A Return to Worcester – SpeakEasy

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It is incredible how time works in the poetry world;

there is never enough time to work on drafts, edits and important major focus projects,

there is always time to talk to other poets (just not at events)

months speed up and pass by in a matter of what feels like weeks

short time elapsing between monthly events (usually 4 weeks ;) ) and yet it feels like a homecoming from a long trip when you manage to get to the next event.

 

That’s how I felt last Thursday (9th). I missed March’s SpeakEasy due to overwork in the real world and a need for sleep, also my car wasn’t well and I was trying to use it as little as possible. I was there at the February event and performed back in January, but it felt like 12 months had passed since the last time.

I was booked in for a 6 minute slot, but more than that I enjoyed the reunion, seeing old friends return and poets I had not seen in a year.

Amy Rainbow headlined and treated us to a whole new set a mixture of the familiar and personal.

The whole night was in remembrance of Tana Durham, one of the WLF team. I didn’t know her that well but she was a lovely lady with a lot of friends, including all the WLF team. Poems in her honour was very moving.

I left feeling I was walking on air.

Photos to follow

 

Corinium Museum Poetry Competition – Results

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Corinium-Museum-Logo

A few months ago 4 Stanza poets (and many more online) took a trip to Corinium Museum, which could have stayed in the tearooms with cake, were it not for a side door straight into the Museum!

It was a great day out – Poets Day Trips (a tour idea for the future), we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company, the company and freedom of our notebooks and the wonders of this museum in Cirencester.

Sometime later we all submitted poems based on the artefacts for a competition that Hilda Sheehan was judging.

I am delighted to announce that 50% of our day trip team won! Kathy Gee was Highly Commended as well as Short Listed for her 2nd poem, Claire Walker and Sarah Leavesley (our stanza leader) were also Short Listed. Maggie Doyle performed her poem at a recent Book Launch and I am still playing with the word ‘triskle’ on my tongue.

There poems will be on display in the museum, congratulations to you all!

corinium

Winners of the three age categories

Adults: Orion and Lepus by Emma Halliday

12-15 year olds: Horae by Annabelle Fuller

Under 12s: The Poppy by Sophie Martin

 

RELATED LINKS:

http://coriniummuseum.org/2015/04/02/corinium-poetry-competition-winners/

Laptop Gate, Missing Posts and Spoken Word at The Ort

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More than halfway through April and not a blogpost in sight? I DID write one and the new version of WP ate it without keeping a draft, it took 40 mins and was about a week ago… so now I am typing in a document first.

I have lots of exciting news and reviews to share of poetry performances, competitions, book launches, festivals and the like.

Let’s tackle this chronologically.

On April 1st our laptop broke – NO APRIL FOOL! It was working one minute and wouldn’t kick in the next. The worst mistake I made was not backing up any of my recent work, including a project I am editing! Mr G also needed access to the internet for important work. Incon

We had no choice but to go and buy a new one – we hope to still get someone to look at saving things off the hard drive at some point in the future, but waiting days for repair on a 5 year old machine wasn’t going to work.

We didn’t want touch screen (although I fell in love with Mac Air – please gift Gods!) or anything fancy, I was surprised that the prices haven’t really dropped at all but then I realised we get 75% more memory and huge storage space etc. We also desperately needed a printer (last December) we finally bought one with a scanner and then had to drive to a different store to get the laptop – as they had none left! 60 miles later we were home with new tech!

EXCITING!

Then my car practically needed a refit of everything and I had to spend equivalent to a holiday on that… so I wasn’t really in a jolly posting mood and we had AMAZING sunshine over my Easter break so most of it was spent in the garden with good books!

April 3rd

I spent a wonderful evening in Balsall Heath at Spoken Word at the Ort with Debbie Aldous, always a range of performers, comedians, musicians, storytellers, poets, short stories, magic and things that fall somewhere between.

I went early to meet with a friend I haven’t seen since before Christmas. Also welcomed back some friends who have been off the scene for a while so that good too. 1 birm ort1

AND I seem to have started a craze of Poet’s celebrating anniversaries with ‘One Year a Poet’.

Review of March

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March was a funny month, I took my first break from writing since the winter. It wasn’t intentional, just happened due to working more hours and needing some time off to relax, read and sleep. I had 5 days off from writing, followed by another week, during this time I missed several events/ performances. Towards the end of March there were 3 events I decided to not attend to enable me to afford the trip down to London. The cost of the 3 events covered my transport costs.

