Poet Cloning

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Seriously – poet cloning – it is a necessary experiment! I have struggled since re-launching my writing career with clashing events. It used to be two things I wanted to go to – nowadays it is double bookings and I really get a lot of negative feelings rising when I come across one.

I have missed the last two months of Stanza (and some before the last meeting I made it to back in May) due to performing at events in Birmingham. This month’s meeting was last Friday and I missed it as I was promoting Restless Bones in Birmingham. As it happens, although it is not customary for poet’s to do so, I could have gone to most of stanza, missed the last few poems and made it across the 20+ mile trip to promote the book as our set was late. I had no idea of the running order of the night or our set of 6 promoting poets before the event so couldn’t have made the decision to do both and to be honest I was mid a 4 day run of poetry events which may have turned into a run of 6 had I not fallen short on energy, so the idea of squeezing 2 events in and being barely present at either didn’t really make sense.

Next month’s Stanza was booked back in June, it is 2 days before my birthday and I have arranged to take cake! Then yesterday I discovered Word Up – which is an open mic event I regularly attend is celebrating a 2nd Birthday on the 15th AND they have Rueben Woolley, Jacqui Rowe AND Sammy Joe as headline acts AND I CAN’T GO!

Then later in the month 21st August I was already booked for a KAF Festival show and then discovered this was the evening of the Restless Bones Book Launch. Argh! There are 7 days in a week – why does everything have to fall short?

 

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Today is my first writing day in a while, I have been scribbling in my notebook over the past week when I was out on the road and have managed to get some material edited and completed. Mr G has taken this 1st week of the summer holidays off though, so I had to get up at 6AM to squeeze in writing time.

I was working on Monday still and yesterday had a private tutoring so today IS my 1st holiday! I am 2 hours in on a Things to Do List…. less than 1/3 through it.

After my busy poeting weekend I was sad to miss poetry events on Monday night and Tuesday but my energy levels are back to normal and I am going to the Theatre tonight, I know if I had gone to Shindig on Monday and Poetry Bites last night I would not make it through the show tonight nor would I have the energy to complete my submissions, next on the To Do list.

Mr G and I have managed to pack lots into the time we have had together so far and we do have the rest of this week to do more. Today my priority is not the garden, or the man, it is writing… there are deadlines…. I need to knuckle down.

My plan now is to go and write, submit and then come back later to update the blog on the wonders of the past couple of poetry days. It has been an EPIC weekend, truly and I cannot wait to share it with you.

 

Happy Writing

writing plan

 

 

 

Hanging up the bunting for ‘Poems for the Farm’…

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neenslewy:

This is where I am today. Looking forward to it.

Originally posted on Poet on the Farm :

The New Barn is all ready for tomorrow’s final event!

The New Barn at Acton ScottAndrew Fusek Peters appeared with a huge box of photographs, and I set out my poems on boards next to them to make a preview of our exhibition ‘Luck’s Weight’, inspired by the Farm.

Setting up Poems for the Farm 10 best

Setting up our Exhibition: ‘Luck’s Weight’.

Setting up Poems for the Farm 4

Setting up our Exhibition: ‘Luck’s Weight’.

Setting up Poems for the Farm 3

Setting up our Exhibition: ‘Luck’s Weight’.

The cream teas are ordered: home-made scones, and strawberry jam made from strawberries ‘scuffled’ here on the Farm by none other than Dusty the donkey with his little harrow.

And I have a long list of 20 readers, each of whom has visited the Farm, actually or virtually, and written a poem for this special place.  Over 50 people tell me they’re coming!  I’m hugely looking forward to welcoming them.

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Book Launch: The Year I Loved England By Antony Owens & Joseph Horgan

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© 2014 meco

© 2014 meco

I had a great night in Coventry last night (Thursday 17th) at the book launch of ‘The Year I Loved England’. I had been looking forward to it for some time and have seen Antony a few times reading poems from the collection, I almost pre-ordered my copy.

