Tag Archives: Bert Flitcroft.

Poets by the Lake

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Last year David Calcutt was resident poet of Caldmore Community Garden, this year he is taking the Visitor Centre at Walsall’s Arboretum to a new level. Back in the summer, during Jimmie Rennie’s Walsall Festival workshop, David mentioned this idea during a conversation about how great the space is.

caldmore david-portrait-1

I was hoping to make his first event in December, but – well we know what the end of 2015 was like…

The first event was an open mic, the following month it is Poets by the Lake -pre-booked events and there will be some workshops too. I know the first one of these will happen on the 13th February, which is Mr G’s birthday, so I can’t make that either. swans

This is another reason I hoped to make the 16th January, but I had a very low energy day and I wasn’t convinced driving on motorways was a good idea. I was kindly given a lift by Mike Alma and we had an enjoyable evening of poetry and music. I saw lots of poetry friends there from Staffordshire and the Black Country.

Roy Mcfarlane, Bert Flitcroft (Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate) and Sarah James performed sets of poetry and the ‘Flaky Tarts’ a three piece played and sang and even made us sing! The atmosphere in the café was vibrant, we got to hear some poems from Roy’s new collection too, which will be published by Nine Arches Press later this year.

 

walsall lake

June – Review of the Month

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June – what a busy month,  brimming with challenges, competition, festivals and longer term projects, as well as taking stock half way through the year.

My MOOC course How Writers Write Poetry with the University of Iowa finished and I enjoyed an incredibly busy month of performing, writing and getting published. The sparkly, golden bits most people get to see instead of being aware of all the hard work and ground work that caused the success in the first place! CN-1780-logo-uofiowa

WEEK 1

  • Voting closed for Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate poems. I reached the final along with 5 other talented poets.
  • I did a workshop with David Calcutt and the Caldmore Garden Poets, they were scheduled to perform a group poem at the carnival day on the 13th, which I couldn’t attend as I was working the final Writing Group for Writing West Midlands. Due to the weather this performance has been rescheduled and I can now take part on the 21st July!
  • A recent poem of mine from the workshop where e.e. cummings was our starting point – ‘Late Spring’ has been published on David’s blog you can read other poems there too. http://naturalhistoriesblog.com/others-writing/
  • My term ‘poeting’ coined last year is becoming widely used by many poets! Hoping to get it into OED next year!
  • Jess Davies had her opening night of a new spoken word event in Stirchley at the P Café, it was packed and well attended. Stirchley Speaks – and it certainly did!
  • Scary Canary hosted another Permission to Speak, Rob Francis’s fantastic night – NOW FREE!! This month saw Brenda Read-Brown and PTR Williams headline.
  • I went to Debbie Aldous’s Spoken Word at The Ort and shared a lovely meal and some Tennis with Tessa Lowe beforehand.
  • I spent a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon at Cannon Hill Park, The Mac (Birmingham) with a collective of poets – we took over the storytelling tent whilst they all went for lunch and performed to some greatly enthusiastic children. We are also hoping to get some of our poems hung on trees down by the lake, later this year. We had a special guided tour to this secret location. MAC With Frankie Ryan, Tony Fox, Syrac Citam, Timothy Scotson, Callum Bate and Nina Lewis at Cannon Hill Park.

© Jasmine Gardosi 2015

All of these events can be read in further detail in my Poetry Wrap post. Enjoy!

Poetry Wrap 5 (A Brief Introduction on Exhaustion)

 

WEEK 2

  • The 2nd week of June saw a performance at HOWL and a great packed night of poetry, hosted by Leon Priestnall. Fantastic headliners and I met two poets who I have only seen around and never spoken to before, Luci Hammans and Sipho Eric Dubepart, A.K.A ‘Unhindered Reign’ – one of three headliners, the others being Glyn Phillips and Jess Davies. I met with Sipho a week later at workshop with Candy Royalle.

I spent most of this week on tender hooks and full of nerves and butterflies as it was the WPL final and the Launch of this year’s Worcester Lit Fest. I spent most of the week preparing for it and missed some previous diary entries for open mics due to energy levels, it was a full on week of work, work for me too.

  • Friday 12th June was the Poet Laureate Finals, the winner this year was Heather Wastie.

WLF Heather WPL

Heather receiving her engraved award with Maggie Doyle at Worcester’s SpeakEasy Lit Fest Special.

© WLF Team 2015

Suz Winspear was the runner up and I came in 3rd position.  WPL

© Betti Moretti 2015

Read all about the experience here WLF 2015 The Launch & Poet Laureate Final even typing this has my heart set on edge again!

  • The WLF took over my life for the next 10 days, this week I saw Ben Parker, Todd Swift and Chloe Clarke (Young Poet Laureate) performing at the Royal Porcelain Museum, where Ben has just finished his residency and Todd is taking over.

BP Chloe Chloe

BP Dr Todd Swift Todd

BP Ben Ben

© WLF Team 2015

It was a super night of poetry. I treated myself to Ben’s collection, I love his work. Ben Parker From Porcelein

  • I had my final session at The Hive as Assistant Writer to Ian MacLeod, from September I take over the senior writing group as Lead Writer for Writing West Midlands. We invited the parents to come and take part with the end of the session, it was great fun!

