Monthly Archives: May 2015

WORCESTERSHIRE POET LAUREATE – The Final – I am a Finalist!

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I am delighted to announce this news! WLF&F logo concepts

Back in March, I entered the competition for this year’s Worcestershire Poet Laureate. I was over the moon to make the long-list. There was an interview with two of the team, at which you had a chance to read poetry as well as answer lots of questions. This idea is a good one, as you can tell a lot from people with a little informal chat and some interview questions.

From there I made it to the short-list with 6 other poets. We will compete for the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate on the 12th June, at The Guildhall in Worcester, as part of the opening ceremony for WLF – Worcester LitFest & Fringe.

PLEASE VOTE

We all wrote two poems, our first of which have been published on the WLF website and are open for public votes.

http://worcslitfest.co.uk/worcestershire-poet-laureate-competition-2015/

I am not allowed to tell you which poem is mine, you have ONE VOTE – it’s FREE so please take some time to read the entries and cast your vote.

THE PROGRAMME

You can see the full programme  Prog LitFest 2015 v3.

TICKETS

Tickets can be downloaded or collected from the Tourist Information Centre at The Guildhall or from Worcester Live Box Office, Huntingdon Hall, CrownGate, Worcester WR1 3LD Tel: 01905 611427 or from a member of the LitFest team. Note: When you pay via PayPal your receipt is your ticket – please print a copy and bring it with you to the event.

THE LAUNCH

You can join us at the launch for just £5

June Event Venues Time Ticket Cost  PayPal
12 Friday Launch Poet Laureate Competition / Young Writer Winners / Flash Fiction Winners Guildhall 6pm for 6.30pm start £5.00 btn_buynowCC_LGbtn_buynowCC_LGbtn_buynowCC_LG

WORCESTER LITFEST & FRINGE

I will be performing at;

The Launch Of The Festival – Poet Laureate Competition
And Young Writers’ Awards
The Guildhall, High Street, Worcester WR1 2EY
Friday 12 June – 18:30 for a 19:00 start
Join us for the launch of the Festival and watch 6 poets go head to head as
they compete for the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015.
Judges include: current Worcestershire Poet Laureate Fergus McGonigal,
Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle, County Arts Officer Steve Wilson,
Young Poet Laureate Chloe Clarke and the Secretary of LitFest.
To open the event, we will present the prizes for the Young Writer
competition and the winners of the Flash Fiction competition will be
announced.
Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.worcslitfest.co.uk/2015-
programme-tickets.

 

Adam Millard
42 Worcester Festival Special
Drummonds Bar, The Swan With Two Nicks,
28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP
Wednesday 17 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start
42 Worcester’s Festival Special this year sees the welcome return of Adam
Millard. A writer, mainly fantasy and horror, Adam’s whole life consists of
movies, books, and writing. He’s 31 and lives with his beautiful wife Zoe,
and son, Phoenix Justice. Adam has over fifty tattoos and smells of rich
Mahogany.
Who can resist?

 

SpeakEasy Festival Special
Thursday 18 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start at The Old Rectifying House,
North Parade, Worcester WR1 3NN
Here’s your chance to read your short stories, poems, prose, try out your
performance poetry or music that tells a story. This evening is for you!
Please email curators Maggie and Fergus at speakeasy.litfest@gmail.com or
arrive early to claim an open mic slot.

 

LitFest Solstice Walk – a fabulous freebie
Starting around 10:30pm Saturday 20 June
Join us for a spookily fun walk around Worcester’s famous waterside for the
Summer Solstice – this year we’re keeping it local – the walk will be along
the banks of the River Severn. Starting outside Cripplegate Park gates on the
St John’s side of Worcester Bridge at 10:30(ish) Saturday 20 June, following
the Jonny Fluffypunk / Offa’s Poet gig. We’ll bear health and safety in mind
and ask everyone to bring a torch and wear stout shoes / boots and warm
clothing.
The route will be along the riverside to Diglis Lock and encompass the
Diglis basin marina area. There will be poetry and prose performances along
the route to entertain you.
Start time 10.30pm – finish anticipated just after midnight.
Anyone who wants can perform their poetry, short stories or flash fiction.
We’re allocating 5-minute performance slots for those interested.
Bring a torch, warm clothing and wear stout walking shoes.
Contact secretary@worcslitfest.co.uk

 

PERFORMANCES/ EVENTS 

These are the events I will going to – there are lots more, check the full programme.

‘A Night At The Museum’
Ben Parker & Todd Swift – Poetry Book Launch
The Museum of Royal Worcester, Severn Street, Worcester WR1 2ND
Saturday 13 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start
Free Entry – refreshments available

This book launch marks the conclusion of Ben Parker’s tenure as poet-inresidence at The Museum of Royal Worcester. Ben Parker will be reading from a collection of poems produced during his residency, which will be available for purchase for the first time. This event also marks the beginning of Todd Swift’s residency at The Museum, and Todd will be reading from his highly acclaimed poetry.
Ben’s poetry has appeared in a number of magazines, including The White
Review, Under the Radar and Oxford Poetry, as well as Lung Jazz: Young
British Poets for Oxfam. His debut pamphlet, The Escape Artists, was
published by tall-lighthouse in October 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013
Michael Marks Award.

Todd is a British-Canadian poet, publisher, critic and editor. He is the editor
of numerous anthologies; and has published eight full poetry collections. His
poems have appeared widely, including in Poetry Review, and Poetry
(Chicago). In 2004 Todd was the Oxfam Poet-in-residence. He blogs at
Eyewear and runs the indie press Eyewear Publishing. Todd’s PhD in Creative
and Critical Writing is from The University of East Anglia (UEA). He was
born in Montreal, Quebec.

