So my Poet Laureateship ended at the Launch of the 8th Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe at The Angel Centre on the 10th June. This was the space Suz Winspear held her amazing collaborative DanceFest event ‘Poetry Ballroom’ in last year, when she was Worcestershire Poet Laureate.
The Finalists this year were Peter Sutton, Betti Moretti & Sarah Leavesley.
Following my performance Charley Barnes introduced the winning poet…and who is the new Worcestershire Poet Laureate for 2018/19?
Betti Moretti! Congratulations to her and all the finalists this year.
Here’s a little look back at some of my year.
I am delighted to have discovered new writers and assisted some others on the point of giving up. I have published over 200 poets in 7 collections and 4 magazines and completed projects with America and France.
I flew our WLF flag internationally and welcomed poets from bordering counties into the exceptionally talented scene in our Shire.
People keep asking what I will do next. Truth is (as those who read the blog know) I am always busy. I guess I didn’t talk about it as much as it comes across as slightly me-ego, but as many future plans involve seedlings from the Laureateship, maybe you will get to hear about my work.
I will, as always remain super busy!
My first plan is to prepare for and enjoy the 4 performances I have managed to squeeze into the LitFest. I will be performing poetry at these events: (7-10 minute Guest Spots)
Weorgoran Pavilion Festival: Sat 16 June
And if that wasn’t enough, this year The Ring have teamed up with WLF to bring a little poetry to Worcester. I will be performing at 12 PM on Saturday 16th June.
Award-winning art, architecture and design studio NEON has created an amazing stage, especially for Worcester. It’s part of The Ring, a Canal & River Trust ‘Arts on the Waterways’ project celebrating a 21-mile circle of natural and historic waterways in Worcestershire. The Weorgoran Pavilion takes its inspiration, and its name, from the Saxon origins of the name Worcester and its translation, “the people of the winding river”. It’s the venue for a free family-friendly festival featuring a soundscape by acclaimed Ledbury born musician Dave Crowe, which plays at selected times.
Bring something to sit on, indulge in a tasty treat from local sellers and enjoy yourself!
Check our other events for the programme on each day of the festival.
12:00-13:00 Litfest Takeover featuring Nina Lewis & the newly crowned Worcester Laureate, Betti Moretti.
For more information on the programme and how to book tickets check in at my old WPL blog.
Whilst you are there… I spent the week before the festival launch making Countdown films ’10 Days’ check them out too or click here.
I am currently working on PoARTy – Ledbury, in collaboration with Artist Molly Bythall. We have created 3 works, stemmed from work we had already produced – it has been a joy to be part of this creative partnership. There are 16 poems which have come from it although only 3 will be on display. Watch out for more news on this project facilitated by Rick Sanders, who is also taking over my WWM role as Lead Writer with the Sparks Young Writers Group in Worcester come September. (It is all change!)
Our work will be displayed in July.
Heritage Poetry Project
Funnily enough I attended a workshop with Angela France recently where we looked at/wrote about trees and I thought about the potential of this project, which was mentioned at a Stanza meeting at the end of last year.
Our Stanza group spent the day before the WLF Launch in the Forest of Dean writing poetry amongst trees for a project led by Andy Hoaen who has been involved in a survey/heritage work ‘Veteran Tree History Project Speech House Survey’. His vision:
I would like to see this as an opportunity for an encounter between two different ways of seeing the world, archaeology with its rigorous approach routed in scientific “objective” description of place and space, and poets with their ability to succinctly capture the essence of things and provide an imaginative subjective view on the world.
There may well be another exhibition in the future.
Ludlow Fringe Festival
I will be joining some of the ‘Me Too’ Poetry Anthology Poets to perform poems at a special event on the 19th June.
I went to Deborah Alma’s Book Launch for ‘Dirty Laundry’ – Nine Arches Press at Waterstones at the end of May, for her Ludlow Launch she is having Guest Poets and a collective of ‘Me Too’ poets perform.
Room 204 Workshop
Writing & Mental Health, working in the Mental Health setting.
The Last WWM Sparks YW Group
The 16th June is my final group as Lead Writer at The Hive in Worcester, I shall be sad to see this end but I have been working as an Assistant/Lead Writer & Mentor for WWM since 2014 and we all know when we apply that these are not renewable positions, the opportunities need to be given to other writers too.
Stratford Poetry Festival
I was involved in a School Poetry Project with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and on the 16th children I sent poems and poetic challenges to will be performing their work as part of the festival.
Ghosting For Beginners Anna Saunders, published by IDP. 24th June Cheltenham
Ledbury Poetry Festival – where I hope to manage at least 1 glorious, poetry packed day!
Delighted to welcome Charley Barnes into the V. Press family and doubly delighted to be reading at her launch. 14th July Park’s Cafe, Droitwich 7PM
Organising Arts Festival Poetry Events
Artsfest takes place 30th June – 28th July in Droitwich. I am very excited because Kathy Gee, Claire Walker and myself are going to be Performing 30-40-60 again, our collaborative Poetry Media Show.
17th July 7:15 (7:30 start) St. Andrew’s Church. For more information: 30-40-60
Following on from last year I am organising the Poetry Day events again. On the 21st July 4 Poets will be performing in St. Andrew’s Square between 2-4 PM
Nina Lewis (Former Worcestershire Poet Laureate)
Roy McFarlane (Former Birmingham Poet Laureate)
In the evening there is Poetry Extravaganza in Park’s Cafe from 7PM (7:30 start) the first half will be the traditional open mic sign up and after the interval 12 Poets from the team of 24 ATOTC UK Poets will be performing from the Special Edition Contour – A Tale of Two Cities.
For more information: http://droitwichartsfest.org/event/poetry-and-prose-readings/
In between these events (as like last year) I will be hot-footing across to Worcester to perform as a Guest Poet at Kieran Davis’s Book Launch of his 2nd collection ‘Legacy’, published by Black Pear Press.
Then I plan a fortnight of R & R before jetting off to be an International Guest Poet at Perth Poetry Festival, Australia.
Writing wise the desk is heating up also. I am currently working with my next manuscript, compiling the final issue of Contour the WPL Magazine and publishing the final WPL Anthology Collection ‘Every Word Counts’ – Science/Maths poetry.
Later this year I shall start working on the WPL Anthology and later still on my first collection.
So I will be fine, I will be busy, I am a poet… one who will always remain an ambassador of words.