Tag Archives: Art

Connect Dudley – Launch Event


In lockdown #1, Connect Dudley held a creative writing programme over 8 weeks, connecting people through the arts across the West Midlands. As well as writing for themselves, the group had two professional poets respond to their writing with poems.

This was a fantastic Community Project in the 1st Lockdown, back in Spring/Summer 2020. It was an honour to read the letters generated by the workshop group Rick Sanders facilitated and then to collate the ideas and emotions into personalised poetry for the attendees.

These poems along with QR codes to scan for audio versions, are currently exhibited by CoLab Dudley at 201a High Street and here is your invite to take a virtual look at the first exhibition being held in this space.

On February 24th from 7:30pm, Nina Lewis and Rick Sanders will be sharing the Connect Dudley poems with you, together with a preview of the exhibition and details of how CoLab Dudley is working to shape the High Street of the future.

Register in advance for the event link https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FzQIiDpPSyqQlz1oJ3UPhQ?fbclid=IwAR09iQYKmAPDPyV-Pu_N6iY_UblLJ4JeYCg6WZQj2ME15DiblrY0r00vr7g

Flashback – An Exhibition in London


Last year’s missing bits in Flashback posts.


By the summer I had secured a project I could work on (even in the state I was in) and I started to think about new writing. It had been a while, my Stanza meeting efforts were old poems saved in files on the laptop. I wanted to write again, the urge came a long while before the possibility – and like any writer I know one of the best ways to guarantee work is to find a deadline and write to it.

So I started looking for opportunities and found a call out for the Asking For It project curated by Chloë Clarke and Gabby Ellison. 

asking for it

We are the ‘Asking for it’ exhibition. Our aim is to create a place for people to share and feel and come together over adversity. Through expression of art – in a variety of mediums such as film, photography, poetry, art and sound – the exhibition will take the viewer on a journey from the beginning to recovery and survival.

The exhibition not only looks at the experiences of the survivor but the societal judgements and miseducation around the topic of sexual abuse/violence. We believe that art is a powerful tool to express and empower artists and viewers, while educating those who have not experienced this.

I made a poetry film and submitted some poems. My poetry was accepted.

afie amp

Unfortunately I was not able to read at the gallery opening as my physical health made it impossible to travel to London.

Private Gallery Exhibition Opening and Performances 23rd October.




It was a brave and successful exhibition. Here are some more photos from the opening night.

A good project to be part of.

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 9



Happy second Monday of Na/GloPoWriMo, everyone. Grab your coffee and your pencils/keyboards, and let’s start writing!

Our featured participant for today is Brittany’s Blog of Random Things, where the magical poem for Day 8 is dark and direct.

And our featured interviewee for the day is Abraham Smith, whose book Destruction of Man is coming out from Third Man Books this month. Smith’s work has been described as “agrarian-punk,” chronicling visions of rural American in sound-dense lyrics. You can check out some of Smith’s poems here and hereand read our interview with him here.

And now, without further ado, our (optional) prompt for the day. In his interview, Smith mentions “ants roll{ing} epic” – a rather charming image! In honor of it, we challenge you today to write a poem in which something big and something small come together.

Happy writing!




5ab39dd423e2c-bpfull The Poetry School Day 9

Day 9: The Sacraments 

The seven Catholic sacraments are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Confession), Anointing of the Sick (sometimes known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction), Holy Orders and Matrimony. Similar rites to mark similar passages in life and expressions of faith can be found in many other faiths and cultures. Marriages and funerals in particular are near universal.

For today’s poem I’d like you to write a poem about either one of the seven Catholic sacraments, or a rite or ritual from another faith, culture or tradition (and these can be secular too).

My initial thoughts were with David and Goliath after reading Napowrimo.net this morning, so funny to discover the religiously driven prompt by The Poetry School.

I knew I didn’t want to go with my initial thought on the basis that it was too obvious, so I started researching small and large things to find a pairing I could juxtapose.

Well that was the plan, during my small things search I came across Miniaturist Art. A genre I enjoy, you often see it on social media and so I took it from there and created a poem inspired by the art of Atlanta-based Desirée De León.


marvelled at her big imagination
to make small things

A Workshop with Emma Purshouse – Craft & Conflict Exhibition – Bilston Art Gallery


A very apt workshop the day before Remembrance Sunday. It was intergenerational and listening to the children’s poetry based on Conflict Art was insightful. It is the Centenary of WWI, which has created a whole deluge of War poetry, something I have attempted in the past and this year. I find it hard as despite having family serve in WWII, war is something I have not (fortunately) experienced first hand, there are a mountain of clichés to conquer and sometimes I feel I have no right writing about such things. However, Art is a world I know and I found using the exhibition as stimuli I was able to get ink on paper.

The exhibition itself is filled with such varied interpretations of Conflict that choosing ‘a piece’ to use as a starting point was a tough decision. I am a fan of Haiku, so when asked to produce 3 I thought it would be easy. There was so much story both the artists and the subjects and war itself that coming up with a complete idea in 3 lines was challenging. My first Haiku hit the nail on the head though. It was good to have Emma’s Feedback and support and I am glad I discovered this workshop in time. I look forward to creating poems that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

EmmaP poetry on loan org uk© Poetry on Loan 2013

I was absorbed by some of the artwork, so much so I wished I had hours to just sit looking at it – not half an hour to form all my ideas into a poem. I took photos in the hope of spending more time on this body of work, but it will not be the same as sharing the space with the art, up close.