 

Festival Fringe Events with ‘ConFab Cabaret’
John Hegley
John Hegley – ConFab Cabaret Special
Monday 15th June 20.00-22.30 (Doors Open 19.30)
Tickets £10 online (address below) or £12 on the door
A fun packed variety night with lashings of Spoken Word.
John Hegley will be headlining an extra-special ConFab
Cabaret. John performed on the streets of London in the early eighties,
fronting the Popticians, with whom he also recorded two sessions for John
Peel, and has since been a frequent performer of his words, sung and
spoken, on both local and national radio and television.
Tip top support will be provided by luscious lovely local Malvern muses –
Adrian Mealing, Amy Rainbow, Catherine Crosswell, Clive Dee, Myfanwy
Fox and Sue Thompson. With a fabulous audience poem and
added merriment from international circus performer Steve Kaos!

Offa’s Poets And Jonny Fluffypunk
St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN
Saturday 20 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start
Offa’s Poets Bert Flitcroft and David Bingham
‘Thought-Apples’ is a collection of 25 poems by Staffordshire poet Bert
Flitcroft. They are philosophical, occasionally piquant, always accessible and
pleasing to the ear. Bert was born in 1946 and grew up in Lancashire.
Nowadays he lives near Lichfield, a retired English teacher.
David Bingham’s debut collection from Offa’s Press, ‘The Chatter of
Crows’, includes impressive Japanese-influenced haibun and haiku, which
amuse and intrigue in equal measure. David lives in Ironbridge, Telford, is a
retired Humanities teacher and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from
Birmingham University. He’s currently editor of Blithe Spirit magazine.
‘Good on the page and good on stage’ are Offa’s Poets’ watchwords.
Jonny Fluffypunk
And…the unforgettable ‘economic refugee’ from the Home Counties
returns to LitFest. Stand-up poet, sit-up storyteller and give-up musician
Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the poetry, comedy and
alternative cabaret circuits for over 10 years. A multiple slam champion who
hates competition in the arts and an outspoken voice for anarchy, peace and
bicycles, Jonny’s a favourite with LitFest audiences. His ‘Sustainable
Nihilists’ Handbook’ is published by Burning Eye, and he is currently touring his no-fi stand-up spoken word show ‘Man Up, Jonny Fluffypunk –One Man’s Struggle with Late-Onset Responsibility’ to rousing acclaim.
An evening not to be missed!

WorcesterLitFest 2014

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Review of May

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What an amazing month May has been, jam packed full of life and brimming with poetry and forward motion.

WORK & LIFE

I worked a lot towards the end of the term about 10% more than I have in previous months and stopped worrying about money. I feel a lot more chilled out generally, I think I have Hay House to thank for that. This year I managed to complete the first 3 series of the World Summit, missing the last 4 days as I was busy with life and poetry and enjoying my half term and the sun when it appeared. hay house logo

You can read all about the beginning of the Hay experience here;

The Hay House World Summit 2015 – Week 1

Hay House World Summit 2015 – Week 2

It got me over the prickly start I had at the beginning of the month too. Which was left over from April, I think and inspired this post, in an attempt to spin a positive;

The Ups and Downs of Creatives: Motivation & Mindset

As creative people it is important to acknowledge that our moods, feelings towards our work and our bubble worlds are not always going to be perfect, freeing environments, the hard work we do can be felt sometimes, the rejection, frustration and competition.

PROJECTS & ONGOING POETING

May saw the end of my MOOC course ‘How Writers Write Poetry’ with the University of Iowa. I thoroughly enjoyed this 7 week programme, my highlights were the lessons in form and I have 10 poems as a result of my participation. It was scheduled for earlier this year and I would have been more active with the class groups if the original dates had stood, I enjoyed it all the same. A much better experience than my first online course in 2013, however still an isolating experience with over 800 participants active and little feedback from tutors, well actually none at all. Good job the students knew what they were talking about, most of us were fairly experienced poets and the course ran on two levels for those poets who felt they were still emerging. I shall miss the weekly sessions in a way, but also know the calendar CN-1780-logo-uofiowawouldn’t allow for another intense input for June, I can utilise my study time for more writing now.

David Calcutt continued to edit a Caldmore Garden group poem, it is a great piece. Stitching together the best from all of us. The workshop team are going to be performing it on the 13th June at the Carnival in Caldmore. I would love to have been there but have our final Writing West Midlands group booked. Honoured that my work is being used in this way. Love a community project.

I missed the May workshop at Caldmore Gardens because someone drove into my stationary car this month and mangled the door, I had to cancel Confab Cabaret too. I look forward to the next one in a few days time.

Writing West Midlands – we have as I have mentioned, our final session mid-June, the May session was great fun, Ian MacLeod was on holiday so I had lead writer role, with a whole bag full of tricks. Charley Barnes helped me in the role of assistant writer, it was great. Lots of spectacular ideas were born. Always the sign of a great session, I think.

WWM PINK

I enjoyed another wonderful workshop with Angela France in Stratford, where we carefully edited each other poems and worked on several new pieces, as well as enjoying lunch at The Dirty Duck. The day before I had read an article posted on social media. It was a conversation between Jonathan Edwards & Tishani Doshi as part of the Walking Cities project. I was immediately inspired to use it as base stimuli and emailed Jonathan for permission, which I am delighted to say he has honoured. It was an interesting poem to work on. There were some scribbled notes left for pondering over on the final stanza and I am pleased to say that part is now completed too. A shiny new poem as well as the poetry we spent the afternoon, in the sun, in the garden working on.

