literature Programme & Events

Education: B.A. (Hons.) English Lit., Sheffield University

How did you find out about the internship? What made you decide to apply?

My best friend from university, her sister was an intern here about two years ago. I visited whilst she was here and thought that it was an incredibly fun place. I had also heard about the contemporary literature programme here being very well respected.

Was the interview and application process easy?

I loved my interview! I felt that the two day interview process was really useful; it really helped to be able to spend time in Town End and Grasmere. The meal seems daunting at first but it was a real opportunity to be able to talk to members of staff and last year’s interns about what the internship would be like and what they were going on to do. Plus we went down to the pub and got a sense of what was available in the village.

What made you decide to focus on the Contemporary Literature program as your special project?

I had come from a Literature background rather that history or museum studies and throughout my degree had focussed on modern and contemporary poetry and really enjoyed that so focusing on the Literature program gave me the opportunity to continue with that, attending workshops with great poets and developing my own writing. Plus Carola Luther (the Trust’s poet-in-residence) is amazing! She really helps me with my writing.

What sort of projects have you been involved with so far? Tell us more about your day to day work.

The Dorothy Wordsworth Women’s Poetry Festival was wonderful. I had the chance to meet magazine editors, international poets and of course the three laureates. I’ve also been involved with a lot of the admin for the Michael Marks Poetry Awards. I mean there is a lot of administrative work involved with what I do but in return you get to do amazing stuff like go to the award ceremony in London and it’s such a well regarded competition, the judges this year are Alan Jenkins, Carola Luther and Tanya Kirke. Getting to work with people like that is fantastic. I’ve also been involved with the CLORE projects, working with gifted and talented secondary school and 6th form students in poetry workshops.

Do you think the Wordsworth Trust is a good place to train in this sort of Events and Literature management work?

Yes, I do. There are so many opportunities that are available nowhere else and in a place where we are so well looked after. The range of events and audiences are so diverse. You have readings, festivals, workshops, all sorts of things and to be able to live and work in such a beautiful setting!

What are the positives of the internship as a whole? Any negatives?

Positives? Well I have so many new friends and it’s been great to be involved with the local community as well. I’m in the Grasmere Players summer production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’. And we get to have amazing adventures, like wild swimming in the Lake!

What do you hope to go on to achieve after this year is over?

Difficult question!! I like to keep on working in the arts, perhaps in literature development or even fundraising as I have previous background in that area. I’d love to continue writing poetry, perhaps even get published!

What has been the biggest highlight of your internship so far?

The Persian Poets Tour with Poetry Translate. It was a privilege to hear the poetry being read out in the poet’s native language and to have the translations alongside.

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