I cannot believe it is the end of November already. I have marked it with a great night in Worcester at an ‘Arthur Rackham’ themed 42. Great to see some new faces too.
This month has been abundant with opportunities and I am witnessing the domino effect. There is a lot to review and I am busy with end of month submissions, so I will update this post as soon as I can. You will see this icon where I intend to add more. So I am cheating, I haven’t managed to post this on time at all… quite like the little head icons though and have to come to terms with the amount of time blogposts take compared to a) the readership/level of interaction and b) the amount of writing time I have available to me.
REVIEW OF NOVEMBER
I finally managed to get back over to Permission to Speak, where David Calcutt was headlining with his V. Press Pamphlet ‘The Old Man in the House of Bone’.
It was a great night and I performed some new work written from An Atomic Sun Workshop facilitated by Antony Owen that I attended earlier this year. Writing about Hiroshima takes time and finding places where it is comfortable enough to know you can perform it, is the next challenge. They worked. People were reminded.
Antony Owen and myself (along with many other writers) have work in a Shabda Press anthology. Accepted a while ago, contracts signed in Spring, we are happily approaching proof and publication and it should be out February time. There are big issues that we must not shy away from, but it can be a lonely place, it is great to meet like-minded writers. I have to say that Antony writes from the heart and everything he writes matters socially, whereas my political poems come and go.
Writing about such horrific histories can be hard without support of those around you.
I did lots of writing this week and with working, found I was too exhausted after October to manage evening events on top. I missed them. Forgave myself and spent time at the desk.
I had my writing group, which over the past fortnight has taken time preparing. I spent hours researching for topical writing tasks for the Writing West Midlands group and structuring the session and resources, they all seemed to enjoy it and we had some new members too. Even treated them to some time in the book booth windows to write outside of the space. My group discovered an interesting Jukebox on display and created all sorts of ideas about what it was really.
Mr G. and I went to another big gig.
I completed an interesting challenge set by Helen Calcutt and was rewarded with two new poems, one that stands out well, was performed at SpeakEasy and will be published.
I attended my first Birmingham Stanza at Waterstones, run by Roz Goddard. Jane Commane was the invited guest talking about publishing. It was an enjoyable evening and I was able to take another recently penned poem for some editing support. In fact I spent most of my week at Waterstones.
I missed HOWL as I was working and already had 48 hours with double events. Let me state – I am too old for double event nights!
I went to SpeakEasy in Worcester to see Ben Parker Feature and buy his new book. It was a great night of poetry, thoroughly enjoyed and lovely to see Ben again. I missed the last chance to see him as Mr G and I were away when he organised his poetry event at the Swan Theatre, where he is poet in residence. I first met Ben at the end of his poetry residency at Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum at his Worcester LitFest event two years ago.
I cannot wait to read his new collection ‘The Amazing Lost Man’, which was released November 1st.
In this startling and energetic first collection, Ben Parker explores real and imagined territories and reports back in poems that are both darkly funny and vividly descriptive. Combing concision with a surreal lyricism, the worlds of The Amazing Lost Man are at once strange and familiar, while the central sequence of ‘Insomnia Postcards’ is a joyous clash of the quotidian and the bizarre. These poems have a subtle music, and a confident voice that draws the reader in. (cover)
I know the rule is never judge a book by the cover and I tend not to. Fortunately there is no rule about falling in love with a cover and I have. It is much brighter in reality – buy one and see. https://store.eyewearpublishing.com/products/the-amazing-lost-man
More from Ben here http://www.benparkerpoetry.co.uk/about
My recent poetry book buys have been piling up as I have spent the past few months invested in a crime novel with a bitterly disappointing ending (I still do not know who the murderer was)! Back to poetry for a while.
It is also good to hear when your poetry inspires others;
Big thank you to Suz Winspear, Nina Lewis and Lauren Hill. Those poems of heartbreak inspired me to write my first new prose in five months, while sat in the audience!
Afterwards I rushed out to the sticks to celebrate a friend’s birthday, made it in time for cake and just before the bar closed for drinks.
The following night I went to the Poetry Business – Poet Laureate Choice Readings and then rushed off to perform at the Ort.
The following night I was back at Waterstones for the Indigo Dreams readings.
I also received news that I had won 2nd place in the Museum of Royal Worcester Poetry Challenge and I had to keep this a secret, even the judges didn’t know as it truly was judged anonymously by the panel. It was so hard not telling anyone and slightly awkward as I was going to see Claire Walker headline at Poetry Café Refreshed in Cheltenham on the same night as the awards/reading. This wasn’t quite as hard as keeping my publishing opportunity quiet, but I just wanted to celebrate the success openly!
I made some submissions, finally! And enjoyed Licensed to Rhyme, where Emma Purshouse was headlining. She has just won a book award too.
A first was VIP invite to the Verve Poetry Festival Launch – < symbolises I will be telling you lots more about this event and the festival itself throughout the coming months. Luke Kennard
The night after this was the Poetry Challenge event at the Museum – Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum.
I missed Roy McFarlane at the Poetry Parlour due to not unsurprisingly – being a little tired. I spent time writing a current piece that cannot yet be disclosed. Looked over a manuscript for someone and went to perform at Open Poetry Walsall Arboretum.
Missed Shrewsbury Literature Festival completely having only found out about it a few weeks ago. I made it back to Poetry Bites which I have not been able to go to for a long time.
Prepped for The Book Party. Post-book launch open mic event where I showed 4 exclusive poetry films and one that has already been shared publically, from Fragile Houses. It was an intimate affair and a great night.
The next night I had to miss Stanza (for the 2nd month running) as I was at a Book Launch in Birmingham. For ‘Womanly Words’ an anthology of poetry (20 female poets) produced by Shakti Women.
I was asked to do Radio (for the 2nd time this year), I would have loved to have read my poem on air, but after the excitement of this week’s events and my need to be at home and with Mr.G, added to the fact that it wasn’t local and everybody has started Christmas shopping on Saturdays, I sadly passed up this opportunity. I am kicking myself now a bit.
I spent the weekend at home with Mr G and fitted in a little poetry writing and film making time.
I also received news of 2 exciting opportunities for 2017, that for now I have to keep quiet. (There is a pattern emerging here!)
And I have finished off the month at 42.