I had paid for all day parking at the Marina, so didn’t have to rush off as with previous workshop days. A bunch of us went for coffee in an Italian Café where a new ‘found’ poem was born. I have still yet to write it but I have a photo on my phone to remind me and some scribbled notes in my notebook. Stratford-Upon-Avon is such a beautiful town to wander around. I sat by the river writing for a while. Poetry Wrap 4

Angela france

Promotion started for the Quiet Compere Tour at The HIVE, in Worcester on the 10th July. I am one of ten poets who will be performing and am so excited to have this opportunity. Last year the one in Birmingham at the MAC blew me away. The studio space in The Hive is a lovely space to perform in. QC It is great to appear alongside these talented poets. This has been in the pipeline since APRIL 2014 and I am beyond excited!

SUBMISSIONS & PUBLICATION

I have written some new material this month through workshops, university and writing time. I have not submitted a great deal. I feel very much in the starters blocks with this. I need to work out a submission schedule again, after losing the last one, which included a great file with all the guidelines from each magazine saved in a document, when the laptop died.

I did discover the Seamus Heaney Anthology submission had an extended deadline, so I took a punt and I am glad I did because I had my poem ‘Bridgework’ accepted for the up and coming anthology.

I had previously sent work to Paper Swans for a School Days anthology, I have a poem published/accepted by them, exciting Book Launch opportunities in the summer too. I am chuffed.

I haven’t made any new submissions this month, I have been working on new material, my collection and preparation for Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finals.

POET LAUREATE

I applied for Worcestershire Poet Laureate this year, I made the long list, had an interview and made the short list.

Six of us compete for the title in the Guildhall in Worcester on the 12th June.

Our poems are currently posted on the WLF website, you can go and vote for your favourite.

VOTE: Poems in the FINAL – Worcestershire Poet Laureate

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PERFORMANCE POETRY

2015 was the year for less performing more writing, I am doing well on this challenge. I can accept that there are bound to be some busy months within that, this was one of them. I am doing about 20% than I did in 2014, this month I managed to attend some events as well as perform.

Starting with Headlining at Permission to Speak, I was booked at the beginning of the year and enjoyed this night very much. Thanks to Rob Francis for the booking and support. MM3 Rob Francis

Mouth & Music – Roy MacFarlane. Always a great night, good to see Heather Wastie and Sarah Tamar are back, together after both suffering with ill health. Roy was incredible, the theme – Love in times of Revolution lead for some very heartfelt, moving poetry and performances.

HOWL – is an incredible night hosted by Leon Priestnall, I hadn’t managed to get to one before and I am already booked in for a slot next month, it was a great night.

42 – my favourite theme fairies and pixies, a fantastic night of good performances and great writing.

Word Up – featuring Leon Priestnall, Jan Watts and Heather Wastie and one not to be missed. A great night, one that leaves you with a real buzz, partly down to Jasmine Gardosi working us up to her energy level.

Opus Club – as with HOWL, I have wanted to get to one of these nights since they started in at the beginning of this year. It was madness, incredible madness. The vintage theme saw us all swinging back to the time of the speakeasy, there was an amazing magician turning tricks in the bar, Harry – mind-blowingly talented and has put me off gambling for life! The amazing house band, talent after talent weaving across the open mic stage and opportunities to perform with music. Headlined by Hannah Silva. Have a look at the night in pictures here Opus Club – The Dark Horse – definitely a fantastic way to see out the month!

I also went to SpeakEasy to see Sarah James & Angela Topping perform from their new pamphlet, Hearth and discovered the energetic stage presence that is James Cottrill, a Canadian Peformance Poet.

All of these events can be read about in more detail on Poetry Wrap 3

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It has been a splendid start to the Summer! Next month includes; Worcester LitFest and Ledbury Poetry Festival, the Poet Laureate Finals, Droitwich Summer Festival and performances around the Midlands. Poetry to work on, submissions to make and treasure to find!

Happy writing x

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Opus Club – The Dark Horse

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Opus Club – The Dark Horse, Birmingham

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Opus Club is hosted by Jasmine Gardosi, run by herself and Mike Stork. I have not managed to get across for any Opus Clubs beforehand, so this was my first impression of it all, what a cracking event it was!

I wasn’t sure I could manage ‘vintage’ dress but I did find a fascinator that I wore on my top and I used the jacket bought for my brother’s wedding, some spots and my hair on the side and hey presto – sort of.

I was really nervous about performing after seeing last month’s line up of open mic-ers, I changed my set four times. I needn’t have worried the atmosphere was friendly and the venue had a cosy stage filled with the house band Mstork & The Flights. I think part of my nerves were that I had chosen to perform with musical backing, when you imagine a beat or a guitar that is one thing but a whole band. It went well and feedback included people telling me they thought it was a rehearsed set, guess I have the talents of the band to thank for that. It was great fun trying something different and I have no regrets, sure it makes my delivery of the words stronger too. Hannah Silva headlined and she made the band backing work tremendously well.

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Amongst the line up there was; Leon Priestnell, Nafeesa Hamid, Tom Kwei, P.A.D & Catriona Heatherington, who is a wonderful story-teller, myself – Nina Lewis and some who signed up on the door.

