Daily Archives: August 25, 2014

Just Stanza

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I have missed the past couple of Stanza meetings, due to events in Birmingham. This month the Stanza meeting also clashed with an event in Birmingham, however I have missed not going to the poetry society meetings, so I turned down the opportunity to perform in the city and stayed local instead.

It was just 2 days before my birthday – so I bought a cake to take to the meeting and made STANZA (much to the amusement of others) my first BIRTHDAY event!

I had a really enjoyable evening and felt right at home editing and taking criticism on board. It is good to be back. I already have my poem ready for our next meeting!

stanza scrabble

SpeakEasy – 14th August – Homegrown Talent

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SpeakEasy this month was packed, much to the relief of Maggie Doyle who was hosting whilst Fergus McGonigal (current Worcester Poet Laureate) is away over the summer. It had never crossed my mind that Maggie would panic about attendance.

There were no open mic spots left, so I settled back to enjoy an evening of poetry. I went with Claire Walker who was performing, I love her work. There were many other talented poets as well as some first timers.

It is unusual for me not to take part, sometimes it is refreshing to just breathe and listen. The flipside is the adrenalin doesn’t kick in and you go straight to bed, when you get home.

speakeasy

The headline act was Ben Parker, an Oxfordshire poet who comes from Worcester. Fantastic poetry and a refreshing set that was enjoyed by everybody.

When words come to life

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JV Birch is one of my oldest friends, we have known each other since school, probably before that (no memory) it does not surprise me that we are both writing now, we were readers back then!

This is fabulous news – and a great way of promoting her work too. Great cause – had to share! Cannot wait to see the film!

J V Birch

After a lull in creativity, I was thrilled to learn that I am one of eight category winners in the above competition recently run by Mindshare. The prize is turning your poem into a digital film (you may recall I won something similar with Mindshare last year so they must like my style!).

When words come to life

So last weekend I attended a workshop working with a small production team to storyboard my poem and develop it into a short film. We explored elements of image, music, breath and movement, and the place you have to get to when reading your piece aloud. This was new to me as ‘speaking’ my work is not something I often do (and when I do it’s to myself), but it made me focus on exactly what I wanted to convey. Something else new was working on an Apple Mac! Being a Windows-based girl this required quite…

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A to Z Reading Challenge: My Answers

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I am trying to catch up with some Blog reading – after months off the Reader… I came across this little gem, if I hadn’t so much catching up to do today I would leave you the answers right now – feel free to reblog or leave links to a post with your answers, I think I will unwrap this again in the run up to the INKSPILL writing retreat.

A Small Press Life

I ran across this on Not a Punk Rocker. I enjoyed reading her answers, so I thought I would participate, too. It’s not as if I am working against a deadline today. Nope, I am not shirking my professional duties to write this post. Okay, so maybe I am taking a slight break. Yes, that is it. A break.

If you’re a long-time reader of A Small Press Life (and if you are, thank you!), you’ve probably wondered what happened to our own reader questionnaire series, [R]evolving Incarnations. Never fear. It returns this Friday.

Until then, there’s this.

Oh, and I’ve decided to do it backwards. Z to A, which is how my books are organized.

ZZZ-SNATCHER BOOK (LAST BOOK THAT KEPT YOU UP WAY LATE): I am a late-night reader, so this is a pretty normal occurrence. It helps that I work from home and set my own…

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Restless Bones Book Launch

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Claire Walker is a talented local poet whose work also appears in the Restless Bones anthology – I am still writing about events that happened a week before the Book Launch, thought you might enjoy reading Claire’s review in the meantime. It was a fabulous evening, something very different and all for a worthy cause.

Don’t Forget to Read About Writing

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It is always good to find out about books to support the craft of writing. Here’s another one.

Live to Write - Write to Live

It’s easy to get so involved with writing, that reading can become a luxury to push aside.

But, it’s so important to read about writing for the little nuggets of wisdom and pearls of inspiration we know, but somehow seem to forget.

