Category Archives: A Writers Fountain

Hay Festival Today

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Friday 22nd May

I have used information from the website with snippet thoughts of reflection and review, for you to find them easily I have made them a different colour.

Today the first part of the programme I had booked was the talk with Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem talks to Laura Bates

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE, BUT FIRST IT WILL PISS YOU OFF

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage

In a special recording of the Hay Festival Podcast, the writer shares her Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion with the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project. For decades, people around the world have found guidance, humour and unity in Gloria Steinem’s gift for creating quotes that offer hope and inspire action. From her early days as a journalist and feminist activist, Steinem’s words have helped generations to empower themselves and work together.

It was interesting and enthralling and attended by over 7700 people!

Some take away quotations:

‘pay attention to the particular’

‘If you do one true thing, it stays true.’

Part of the discussion revolved around empathy and I discovered some scientific facts which I had not previously considered – which I think is important to pass forward in our current world, which due to the pandemic is increasingly moving online.

Empathy – relies on a release of hormone which only occurs in real life, that communicating digitally doesn’t allow this natural reaction to happen and this, I think can lead to digital communication being misinterpreted or cause more harm than good sometimes. So remember you can’t feel what they feel when communicating digitally!

Another reason why human interaction is necessary/essential for us.

Hay Gloria

 

After this, I dipped into the first event on the replay option.

Jane Davidson, Mark Drakeford, Sophie Howe and Eluned Morgan

#FUTUREGEN – WALES AND THE WORLD

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage

Jane Davidson explains how, as Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales, she helped create the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015—the first piece of legislation on Earth to place regenerative and sustainable practice at the heart of government. Unparalleled in its scope and vision, the Act connects environmental and social health and looks to solve complex issues such as poverty, education and unemployment. She is joined by the First Minister for Wales, the Minister for International Affairs, and the Future Generations Commissioner.

#futuregen is the inspiring story of a small, pioneering nation discovering prosperity through its vast natural beauty, renewable energy resources and resilient communities. It’s a living, breathing prototype for local and global leaders as proof of what is possible in the fight for a sustainable future. Chaired by Guto Harri.

 

And then as I was still online I decided to rock up to the next event too before needing to recharge the laptop (which is a bit old and fully loaded and won’t recharge and work at the same time anymore, I kind of know how it feels)!

Naomi Oreskes talks to Nick Stern

THE BRITISH ACADEMY LECTURE: WHY TRUST SCIENCE

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage

Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming?  Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy.

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her books include The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. 

Sometimes the universe offers us time to sit with something, there is always a reason. I think this may have been mine… (obviously it was meant in the context of scientists, who like teachers are trained to be not address personal concern, not to add opinion or personal belief – personal values will undermine their objectivity as scientists/ teachers)

Talking honestly about our motivations – makes us more trustworthy. 

 

Following this event there was more, I may find some time to watch these before the videos disappears.

Dara McAnulty and Steve Silberman

DIARY OF A YOUNG NATURALIST

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. “In writing this book,” Dara explains, “I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.”

Steve Silberman is an award-winning investigative reporter and has covered science and cultural affairs for Wired and other national magazines for more than twenty years. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, TIME, Nature and Salon. He won the 2015 Samuel Johnson/Baillie Gifford Prize for his book Neurotribes.

 

Esther Duflo, chaired by Evan Davis

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES: BETTER ANSWERS TO OUR BIGGEST PROBLEMS

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage

The 2019 Nobel Prize-winning economist Esther Duflo shows how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day. From immigration to inequality, slowing growth to accelerating climate change, we have the resources to address the challenges we face but we are so often blinded by ideology.

Original, provocative and urgent, Good Economics for Hard Times offers the new thinking that we need. It builds on cutting-edge research in economics – and years of exploring the most effective solutions to alleviate extreme poverty – to make a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. A much-needed antidote to polarized discourse, this book shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world. Her work has never seemed so urgent.