The night is split into 3 parts; open mic-ers, open mic-ers with music, music and featured artist. If this wasn’t enough it is followed by partying into the night until 2AM! There was even a Magician, Harry – who blew my mind before the night even took off.

It was lovely to see people I have not seen for ages and meet new faces. I had a ball. Left on a real high – I couldn’t manage the partying into the night after a 4 day run of poetry performances and workshops.

Rang-Zeb took some amazing photos of the evening and for your delight – and for those of us who were there, to bring the magic back. With kind permission… feast your eyes!

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OPUS 12

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Rang-Zeb is an amazingly clever photographer, as you can see from these shots. He is incredibly supportive, open & giving – not to mention talented! I still cannot believe this is not his full-time profession!

Thanks for letting me use your photography to enhance this review.

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I had watched Hannah’s You Tube performances but seeing her live was something else. Queen of Linguistics.

I had a fabulous night and can’t wait for the next one!

Poetry Wrap 4

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Poetry Wrap 4 – is bursting! It covers 3 weeks instead of just one, settle down, get comfortable and have a read!

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WEEK 2

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In the 2nd week of May I had a gorgeous 3 day run of poetry events, starting with Mouth & Music on the 12th – the theme was Love in times of Revolution and I really struggled to write to this theme. One of the hardest challenges this year. In the end I managed to write 3 poems on the day all about Love and Revolution, I performed the final set of the evening and these poems performed back to back made for a moving set. I am beginning to explore form thanks to the University of Iowa and my current MOOC study; ‘How Writers Write Poetry’. It was a Pantoum for those of you who are interested.

Pantoum Structure

Written in four-line stanzas; and the second and fourth line of each stanza become the first and third of the succeeding stanza. In the last stanza, the second and fourth lines are the third and first of the first stanza; so that the opening and closing lines of the pantoum are identical. Each line is a repeton.

One expert insists that it should be both rhymed abab bcbc … zaza and that the lines be isosyllabic. This was more true of the Pantoum in French. English is a little more loosey-goosey as was the Malay version. The same expert says that there is a variation where the poem is ended with lines 1 and 3 used as repetons in reverse order as a couplet.

Copyright © 2001-2013 by Charles L. Weatherford – Source Poetrybase

The night was headlined by Roy MacFarlane – former Birmingham Poet Laureate, a favourite poet of mine and an incredibly lovely chap! It was great to catch up with him, as I hadn’t seen him since last summer. His set was moving, sexy and exciting! Music was provided by the wonderfully talented David Coughlin, who made me feel like I was away on my holidays being treated to a great gig.

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The following evening I headed to Kings Heath to join in with HOWL, an event that Leon Priestnall has been running for a while now, due to work commitments and energy levels I hadn’t been able to make it over before.

Another superb evening – INCREDIBLE talent from both performers and open mic-ers. WOW! Another lovely venue and great support from the staff too.

Leon has built up an incredible reputation for both himself and this event in a relatively short period of time. Topping the night off was a lady (audience) who actually HOWLED her appreciation all through the night!

HOWL

The following day I received some exciting news. I had been LONGLISTED for Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate Competition 2015-16, which I entered back in March, in secret! My interview went well and I have been shortlisted for the final (12th June) here’s a link to the full story COMING SOON

I went to SpeakEasy, where I didn’t perform but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

speakeasy may Sarah James and Angela Topping have recently published a collaborative pamphlet called ‘Hearth’, they launched the book at Cheltenham Poetry Festival and will continue to promote it. If you get a chance go and see them and buy the book! SJ-AT-Hearth-front-cover-scaledRRP is £5, available from the poets directly or from mothersmilkbooks

Lots of talent from all the performers and the evening was finished off by the energetic performance poet Jeff Cottrill, who is from Canada. International Guest Slots going on now.

WEEK 3

Then I took a week off from performing, concentrated on working, Hay House Summit and my MOOC course with the University of Iowa. I also received some great news, another poem published in a print anthology, another book launch. LINK COMING SOON

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Stanza was the last thing I did before half term.

WEEK 4

I missed Poetry Bites (sadly) as I had a 4 day run and I decided that with MOTs for the car, optician appointments and visiting relatives, I wouldn’t have an abundant amount of energy left. Maybe the meditation from last week has helped, I seemed to have sailed through.

My first performance was at Drummonds 42 where the theme was Fairies, Pixies, Witches & Warlocks. Most of wrote about the Fae folk – who have plenty of shadowy, darker elements.

I took great pleasure in working on a poem about two ceramic pixies my Great Aunty used to let me play with as a child, another poem about an online ‘Which Fairy are You?’ quiz, one about Scottish fairies and finally with so much research left over I wrote a short piece of Flash Fiction, which seemed to go down well.

All of these pieces were written at 5 AM! I woke up really early on Wednesday and couldn’t sleep, I had originally factored in plans to do three things before the evening’s 42. I decided I may as well get my set ready and spent the best part of 3 hours creating it. I had planned on going back to bed, but this never happened.

The evening was brilliant and there were some top notch performances as well as some new faces. 42

The following morning, I was up early (I haven’t actually managed a late morning or lie in all week), to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a Poetry workshop with Angela France.

We were editing today and I was reminded to take a poem. The day before I had read an article/ conversation posted on social media. It was a conversation between Jonathan Edwards & Tishani Doshi as part of the Walking Cities project. I was immediately inspired to use it as base stimuli and emailed Jonathan for permission, which I am delighted to say he has honoured. So I made use of the early morning and penned a new poem to take to Stratford – and I am glad I did because it is now even stronger than the first few drafts. It has changed quite considerably. I will share it with Jonathan Edwards and then submit it for publication, I would love it to feature in my first collection too.

