Daily Archives: April 30, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 A Review of a Week of Poetry 4

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So that is it for another year NaPoWriMoNoMore! A poem a day, something that has to wait until I have more time. I have several in the poetry bank now, one to be used in an exhibition, a couple on editing ice and a few I will one day be ready to submit! Thanks for the inspiration, the prompts have been fruitful this year!

Congratulations to everyone who took part. Here’s my list of titles:

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Week 4 Poetry 

  1. 26. Teacher’s Gifts
  2. 27. The Great Mother
  3. 28. Postcard from Middle England
  4. 29. Over (Plath response poem to ‘Edge’)
  5. 30. Le Bateau

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Week 1 Poetry

  1. Best Before
  2. The Sea Jewel
  3. The Home at Christmas
  4. Apology
  5. Bring Me The Shoes
  6. Wordle Band Name
  7. Pudding Protest
  8. In the Park
  9. Picking Blackberries
  10. Note at Preached/ Preached to Neat / A Taped Coherent / Open at Detacher

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Week 2 Poetry

11. Cotton To
12. The Tiny Objects of a Vast Mind
13. World Going
14. White Matter Change
15. Apple
16. The Difficult House – Poem Beginning with a line from Sean Nevin
17. Keep the Light
18. Remover

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Week 3 Poetry

19. Not of Eve (Written about the White Witch)
20. Rules of the Game (A poem based on the rules of Badminton)
21. Wið færstice – For a Sudden Stitch (A Poetry Spell)
22. On Display (Reverse text)
23. Contrast (Erasure)
24. A State of Disobedience
25. Narcissus Flower

Submissions Open Tomorrow for the Final WPL Poetry Collection

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The final opportunity to be part of a WPL Poetry Collection.
Send your poems in!

Poet Laureate

Stephen Hawking collection

It seems apt on the day Google celebrates the 241st birthday of Johann Carl Friedrich Gauß (or Gauss), a German mathematician and physicist who used maths to rediscover the lost Dwarf Planet Ceres, that I should post Open Submissions for the final WPL Poetry Collection which asks for your Science/Maths based poetry. 

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© 2018 Google Doogle

Every Laureate finds that something with universal impact happens during their tenure. For many of us the year is filled with such news stories. I felt this collection was a chance for poets to share work that isn’t always at the forefront of poetry and to mark the passing of a genius, who has been around (for many of us) the whole of our lifetimes.  

I posted the full submission guidelines 3 weeks ago here where you can also find articles and starting points if you do not have any Science/Maths based poetry already…

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April Review 2018

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This month saw a return to full time work and as a result I missed a fortnight of poetry I had planned. Which I still haven’t really forgiven myself for.

Week 1: 

Started with the Easter weekend and some time offline. I registered AWF on napowrimo.net and spent most of my time organising the long overdue exhibition at the Jinney Ring of our Sculpture workshop poems.

I am also involved in a Shakespeare Birthplace Trust project with local schools in Stratford-Upon Avon and received letters from two children who I then wrote a peace poem for. I made that sound easier than it was, the one child requested a humorous poem. I have a repertoire includes about 20 funny poems (which sounds a lot, but I have been writing for 4 years now)! I had a 6 day deadline and the poems had to be received by post. I managed 2 poems which I am proud of and hope that they are excited to be working with a Laureate.

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I started the long process of editing and digitally compiling the Special Edition of Contour Poetry Magazine. Proof copies were sent out in March and now I have to fix edits and complete the desk top publishing, due to work commitments I know that it will be May before this issue is live. I had hoped for an April release originally.

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I have worked on ATOTC A Tale of Two Cities since July 2017, one of the first long term Poet Laureate projects, it has been an amazing project which saw poems exchanged between UK and USA partners throughout 2018, all copy was back on my desk by March and after all the hard work of the 47 people involved I want the issue to be the best that it can be. I would rather take more time over it than hash it out this month, I simply no longer have time scheduled for it as other items, events and work have to take priority.