 

WEEK 3  

  • The week started well with news that my poem ‘Beyond Gas Street Basin’ is to be published in an upcoming anthology of city poems called ‘Birmingham Bound’. It was a poem I was commissioned to write last year by Naked Lungs for Birmingham Literature Festival. I am delighted to be in a book all about Birmingham as it is a city that has opened it’s poetry doors for me since the tail end of 2013.
  • WLF continued and I had the delight of watching John Hegley at Confab Cabaret, Malvern. A SELL OUT Fringe event.
  • WLF I performed at the 42 WLF Special and met Adam Millard for the first time.
  • WLF I performed at WLF SpeakEasy Special and thoroughly enjoyed Brenda Read-Brown‘s set.
  • WLF I watched the Offa Press Poets, Bert Flitcroft & David Bingham at the Institute before seeing Jonny Fluffypunk return from his Austerity March experience in London to perform for us again. A highlight for me.
  • WLF Bert and Jonny joined us on the Summer Solstice Walk up the River Severn, where we all performed poetry at locations along the walk. A super, magical experience.
  • I was asked to perform at a fundraiser next month for Arts All Over the Place.
  • I attended a workshop with Candy Royalle, the international act at this month’s HTO (Hit the Ode) – which I missed as I was performing at the WLF Special SpeakEasy. It was amazing, she is a forceful spirit, driven and dazzling in her buoyant enthusiasm. Great to meet her, gutted I missed her set. I created 3 poems, in the 3 hours as well as picking up some great performance tips. Mainly driving home some things I already know. It was lovely to work alongside friends too!
  • I was invited to be a featured poet, but was unable to accept as I will be at Ledbury Poetry Festival, I am hoping this booking may happen later this year instead. Something else to look forward to!

Read about these events on fine detail here Poetry Wrap 6 & WLF – Worcester Lit Fest & Fringe 2015 – A Wrap! which includes links to individual WLF posts I created throughout the festival.

 

Week 4

  • I had 2 writing days at the beginning of the week, it has been a while since I have been able to dedicate time to actually writing. I did a lot of market research too and drew up a list of submissions to hit before the end of the month – as I realise I have hardly sent any work out there this year.
  • I took part in an open mic as part of my town’s current Festival.
  • I went to the Two Towers Brewery to perform as part of Debbie Aldous’s new night Spoken Word and More.
  • Droitwich Summer Festival invited 9 performers to entertain with poetry and music at a magical Live Lit event hosted at Park’s Café and organised by Malcolm Wakeman and MC-ed by Fergus McGonigal (everything he touches, turns to gold)! Performers included;

Fergus McGonnigall (previous Worcestershire’s poet laureate) & MC

Heather Wastie (Worcestershire Poet Laureate )

Jenny Hope

Math Jones

Mike Alma

Bridget & Malcolm Wakeman

John & Pauline Franks

Nina Lewis

Polly Robinson

Ruth Stacey

Holly Magill

Sarah James (runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza) & Val.

It was lovely to go for a meal with people afterwards too and chat away the night. I finally got to bed at 2:30 a.m after I had worked off the adrenalin! I have been looking forward to this event since Sarah James launched her new book The Magnetic Diaries, KFS Press. Since then she has had Hearth published, a collaborative book (Mother Milk Books) and is about to have PlentyFish – her new collection published with Nine Arches Press.

  • New opportunities for training presented themselves and I was fortunate to be online at the time. Looking forward to telling you all about this latest venture in September.
  • I also continued work on my own collection.
  • I had a poem published on Visual Verse – ‘Shame in the City’.
  • News of the 52 ANTHOLOGY published by Nine Arches Press – Out soon!
  • I performed at Sunday Xpress just before coming home to pack my suitcase! They have found a new home at The edge Artspace, Foundation Arts, a great venue in Digbeth. The room was as crowded as outside (it was a hot day – the beginning of this heat-wave, just in time for my holiday! Loved performing this afternoon, it is the first time I have felt this great after Sunday Xpress, fabulous venue, great people, new faces, abundant talent – just a marvellous mix. Unfortunately I missed the bands this time as I have to make some submissions and pack a suitcase. I will be back over there over the summer though. Fabulous success, deserved after years in the pubs of Digbeth. (There are some gems of bars in Digbeth, just noisy and full of local life that is great for a pint but not so accommodating for a poem!)

All this and more can be found in Poetry Wrap 7

inkspill holidayAnd now I am going on holiday for a much deserved rest!

 

THE WRITE YEAR WILL BE UPDATED ON MY RETURN

WLF – Jonny Fluffypunk & Offa Press Poets

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Last night was my final WLF event, the festival finishes tonight with the Double Whammy Slammy, which is a poetry slam & a flash fiction slam! As well as it being a party to celebrate the festival, one year I will make it to the final event, perhaps even enter the slam…

http://worcslitfest.co.uk/2015/05/11/double-whammy-slammy-the-details/

I have work tomorrow in two different schools and tutoring as well, so I need an early night and need to recoup some energy, writing time and time with Mr G before another week of busy work and poeting (more about this in this week’s Poetry Wrap).