 

Fernando Montaño

HAY FESTIVAL CARTAGENA PRESENTS: UNA BUENA VENTURA

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage

Colombian dancer Fernando Montaño is a Soloist of The Royal Ballet and the first Colombian to join the company. He arrived in 2006, was promoted to First Artist in 2010 and to Soloist in 2014. In 2019 he received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Bath University. He will dance accompanied by readings of excerpts from his memoir, translated as A Boy with a Beautiful Dream, about his humble origins and his amazing journey to stardom. At his lockdown studio in Los Angeles, Fernando is now developing a film adaptation of his book. From here he will dance the death of the Swan as a more contemporary version of this quarantine and the marimba dance, inspired by the ballet and folklore of Colombia. Writer Ella Windsor will also read her Foreword to his powerful story.

I watched this in the early hours of the morning as I finished this blog post. I danced for half my life (more than twice the number of years I have been writing), I have always loved watching autodocs about the dancers. I also love watching dance. The video of this session satisfied both. It was very touching and Fernando Montaño is humble of spirit and gloriously talented in body – his arms move with the fluidity of water – just watch! 

 

 

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The rest of today did not go according to scheduled plan so some of the events I had registered to attend I had to dip into the videos afterwards. The internet connection is as sketchy as dial-up used to be at the moment. No surprise with the whole town in isolation/lockdown. Unfortunately this also meant missing a Poetry Book Launch this evening – which happened in between the Hay events. I had hoped it would have been recorded, but I couldn’t find it – I have since heard from the poet and the publisher will release it so I will watch and blog about it then!

My evening was supposed to start with a live viewing of the 5th event which I have been looking forward to since I discovered (or Mr G discovered) Hay was online this year. I watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it as my own special late night Hay – which is, how I imagine many people will be tuning in. So I watched Stephen Fry live before this but I have kept the review in chronological order.

Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Monty Don, Lisa Dwan, Inua Ellams, Stephen Fry, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Helen McCrory, Jonathan Pryce and Vanessa Redgrave

WORDSWORTH 250: A NIGHT IN WITH THE WORDSWORTHS

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage

A gala performing of William’s poetry and Dorothy’s journals begins our 250th anniversary celebrations with a superstar cast reading work that will include Intimations of Immortality, Daffodils, lines composed both Upon Westminster Bridge and Above Tintern Abbey, The Prelude and We Are Seven. Hosted and introduced by Shahidha Bari.

 

I was really looking forward to this group of readings and hearing extracts from Dorothy’s Journals. 

I spent a lot longer watching this session than the duration. Feasting on the words and the depth of analysis one expects from Hay. If you like Wordsworth, enjoy learning about classic poets or hearing a mixture of actors, poets and presenters reading, then this event is for you. ‘This Gala reading is part of a wider project which Hay Festival are developing with Arts Humanities Research Council and their boundless creativity programme.’

I have to say it was a real treat. A gala of this standard was bound to be – I mean, just look at that list! I particularly enjoyed Toby Jones reading, Tom Hollander could have read Wordsworth to me all night, his reading surprised me, it found all the depth of Wordsworth’s words. I know he’s a trained actor – but… so am I and I don’t read poetry like that! As did Stephen Fry and Jonathan Pryce – who really got the words speaking – this is as much to do with the poetry as it is their narration. Not just voice, but emotional understanding of the text. Embodiment of Wordsworth’s mind almost as character, or at least that it how they make me feel when they read it. It is late and I have been listening to readings for hours! There was also a wonderful moment when Helen McCrory reading from Dorothy’s Alfoxden Journal had to read about sheep in a field as she was being accompanied by a sheep bleating! 