The venue was perfect, the night was balmy (hot), the crowd were attentive and all the poets were fabulous. I have been to a fair few book launches and this one was really an uplifting experience, or maybe that has to do with where I am at the moment, my recent post about dips and writing and all, this evening was perfect for lifting me out of that mire.

I had never been to Coventry so my adventure started before hitting the motorway. The Inspire Café was a great venue – with plenty of outside seating and a few pews inside – as well as huge Church windows. inspire

Joseph and Antony started collaborating after a twinning scheme with poets in Cork, Ireland. This book has been a 2 year project, Antony wanted us to all know it hadn’t just happened overnight. It is published by Pighog Press and is an amazing collection of thought provoking and sometimes raw, poetry. The thing that I was touched by was this, unlike many other poets who collaborate Joseph and Antony have decided not to name the poems, as you read you can only speculate if you are reading Owen or Horgan.

Another lovely touch of the evening was watching Antony’s pleasure in supporting other poets, the evening was a true celebration of talent.

© 2014 Antony Owens

© 2014 Antony Owens

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© 2014 Joseph Horgan

There were many people involved in this lovely launch and I took great pleasure watching the faces of Antony’s family members enjoying the night as well as the publisher and fellow poets and some people who hadn’t had anything to do with poetry since Junior School – as Antony said ‘Poetry for the people’.

The night started with the stage being warmed up by the talent of Adam Steiner of Silhouette Press, Mal Dewhirst who was a Stafford Poet Laureate and Janet Smith, who I had seen perform before. Each poet delivered a feast of words and I particularly enjoyed the music world Mal took us too.

Then the main event – the book launch – but not just Antony & Joseph – No – the book is about England and there are a rich mix of accents and cultures in our country – this was demonstrated by other poets performing some of the works from the collection. Personally I think there is something very special in giving your words to someone else – hearing them from another mouth and I hope Antony and Joseph enjoyed it as much as we did.

Barry Patterson, a poet from the North East, played the tin flute (an antique one, no less) and read PADDIES and THE SUBJECTS, Leanne Bridgewater read VANISH and CANDY CANE, Saleha Begum read I THINK OF ALL THE MOONS I HAVE SEEN which was a tribute to Malala Yousafzai who was shot by the Taliban for continuing her educational rights in Pakistan.

You cannot fail to be moved by this collection and if you grew up anywhere in the UK I urge you to treat yourself to a copy! Spend the whole summer reading it!

 

The Year I Loved England – in the words of others;

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***THE YEAR I LOVED ENGLAND***

The product of a highly successful collaboration, this anthology voices the experience of living in the rapidly changing urban landscape of 21st Century Britain. The poems explore changing attitudes and identities attributed to immigration, conflict, loss, unemployment.

The pages of the book loosely represent the house numbers of a street where people of different ages and different backgrounds co-exist with each other. The poems range across a timespan from an industrial Britain in the shadow of the Second World War through to the modern day.

Approximately half of all the poems have already featured in highly respected literary magazines including The Echo Room, The Stinging Fly, Abridged, The Meadowland Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Brick, Ancient Heart, Turbulence Kumquat, Poetry Nottingham International, Weary Blues, The Stony Thursday Book, The Lake, L’Allure des Mots plus many more.

PRAISE FOR THE YEAR I LOVED ENGLAND

‘Strong and moving and real. The Year I Loved England has a Jack Kerouac feel of beat beauty.’

FRED VOSS

“The objectives I wrote down whilst reading ‘The Year I Loved England’: evocative, poignant, surprising, funny, questioning and relevant. The wonderful economy of words remind me of poetry as condensed literature. Great stuff.”

HORACE PANTER (aged ska legend,)

“This poetry expresses poignantly the emotions that I at times find difficult to articulate. The words pierced my soul and brought back the images, emotions and feelings of those days in August 2011 when Britain burnt.”

