September has been an extremely busy month – this week was the 100% busy-no-time-to-breathe- week and is probably the last time I will EVER attempt the feat of working FULL TIME and managing 6 back to back events, 5 of which I performed at!
On Tuesday I enjoyed Jacqui Rowe’s Poetry Bites, I was really looking forward to the Headliners, Charlie Jordan (has been far too long since I saw her perform) and Jan Smith, who I have seen a few times before. I was also looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere and performing later in the evening.
The atmosphere is always warming and despite my rush to get there after work I was offered seats at the front, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event. They are currently selling 2nd hand poetry books to raise awareness for Eye Survive (think I need to try and organise an entire post to explain the cause) it is charity fundraising for someone with rare eye disease that needs money for medical treatment. I hadn’t got any spare cash the last time I made it to the Kitchen Garden. It is a lovely idea, terribly hard to part with poetry books though – have you ever tried it?
On Wednesday night there were lots of events happening, the Launch of Barefiction Magazine, Cat Weatherill performing JamFace at the Kitchen Garden, I could have happily camped out under a table, with cake! However, before I discovered these two events I had already BOOKED my tickets for a Worcester Litfest Event at the Hive, watching (not to be missed) poet – Elvis McGonagall, who was supported by three good friends, Maggie Doyle – Poet Laureate Emeritus, Fergus McGonigal (no relation to Elvis) and current Worcester Poet Laureate – and runner up Claire Walker. The three of them delighted a full studio theatre with three very different styles of poetry. I would have paid just for that show – but as a bonus I was treated to the crazy poetry world Elvis McGonagall inhabits!
What a show indeed – do NOT miss out on an opportunity to see this poet! I am still buzzing thinking about this evening! Truly brilliant!
© 2014 Wenlock Edge
World Poetry Slam Champion 2006, UK Slam Champion 2006
UK All-comers’ Poetry Slam Champion 2004
‘funny, angry and tightly written…McGonagall combines anger, polish and carefully crafted verse in a way which recalls John Cooper Clarke’ 4-star The Scotsman
‘verses shot through with a moral umbrage and rhetorical power…a bracing throwback to the days when comedy made room for militant eccentrics with a knack for scansion and a bolshie hankering to change the world’ 4-star The Guardian
‘side-splittingly funny’ The Reading Rant
On Thursday night (don’t forget this is after a full day in the classroom and this week I worked with Year 6 as well as rest of KS1 & 2 and Early Years) I had my own set at Naked Lungs.
I had to open the event at Cherry Reds – which is always a hard/horrible spot to take, at least I was confident in my material/ chosen set.
I got a positive reaction and funnily enough – despite basing the set on the lighter more entertaining poetry that seemed to go down well last month, people talked to me about my two serious poems.
It turned into a great night and there were some amazing performances from Jess Green, who was absolutely amazing and fresh back down from Edinburgh, you might know her Mr Gove Poetry. Andy Owen Cook, Kev Eadie, myself – Nina Lewis, and Tim Fletcher showed us all how a guitar should be played! WOW! Jaw dropping stuff!
The great thing about going first is that you can then sit back, relax and enjoy! Thanks to Joe Whitehouse and Chris Baker for this opportunity.
On Friday I unfortunately missed Kevin Brooke’s book launch of JIMMY CRICKET – which took place in the Hive library and I have heard nothing but great things about this event ever since. Check out this article Worcester News
However, I was working in the city and didn’t leave until gone 5pm. It took a long time at that time on a Friday to crawl towards the city centre. I needed to eat and had time to pull in and buy a burger – fed up of a week where it was work – perform and little time to rehearse beforehand, I decided to take some minutes out – sit and sort the set. I ran through it a few times to time it and only had to drive around a few times for a parking space.
Then I went to Word Up, Ddotti has changed venue and it has been so long since I have been that I hadn’t gone to the new venue for Word Up. I had been there – last year when I did Camp NaNoWriMo we had our meets there where everyone typed at the same time.
I did discover that the Coffee Lounge sells amazing strawberry milkshakes and I had a great time downstairs in Word Up.
On Saturday, Clive Dee had invited me to join him at Carnival Records for his 100,000 Poets for Change event, which I was delighted and excited to be part of. I had spent most of September seeing international posts about 100,000 Poets for Change and wanted to participate somehow.
Catherine Crosswell Karen Langley
I did struggle to get up, my body begging to lie in after my busy week! Which was a shame because I missed some of the other performers I wanted to see. I did get to spend the last few hours soaking up the buzz at Carnival Records, the independent record store itself is worth a visit, in the pretty town of Malvern. In the Vinyl room I found a DOORS book I have never read and had to buy it!
I also managed to buy the PERFECT dress for my brother’s wedding, next weekend.
On Sunday there was a Scarecrow Festival in Belbroughton, which is an annual village event and always worth a visit. This year the theme was films and I loved finding minion after minion around the displays. I have photos to upload soon.
After scarecrows I rushed across to the city to Sunday Xpress at the Adam and Eve – part of Birmingham Poetry Festival with headliner Ash Dickinson
A multiple slam champion- including Edinburgh and Cheltenham- Ash won the BBC Radio 4 Midlands Slam in 2009. In the previous BBC National Slam in 2007 he progressed through the Scottish heats, eventually finishing among the top 8 in the UK. Ash was runner-up in the 2011 UK All Stars Slam.
I missed Ash when he headlined at SpeakEasy earlier this year and although I arrived too late to catch most of the performers I was still allowed to perform, which was good because Ash said he enjoyed my set. One of my poems about Hairs linked with his poem about Body Image well. It was definitely worth the trip to go and see him.
I was so tired by the time I reached home, I had hoped to catch Lorna Meehan in her One Woman Show at the MAC – but I couldn’t have managed to stay awake for an 8pm show.
It was a great weekend, the perfect end to a busy, productive, creative week.
I also received some great news about my current manuscript, I will spend October busily writing this.
There is also an Arts All Over the Place Festival taking place next week – starting National Poetry Day (2nd Oct) and finishing on 10th Mental Health Awareness Day – ‘Poetry, Performance (and Everything Else) Festival’. I sent an email to Rachel Green offering my services as workshop facilitator or performer. I spoke about a workshop, unfortunately I could not make the schedule as it is the one day I am contracted to teach music in a school.