Even when these magazines are seemingly ready they have historically eaten another 14+ hours in the end process of conversion and upload.

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I worked on the Suffragette Anthology – now live over at the Worcestershire Poet Laureate site Suffragettes Anthology.

I had a workshop in Stratford with Angela France, we wrote about trees and it was warm enough to sit in the garden, unfortunately a sunny day + Easter break saw Stratford full of tourists and this meant our usual haunt was not available for lunch. Sitting on a wall opposite the river chatting with Angela was a bonus though.

The following day I was facilitating a workshop with the Basement Project, I booked 3 with this charity back in November as part of my local Laureate work. The charity support young people 16-25 who are or are at risk of becoming homeless. It is a great team there and I have already established work with them post-Laureateship, which is great.

Find out more about them here.

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I started NaPoWriMo and over the weekend took some of my Napo poems for editing treatment.

I finally got to see Idle Women on tour – it had been nearly a fortnight since I inhabited the world of poetry, due to tiredness I missed 42 at the end of March and had not been out to a poetry gig since Earth Hour.

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It was the 2nd time in as many weeks I had had the pleasure of going out with my mum, we saw the ROH ballet at the Artrix the Tuesday before and then shared Idle Women.

Idle Women is theatre/spoken word/poetry/music, read the review here https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/not-so-idle-women/

They still have tour dates in May, catch this show if you can. You will not be disappointed.

Week 2

I continued to write a poem a day for NaPoWriMo.

I took the Sculpture Poem Exhibition to the Jinney Ring. It is now on display in the restaurant near the entrance, an entire wall of poetry. They are able to keep it up for the next month and this means that when we have our Hanbury Reading at the Church in May, the poems will still be at the Craft Centre for visitors to go and see. Also I am hoping that this will in turn promote the next Sculpture Trail workshop in September 2018.

https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/poetry-exhibition-at-the-jinney-ring/

 

 

I started to write copy for the Worcestershire LitFest Festival Programme, the Poet Laureate Review, traditionally this has been half a page, I requested a full page and still edited out over 200 words! I had a lovely evening out with poetry friends.

I had my final workshop at the Basement Project planned and got up early to prep for it, unfortunately it was cancelled as some of the mums who had booked their children onto it were unable to make it. I will hold another Junior workshop in October half term.

I wanted to go to Scary Canary for Permission to Speak as Natalie Burdett – a poetry friend from 2014/15 who is now doing a Phd in Manchester and has just had her pamphlet published by the Poetry Business. http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/natalie-burdett I missed her set and the entire evening as Mr. G was on a course in Worcester and I met up with him afterwards for a Cinema date, we weren’t home in time, plus we had just been on a date. ‘Lovely date, thanks darling – just going out poeting now.’ wouldn’t have gone down too well!

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I missed SpeakEasy which Tony Judge was headlining due to a backlog of work. I am currently writing an evaluation for the WMRN and was prepping for poetry festivals and working on ATOTC.

I am also involved in a poetry/art (PoARTry) project in Ledbury which is being led by Rick Sanders, it is his 2nd time running this project. He partners poets and artists – like the football pools, I was paired with Molly Bythell, a talented young graduate who creates amazing collages and paints in oil. Her work screams story and it has been a great collaboration so far. https://mollybythell.com/

I missed Stanza for the 2nd month (my poor unedited poems) as I was too tired and was actually asleep by 8 PM which would have been rather impolite on someone else’s settee!

I spent my final weekend of freedom with Mr G. and did some work on the house and a little editing on ATOTC. 

Week 3

Full time work (my first time in 5 years) arrived kicking and screaming on my doorstep.

I continued to write a poem a day for NaPoWriMo.

I missed the Me Too event at The Hive, Case Bailey in the Jewellery Quarter, and Sean Colletti at Dear Listener.

Most of my free time in the evening was spent recouping from the day. Emotionally and physically! I managed to write a review for BMAG on the Hackathon experience and started writing my Verve Review for Sabotage. I was also asked to do a Poetry Surgery at the Anchor Gallery in Birmingham as part of the work Nellie Cole is doing there.