The workshop was great (as always) and it was lovely to see everyone again. The sun even came out in the afternoon for us to write in the garden. My notebook is full of references & poets to look up as well as two newly penned poems.

The next day Friday, I went to Word Up. I took the train in, which was great for my writing notebook which now has snippets of conversation. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable. Headlined by Jan Watts, Leon Priestnall & Heather Wastie. It was a great night of performance and poetry. It was nice to see Carys Jones, who is now back in the UK too, even better to hear her perform new material. She is currently working on a show to take to Edinburgh Fringe this year too.

Last night saw the last event of the month – Opus Club at The Dark Horse in Moseley. Both this night and Word Up are hosted by Jasmine Gardosi and are definitely worth going to. I decided to perform with the House Band and it was AWESOME. Initially I was worried because it was a whole band and I had expected just one or two musicians. I needn’t have worried, family genes are full of musicality (thanks Dad) and it was so good people thought it had been rehearsed that way. I managed to learn two poems off by heart – which was a minor miracle because I changed the set 3 or 4 times and spent most of Saturday with Mr G in a local Garden Centre!

Here’s some flavour of the night, it was certainly eclectic, Headlined by Hannah Silva.

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Photographs used with permission from the wonderful Rang-Zeb Rango Hussain. A second post about OPUS will be posted where you can see more photos.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/opus-club-the-dark-horse/

It was lovely to see people I hadn’t seen for ages and meet new ones. And that – as I used to say back in the days of showbiz, is a wrap!

The Things to Come…. Marvellous May

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The Hay House Summit has finished, missed most of the final sessions as I was busy with workshops and performances. My MOOC course ‘How Writers Write Poetry’ – University of Iowa is in its final few days, I am mainly saving resources and completing some of the internal projects which I encountered during the 7 weeks. I take a lot away from this course including 10 decently edited and possibly ready (although currently resting in that metaphoric drawer) poems.

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Both elements of April/May have been great fun and have served me well. I have a whole notebook from Hay House and several print outs and saved websites and resources to refer back to and explore more when I have the time.

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I have also 48hours off from performing – in which time I will be catching up, blogging and possibly working on more writing.

It is an exciting time and you have these posts to look forward to (some may appear in Poetry Wraps);

  • The WLF Programme – Worcester LitFest 2015
  • Ledbury Poetry Festival 2015
  • Longlisted for WPL – Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015-16
  • SpeakEasy with Angela Topping and Sarah James
  • Published by Paper Swans
  • Stanza
  • Tickets for John Hegley
  • 42, Fairies & Pixies
  • Writing a poem inspired by Jonathan Edwards (Costa Award winning poet)
  • Workshop with Angela France
  • Word Up
  • Opus Club with Hannah Silva

and of course the monthly review.

So I had best get writing, keep reading!

x

Hay House World Summit 2015 – Week 2

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hay house logo  Since my last blog post I have been busy picking up more work than usual, which is good just before the non-income holiday. I have lots of news for this week’s poetry wrap and in addition to all this I have been catching up with the Hay House World Summit. I also have a week left of my MOOC poetry course which I need to do a quick catch up with over the Bank Holiday weekend. I have assigned a lot of time to Hay House and that finishes next week.

They divide the materials into 4 days stages, I have posted about the first week here, this post is about the 2nd upload of course material – 14-18th May. A 20-Day Journey to Self-Discovery, Health and Success. 

This stage was about treasuring all of our experiences.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed the summit and this week’s lessons have led me to new website discoveries and some inspirational exercises and videos.

I have also found the odd bit of poetry muse occurring, which I have scribbled alongside my notes and then duplicated it in my writing notebook. The printer ink is running low as so many of the experts include PDF resources to follow up. We haven’t had the laptop/ printer long and I am not convinced of the 180 pages capacity, especially as poetry tends to have wide margins and a lot of white space left on the page. Maybe the message pop up is like a fuel light and it will keep going for a bit (for the record I treat my car better than that and fill up before the light comes on)!

I have also started ‘The Artists Way’ recently, a book I bought myself last year. I have started the morning pages and I was already aware of that first waking, lucid state and the access we have and the openness of our thoughts coming back to being awake from slumber. One of the most inspirational quotations this week was delivered in the first video I viewed ‘E-Motion’;

‘Each morning as soon as you take your head off the pillow, you have all you need.’

This feeling of security and abundance has not been in my life for long, I know I have felt it at previous points in my life. Recently I think perhaps in the past two years it has returned. I am aware I have everything I need – too much, I need to de-clutter, I know life is simpler with less things. I know I hold onto things I no longer need, this includes my own emotions. I don’t need the biggest and best of everything, even back when I could afford it, I didn’t buy it. I spent my money travelling around the globe, experiencing new places and meeting people.

I know that because of this nature, I will not find having everything I need too difficult to believe and use.

Watching this film brought a lot of my ‘pre-jump’ life back to me. How work affected everything I did, believed, lived. How negative and dark my world was (thank goodness for Mr G) back then. How my mum and Mr G told me to get out of it, years before I did, how ill I became because of it. I recently had a conversation with a friend of a friend who teaches and she could not believe what I had been through or how I managed to survive.

