Priory Post 15 – The Pen and the Scalpel

Posted: 19th August 2015

Mich. 14

The Pen and the Scalpel

On Friday 19th September, our three AS Creative Writing Students went to the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons for a creative writing workshop. The scheme is run by the organisation, Poets In The City, and involves leading writers going to unusual settings to deliver workshops.  Mario Petrucci, award winning poet, took the workshop that enabled students to see archive material from the diaries of grave robbers to the technical drawings made by surgeons who pioneered facial reconstruction during WWI. The museum itself also provided remarkable and startling material for the creative spark. The girls had a productive and enjoyable afternoon and moved further forwards in the writing of their portfolios.

The students are here pictured in front of a statue of John Hunter, the eminent surgeon and archivist, from whom the museum takes its name.


Alexia Kirov, Lower VI, here gives her thoughts on the day:

‘Last Friday we, the AS Creative Writing students, spent the afternoon at the ‘Pen and Scalpel’ free-writing workshop at the library of the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons which was led by poet Mario Petrucci. Before the session began we looked at a number of exhibits, including the skeleton of the ‘Irish Giant’ and the various preserved specimens the museum holds. We then used some of the archived materials as a stimulus and inspiration for our creative work, such as the diary of a bodysnatcher and rather moving images of the pioneering work of reconstructive surgery on war victims.

We really benefitted from the insight, advice and guidance of a professional poet and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We learned a great deal about the creative process and it was very interesting to see the exhibits as they helped trigger ideas that can be continually developed and which we might not have had in the classroom. We would all like to thank both Mario for the workshop and Mr Elder for organising the trip.’



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