Category Archives: Uncategorized

World Refugee Day in Poetry

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Just in time for World Refugee Day – in Refugee Awareness Week – this went LIVE. A collection of poetry about refugees from emerging and established writers. Regional. National and International poets were involved.

Thank you everyone for your amazing submissions and to those kind enough to grant permission to use photos.

Please read – share – and read again.

Poet Laureate

world refugee UN“I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres


rescued A group of rescued people on the deck of an Italian naval vessel as the sun sets in the Mediterranean. ©UNHCR/A. D’Amato

Reproduced under Fair Use Act all credit to http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/


Back in May, I was fortunate enough to meet some people from the charity People in Motion at a Spoken Word event ‘Gobs & Guitars’ organised by Sarah Tamar to raise money for the cause and to say goodbye to The Boars Head, the much loved venue of Mouth & Music (Heather Wastie/ Sarah Tamar). Read more about it here.

Inspired by a week of events happening in Malvern, organised by People in…

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Sudden Emptiness by Nina Lewis

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I have not had much of a chance to submit any work since March, I spent April writing new NaPoWriMo poems and reading a LOT and May preparing for Lit Fest shows and laureate finals.

Then the world changed, less than 2 weeks after the terror attacks on London Bridge, came the Grenfell Tower fire. The true toll, as far as loss of life, is something we are not being provided, people are being warned not to talk about it and there is so much political/social/class warping involved that if it was fiction, you would be asked to make it more believable!

I spent the morning horrified at the news and came home with a few hours spare before performing at WLF. I penned this poem, that night I read this poem and from people’s reaction & feedback, knew it had to be shared.

Published on I Am Not A Silent Poet not-a-silent-poet-grant-tarbard1

Huge thanks to Reuben.

I am not a silent poet

I go to work,

think of all the people

trapped in that tower.

I watch the four year olds,

how little they know of this.

Children in West End schools

will have focused awareness,

Kensington assemblies, prayers.

I think of the man at the window,

the memory of twin towers,

the split screen bulletin

staples that connection.

I discover at lunch time

how much the redevelopment cost.

Six have died.

I think of the Fire-fighters

running to rescue –

engulfed in black smoke floors.

The baby thrown ten storeys to safety

into the arms of a stranger.

The blazing heat of this summer’s day.

Streets empty of cars as parents

walk their children from school,

thanking their blessings

beneath the thrum of a police helicopter.

The evacuated,

clutching what they could grab.

Screaming flames and sudden emptiness.

They were told to stay put,

every flat a fire resisting box.

Amongst…

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Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe: Our final few hurrahs!

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The end of Worcester LitFest (almost) there is still a magical event on Wednesday 21st June Midsummer Poetry and Prose Walk 7 p.m. starting at the Worcester Bridge entrance of Cripplegate Park – a FREE event, do come and join us.

Massive congratulations to the LitFest team for the 7th amazing festival. So good to see so many people travel in for events from other parts of the U.K and also see lots of audience that are new this year!

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

The LitFest and Fringe team are nursing aches, pains, and smiling faces after a busy but wonderful festival week. Last Friday night saw us split between the Greek classicism of Natalie Haynes at The Hive and the Big Fat Quiz taking place at Titania, while Saturday morning calmed things down slightly with our children’s workshop at the wonderful St John’s library.

Things wouldn’t stay quiet for long, though! Saturday night, at Worcester Arts Workshop, LitFest and friends opened their arms to some top class London talent. We had an intimate evening of poetry and performance from Robert Cole, Math Jones, and Keleigh Wolf. A fabulous evening was had by all in attendance and we left on a grand high ready for the TWO slams that we had pencilled in for the following day.

Sunday evening saw us head back to Drummonds where we kicked the evening’s events off with a…

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On the Hard Shoulder – NaPoWriMo

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I haven’t stopped writing poems, but I have been busy organising festival events and performing (a set of NaPo poems), which was scary.

I didn’t get a chance to post DAY 20 or 21 on the blog. A Day 21 prompt took me off on a whole research fieldtrip. I have been a hunter gatherer all day.

It is Birmingham Literature Spring Festival and I have my WWM group in the morning. I cannot promise getting posts up to speed but I am back at work next week and now the perils of getting behind. Hopefully by the end of play on Sunday we will be up to speed.

In the meantime it is all only a click away.

http://www.napowrimo.net/

http://www.jobell.org.uk/

 

Vervacious Volunteers….

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willis the poet

verve

So Verve is over…..boo hoo!

But what a fantastic weekend of events and spoken word excellence for everyone involved from the performers to the audiences, to the organisers and the Waterstones staff and the volunteers. If you attended any of the events during the 4 days you will know about the quality of the poets and spoken word artists and if you couldn’t make it then I can assure you that this was the Jersey cow, full-fat, double cream of the crop.

But what was it like to volunteer at a festival like this, to see the festival from a different angle? Well here goes…….

Volunteering for anything requires a commitment to the cause and each and every volunteer in the group had that interest and love of poetry in spades.Chatting on the induction and training days really reinforced the fact that having a genuine interest in a topic brings…

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Week Fifty One: A thousand eyes

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Really delighted to be asked for a Guest Prompt on this writing project. I am pleased that I managed to create one from scratch and the resulting writing makes a great read!

Squiffy Gnu

For his penultimate prompt, Squiffy welcomes the last guest prompter of the year: Nina Lewis.

photo-courtesy-of-courtney-boydston-flickr-creative-commons-1024x683-1024x480

Image credit: Courtney Boydston (http://playalargoresort.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Photo-courtesy-of-Courtney-Boydston-Flickr-Creative-Commons-1024×683-1024×480.jpg)

As you read this week’s prompt most of you will be thinking about turkey and cranberries, do you need a festive break? What about pineapple…

We may know pineapple is not a single fruit but a group of berries that have fused together, but Squiffy has only just discovered coalesced berries.

Those berries got him thinking about fusion and so this prompt comes with a myriad of options all linked in some way to Squiffy’s recent discovery.

Use these ideas as a starting point for your writing:

the solid core,

impenetrable things,

fusion,

torn apart at the seams,

the power of stars.

Oddly enough some of these ideas bring you back to Christmas if you wish to stay festive.

Finally if you want another curve ball here is a retelling of…

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Transaction, poem by Nina Lewis (ME, IN A HAT Poetry and Prose Series)

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Recent submissions have been busy. This one flew and nested. Silver Birch Press.

 

Transaction by Nina Lewis When it all fell through I went shopping. The clothes store had a sale on and I found this hat, stared too long at the reflection of my head wearing it, mirroring thoughts…

Source: Transaction, poem by Nina Lewis (ME, IN A HAT Poetry and Prose Series)

Act of kindness #24: Kindness Advent Calendar

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It’s almost that time of year again… time to spread a little festive kindness. My Kindness Advent Calendar works just like a normal advent calendar but instead of the usual chocolate countdown, we …

Source: Act of kindness #24: Kindness Advent Calendar