I had intended more writing and reading than performing in 2015, but I thought I would plan it. I feel I need to get to grips with a year that is running away with me.

Our laptop broke and I lost a lot of work in progress, editing that I hadn’t backed up. I didn’t have the heart to deal with this straight away – now in Mid-April (already!) I have started to tackle the lost work. This of course takes extra hours.

Back to March…

Andrew O Book Launch Sue Thompson

BLOGS & PROJECTS

I finally managed to send David Calcutt my Caldmore Garden poetry, fortunately it was published on his website before our laptop broke.

My MOOC Poetry Course online with the University of Iowa was supposed to start, it was delayed and is due to start now on April 13th.

I received some incredibly exciting news from WWM (Writing West Midlands) which I am not yet at liberty to share. Needless to say I AM OVER THE MOON!

I booked tickets for Stratford Literary Festival next month. sua litfest

I am reading a LOT. Prose & poetry.

The 52ers created a new group ‘MINT’ so we can stay in touch when it is all over, I have tickets for 52 at Wenlock Poetry Festival and have ordered the book, we are also meeting/ performing at Stratford Poetry Festival in the summer.

AND – very excitingly I was invited, by Hark Magazine to perform at 10 minute set in London at the launch for Issue 4.

 

SUBMISSIONS

I submitted to Under the Radar and Paperswans, fingers crossed for those new-works.

I missed a few other submissions as life got busy and deadlines past as they sometimes do. I need to get more organised.

 

PERFORMING POETRY

Permission to Speak

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/poetry-events-in-march-permission-to-speak-4-3-15/

Spoken word at The Ort

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/performing-poetry-spoken-word-at-the-ort-6-3-15/

Malvern Book Promoters

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/malvern-book-promoters-mad-march-book-promotion-events/

Nomad Variety – Martineau Gardens Charity night

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/nomad-variety-at-martineau-gardens/

Hark Magazine Launch – London

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/hark-magazine-launch-reading-in-london/

World Poetry Day https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/celebrating-world-poetry-day/

Southcart Books

Caldmore Community Gardens open day

Sunday Xpress

 

I missed Mouth & Music, SpeakEasy, Poetry Bites, Drummonds 42,

 

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

WWM meeting (there were many last month)

Hark Magazine Launch & Reading in London

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hark launch and reading

I had my poem ‘Clench’ published in Hark magazine, issue 2. Back then, it was an online publication, now (Issue 4). The Hark team (Owen Vince, Matt Apperley, Dimitris Tsomokos & Diana Kurakina) have taken the jump into a very handsome print magazine – the sort that looks like a book.

To celebrate this they were inviting readers to take part in the launch. It was a great opportunity to go to London and read (I found out after that some poets performed at Keats house and the Poetry Café on the Saturday, had I known I would have stayed over), as it was I decided that I would make the journey home in the early hours. I only live a few hours from London, but unfortunately the coach broke down at Watford Gap and what should have taken 3 hours, took 7. However, I had allowed a 4 hour window to reunite with London, so I was there in time for the Launch. As soon as I walked in I knew it would be a great night and instantly relaxed.

The venue – The Washington, has an amazing cellar bar, accessed through a secret bookcase door (there should be a joke here on how many poets and publishers it took to open it). It was a great night and as soon as I arrived, I was instantly made welcome and calmed down from LONG my journey.

Hark organised an night of contributors reading in North London.

Zelda Chappel
Jemma Borg
Hazem Tagiuri
Nina Lewis
Andrew Wells
Imogen Forster
Rebecca Bird

It was a delight to meet everyone and it truly was a rich evening of superb poetry.

I was excited to meet people who I knew only by name, to discover new poetry, to meet the editors and see the handsome Hark magazine in print form.

It was definitely worth the 7 hour journey (and of course, I made it back in 2hours)!

ABOUT HARK

HARK is a literary magazine of poetry and short fiction. Founded in 2014 and based between London and Norwich, this small but highly ambitious magazine has built a reputation for brilliant, formal writing that pays close and sustained attention to the imagination and the possibilities of language. HARK is for those writers and readers who take the act of creation through language to be a sublime and, even, ethical act.

With a dedicated team of passionate editors, the magazine’s mission is to find, publish and promote the most exciting new voices, always alongside established writers who continue to challenge their readers with intelligent new work.

HARK is available to purchase either through our online store, or in Foyles (Tottenham Court Road branch), the London Review Bookshop, and the Book Hive in Norwich.