As our Nation’s Poet Laureate I was interested in Armitage’s bookcase. Lots of people are in front of books that I speak to – we’re writers, it is no surprise and I know there are readers out there too (thank goodness) but there is also a fashion to grab what books you can and create that shelf-full-of-knowledge-shelf – I see it a lot on TV at present, so I find it amusing and don’t pay any attention to the backdrop. But here I did. I admit I listened to his readings first and then replayed that section and had a closer look. I also enjoyed Inua Ellams bookshelves with basketballs. I love his poetry and was looking forward to him reading this evening. I know he’s also writing plays so we may see less of him in the poetry world – but am looking forward to his event later on this Hay week. 

Professor Shahidha Bari is a knowledgeable and passionate presenter who held the event together and hosted a live chat at the end.

This was a wonderful, thoroughly enjoyable event and one I wish was recorded and archived on my system forever. You can rewatch it for until tomorrow evening and then after that it is available for a small fee through Hay Player. 

And finally –

Stephen Fry…

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TROY

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage

The actor and author previews scenes from the third part of his Greek trilogy, which follows Mythos and Heroes.

 

This event was had a Q & A after the reading – due to technical issues there was a slight delay in which some of us who have been to Hay had a random-stranger-natter as we may have done if we were in Hay-on-Wye for real, the pre-event conversation was certainly worth a read, any conversation during an event (they wouldn’t have talking in the tents) tends to be technical issue queries or slightly adolescent commentary. So, it is worth knowing that the chat box on Crowd Cast can be closed click the small arrow at the top on the right. It is constantly moving throughout events and you may be there to listen to the speaker. 

I treated Stephen to a full screen, I knew this would be interesting and I know Fry often does Hay and speaks well and is certainly knowledgeable and able to handle a Q & A. 

He talked about Greek mythology, translations and modern retellings. He talked of those who blaze like stars and others who choose to lead a long, stable life. He seemed in no hurry to leave and I am sure he would have carried on batting the 100s of questions he had been asked. It gave me that same blessed feeling you have when a band gives you a really long set before an interval. The event was over an hour long I think. 

Very much worth a listen. 

If you are reading this within 24 hours of the original event times the videos should still be available here -after this you can pay to watch them with Hay Player.

Images Hayfestival.com © 2020

Hay Festival Goes Digital

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I have had the pleasure of attending online festivals since Lockdown began and I haven’t managed a timely blogpost for any of them. You will note that Hay events started on the 18th with the schools programme – the full programme is available and tickets for all events are FREE. You can watch missed events for 24 hours and after that pay a small fee to watch on Hay Player.

For those of us who have experienced it for real, it is not the same – however it has opened it up to a wider amount of global audiences and it is wonderful that access is free.

ENJOY!

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© Culturewhisper

Here is more information: Source hayfestival.com

HAY FESTIVAL DIGITAL #IMAGINETHEWORLD TAKING PLACE ONLINE 18 – 31 MAY

Hay Festival Digital #imaginetheworld runs 18–22 May with our Programme for Schools featuring fabulous authors including Cressida CowellPatrice Lawrence and Onjali Q Rauf. From 22–31 May, Hay Festival Digital takes place online with interactive events from more than 100 award-winning writers, global policy makers, historians, pioneers and innovators, celebrating the best new fiction and non-fiction, and interrogating some of the biggest issues of our time.

Attending Hay Festival Digital 2020 online is completely free and couldn’t be easier. Simply browse the programme below as you normally would and, if an event interests you, click the Register link to save your spot. Your virtual seat will be confirmed by email, and we will even email you again ten minutes before the show to remind you the event is about to start. You can chat with other audience members and ask questions of the speakers, just as you would at a real Hay Festival event.

Here’s more information on how to register

All our events take place at the BST advertised. If you are accessing from a different time zone it will still be possible to replay for free up to 24 hours after the event. Following this all events will be available on Hay Player.

 

Programme

My Huge Lockdown Writing World

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Like many people right now, we are in Lockdown. I’m keeping very busy, possibly even busier than I would be if I was balancing the job and the writing. I am a lot better health-wise and this new lifestyle has the benefits of being easier on my body, enabling me to perhaps do more and I also find staying busy in times of crisis helps me cope. Believe me there is plenty to keep me busy beyond the desk too.