I thoroughly enjoyed my workshop experience and now hope for time to settle back down with my photos and notebook and get to work.

We read examples of our work from the workshop in the afternoon in the Gallery, it was great to hear everyone’s interpretation of the exhibits and the theme of War & Remembrance.




http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/events/craft-conflict/ Craft and Conflict brings together both contemporary and historical items that commemorate and explore the themes of war and remembrance. The exhibition is on until the 22nd November, if you are local I highly recommend it!

NaPoWriMo – The First Few Days: Day 1


napofeature3 I am blogging about the process of writing the poems, rather than publishing my full daily poem on here. I will add extracts when I can, unlike Camp NaNoWriMo, I edit and polish my poems as I create, as I go along.


Day 1

 I’ve chosen something I hope will be fun and simple, to ease you into your first day. Today, I’d like you to go to Reb Livingston’s Bibliomancy Oracle. Clear your mind, push the button, and then write a poem based on the quotation that the oracle provides.

I loved this prompt and had great fun with the Bibliomancy Oracle! I didn’t know I needed the answer to so many questions. I copy and pasted the best Q & A and set to work being inspired.

The oracle answer I used was this;

You don’t know what to think so I’ll tell you
both are true
there are no neutral storms


from “MURMUR IN THE INVENTORY” by Erika Lewis


Here is an extract from Day 1 Poem


silently willing them to rest and settle

like sand mixed with water

when the jar is set straight.





Pre-NaPo Challenge

The challenge today (31st March) was to write an Ekphrasis.

I started by Google Image searching my inspiration, from black and white photographs, to people, fruit, dancers and back to people. In the end I saved 4 images, 1 from each of my searches.

Then I spent some time staring at the images, searching my mind for starting points and questioning which image to use.

I decided in the end on what is called an illusion painting. Hidden inside these remarkable oil paintings by artist Oleg Shuplyak lies a second layer of mind-blowing optical illusions. Behind carefully placed objects, characters, colouring and shadows, the Ukrainian painter has cleverly concealed a second image. Blurring famous figures from art and culture with landscapes the ingenious artist’s work requires a double take – or sometimes, minutes of staring – before the hidden images reveal themselves.

… The works are similar to those of the famous Mexican artist Octavio Ocampo.

Copyright –© 2013  Optical Spy http://www.opticalspy.com/oleg-shuplyak-gallery.html

Find his images and more information on this clever artist here ^

art face© 2013 Oleg Shuplyak

As with last year I am only posting extracts of the poems I write for NaPoWriMo, I have no immediate plans to use them, but as I am currently working on a collection – you never know. I see them as a springboard to something else – a lot more poetic writing in the future – but I said that last year and they are still saved on my stick!


Day 0 31/3


Cheeks and eyes composed by

an identical couple,


Dressed in white,

bandit masks painted onto

their whitened faces,

black eyes painted.

NaPoWriMo – A Post of Terms


I am loving the commitment to NaPoWriMo already. I have decided to post everyday about the process of writing the poem and the prompt.

Last year, it was halfway through before I knew there were optionally daily prompts. The main website seems much clearer this year.

My idea/plan is to write a daily poem – something to journal each specific day but also attempt as many prompt poems as possible.

As with 2013 I will only post an extract from the poems, as there are copyright and publishing issues otherwise, I have no immediate plan with this body of work for April, however some might be suitable for submission and I am trying to build up my own collection of poems.

I have also decided to update this thread regularly with information about the different forms of poetry covered this month in the prompts. You can always give it a go even if you are not ready for the full force of NaPoWriMo.


A Pre- Day 1 Activity:

Ekphrastic Poetry

The prompt for all you early birds is an ekphrastic poem – a poem inspired by or about a work of art. There’s no rules on the form for an ekphrastic poem, so you could write a sonnet or a haiku or free verse.

Day 4: Lune

A lune is a sort of English-language variation on the haiku, meant to better render the tone of the Japanese haiku than the standard 5-7-5 format we all learned (and maybe loved) in elementary school. There are a couple of variants on the lune form, but just to keep things simple.

The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three. You can write a poem that consists of just one stanza, or link many lune-stanzas together into a unified poem. Happy writing!


Day 5: Golden Shovel

Today I challenge you to write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem! Now, the golden shovel is a tricky form, but you can help keep it manageable by picking a short poem to shovel-ize.


Diverse Dancers: I


I am performing (alongside many other local talents) tomorrow at the opening of this Gallery event – writing the poems at the moment… it will be my 2nd gallery opening and I am looking forward to it!

Photogiraffe Live Art

Najma Hush’s, Diverse Dancers is the title given to a  large and ever expanding compilation of photographs, primarily concerned with the multiplicity of varying dance traditions, unique to a variety of different cultures and subcultures.

This collection has been produced with a keen interest in the grace of dancer’s movements and seeks to reveal the eloquence of each pose, jump, spin and lift.  As this project expands and develops, Hush seeks to come closer to interpreting and presenting the exceptional language of bodies that never lie.

Diverse Dancers Part I:   An Exhibition for Exhibitionists, with Art, Poetry and Music. Diverse Dancers Part I:
An Exhibition for Exhibitionists, with Art, Poetry and Music.

Presently, a small and miscellaneous selection from this collection is exhibiting at ORT Cafe, Birmingham, UK (19th Feb-5th Mar 2014).

Look out for the next post on Diverse Dancers, where you can view the photographs from the open exhibition night and get better acquainted with all the amazing performers who will come…

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