I truly lived in Emergency Mode everyday, the only thought I had each morning when I woke up was ‘Not again!’ Usually after just 4 or 5 hours sleep. I was also really ill for most of the eight years I worked in these conditions. Big things; inflamed sternum, migraine like headaches, slipped discs, discs popping out onto nerves… but I know we are not defined by our past experiences and the past two years have been the equivalent of a paradise island holiday, even the bad days have been nothing more than stubbing a toe on the pain stakes and with no lasting injury or affect. Of course I wouldn’t recognise this if I hadn’t experienced it so bad.

What was also powerful was some connections came up from the previous series. The message of SLOW DOWN – once again came through live and clear – and after reading the first (rather scary) paragraph of this post, I have to agree.

By the end of the film I felt a great uplift and felt ready to create my world – rather than taking on the world.

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I also feel blessed that right at the beginning of my poetry odyssey in the Ort Café Birmingham, I discovered the poetry of Rumi. I haven’t read much of him myself, but am aware of the wisdom in his work, the influence and not a season goes by without a Rumi poem in it. This week I discovered his poem, The Guest House, WOW! Just in case you have never read it… I have to share.

 

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

© Copyright 2011 Leo Norrie

© Copyright 2011 Leo Norrie

I love this hotel with no guests and no beds, no one stays but everybody passes through for a reason. All you need to know will be revealed.

I discovered more about forgiveness, although my mum taught me these lessons well.

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The Hay House World Summit 2015 – Week 1

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In 2013 I took part in the Hay House World Summit, this year I have signed up again. It started on the 9th May, I signed up on the 8th and had access to some additional bonus videos.

My original draft post was just a breakdown of who I have listened to, what I have watched and what I have gained. It is the lessons I am learning which are perhaps most interesting for a blog post.

Now this is not New Age Mumbo Jumbo – these are writers and scientists and experiences, alongside meditations and book recommendations (of course they want to sell their work – a small price to pay for a 20 day empowerment retreat FOR FREE)… you can sign up at anytime, give yourself the gift.

hay house logo

Deepak Chopra – Who Am I

This talk was about fears being tracked back to not knowing who we are. I thought you might enjoy this list that I got from my first lesson.

The Gifts of our Spirit – Soul as source of the whole world

love – make this a priority

compassion

empathy

joy

choice

imagination

insight

creativity

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‘Keep your sense of wonder, do things that are meaningful, not just to you, but to the world. Practise self-awareness and mindfulness. Live the questions. Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose?’ – Deepak Chopra

Bruce Lipton – The Science of Keeping Love Alive

Marianne Williamson – Wisdom from a Course in Miracles

and other videos were also available at the time but it was election night in the UK so I missed the time to watch these.

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The first series started Saturday, there are over 100 hours of lessons, videos and audio. This is why you can buy the whole summit. I am just choosing the material I think will be best for me. Confirming what I know and giving me some new knowledge too. In fact they encourage you to use your intuition when choosing.

SHIFT – Dr Wayne W Dyer the-shift187 Hay House Copyright © 2015 Hay House

Last night I watched the best video – SHIFT with Dr Wayne W Dyer (love his books), I didn’t have time to carve 2 hours in one sitting, as I worked with the Worcester Writing Group WWM yesterday and got home at tea time, but it was a great use of time whilst dinner was cooking.

I wrote notes in my writing notebook as I watched, only occasionally paused the video and even wrote a beautiful nature poem. I would recommend this film, watch it. It will wake up your mind and spirit.

Day 3

This morning, I was wide awake at 5 A.M and I thought – why not get up and make some time for more audio from the summit. I watched, listened and made notes for 3 hours. Lots of discovery.

hay house

 Not only is it great to feel connected to authors that I have read for many years, but also to have positivity confirmed. This leap of faith that is talked about that I know I have made. I am so grateful that when I talk to friends and family about my life now, they show true happiness for me too.

When I went to vote, I bumped into two friends that I hadn’t seen for ages, what felt like months, we worked out has actually been 2 years. I talked to them about my life – they were there right before my illness took over, before I left work and resigned and bought a house with Mr G. They couldn’t believe the change, they were delighted. I also might have arranged new opportunities with work with them too.

I feel inspired again to chase dreams and follow those inner voices that guide and freak out when I don’t listen. I have also discovered some great resources and websites, some of which I will share on my weekly Hays House World Summit but really – you should sign up (FOR FREE) and find your own trail through the videos and interviews you need. I was certainly meant to take part this year. Are you?

Copyright © 2015 The Tapping Solution.comtapping solution dot com

Next I watched another film, this one with case studies, incredibly moving. I had heard of this technique, never used it. Not yet.

I have since heard many of the team at Hay House talk about using it – and have tried several tapping sessions myself now, it WORKS!

Then over the next few days I set about listening and responding to interviews;

Awakening the Oracle Within: How to Powerfully and Creatively Navigate Your Destiny with Colette Baron-Reid, best-selling author of Messages from Spirit and The Map, takes you on a journey to awaken your oracle within.

I learnt a couple of great visualisation and mindfulness techniques, an enjoyable lesson.

Next I turned to davidji Finding Happiness and Stepping Into Your Power

Acclaimed meditation expert and stress-management guru davidji presents a fascinating discussion on happiness and destressifying. Most of us move through life in a conditioned way, instead of with purpose and deeper meaning. If we begin to master our emotions—being reflective instead of reactive—we can pull ourselves out of pain and live lives of greater happiness.

Another great session which has led me to some online meditation. I will remember ‘heart breathing’ and ‘soda’ and discovering davidji, an incredible being.