My normal to do list would be A5, at the minute I feel I need A3! Anyone else the same? I think part of this busy is coming off the back of being out of action for so long, especially in fast moving worlds like the Arts, so much has happened that I have not seen/read/heard as I wasn’t just away from the scene, I was away from my brain for most of the 14 months too! I am thoroughly enjoying being a glutton of creative endeavours and as the world moves online the globe shrinks too! I find I can reconnect with people I have not seen for a long while.

I have spent the past 3 weeks (since the end of NaPo) thinking I should blog about that, but because I am writing again after a long, fallow period, I am struggling to find time to write about the writing! I will be posting retrospectively but there are a few events coming up that I shall blog over the coming week. Some fresh content for you all to enjoy will come after that.

 

In the meantime, there’s plenty already in here – use the menus and have a splash about.

 

Stay Safe.

NaPoWriMo The Extra Bit

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Read the full post here.

Hello, everyone! We made it through another Na/GloPoWriMo. I hope you feel that you’ve written good poems and stretched yourself in your writing.

I also want to thank you for coming back to this site each year! It heartens me, especially in this particularly hard April, to see so many people gather for the love of poetry, and support one another in their efforts!

Final featured participant for the year is Gloria D. Gonsalves, who reminds us, with her poem based on Day 30’s “returning” prompt, that a “rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Na/GloPoWriMo will be back next year, of course, with more prompts and resources. In the meantime, all the posts from this year will remain available.

In the meantime, if you just can’t get enough poetry prompts, you might enjoy the weekly prompts that Poets & Writers provides, these 30 prompts created by Kelli Russell Agodon, this list of 101 poetry prompts, or the weekly (and in April, daily) prompts provided by Robert Lee Brewer at Writer’s Digest.

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And of course for many of us there will still be some NaPo prompts we want to finish writing for! That is the 6th year I have taken part and as with every year I think there are a handful of promising poems that I look forward to coming back to.

I usually work straight onto the computer but since lockdown have attempted to cheer myself up by using some of the waiting in the wings notebooks, like most of us I love a special journal and often buy them and store them away, am sometimes reluctant to ruin them with inside scribbles. I worried the other day that I would run out, but remembered where there are more so no need to start ordering a rescue package yet. The same with pens, have enough of those to last. Didn’t panic buy but seems like I’ve been preparing to be a writer in Lockdown for most of my adult life!

I also like to think that there will be a shelf somewhere in our house where all these will sit, an almanac to that time the world changed without actually keeping any sort of historic record.

A huge thanks to Maureen Thorson for another year of NaPoWriMo prompts and the bountiful resources you have delivered to our screens this year.

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I started with Gloria’s poem, there are some beautiful lines. I then looked over the suggested resources, many from sites I have in the past or currently use. If you are looking for a meatier prompt then starting with the Poets & Writers site is a good idea.

I must have downloaded the Kelli Russell Agodon PDF at least 3 times. I’ve also used the prompts from thinkwritten.com the site has some interesting articles you may want to peruse.

I usually do the PAD challenge at the same time as NaPoWriMo but this year as the world moved online I have been busy with other writing too, so just focused on Maureen’s prompts, I have used the Writer’s Digest website often though. I have discovered these sites already, if you haven’t you are in for a treat and many constantly update the prompts so you can always find something new later in the year… because to be honest, right now… you probably just need a Post NaPo Nap!

Who’s going to join me? exit

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 30

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Read the full post here.

Well, everyone, it’s finally here – the last day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020! I hope you’ve enjoyed the challenge.

Featured participant is paeansunpluggedblog, where you will find a charming ode to a doggy companion.

Our poetry resource for the day is this PDF of A Handbook of Poetic Forms, edited by Ron Padgett.