© 2014 – HARK literary magazine

© 2014 - HARK literary magazine: Owen Vince

© 2014 – HARK literary magazine: Owen Vince

© 2014 - HARK literary magazine: Matt Apperley

© 2014 – HARK literary magazine: Matt Apperley

One of the features is asking how the writers write, you can find my explanation here;

http://www.harkmagazine.co.uk/2014/08/26/writers-on-writing-issue-2/

And of course you can buy your own copy of Issue 4

Celebrating World Poetry Day

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WPD

I spent the day performing in Walsall, first at Southcart Books and later at Caldmore Gardens.

southcart books Folly-and-Gray-Southcart-Books-Feature-Photo-420x352 The last time I performed here was Small Business Saturday, this time Scott and Amy had organised a group of Poets to read to mark World Poetry Day.

sc scott and amy world poetry day sc books world poetry day sc books2 world poetry day It was a great event and I always love browsing in bookshops. I bought 2 poetry books last time I was here, I bought 2 books this time too.

Then I hotfooted over to Caldmore Gardens to read with David Calcutt (Poet in Residence) and Janet Jenkins at the Open Day. Making my Poetry Day complete.

caldmore 2caldmore 3caldmore4

 

Nomad Variety at Martineau Gardens

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David Rees-Jones organiser of Nomad Variety booked me for this charity night last month. The event consisted of fabulous entertainment from two comedians, two musicians and myself, performing poetry.

© Live Brum 2015

© Live Brum 2015

Nomad Variety brings together local performers, to entertain in a range of venues across Birmingham, with live solo performances including folk, jazz and blues music, comedy and spoken word. We’re delighted to be hosting the group in our cosy Studio on Friday 20 March, 7pm. Hot and cold drinks available and of course, cake! 

Advance booking for the event is recommended to avoid disappointment. © Live Brum 2015

martineau

The studio was a great venue and people had an enjoyable night.

Karl Merrick, a talented musician and also a poet opened the evening with an amazing set. I could listen to Karl all night, he was followed by Tom Christian, who I had seen perform at The Ort before. He had two slots in the evening he treated us to his stand up first.

I performed some of my more light-hearted poetry including some favourite crowd pleasers. Rob Kemp showed us how to deal with hecklers during his routine. David Rees-Jones performed his stand-up in between sets and even told us about his Big Brother secret.

In the second half Karl treated us to more music on his metal guitar, Tom read us some fantastic letters he has genuinely sent to companies and finally Rich Stokes finished the night off with an incredible selection of his music.

I met Rich Stokes at a Gallery event we performed at last year, he headlined Mouth & Music this month (which I missed) so I was delighted to be on the same bill again. Great to catch up with him. He closed the evening with his song ‘Man, Man’ – which I remember loving the first time I heard him play.

I thoroughly enjoyed being on the bill along with comedians & musicians.

martineau-gardens www.naee.org.uk

Related link:

http://www.martineau-gardens.org.uk/events/

Malvern Book Promoters – MAD MARCH Book Promotion Events

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Mad Malvern Book Promotion

I was asked in back in January to take part in this event, organised by Jill Peer.

MAD Malvern Book Promo Jill Peers 11 MAD MARCH events organised all over the beautiful tourist destination of Malvern, designed to promote local writers and their books. Many of the events were during the week and I hoped to get to some at the Cake Tin Cafe in The Cube, but work bookings came in thick and fast and I was practically working full time. I plumped for a weekend event, due to roadworks and unlit roads (and being a nervous driver) I went to the daytime event in the Lyttleton Rooms, before moving onto The Hive, in Worcester, to work with the Young writer Group (Writing West Midlands).

The events started on the 3rd March and I am in awe of Jill’s organisational skills in pulling this schedule off.

MAD malvern Book Promo

Tues 3rd March – Zinnia (shoe shop) Live Music

Tues 3rd March – Forget Me Not (Florists) – Live music, spoken word -Floral/Love

Tues 10th March, Cafe H20 Wyche Innovation Centre, (Malvern Hills Geo Centre) – Live music, spoken word -Getting Around

Thurs 12th March – Foley Arms – Live Music, spoken word Life, Mums and Health & a Healing area

Fri 13th March, Cafe H20 Wyche Innovation Centre, (Malvern Hills Geo Centre) – For the KIDS – Word & Songs, Storytelling, puppets, poems & tales

Sat 14th March, Lyttleton Rooms – Spring Craft Fair – Live music, spoken word -Springtime (the event I performed at) ^

Weds 18th March, The cake Tin Cafe, The Cube – Live Music, fun, Lifestyle

Sat 14th & Weds 18th March, Rachel’s Cowleigh Gallery – Live Music/ Mother’s Day/ Love

Thurs 19th March, The Beacon Dentist (not the name of a pub – an actual Dentists) – Spoken Word/ Music – Mum’s/ Springtime

Tues 24th March, The Malvern Book Co-operative Shop – Live Music, Books, Springtime

MAD Malvern

It was great fun! I love looking for more unusual events. I also enjoy craft fairs, so it really was perfect to perform at the Lyttleton Rooms Craft Fair. I enjoyed it very much.

