Photography Credit: Mark Farley, RJ Museum © 2017
Thursday 5th October (Cont’d)
After a wonderful morning at Artsite… we all headed back to the museum.
These hats, like Jinny’s balloons feature heavily throughout the Festival!
Back at the Richard Jefferies Museum we had a whole afternoon and evening of events to enjoy and of course – for the team, chores and jobs we needed to get used to quickly.
16:00 to 17:00 POETRY LECTURE RJ Museum Tent-Palace
In this special lecture, From The Supernatural To The Surreal, Christopher Eddy, philosopher and poet, traces the journey from the one to the other in poems by W.B.Yeats and Dylan Thomas.
Christopher Eddy provided a lecture, whilst Stephen, Gram and myself busily started preparing for our performance at 5:30 PM.
I was incredibly nervous and felt I needed more than an hour to get my head swapped to performance mode, I needn’t have been so nervous. It was an exceptional event, I am not just saying that because it was our event! People were still talking about it several days later.
17:30 to 18:30 V FORMATION – POETS of V. PRESS RJ Museum Tent-Palace
A celebration of three new and exciting voices in British poetry: Stephen Daniels, Gram Joel Davies and Nina Lewis. Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry and Strange Poetry websites. His debut pamphlet Tell Mistakes I Love Them was published in 2017 by V. Press. Gram Joel Davies lives in Devon and his pamphlet, Bolt Down This Earth was V. Press’ Forward Prize nominee for 2017. Nina Lewis is Worcestershire Poet Laureate and her debut pamphlet Fragile Houses was published by V. Press in 2016.
We were introduced by Sam Loveless.
Gram Joel Davies
Julia Webb © 2017
Julia Webb © 2017
Stephen Daniels, the most local poet amongst our formation, read from his recently published pamphlet Tell Mistakes I Love Them, then Gram Joel Davies read from his collection Bolt Down This Earth and finally I took to the ‘Blue Gate’ home-made by the marvellous handy man, Mike Pringle, lectern to read and perform poems from Fragile Houses.
Poetry Swindon was the first festival where I sold my pamphlet last year when it was fresh off the publishers line. I was delighted to have an official space on the book stall again this year along with my fellow V. Press poets.
We had a great event which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Then it was time to don the green uniform (RJ T-shirts) and get back to work serving supper before the final show of the day. One I was very much looking forward to as it featured all 3 Resident Poets and I am a big fan of all of them.
20:00 to 21:30 READINGS RJ Museum Tent-Palace
Daljit Nagra, Tania Hershman & Jacqui Saphra, our resident poets, perform from their
new work and most recent collections. Plus music from young singer and poet Olivia Tuck.
Hilda Sheehan introduced the event and poets.
Olivia Tuck shared her music and then three poets wowed a tent palace and demonstrated why they are this year’s resident poets.
It was a magical evening and a great first night at the festival. I wish I could review it all in more detail, but it was a long while ago and nothing but the emotions stay fresh in my memory. By the end of the 5 days that was Poetry Swindon, I was struggling to remember my name!
I know that I have read and heard Daljit’s work a lot in the past three years and always want to hear it again, it is never quite the same when I read it from the page. I know that I first met Tania Hershman years ago, officially in 2014 at Poetry Swindon when Jo Bell was the resident poet and Tania insisted she was a short story writer and not a poet… fast forward a few years, she has had her first collection published by Nine Arches, so I think Jo was right on that one! Jacqueline Saphra I had the pleasure of meeting just a week before Poetry Swindon, in London at Free Verse, the Poetry Book Fair (which I also need to blog still). I thoroughly enjoyed her reading and discovering more of her work.
Traditionally after every final event Hilda and the team provide FREE toast. That was an experience for us new to the team. The bar remains open and we were serving until bed time.