Our final prompt! I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that returns. For, just as the swallows come back to Capistrano each year.

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I can’t believe another year of NaPo finishes today. I have dropped off a daily NaPo write this week as there has been other writing taking up the time. But I was on track for the first 3 weeks. Usually I am juggling work and this – and this may well be the only year I haven’t had to do that. It has been enjoyable and some of the resourceresources have been fantastic. I look forward to sifting through all the poems and see which ones have standing legs. Then I will dress them/edit them and maybe even submit them or publish them in the future.

I hope you have enjoyed the challenge and the daily process notes posted here.

There was a lot packed into today’s featured poem, I still have my pet writing to do. The resource is useful and as it is for secondary school explanations are clear – although I had to ignore that Back to School feeling it gave me.

I am considering the prompt for today and also looking at other writing in progress to see if I can combine a couple. I have also banked some of the ideas from this resource.

 

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 29

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant today is Minutes Past Midnight, where the “remembered bedroom” prompt for Day 28 led to a detailed yet not entirely comforting remembrance.

Our featured resource for the day is a two-fer: (1) these tips on  how to memorize a poem, and (2) these tips on how to recite one out loud. Memorizing and reciting favorite poems is a very good way to internalize the rhythms and sounds of poetry (which helps in generating your own poems).

Today’s prompt, I challenge you to write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet. Sing high your praises and tell the tale of Kitty McFluffleface’s ascension of Mt. Couch. 

If you don’t have a pet, perhaps you know one or remember one who deserves to be immortalized in verse. For inspiration, a selection from an 18th-century poem by Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno.

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The poem is unsettling – this description pulled me… it was the use of ‘understory’ but then I remembered from teaching Rain Forests that this is a technical term. In a poem it has many layers (no wordplay intended in that statement)!

My nook
is shadowed by
a fountain palm

its understory
littered by all sorts
of dry, brown things.

The poetry resources are great! Despite having a background in Drama/Acting and countless scripts I learnt with ease and knew all the other character dialogue too – a life where I learn 30 names within 60 minutes, I really struggle to learn my poems. I have about 5 banked.

I know the tip is for memorising other people’s poems like we used to at school and in Learn by Heart drives. For me it would be more useful if I transposed the skills to my own work. Especially as I have only just started performing again.

The other tip I would pass forward is record it and listen to it repeatedly.

I love Billy Collins – have the pleasure of one of his books on my shelves. It was nice to listen to the explanation rather than reading the transcript too.

I thought the prompt today was a little left-field for those of us who are pet-less. But fortunately I have a nephew who was famed for his pet cupboard spider, have had both a cat and dog and lots of fish – some were welcomed into our home by watching Mr G. and I eat sushi! At uni there were a couple of housemates who had a pet can of pineapple pieces called Derek, I love how NaPo brings such memories to the surface. Random. All these ideas could give birth to poems.

I am off for a wander around my lockdown home to find what else could be baited for today’s poetry fodder.

Will update when done.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 28

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Read the full post here (although it is almost fully copied as Emily Dickinson is one of my favourites).

There are just three days left in our annual challenge. Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far! 

Featured participant for the day is benkoans, where you will find a spot-on review of the various software programs we are supposed to use to work and learn during these days of social distancing.

Speaking of socially distancing, our poetry resource for the day this online archive of the manuscripts of the famously reclusive Emily Dickinson. Now one of the most-admired poets the United States has produced, Dickinson was little known in her lifetime. She left behind hundreds of poems, often drafted on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, etc. And an especial point of interest is her amendments and edits. She often provided several different alternatives for given nouns or verbs in poems, as if she was continually revising or trying out new ones. When I am revising my own poems, and come across a dull or commonplace noun or verb that seems  to drag down a line, I think  of Dickinson, and try to come up with four or five alternatives, seeking a word that is a little bit wild, and will help to deepen the poem, or even turn it in a new direction.