TARIQ JAHAN

The Year I Loved England exemplifies the recently rediscovered tendency toward collaboration in contemporary poetic practice. For its authors’ sensibilities fuse and mesh in felicitous synergy, interweaving like helixes in which we find coded not only a most articulate rage but also a dark playfulness, white-hot anger tempered by a delicate lyric touch. In these thrilling poems –unflinchingly bleak but unfailingly alive- a city is manufactured from flames, freedom is figured in a job application and beauty resides in a two-tone urban morning. Horgan and Owen indict England for unforgivable failures both foreign and domestic while hinting at a country that might yet be. This is work marked by fury and frustration but also by a stubborn and beleaguered love.

BILLY RAMSELL

This powerful collection offers a vision of the middle of England. This is in direct contrast to the Middle England the mainstream political parties and media have made so much noise about for a generation. “My city lost its voice today,” goes a line in Coventry Street. Joseph Horgan and Antony Owen’s poems seek to regain that voice in some sense: a voice that is layered, elegiac, plural, and clear-sighted about the pain that much of this country is forced to endure while others look on.
There is much pain in these poems, and a desire to escape from that pain, “people in the sky are falling up” says the opening poem Address, which turns a midlands street into a Chagall dreamscape. “Tonight I’ll walk you home to the sky…wish upon stars of a 747” says The Dreamer of Samuel Vale House.

For all the dreams of weightlessness, though, “anchors to childhood are heavy/sometimes they drown us” explains the The Little Things Destroy Us. And so they do. And the big things too – economic catastrophe, family history, race, migration, war, the accidents of geography – as these poems show us. The childhood anchors in question come from the 1980s, the decade in which much of the West Midlands, and the rest of the country’s industrial areas, were turned to ruin. Thatcher appears once, she glides “by in a Daimler”, a car made, of course, in the Coventry she attempts to destroy. But the roots are deep, Churchill is here also, an architect of a “city made by flames”; “what will you weave for Dresden from Coventry’s stone elbows?” asks the poem Fat Man. These are voices of England aligned with the powerless on all fronts.
 

In the beautiful title poem, “…a man left the house/and returned unmade from the smokeless factory.”From Samuel Vale House today we watch, “bored kids re-open the factory/admire their work where there is none.” This loss is the anchor which drowns people in these poems, the landscape too, “hills had their backs broken” explains Ghost Town, a poem that echoes The Specials’ lament, and, with its haiku stanzas, references the Coventry Nissan plant, and a new economic world order. And yet the drowned voices are here. We hear them throughout this collection, which is one of the reasons it is important, The Dreamer of Samuel Vale House or the narrator who tells us “at the back of my house there are wild dogs” in Compline. This voice also tells us “I’ll wait for partisans”, and it is in this sense of defiance and endurance that some hint of redemption comes. “I still have hope between my teeth,” we are told in Place.
The Year I Loved England is rooted in place. The damaged terrain and the battered emotions become one, “a map of everything there’s ever been” says The Curve of Chaos. This moving collection also offers some answers to its own complex, layered question, “Where is here anyway?”, with answers that are both sensitive and vivid, in the voices of an England that it seems too many people have decided is too hard to love.

ANTHONY CARTWRIGHT.

I am now a proud owner of a signed copy, complete with Limited edition postcards featuring urban photography by Rangzeb Hussain. Who has spent some time photographing Birmingham.

The year I loved England by Joseph Horgan & Antony Owen (Pighog Press Publishing)the-year-i-loved-england

the year I loved © 2014 Rangzeb Hussain

You too can buy a copy of The Year I Loved England by following this link to the press Pighog

 

Weather, birdsong, exposing yourself: Jo Bell on the 52 project’s runaway success | Write Out Loud

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Weather, birdsong, exposing yourself: Jo Bell on the 52 project’s runaway success | Write Out Loud.

I have to share this great article by Jo Bell on Write Out Loud because 52 has been a worthy project to be involved in this year and I have created poetry beyond boundaries. The best thing about the community is the level of critique and the fact that professionals and novices meet alongside each other and I think, half a year in, due to the constant reminders from Jo, people have FINALLY stopped apologising for their poetry!