I managed to get to Jenna Plewes Book Launch, it was a sunny evening and very pleasant to spend an hour or so listening to her poetry from her new V. Press pamphlet Against the Pull of Timejenna pullI will be writing a review of the Launch in May.

 

 

 

 

 

I had my Sparks Young Writer group (WWM) at The Hive on Saturday which saw the welcome return of members to the group and we were also witness to a group of Librarians helping move a gigantic fish through the ground floor of the library. There was a procession of some sort down to the river, elements of which found there way into our writing.

Week 4

I finally got the European Twin Town project between Droitwich Spa and Voiron off the ground. I had been working on this WPL project since July, mainly at a committee level and like with all these projects it was a slow start, but perseverance pays and by the beginning of 2018 I had a french contact who put me in touch with a poet, Alain Graiz. Alain helped me find other poets from Voiron and by February/ March I had communicated with all involved. Again I had hoped to get the exchange up and running by March.

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I am happy to say that it is now in full swing, some poems have already been exchanged. It is a much smaller project than ATOTC and the full collection of poems should be live before the end of my Laureateship (10th June).

Read more here.

I received news of my Grant Application but have so far been locked out of the system. So I have no idea if my bid was successful yet or not.

I spent the week preparing for Cheltenham Poetry Festival and Bohemian Voices and getting incredibly nervous over the fact I have not performed poetry for a month! That must be the longest length of unintentional abstinence ever! But what I have learnt is it is hard to facilitate projects, write new poetry, edit magazines, teach and still find the time to perform! I needn’t have worried. What I did is over rehearsed and then I don’t think anyone would have thought – she clearly hasn’t read for a month!

I have been doing NaPoWriMo throughout this whole month, occasionally falling behind a few days and playing catch up. To produce 30 poems in a month in no mean feat. I am also working on something more too.

I researched the Nation’s Laureates for a post over at the WPL site for St. George’s Day. https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/st-george-the-poets/

I missed the Bare Fiction Launch and 42 (for the 2nd month running). I wanted to save my energy for Cheltenham Poetry Festival and the last fortnight at work has been exceedingly hard going, so I had little energy to spare to travel to events.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival arrived, funny when you are booked so far in advance it seems forever in the diary as coming up… then suddenly one week it is days to go. I was slightly gutted that I had been invited to do Stablemates with Jill Abram in London and missed it because it was on the same night. Sarah went in my place and it sounds like they had a great time.

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Cheltenham Poetry Festival was excellent, as it always is. Just a shame work meant that I wasn’t able to get to much other than on the day I was booked. Cheltenham Poetry Festival I made it for the Indigo Dreams Showcase which was at the same venue before my Fragile Houses reading. I will write a full review post next month.

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The following evening (events are like buses) I had the pleasure of being one of 5 artists involved in Bohemian Voices, organised and MCed by Steve Soden, he used to run these events in London and the experience at the Jinney Ring was probably as far from his original nights as you can imagine. It was a great night and I will link the review back to this post. (That goes for all the promised reviews of…)

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I had a fantastic evening and was delighted by the surprise appearance of my mum and Aunty.

With little time to recover from a 2 night fix of poetry (which certainly made up for missing a month of it), I had a Book Launch.

This weekend also saw Birmingham Literature Festival Spring Edition, which I totally missed due to bookings and other commitments.

The Book Launch on Saturday was in Walsall at Southcart Books for Diverse Verse 3, a charity anthology edited by Richard Archer, it was a beautifully relaxed event with plenty of opportunity to catch up with friends and Richard, myself and Rick Sanders were interviewed for the West Midlands Magazine, more on that soon I hope. Click the link for the full review.

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https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/diverse-verse-3-charity-anthology-book-launch/

I finally finished the month with a submission – not sent any poems anywhere since March!