Today’s prompt is brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence of Emily Dickinson, written by her niece. And now, here is the prompt that the museum suggests:

Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. It could be your childhood room, your grandmother’s room, a college dormitory or another significant space from your life.

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I am still catching up with NaPo from yesterday so don’t want to read the featured poem until I have had a chance of writing mine.
I love Emily Dickinson’s poetry so I am looking forward to coming back and working through the prompt.
And as the universe would have took part in a workshop on Monday morning as part of the Stay at Home Fringe Festival with Susmita Bhattacharya where we looked at/wrote about our childhood bed. Although I was writing prose, it brought some previously blocked memories up which I could use today to write a poem.
I often write about place and both pamphlets have got place/room poems in them.
Fabricious Avenue (which actually came from a Colour prompt in 52) in Fragile Houses
fragile-houses-best   The Dark House among others in Patiencepatience cover
(Got to love a stealth-ish book plug) – haven’t even started promoting ^ the new one yet, more to come post-NaPo!

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 26

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant today is Barbara Turney Wieland, who stepped up admirably in response to Day 25’s Schuyler-based prompt, providing us with a wonderfully-textured anatomy of a hike in the country-side.

Today’s poetry resource is a series of videos being placed online by the organizers of the New Orleans Poetry Festival

Our prompt – you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.

 

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather:
Flora:
Architecture:
Customs:
Mammals/reptiles/fish:
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Export:
Graffiti:
Lover:
Conspiracy:
Dress:
Hometown memory:
Notable person:
Outside your window, you find:
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth:
Story read to children at night:
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find:
You walk to the border and hear:
What you fear:
Picture on your city’s postcard: 

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Just as the workshop poem from Day 25 was a dense text so too is today’s participant site write. Both were enjoyable reads. I liked the option of listening to the James Schuyler though. I did both, I only listened after I had read the poem for myself and ‘inside such walks as these’ holds lots of elements from Schuyler and both poem deserve time to sit with. I spent a large majority of the day with this prompt.

It produced writing very different to most things I write, more in tone of my random journalling.

Today I enjoyed looking through the poetry resource and will be back to explore the festival fully.

I revisited James Schuyler and let him speak his poem as I read.

I do remember the almanac prompt and wrote out my list of prompts to go and write as I sit in the sunshine in the garden that Mr G. has worked so hard on clearing today.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 25

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant Anna Enbom, brings us a sweet poem in response to Day 24’s fruit-based prompt.

Our poetry resource for the day is The Nuyorican Poets Café, where you can sign up for virtual open-mic readings each Monday and Thursday.

Because it’s a Saturday, I have a prompt for you that takes a little time to work through. The prompt, which you can find in its entirety here, was  developed by the poet and teacher Hoa Nguyen, asks you to use a long poem by James Schuyler as a guidepost for your poem. (You may remember James Schuyler from our poetry resource for Day 2.) This is a prompt that allows you to sink deeply into another poet’s work, as well as your own.

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I enjoyed Anna’s poem. It packs quite a (fruit)punch with its gentle soul searching.

I am not afraid
to embrace the entire soul
the sweet and the rough

The poetry resource was interesting but I think I have to check back in a few days time as all the current links are for previously shown events and lead nowhere. In a way I was glad of this as I already have two videos on pause in the background after playing NaPo catch up! Just need to remember to check back – to help I email a link to myself.

With a deep breath I read through today’s prompt which is a mini-workshop in itself. I have earmarked it for attack later – I may have had a 10 hr blissful-straight-through sleep – but I have now been up for 3 hours typing and chasing poetry resources and am only on my first coffee. My brain may be more receptive now – but I think I have a better chance if I do it in a little while. I still have remnants of writing from yesterday that I want to finish first.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 24

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Read full post here.

Featured participant GibberJabber, which brings us a many-lettered appreciation of the beverage that gets so many of us out of bed in the morning.