Adventures in July – Ledbury, Open Mics and Submissions

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I am aware that I haven’t been present on the blog this month – I have been very busy out in reality and have not had as much online access. I have also started to write often and that is where the time priority has to be. I love blogging, but I have to admit I haven’t made it out into the blogging community so far this year, I still want to maintain my blog and see it as an important part of the writing adventure – but now my own adventures have taken off, I need to prioritise writing time.

I have been busy doing delightful things – thought I would share them with you. Tonight I have been inspired by a book launch, but that definitely deserves a post of its own.

inspirational-speaker

Ledbury Poetry Festival started on the 4th July, I have known about this festival for decades and had never been, considering it is closer than other festivals I have attended and is POETRY based, well established and included many of my poetry friends in the programme, I had to make sure I didn’t miss it this year. Unfortunately many of the performances and workshops I fancied were on during the week and I wasn’t able to attend due to work. Ledbury PF

On Saturday the 5th I went to Shell House Gallery to watch Ruth Stacey and Carrie Etter perform their new pamphlets by Dancing Girl Press. Dancing Girl is a Chicago based press ‘Homecoming’ by Carrie Etter and ‘Fox Boy’ by Ruth Stacey. Cooke and Dom Hale, to name a few. I was so glad I made it to Ledbury for this event.

Foxboy Click covers to buy a copies  Carrie Etter

 

I had hoped to make it to Cheltenham and Buzzwords the next day, but after a jolly to Ledbury was too tired to spend another evening driving. I hope to make it back to Cheltenham soon.

A few days later (8th) I found out Carol Ann Duffy was due to perform in a pub in Worcester, The Lamb and Flag, unfortunately the date clashed with an event I had already booked, also it has only been a month since I saw her at The Hive. Whilst I was chatting to her and getting my book signed I told her that I remembered seeing her as a teenager at my school and she asked the name of my teacher – who is nowadays very connected to Carol Ann, I rushed off to go and find him … I was too late. So when I discovered this semi-secret event and saw that Michael Woods was also performing I decided to act crazy.

 

Acting Crazy HALLOWEEN 2011 081

I thought he would remember me because he influenced and inspired/supported me as a English student to get my work published. Lots of success followed and he never knew because he left teaching and went into publishing. I don’t know why I expected him to remember 20 years ago – I barely remember students I taught a year or so ago.

I also made the mistake of using SatNav directions and got taken right round the rigging! I had worked all day and had about an hour to get my set ready and get across to the city first. I did find the pub and I did manage to get in to see Michael before the show, despite not having a ticket. He was very surprised and I spent all of 5 minutes with him, trying to put his mind at rest that I wasn’t a stalker and he did really teach me. As a teacher I think it is lovely when you get to tell these great people what an influence they have had over you. I do not regret this 60 minute detour before an open mic night of my own to re-discover my old English Teacher. imagesCANYEEWSWho will hopefully now remember me when our paths next cross!

Mouth & Music mm

I managed to make it to Mouth & Music on time to sign up, I had written a new poem on theme (Summer) and was glad to make it. It was a great night, Jan Watts was reading from Benches, her latest novel (official Launch in August) which I bought, can’t wait to read it – but it is piled on the shelf of all the books I have bought this year to read. jan benches Click to buy.

It was a great night packed full of talented performers, including a scene from a play (a first for this event) – it was great to see people I had not seen for ages and to find out about the summer festival.

On Wednesday the 9th there was an event I was invited to but sadly was unable to attend (due to energy levels).

Birmingham Readers’ Map  

Pigeon Park Press decided to map all the stories that take place around Birmingham and then organise events for these writers to read their work.

SpeakEasy

It was only a few weeks since the LitFest special, I was lucky enough to be able to perform again and had some fresh poems, one written on the day (Thursday 10th) it wasn’t as well attended as it is usually, but a good night all the same. Headlined by Andrew ‘Mulletproof’ Graves- a poet from Nottingham.

The Weekend – Writing, Weddings and Missed Mics

Was meant to be my performance with the Poetry Army – but that got postponed until next year due to a lack of ticket sales at the venue. This did mean that I was able to attend the final WWM Writing West Midlands session in Worcester and my friends wedding!