That’s what I enjoyed about the summit last time too – it leads you to discover amazing resources that you otherwise would be ignorant of – I plan to post a list at the end of the summit.

Leaps of Faith: Trusting the Universe and Allowing Divine WillDoreen Virtue

Join Doreen Virtue for an intimate chat about what it means to place your trust in the Universe and change your life course. During this warm and engaging conversation, Doreen candidly talks about her Divine calling to align with her authentic purpose, both back in the ’90s and again today. Opening up about her next phase of life, she discloses her recent leap of faith and how she is now stepping out into the unknown.

Be ’emotionally unafraid’.

Sometimes the universe answers questions that have unsettled uour mind for a while. Last month was incredibly hard for me as a writer and performer, I was struggling with self-belief and losing faith in the power of the poem. It is funny what we already know and forget.

When I was 12, I had a hobby of writing letters, with 32 Pen-pals all over the world. There was a great company (before the days of the internet) where for the price of a couple of stamps they would send you details of other people and you would become penfriends. Two of these dear virtual paper friends made it through to my adult life (yes we still WRITE – use the post boxes and the stamps – airmail on a doormat is the best kind of greeting). Melinda Wee, from the Philippines sent me a postcard when I was 12 – with the words – ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time, you can please some of the people, some of the time.’

At 12 I didn’t really understand this, I was living, or perhaps surviving in EGO already and couldn’t really wrap myself around this context. Years later, I understood this lesson and then I forgot it. Doreen Virtue (the lady of cards) brought it back to me in the lesson ‘Leaps of Faith: Trusting the Universe & Allowing Divine Will’ – when she said;

You have to not care and trust. Trust that there is an audience who think the same as you.

Don’t worry about them. There is no-one in history on Earth, that everyone liked. You can’t please everyone.  

AND POW! Immediately my fear was gone – and I can tell you my performances since at Mouth & Music and Howl have been fabulous sets where pins would have rung out if they had of been dropped! Poet 2

This photo was taken before my 1st performance back in October 2013.

LET IT GO – or do an ‘Elsa’ which is a Frozen term I have invented. It may catch on like no worries and being in a bubble…

Write from your heart and people who resonate with you WILL follow. Doreen Virtue

The Motivation Renaissance – Brendon Burchard

Join best-selling author and personal-development guru Brendon Burchard and Hay House president and CEO Reid Tracy as they explain how to claim your personal power amid the ocean of distractions presented by modern life.

6 practises of integrity;

1) Think before you act

2) Never commit to anything for which you lack passion

3) Keep our word

4) Always treat others with respect

5) Tell the truth

6) Always favour ACTION

I might follow the advice of writing a 3-5 page manifesto when the retreat is over. My thought to take away at this point is;

Advance towards things that matter – let go of everything that isn’t.

The Soul: Understanding Its Journey & Lessons- James Van Praagh

James Van Praagh, author of Adventures of the Soul, talks about the soul and how understanding your soul will reveal your true essence. James describes the soul as the “core of our being” and explains how the body, the spirit, and the soul are related.

This was one of those strange happenings, an audio lesson I had originally decided to gloss over as I wasn’t convinced by the subject matter or the brief of the lesson. In the end I decided to give it a go.

I received my most powerful experience of the summit yet. I learnt about pace and how I am perhaps racing around at 4x the speed of those people I admire, the ones who exude calm connectedness. He has produced some soul reading cards and I think the best thing to do is just provide a link, tell you to give it a chance and hope that you find yourself in blissful euphoria by the end of it, as I did.

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/the-soul-understanding-its-journey-and-lessons/

A Acton 10

I dipped into and wrote my way through many more lessons and carry away some important thoughts.

Series 2 has been live since the 14th and I am already a few lessons in. Look for the post next week. I have not felt this light and connected for a long while, this summit has come at exactly the right time for me.

Hay House World Summit 2015

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In 2013 I was lucky enough to take part of the Hays House World Summit, this year I have signed up again. It started on the 9th May, I signed up on the 8th and had access to some additional bonus videos.

I will post a weekly overview for the next few weeks, sharing what I have watched and heard and learnt.

It is FREE to sign up, I would encourage you to so if you are open to empowerment – or even if you are not.

hay house logo https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com

Poetry Wrap 3

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A week of poetry; getting it published, reading it, writing to form and performing as a Headline act.

A busy and rewarding week with some full (much needed) writing days.

The first weekend I was without my car and missed The Ort with Debbie Aldous in Birmingham, the end of Cheltenham Festival, Caldmore Writing workshop with David Calcutt and Confab Cabaret in Malvern with Matt Windle ‘Poet with Punch’ and Kurly, who I recently saw perform at SpeakEasy in Worcester, which is where I will have to catch him again when he Headlines.

 

Studying Poetry and Writing West Midlands

I spent time catching up with my MOOC course, writing poetry, reading poetry and preparing this weekend’s writing session for WWM, as Ian is away and I get to be Lead Writer again. WWM

 

Submissions, Publications, Poetry Festivals & Blogs

I submitted to the Seamus Heaney anthology and had a poem accepted, to be published in print form later this year. I booked tickets for the 52 event as part of Stratford Poetry Festival and emailed a couple of poets about Guest Blog posts.

 

Performing Poetry/ Headlining

Performance wise I had just the one gig, it had been a week since I performed and I also (made what I have since learnt is a mistake) took a set with 80% new material to Headline at Permission to Speak, the Scary Canary – a wonderful new spoken word night created and hosted by Rob Francis.