Thanks for inviting me to participate Jill.

For more information on the local authors and the books promoted follow the link it should let you read the events page even if you haven’t got an account.

My Time in the Wilderness

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Wasn’t really in wilderness at all, just poetless and writingless, so, yes… wilderness!

Mid-March I just stopped, completely unplanned and unintentional, muse seemed to have left the building and I was physically & mentally drained, all my energy was used up working the daytime and by the time it came to the evening, I was falling asleep an hour after getting home from work.

I decided to let it happen, rather than push on with my performance agenda. I was feeling sad about not writing, but even typing up previously penned poems seemed too much. At the time I wasn’t worried, knowing this time would pass.

desk

There were 5 submission pieces I had scheduled to work on, three poetry nights (Mouth & Music, Howl & Speakeasy) that I missed and a Stanza meeting, due to an important family occassion (which weeks later led to a new poem being penned). All this went out the window and was swapped for work, sleep, real life mortgage hunting, meetings and TV.

I was activiated after 7 days by Mad Malvern Book Promotion events https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/malvern-book-promoters-mad-march-book-promotion-events/ and working for WWM (Writing West Midlands) – who have sent incredibly exciting news this month. The following week I had another week off, missing Hit The Ode and some submission deadlines. I was performing again by the weekend in a charity event at Martineau Gardens ‘Nomad Variety’. https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/nomad-variety-at-martineau-gardens/

Followed by a celebration of WORLD BOOK DAY with two events/readings in Walsall.

WPD

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/celebrating-world-poetry-day/

The only reason I missed a 3rd week of events in March was to cover my transport costs to LONDON, which due to such a hellish journey (a breakdown on the hard shoulder on the outskirts of London resulted in a 3 hour delay, making a three hour journey take closer to seven hours, we were running late as it was) I am hoping to be reimbursed. imagesCAJBX1JQ

I missed Poetry Bites with Jacqui Rowe, particularly sad not to see Robert Harper’s (Barefiction) full set and missed Jayne Stanton too. The following night I missed Drummonds 42 with Andrew Owens. My Caldmore Community Gardens workshop was cancelled – having already turned work down, I treated myself to a much needed writing day and at least sent a backlog of poetry to David Calcutt for his Natural Histories website.

http://naturalhistoriesblog.com/others-writing/

I also worked on a couple of new poems from notes in my writing journals, from previous workshops with Angela France and Jean Atkin.

On Friday I went to London for Hark Issue #4 Launch and reading – very exciting! Once I had slept all of Saturday in recovery of a 22hour day on 5 hours sleep, I found as if by magic, I had woken up with my poetry muse back! We have been celebrating every since.

LINKS TO FOLLOW

Performing Poetry – Spoken Word at The Ort 6.3.15

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Ort Jan

I haven’t managed to attend Spoken Word with Debbie Aldous for a while, as the dates have often clashed with Stanza meetings. So I was delighted to make it this month and the night proves ever popular. It was originally on a Thursday night and last year they decided to move it to Friday (the Thursday was often shared with lots of other events), since changing the day the crowd has packed the small café.

It was a little awkward standing up for the whole 1st half but I am glad to see the increasing popularity of this event. It was a great night with varied performance; music, comedy, poetry, story telling. Lots of talent on show and as ever, a relaxed atmosphere.

Photographs by Bernard Davies – a selection from the performances.

Ort Sharon Carr Sharon Carr

Ort Joe SmithJoe Smith

Ort Matt Black Matt Black

Ort Andrea Smith Andrea Smith a.ka. Swingerella – but for this evening she performed some raw poetry as herself!

Ort Rachel Mayfield Rachel Mayfield

It was the last event I did for a while as well. Unintentionally I spent the next week doing nothing but work and sleep. I had a dry patch with writing and didn’t attend any of the performance nights that I had intended to support.