It was a great last Creative Writing session – our students have really got their heads screwed on when it comes to the world of writing.

And Carly and Russ’s wedding party was A M A Z I N G! I bought a new dress the day before (one that looks a lot more expensive than it was) and had plenty of time to get ready as there was no theatre performance.

I missed the next Open Mic opportunity – part of Black Country Day weekend celebrations at The Cone. As the wedding wine was still in my system on Sunday morning and signing up to the event would have meant leaving at 10 am and I woke up at 10:30 AM

TIP: Don’t arrange or agree to any performance the day after a wedding! coffee lounge 5

SUBMISSIONS:
And on top of all of this (and working) I have tried to knuckle down with submissions this month. I have entered 1 competition and entered several poems to online publications, fingers crossed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Emotional Spectrum of Writing

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The Emotional Spectrum of Writing: Highs and Lows

People often comment about my energy, how I am able to attend and perform at so many events a month, how I write often, they see the shine, the sparkle, the bits you take out to share.

This blog is a writing blog, it is truth, it is highs and lows, rejection and success. Recently I have hit the kind of low with mental mirages, the times when the gremlins get in and you start to believe you are no good. Confidence sky dives and you begin to question whether anything you are doing has any value or worth.

I am not posting this to gain sympathy or to accept kindly a barrage of it will get better messages, feel free to respond, my intention is just this -

to SHARE THE TRUTH.

Part of the writing journey is to accept these lows and ride the waves through them, back into days when you are your own best friend and not your own worst enemy, when you believe in your full potential and recognise your talent and gifts. You will find higher ground again – so don’t give up.

Take a break but don’t give up.

journey This is a photo of traffic from our bank holiday weekend in Somerset. We did get there, it took 5 hours, much longer than it should have, we got there – because we just kept going.

Just keep going.

grayson_perry_vanity_spread1 This is a photograph of the Grayson Perry book I bought earlier this year, his tapestries took a long time to complete – they are incredible works of art for the content but also the act of creating the content.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

I had this quote on a tin as a child and I never really understood what it meant. I do now. It took many authors we know 15 or more attempts before successful publishing deals. The best tool is persistence, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Allow yourself time to feel down, then get back up and carry on. Keep doing what you do best and learn from it. Acknowledge the possibility that improvement can be made, if not send it elsewhere, you need to find a fitting home for your work. If it is rejected more than three times then it may be an idea to submit some different work.

Plan it – Map it – See it – Be it 

Make a new plan.

What will you do next?

Work out your writing schedule.

Do it!

Enjoy the results and if they weren’t the right results and you can’t enjoy it – repeat the above list, until you can!

© Sarah Wilkinson 2014

© Sarah Wilkinson 2014

Writer’s Block – Advice

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A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend who was suffering from writer’s block, I was going to send an email full of advice and tips and then I thought – why not blog it.

inkspill just write

The best advice I have discovered in the past year and a half is to not blame the block on yourself – but rather the sticky keys of your laptop, by doing this you can kid your brain and get the ideas pumping again.

We all know what Writer’s Block feels like and we all suffer from the stalemate from time to time, including best selling authors, you are in good company. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away from writing for a while, give yourself a day or two off from writing, or take a walk, get out of the house, you may discover a source of inspiration out in the real world.

Writer’s Block can leave you feeling lethargic so here are some ideas to try if you do not want to leave the house.

1) Try a writing exercise.

2) Think about some major life changes that you have experienced, what if they had turned out differently? Write the outcome.

3) Use favourite/ well known book characters and write them into different scenes.

4) Write your anxieties down, what is happening inside your creative/ writing mind.

5) Talk to other writers.

6) Try working on a different project. I tend to have 2 or 3 simultaneous projects timetabled at any one time, this prevents boredom and blocks, although in poetry writer’s block is slightly different and tends to centre around ideas.

7) Assess your writing space, perhaps change or tidy your environment to declutter your mind.

