A NEW poetry collaboration begins in the new year in Ilkley.

Local poetry enthusiast John Forster will begin teaching a new course at Ilkley Playhouse.

Poetry and The Novel is a venture which allows participants to read and discuss poems which are inspired by two pairs of novels.

John has a wealth of educational experience. He is a former Head of English at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield and went on to be Headmaster at Salt Grammar School and King James’s School Knaresborough.

John has worked as an OFSTED Inspector, a university examiner, and for some years sat on the advisory panel to Yorkshire Television. He’s passionate about poetry, and about encouraging others to extend their interest in the written word.

John currently runs courses on the novel and poetry in Harrogate and Knaresborough, and is delighted to bring is love of language to Ilkley.

His name also may be familiar to some for his other love, tennis. He is a past president of the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association and deputy chairman at Harrogate District Hospital.

A spokesperson for Ilkley Playhouse said: “Ilkley Playhouse are excited to be the venue for this creative venture. The 10-week course starts with looking at poems inspired by two pairs of novels, History of Mr. Polly and Howards End; then Sons and Lovers and Portrait of the Artist. There will also be opportunity for course members to read poems of their own choice, related to the ideas in the books. It’s not essential to have read these books, although it may help! There’ll be room for discussion about poetry and the novels, and the chance to learn about the lives of the authors and the social issues that were important at the time.”

The course starts on Thursday, January 24, 2019 and will be held in the Sheridan Suite at Ilkley Playhouse from 10.30am until 12 noon.

For more information please visit go online to www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or call Ilkley Playhouse on 01943 609539.