Today’s poetry resource is the Poets House Digital Initiatives page, where you’ll find links to live-streamed poetry readings, online exhibitions of poetry broadsides and trading cards, and a daily, kids-themed poetry and story-reading series. 

Today’s prompt is a fairly simple one: to write about a particular fruit. But I’d like you to describe this fruit as closely as possible. What does it look like, how does it feel, how does it smell, what does it taste like, where did you find it, do you need to thump it to know if it’s ripe, how do you get into it (peeling, a knife, your teeth), do you need to spit out the seeds, should you bake it, can you make jam with it, do you have to fight the birds for it, when is it available, do you need a ladder to pick it, what is your favorite memory of eating it, if you threw it at someone’s head would it splatter them or knock them out, is it expensive?

 

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I didn’t make it back online yesterday, I was exhausted and asleep by 7 PM, so fresh from a 10 hour sleep, I am plugging the gaps.

I never quite believe it when we reach the final week of NaPoWriMo, this prompt is for the final Friday in 2020 NaPo challenge! There’s so much happening in the world right now that this wasn’t quite the immersive experience I have had before, it was a good distraction and has offered some useful resources and ideas and a couple of decent poems have been written which wouldn’t otherwise exist, which is always a thrill.

I also get the sense of writers pulling together, the creative community has been a mass of support and heart during this pandemic and thanks to the generosity of others, I have been kept buoyant during self-isolation.

I am making a promise to myself to enjoy the final NaPoWriMo week. To relish it, sit with it and spend quality time with it.

 

I enjoyed the Coffee (Routine Morning) poem, clever and universally accessible. I liked the line artwork too.

I already follow today’s poetry resource – Poets House on Twitter, but I have not visited the website for a while, rich pickings here and I will be back when I have more time to indulge and enjoy. I chose just one link to chase https://poetshouse.org/event/poetry-cinema-made-in-harlem/ I don’t think I can access this after the live link I have Part 2, but in scrolling down the page I found audio of poetry readings and so had a listen instead.

Zong

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Recorded At: Poets House Recorded On: Saturday, June 1, 2019

 

Rosamond S. KingLaTasha N. Nevada DiggsSean Henry-Smith, and Erica Hunt present a collaborative performance of Philip’s epic book-length poem Zong!. Introduction by Poets House Program Director Paolo Javier.

‘Whatever good you are looking for – you will find it. Take that good.’

 

I am glad today’s prompt made me check into Twitter because I was looking forward to something I discovered last week and because I no longer know which way is up, hadn’t realised it was the 25th today (24th for this NaPo/post/prompt).

https://www.brainpickings.org/the-universe-in-verse/

UNIVERSE VERSE 2020

This event has been running since 2017, you can watch some of the archived videos online. There is an annual Science Festival based in Cheltenham that had a gathering of poets that I was part of years ago and it was an interesting addition for both sides. There has never been a time in my life when humans realise how closely connected we are with the universe, how we are not actually in charge of all that’s around us. That there was so much of it in existence before us. That we are all atoms. I wrote that ^ just before I read this on Brainpickings:

as we face its fragility together — a world of hostages to a submicroscopic assailant, a world of refugees from ordinary life, struggling for safety, sanity, and survival of body and soul.

I also discovered this m ss ng p eces, they’ve launched a wonderful kindred project titled TOGETHER — a series of conversations with inspired and inspiring humans about how we live through these disorienting times. Check it out. They helped stitch together hours of film for the Universe in Verse Project.

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That was the biggest tangent so far!

When I read the prompt I was a little disappointed – but only because I had written a fruit poem the day before in a workshop and it is one that I am still gathering in and didn’t want my brain to have to confuse itself with a second one – but then as I was sitting with that thought, a good one sprang to mind. And because of that workshop I already have the questions and expansion from the fruit/imagination ideas inside me -at my core – (excuse the pun)!