8) Think about why you write to begin with. (Or next time you are having a positive writing day write down some observations to read next time you are feeling empty!) Are you writing what you love? It can be really hard to finish projects otherwise.

writing block

Tangents and detours happen in writing, accept them.

Try to silence your inner critic – don’t let those gremlins tell you your writing is worthless.

Remember the power of re-writes, just work on getting your 1st draft out.

Just keep going.

Try to look at your manuscript from different angles.

Touch base with HOW writing makes you FEEL – why you are a writer to begin with.

 

The Story so Far – July

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It has always been a crazy few days. I have written new work for submission and performance, sent a poem into the Gladstone’s Library Competition and planned events to attend and perform at this weekend.

After the WLF Festival I needed some time to rest, I have been sleeping a lot, crashing out in the evening after work, sleeping through the alarm…. roll on the freedom of the summer holidays. And of course by now you know, I like to do a lot, all the time. So just added an extra element into the mix.

Last year I did a lot of re-training having been away from the world of writing for so long, I saw it as a worthwhile investment and it was. One of the courses I did online was Rhetorical Writing and I wished back then that I would find a MOOC that was more my cup of tea. I was delighted when I saw it advertised through the Writing University at the end of last month and have signed up. Just like last year, I am back pedalling as the course started on the 28th June. mooc

Ledbury Poetry Festival started today – I am hoping to make it to some events this weekend. I also hope to get back across to Cheltenham as I haven’t made it to Buzzwords since the beginning of the year.

Next week in addition to work I am going to break myself back in with Mouth & Music on Tuesday, I have written my Summer Poem already and SpeakEasy on Thursday – only a fortnight since the last one, but it doesn’t seem that long ago! I also hope to continue being productive with writing and to get stuck into my MOOC, as well as catching up with 52 poems and writing my poems for the farm in time to send them to Jean Atkin.

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On a sad note – I was supposed to be performing with the Poetry Army next weekend at the Artrix and the show has been cancelled - postponed  for next year. I am gutted as I was really looking forward to this, however it does mean that Mr G & I can attend an event together.

 

Have a good week, happy writing!

 

Resting, Writing and Working

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I have decided after all the buzz of WLF (Literature Festival) I would take some time off events this week. rest thai

We are close to Summer – just 3 weeks and a day, left at work and I am pretty much taking on work full time. I need the energy for the day job – can’t wait to get into the summer writing projects though and days and days of artistic freedom.

There are events all over this week but I am resting until the weekend. I also have swollen glands so best to keep voice use to the minimum – day job.

I have been busy writing since my writing day yesterday, typewriter admin is all up to date and I have the next week’s assignments all mapped out. Fitting in around everything else I have to achieve. I have written 4 new poems all for submission pieces. I have two more that are building up to being something (I have 3 weeks to work on those). I had to proof my poem for the latest edition of Hark Magazine, harkJuly issue.

I am getting excited about working with the Poetry Army poetryarmy in less than a fortnight and making it to Ledbury Poetry Festival before then. There was a tempting offer last night involving one of the late night events but I decided not to volunteer (despite the temptation of accommodation, travel expenses and tickets) as it was an event after midnight – it wasn’t facilitating the event which worried me – more organisation of the food and refreshments. Another time maybe. I am still hoping to make it and catch a few performances this weekend.

I am also trying to write one or two short stories, I have less than 2 weeks to complete – so I might save them for something else if they aren’t quite ready. My next writing day was Friday but I have accepted some more work so now I have just half a day to work through the projects.

I need to re-energise and work on my writing and find that I have plenty of time for both after work if I am not trying to make it to events as well!

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And on that note – bed calls! Be gentle on yourselves – seek balance – inspiration doesn’t work on an empty tank.

 

June Review

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 __________            June            _______________

Such a busy wonderful month filled with glorious opportunities!

Blogs and Projects

I signed up for Writing 101 Blogging University Daily Post challenge this month, it stretched ideas with writing and lead to some interesting blog posts – I struggled to post daily as I have been offline busy, but I did manage to complete each task for the first half. After which I became heavily involved in performances and events in the WLF LitFest.

