It has been a roller coaster year and I have loved every minute. I am already busy working on projects for 2015 and plan to update you all early in January.
2014 has been an amazing year, my first full year in my poetry skin (returning to this form of writing after a 15 year gap), I performed at Literary Festivals (Wenlock, Worcester, Stratford & Birmingham), finally got to the Ledbury Festival, was published in poetry journals & print anthologies, entered a few poetry competitions, was part of a team of local writers who featured in the Restless Bones Anthology to raise funds for the Born Free Foundation. I continued to work for Writing West Midlands, was offered a one to one mentoring role from WWM and given the opportunity for some further training in Arts Mark awards, had my poetry display in the library, on the Wenlock Poetry Trail, at Acton Scott Farm, was commissioned to write poetry for a Festival performance, had several main sets (15mins+) performances, wrote lots and got as involved as much as time enabled in Jo Bell’s wonderful 52 project. What I also did in January was promote 52 to local poets, some of whom are now taking on major roles in the continuation of this project.
Here’s a summary of all the wondrous parts of my writing year;
- Participated in the Mindful Stones project for a month,
- was invited to 52 by Jo Bell, a project lasting the whole of the year,
- The Fourth Wall (one of my original Dance poems) was displayed by the Arts Network in a local Library for a month.
- Nominated AWF as a blog following the NAPOWRIMO challenge and participated for my 2nd year running, although due to commitments performing on the road kept me away from managing the whole of National Poetry Writing Month.
- What’s the Agenda – A weekend Arts Festival at the MAC – Midlands Arts Centre – submitted work to Hayley Frances. My Haiku poetry became part of her installation on Hikikomori. A very powerful piece.
- I hoped to be involved in a Brainfruit production with Roy Hutchins as part of his Poetry Army, unfortunately due to a lack of sales this event was cancelled. I hope to work with Roy in the future.
- I was asked to perform on The Quiet Compere Tour next year, funded by the Arts Council this is a paid gig.
PERFORMANCES & EVENTS
106 performances including in late Spring some collaboration with Tim Scarborough on a set of poetry and music, opening events for galleries, sets at Festivals, performing on a narrow boat, Worcester Music Festival, 100,000 Poets for Change and my first ever Poetry Slam.
AWF hosted INKSPILL, an online writing retreat for the 2nd time, this year it was supported by guest writers; Charlie Jordan, William Gallagher & Heather Wastie.
WATCH & LEARN – SHOWS AND WORKSHOPS
Cat Weatherill Hungry Hearts
The Quiet Compere Tour Birmingham – Sarah Dixon
The Hive joint venture between Worcester LitFest and Ledbury Poetry Festival;
Angela France, Martin Malone
Wenlock Poetry Festival
Poetry Workshop with Jean Atkin at Acton Scott Farm
Carol Ann Duffy – National Poet Laureate in a joint venture between Ledbury Poetry festival & WLF
The Tea Project – Tara and Lynsey – MAC Arts Centre
Antony Owens & Joseph Horgan- Book Launch at the Inspire Bar, Coventry
Jo Bell and 52 – Picnic/ Performance Event Stratford-Upon-Avon Poetry Festival
Poetry Party – my first one
Benches – Jan Watts Book Launch / Off the Page Event
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family – Ben Norris at the MAC.
Wolverley Village Tea Shop – Pop Up Poetry Event organised by Sue Wood and featuring Worcester Lit Fest poets and others.
Elvis McGonagall at The Hive, Worcester, an event organised by the Worcester Lit Fest.
Poetry Workshop – National Poetry Day – Remember – Jan Watts and Cathy Crossley
Birmingham Poet Laureate Announcement and other Birmingham Literature Festival events including; Radio 4 Poetry Please with Roger McGough, With Great Pleasure, also recorded for BBC Radio 4, Rich McMahon & Tell Me on a Sunday, with Cat Weatherill.
Writing West Midlands Writing Meeting
David Calcutt – Wild Fire – Writing Workshop in Community Gardens, 2nd workshop with a group poem that will become part of the Garden.
Angela France – Poetry Workshop
Workshop with Emma Purshouse, Bilston Art Gallery, Craft & Conflict
Book Launch – The Failed Idealist’s Guide to the Tatty Truth By Fergus McGonigal
Stanza meetings and writing for Hanbury Hall via the Arts Network
WWM – Writing West Midlands – Young Writing- where I started my first of three 1 to 1 Mentoring sessions.
Joined the Arts Network and several online subscriptions.
Successful application for Assistant Writers Role with WWM Writing West Midlands, working with young writers and Ian MacLeod. I also covered as an assistant writer in Jean Atkin’s group.
Applied to be involved in a commission with Naked Lungs, I was later successfully picked for the final collaboration.
Celebrated ONE YEAR A POET a celebration of my first year back in the world of poetry
Kidderminster Creatives Website –
Poem on the Wenlock Poetry Trail (as part of the Poetry Festival) 1 of 23 poems displayed in local shops in the town.
Shops website published
Two poems accepted for Born Free Poetry Anthology – Restless Bones. Elaine Christie watched a performance f my 52 poems a few months later and asked for another two poems, I am delighted to have 4 poems in this wonderful collection.
Hayley Frances asked for Haikus for a new community project taking place as a weekend festival at the MAC (Midland Arts Centre) I sent quite a few and had them used in her Hikikomori installation at the end of the month, which I was lucky enough to see.
I sent some poetry to Acton Scott Farm, Jean Atkin was the poet in residence and had The Half and Half Pig chosen for the Poetry Fence.
Clench Published by Hark Magazine, July Issue.
I also worked on an epic submission for Offa’s Press, which was rejected, but I have the pleasure of knowing one of the new poets that was taken on.
Fallacy (a 52 poem) published in the GBWO – Great British Write Off.
The Cart – Published online – Poetry on The Farm Website
‘Falling into Line’, written especially for the Boy/Girl Issue Published by HCE
Picasso of Dance (a 52 poem) published in Remember Poetry Anthology by Paragram
LOOK OUT for exciting Daniel Sluman posts (he proposed over Christmas) so look forward to an excited Daniel Sluman too!