MM3 Rob Francis I was headlining alongside the ever talented Ian Passey, a.k.a Humdrum Express.

http://heyevent.com/event/2141316629340676/permission-to-speak-4-poetry-spoken-word-feature-poet-nina-lewis

I complete my week working with the Senior writing group at The Hive. hive3

Next Week at a glance:

  • Mouth & Music Love in the Revolution
  • HOWL
  • SpeakEasy
  • & it is Mental Health Awareness Week

The Ups and Downs of Creatives: Motivation & Mindset

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notebooks The Ups and Downs of Creatives

YOU ARE NORMAL – IT IS NORMAL!

  • Writing can be particularly isolating – get out and find Local Creative movements or find an online community.
  • Keep your motivation up. If you’re not excited – then who will be?
  •  Be brave – look in the mirror and see courage – and if not, repeat the words a few times.
  • Find time to put in practise
  • and practise what you learn

MOTIVATION

Look at some great examples (people/work) and aspire, see what achievements they had, do you see yourself having the same?

maya creativity

  • Share your own learning experience
  • Pass it forward

Then you get to a place you feel you should be and it is all waterfalls and rainbows after that? Wrong.

You keep growing – keep learning – keep failing and succeeding. Many creative areas are like small planetary systems and the orbit around us is called REJECTION – occasionally you see a small opening – shoot for it and make it through to success – and even success comes with a ton more lessons.

Don’t let that put you off wishing for it – in fact wishing for success is your first step towards it – pull it closer towards you.

Be prepared for your confidence to take a knock – and quite often you are the one responsible for throwing such punches.

Be prepared for a lack of self-belief to raise its ugly head from time to time.

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GOAL SETTING

Set goals – be clear on what it is you want to achieve and when things go wrong make 1 of 2 decisions;

– kick it to the kerb and try again

OR

– decide that fate has other plans and move in a different direction  – fight or flight really – of course it is TRULY something you really want – keep fighting – don’t give up – but set a time limit on the punches (mine was 16 years*, now closer to 13, despite it taking 9 months to find my writing niche).

Right now, especially if I reflect on the past 4 months, there are things that haven’t gone as well as I would have liked. Things that have failed completely (note I say ‘things’ and not I – rejection is not personal) but also there has been success, achievement and a few opportunities I had not dreamt would be on offer this early on the path of my goals.

A happy summer 2011 SEEK HAPPINESS

Of course a certain amount of dream/ambition and perfect working world comes from a place where we seek happiness. If you are serious about making it part of your life/existence you will need to accept that it will be jolly hard work (often not jolly at all) … but if you love what you’re doing it won’t feel like work and when it does and you feel it dragging you down… do what I do and think about what WORK used to mean/be! I can guarantee you are doing better now -right?

Stress(ing) takes up abundant amounts of energy and you may find (if like me you still have paid employment to keep you alive) that this is becoming ever more stressful.

DAlma© 2014 Deborah Alma

This year for many reasons (not least that I am finally well enough to do so) I have taken on more career work. The result of this has meant losing writing days – for the first few months this made me angry. Mr G was working away and I wanted to spend my free time with him, not the laptop – and I am glad I did, because we got through it and are now reunited and the laptop can make an appearance at any time without neglect or imbalance occurring.

Looking back considering what a challenging (timewise) writing year it has been so far, I am not doing too badly. There is one major project that I wish I had spent more time on in the New Year, on the flip side although I have inevitably delayed something exciting and forward propelling from happening, I have created new material which wouldn’t have been written in time or possibly would never have existed.

writing space 2 mote carlo CREATE SPACE

Remember to create some space and time for you to address what’s happening, what you are thinking. What do you want your life to be like? Start with the ideal and work backwards.

What is important to you?

What creative direction would you like to take?

 TOP TIPS:

  • step out of your comfort zone
  • seek new opportunities
  • plan and schedule – only say YES if you can do it
  • Celebrate the good times and try to acknowledge the bad times, they will often teach valuable lessons. Many times over, usually.
  • Remember all those famous people who failed, that we only see the success (which is why I like to blog the fails too). If you have been walking around without an eye on the internet for the past decade and happen to have missed the list and have no clue what I’m talking about…. here are just a few popular examples:

DURING THEIR LIFETIME…Motivate faith

Vincent Van Gogh: sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money.

Emily Dickinson: had fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.

I have (and probably you have) already beaten this in today’s world of publishing.

Theodor Seuss Giesel: 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book.

Steven Spielberg: was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.

Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash.

J. K. Rowling: was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel.

ELVIS PRESLEY got fired after his first show;

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

world poetry day LOOK BACK

Look back – YES

I look through my schedule, which I annotate as I go with highlighters/markers, I know my key: Performing, writing, submitting, publishing etc.

Then I have a system where at the end of the month I write on a small post-it all the MAJOR achievements, that way when I reflect I just look over the 1-12 post-it notes.

Other people keep their TO DO lists in a separate notebook and just look back through these.

It needn’t mean extra work for you, but this reflection will boost your creativity/ output and success in the future.

I have also learnt to let the dips happen, they are a natural (and necessary) part of any creative career. Plus many creative people are likely to suffer depression, anxiety… so let go, give in and feel the rip and pull of the tide until you enjoy it as much as the gentle white horses of the sea covering your feet on the sand.

The best way to deal with it or anything is to

JUST KEEP GOING!

motivation keep on

Happy Writing x

* Brief information on my plan = 4 Olympics… all this is training for my first – 2016.