Finding books that resonate with our writing lives and experiences might be rare, so when you find a great book, hang on to it!

A few years ago, Diane highly recommended I read a book on the craft of writing titled Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. I loved it. And it became the first book I ever re-read.

birdbybird2Since I noticed some leaves changing colors over the past week, fall has been on my mind. And with fall, for me, comes renewed inspiration. So, Bird by Bird is back on my desk for its annual reading.

I know how important it is to get words on a…

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1000th POST – Published!

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I have been watching the number of posts rise towards this pinnacle – 1000th post for a while now… I wondered what it would be about, wanted it to be as special as the mark of creating 1000 posts on this blog….

Sharing happy news seems like a good way to mark it.

PUBLISHED

I submitted to HCE – Here Come Everyone for the latest issue – Boy/Girl, I wrote a poem especially for the publication, then kept my fingers crossed!

They accepted it.

HCE BoyGirl

You can read my poem online or treat yourselves to a print issue – it is a good looking publication.

‘Falling into Line’ HCE Boy/Girl Issue

hce

Mouth & Music – War & Peace – 12th August

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MM aug Peter Williams

© Peter Williams 2014

 

Thank goodness for Classic Mode – it is unusual when tech is improved to leave an option to use the previous format, glad WordPress have – as I have a lot of blog posts to catch up on.

Let’s go back in time… before my birthday there were many events I didn’t blog about and since then I have been busy with events… I have taken the past 48 hours offline – it is a Bank Holiday weekend and we have had the allotment to sort out and friends visiting from London. I would recommend a offline break to anyone – I didn’t even use my mobile phone, the only tech ipods and TVs.

mm War & Peace – 12th August

Kidderminster have a brilliant Arts Festival kaf festthroughout the summer and this month’s Mouth and Music was a festival special. We were all expecting it to be a heavy evening – due to the theme – and the nature of the subject… it wasn’t – it was (as always) a brilliant night!

Jasmine Gardosi – a poet friend from Birmingham and runner up in the recent OXJAM Poetry Slam, is head lining there in a few months time and she came to M&M on the 12th, was great to have her company.

mouth and music

Matt Windle was the poetry headliner this month – love watching him perform – energy, talent and spirit. He is a boxer and is often billed as the Boxing Poet – I like the way he encourages others. Recently, at ‘A Night with Maya Angelou’ I saw Lauren Williams, a student at Birmingham Ormiston Academy & Birmingham Young Poet Laureate perform, having seen her get the acolade last year at the BLF (Birmingham Lit Fest) it was wonderful to see her perform. In conversation she told me that she was inspired by a poet who visited her school…. that poet? Matt Man Windle of course, who was himself a Young Poet Laureate a few years ago.

Matt doesn’t keep still during any performance and the lighting in the venue is a challenge for any photographer.

© Peter Williams 2014

© Peter Williams 2014

One of the reasons I like to blog about events in real time is because I still have the energy and enthusiasm for it in real time. Whereas at 9 (now 10) in the morning on Bank Holiday Monday trying to recall the night is somewhat harder.

I just remember uplifted feelings and some incredible poetry, music and dance. Sirkel – the music headliners brought DANCE to M&M for the first time.

SIRKEL
Scandinavian influenced folk duo – sax, flute, violin, accordion, guitar & mandola
plus guest appearance from clog dancer Ayliffe Edwards.

© Peter Williams 2014© Peter Williams 2014

© Peter Williams 2014

 

All photographs © Peter Williams 2014

The clog dancing was captivating!

© Peter Williams 2014

© Peter Williams 2014

Heather Wastie performing her War & Peace Poetry

© Peter Williams 2014

© Peter Williams 2014

Me performing mine.

A moving night and a fantastic audience of festival goers. A good time was had by all!

The most magical night.

Hosted this month by Sarah Tamar, congratulations on such a successful evening!