I also had to write Q&A for Australia – Western Australia Poetry Festival – for the promotion and marketing and complete my review of Verve Poetry Festival and my evaluation for WMRN. That is a lot of midnight oil after a day at work!

 

NEXT MONTH:

Priorities in May include: Finishing WPL projects, tying up the reviews for WMRN Reader Residency for Warwickshire Libraries, organising poets for Artsfest events, performing and discussion at Midland Arts Institute, possible participation in a Heritage Project, a workshop with Ash Dickinson, a poetry judge at Sarah Leavesley’s Book Lauch for How to Grow Matches, being a poet at the Living Library, Headlining Poetry Bites (my first Headline for a while) and more, including new writing and Ledbury Poetry Festival – oh, yes and work!

 

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 30 The Final Poem

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It is with a slightly heavy heart that we wave goodbye to NaPoWriMo for another year today. I have a bank of prompts to play with if I ever feel the need to dip into ideas, some great resources and a collection of sometimes strange, partly incomplete and astonishing, surprising poems to end the month with.

One has already been used in my PoARTry Ledbury project and another was suitable for the WPL Suffragettes anthology.

The time I have taken out to write has been wonderful, my year as WPL has been amazing but it has impacted on writing time and submissions. I am now working on the tail end projects and setting up those which will continue after my Laureateship.

I will use my Napo time now as editing & writing and get myself back in the saddle ready to take off at speed, or perhaps a canter!

So here we are people, at the end of a month of poetry.

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Well, it had to happen, what with time being linear and all. We have finally arrived at the last day of Na/GloPoWriMo 2018! I hope you have had fun writing poetry over the course of the month, and that you’ll come back next year, when we will do it all over again, with new prompts, new featured participants, and a to-be-determined other kind of poetry feature.

Our final, featured participant for the year is NaNoPoRaWriMo, where the Plath-inspired poem for Day Twenty-Nine takes the form of a sonically-dense and lyrical recipe.

Our last craft resource for you is this online collection of recordings of Borges’ lectures on poetry and many other topics. Borges was, in addition to being a poet and writer of strange and compelling short stories, an inveterate professor who lectured widely in both Spanish and English. His lectures are seeded throughout with strange factoids, fascinating observations linking the poets and poetry of different ages and languages, and an overwhelmingly omnivorous approach to knowledge.

And for our final (optional) prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.

We’ll be back tomorrow with a last post bidding farewell to Na/GloPoWriMo 2018, but in the meantime . . .

Happy writing!

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I really enjoyed listening to the Harvard Lectures on Poetry by Jorge Luis Borges.
I love the rediscovering of literature and knowing that I now spend my life writing, researching and learning too and it is wonderful, I will never tire of it.
Poetry is a passion and joy!
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I started with the Historical trivia, I have written a sequence of poems based on historical fact/ people, so was interested in this as a starting point. I saved 6/25 facts into a word document and moved onto Art Trivia.
I loved discovering facts about some of my favourite artists, some I knew, having studied them aeons ago at university! I saved 7 facts from 25 on the word document, highlighting 2 that appealed the most.
The weird facts – some of which I knew lend themselves to humorous poetry and have been banked for future writing. I collected a few of the 75, but read them all! 17 out of 75 facts, my favourite piece of trivia:

It is estimated that millions of trees are planted by forgetful squirrels that buried their nuts.

Love it!

 

The result of using this Art fact:

Henri Matisse‘s work, Le Bateau, was put the right way up after hanging upside-down for 46 days without anyone noticing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, America.

was a humorous poem where the guard ends up mopping water.

in the space

where sky

and water

meet.

I enjoyed playing with the form of this poem, I quite fancy seeing what happens if I reverse it and hang it upside down!

5ab39dd423e2c-bpfull The Poetry School Day 30

Final Day: Send it off

Well, here we are poets. Congratulations to everyone who joined in. It’s been a lot of fun.

As is tradition, your task for this last day of NaPoWriMo is to pick a poem from this month, clean it up, and send it off to a magazine or competition. Or share it with another person.