I continued to write poems for 52.

I applied to be part of a collaborative project with Naked Lungs for BLF Birmingham Literature Festival. I had an interview mid-month.

The blog now has 765 followers, an extra 23 people joined in June.

The most popular post this month continues to be;

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Writing Short Stories – Tips on Planning and Structure More stats 367
 

Submission and Publishing

I submitted poems and was published by Hark.

My poem Clench – will appear in the July issue of Hark, an online magazine.

I also worked on an epic submission for Offa’s Press

and entered a poem for GBWO – Great British Write Off.

 

Performing Poetry

I took a 12 day break from performing poetry at the end of May/June and enjoyed watching others at events instead.

It felt strange to get back up on stage at Mouth and Music – but I was armed with some freshly written -on theme – poems and a great audience who laughed in all the right places.

It was also good to back to Birmingham- performing at York’s Bakery.

It was 10 days of WLF this month – Worcester Litfest, I was asked to take part in a few events that clashed with other plans, including a guest spot for the Decadent Diva gig – Divas and Football, it was my friend’s Woodstock themed party which I was going to (a 50th birthday) and I had already turned down Foxy and Wild – Droitwich Arts Network/ Festival poetry event.

I did perform as a POP UP POET at an event I was asked to take part in.

I managed to get to Tim Cranmore’s Book Launch the week before WLF started and booked to be at the Guildhall for the announcement of the new Poet Laureate (4 of whom I knew) – I gave up a night performing to be part of the first event of the festival.

I was asked to have a guest spot at the Special Festival SpeakEasy (which I could do) and I asked to be on the 42 stage (1 of 8 performers) in addition to this I booked to watch Jonny Fluffypunk Man Up – show and was asked to perform at this event too.

I missed several workshops I wanted to do – because I was also working full time this week – with Summer being so close!

It was my first WLF – but the city’s 4th – I was aware of both this and the Droitwich Festival last year, it was before I started poetry writing again and at the time I was resigning from work after quite a struggle and wasn’t really submerged in the writing world as I am now.

Confab Cabaret – Olivers: Hollie McNish

Writing West Midlands/ Assistant Writer  - Creative Writing Group: Ian MacLeod

Mouth & Music – BHG: Adjectives

Writing West Midlands/ Assistant Writer  - Creative Writing Group: Jean Atkin (cover)

Writing West Midlands This month not only did I have a chance to use my drama background to help support material for the Worcester group with Ian MacaLeod, I also had a chance to cover as an Assistant Writer for the group in Kidderminster – run by Jean Atkin. It is great to experience working with Young Adults – teenagers were slightly older than my group and a different Lead Writer, Jonathan Davidson recommended we swapped groups once in a while to get a better breadth and understanding. For a writer who hopes to become a Lead Writer in 2016 it is great to take on board different approaches and ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed the group and look forward to going back next month.

Performing at Dave’s 50th Woodstock Party including a poem written especially for him! My first Private Function too!

Pop up Poets – WLF

Poets With Passion – Birmingham

With Jonny Fluffypunk – WLF

Meeting Naked Lungs - Project BLF

Special WLF 42 – WLF Lou Morgan

Special SpeakEasy – WLF – Old Recifying House: Emma Purhouse & Scott Tyrrell

Carol Ann Duffy – National Poet Laureate in a joint venture between Ledbury Poetry festival & WLF

The Tea Project – Tara and Lynsey – MAC Atys Centre

Poetry Workshop – Jean Atkin, Acton Scott farm.

 

Mr G and I also saw the Voodoo Rooms (Hendrix/ Cream), celebrated Dave’s 50th Woodstock style, mum’s birthday and he continued to re-landscape the garden, building a pond.

Next month I am looking forward to a workshop and some Literature Festivals, my performance with BrainFruit, Special weekend groups associated with writing I have been involved with this year, Book launches – Restless Bones and seeing my work in print in Hark Magazine.

Roll on the sunshine! Morning-Sun-mit