I had the pleasure of going to Cheltenham for Angela France’s Book Launch last week. This was an amazing event. Set in the very place where villagers met to discuss the fate of the hill, there were riots and everything (historically, not on the 20th July).
In fact I spent an hour stuck on a road facing THE hill. So I felt I knew it by the time I arrived at the Wheatsheaf Inn.
The Launch was in the function space, decorated with ribbons and fairy lights and filled with a crowd of poets, locals, friends and family. It was an exceptionally good turn out and the evening shone beautiful sunshine into the space.
Angela’s latest collection ‘The Hill’ ties together historical fact, modern day thought and the people and places of the hill, significant turning points and lives through the years. It is a project which has seen years of research and uses archive materials as well as creative thought.
I was excited to discover a few months ago whilst working on my own Poetry Collaboration show 30-40-60, that Angela was using multimedia as well. She had the wonderful backing of Elephant’s Footprint Poetry Film (more on them soon) and the added bonus of a remote control. We timed our footage and this left no room for error or pause.
I LOVED the multimedia element, sometimes photos of archives or archived photos, other times narrated letters, modern day film clips, lawful protests and letters to editors, a real blend. I don’t want to give too much detail as I know Angela France is touring this show and I would urge you to go and see it!
It worked really well and Angela’s poetry filled the room. I am really excited about reading this collection. My fascination for people and place is going to be quenched by these poems.
I have not set pen to paper for a while apart from commissioned work, listening to Angela set my mind racing and shook muse awake. I filled pages in my carry about notebook and once home spent 2 hours writing poetry!
© Photo Credit Nine Arches Press 2017
It gave me an opportunity to meet some of the Cheltenham poets whose work I published back in June for World Refugee Day. As well as spending time with poets I know and catching up with all their news.
Also an incredible fruitful discussion about Poetry Film with Chaucer Cameron & Helen Dewbery – Elephant’s Footprint. I recently discovered that several successful poets came to their submission decisions and found opportunities at my Book Launch, it looks like I may have just done the same.
A fabulous evening filled with words and community.
This is a book launch with a very special local and historical twist – it takes place in The Wheatsheaf pub where the ‘Leckhampton Stalwarts’, who feature prominently in The Hill, used to meet.
This launch event will also feature Angela France’s multimedia poetry show which accompanies the book and includes the images, maps and voices of the characters Angela found in the archives, as well as a selection of live poems from Angela France interwoven into a compelling story of trespass, place and memory.
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