JONNY FLUFFYPUNK * STAND-UP POET * GIVE-UP GUITARIST * SUSTAINABLE NIHILIST *

I love watching Jonny Fluffypunk perform and was delighted to see him return to the festival. This is the 4th time I have seen him perform and after he’d spent the day in London at the Austerity March, I was bowled over with the energy he still had to carry him through his set.

I was delighted to hear some new material and poems that weren’t in his fantastic book The Sustainable Nihilist’s Handbook – which you should all buy because it is brilliant! I bought it first time I saw him. speak I also won the SpeakEasy raffle that night, hence my prize sharing the photo!

I was equally happy to hear poems from his collection. I always love to buy the books, read the poems at my own pace, dip in and out – but I stand by the fact that it is BEST when you hear the poet in those words, saying them. A delight! As always.

Jonny is currently touring his show jfp

NEXT ‘MAN UP…’ SHOW:

LONDON MAMA LOSCHENS’@JW3, Finchley Rd

Details/Tickets Here

‘Acute social obsevation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit… and England’s most pretentious moustache’- The Independent

I have to disagree with The Independent on this one – he has the most splendid, ravishing facial hair, it inspired my ever-becoming-more-renowned Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs and I certainly enjoyed performing that one with Tim Scarborough at Mouth & Music in front of the legend himself.

My selfish hope for the future is he publishes a second book. Although having embarked on that part of the poetry journey myself, I know how much work goes into editing a small chapbook collection (just 25 poems) so I imagine, a second book may not be something he is attempting to work towards right now as he is an extremely busy stand-up poet and the only Sustainable Nihilist Poet that we know of!

Last night’s event was great fun and we even convinced Jonny to join us on our Solstice Poetry Walk.

http://www.jonnyfluffypunk.co.uk/

Performing regularly throughout the UK, Jonny has won Poetry Slams in Brighton, Bristol, Brixton, Cirencester, Lydney and Ledbury Poetry Festival amongst others (plus 2nd place two years running in the National All-Stars Slam at the Cheltenham Literary Festival)- whilst remaining, of course, fully opposed to competition both in the Arts and life in general.

Have a watch here – more You Tube videos are available.

FUTURE DATES where you can see the wondrous poet for yourselves – some details TBC – check his website for updated information;

Thurs 25th-Sun 28th

Glastonbury Festival

POETRY ARMY:POETRY CAN F**K OFF

Stage / date / time TBA

PLUS SOLO STUFF AROUND SITE.SPONTANEOUS!

 

July 2015 

Sat 11th

Stroud

SVA

MR FLUFFYPUNK’S PENNY GAFF:

with Liz Bentley: Crash! Bash! Trash!

 

Fri 24th-Sun 26th

WOMAD Festival

Malmesbury, Wilts

Hip Yak Poetry Stage. Times TBA

 

Fri 30th-2nd Aug

Port Eliot Arts Festival

St Germans, Cornwall

 

August 2015

Sat 1st-Sun 2nd

As July 31st

 

Thurs 27th- Sun 30th

Shambala Festival

Market Harborough

Wandering Word Stage. Times TBA

 

September 2015

Sat 19th

Stroud

SVA

MR FLUFFYPUNK’S PENNY GAFF:

Rob Auton: The Water Show

 

October 2015

Sat 17th

Kendal

Lakes Comics Festival

Details TBA

 

November 2015

Thurs 19th

Torquay

Poetry Island @ The Blue Walnut

7pm £TBA

WLF jonny

Photo Credit WLF Team © 2015

WLF Offa

The Offa Press Poets

Last year I was fortunate, along with Adrian Mealing to perform a poem before Jonny’s show. This year WLF invited the Offa Press Poets to open the first half of the evening. Bert Flitcroft and David Bingham won the same competition I entered (and was obviously rejected from) last year. I have bought both of Bert’s books previously and recommend them highly.

apples_book_large   singing_puccini_book

It was lovely to see him and hear him perform again.

‘Thought-Apples’ is a collection of 25 poems by Staffordshire poet Bert Flitcroft. They are philosophical, occasionally piquant, always accessible and pleasing to the ear. Bert was born in 1946 and grew up in Lancashire.
Nowadays he lives near Lichfield, a retired English teacher. – WLF Programme

I always enjoy discovering new to me poets, David Bingham is the editor of a couple of magazines: Blithe Spirit & Journal of the British Haiku Society and has a selection of wonderful poems in his book. He also chatted freely after the event, which was a lovely connection.

http://www.offaspress.co.uk/shop/

David Bingham’s debut collection from Offa’s Press, ‘The Chatter of Crows’, includes impressive Japanese-influenced haibun and haiku, which amuse and intrigue in equal measure. David lives in Ironbridge, Telford, is a retired Humanities teacher and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Birmingham University. He’s currently editor of Blithe Spirit magazine.
‘Good on the page and good on stage’ are Offa’s Poets’ watchwords. – WLF Programme

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Review of January

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An exciting start to 2015, the month has flown by! jan

My car completely died on me the first day back at work and had to have a new battery, I’ve worked at ‘World’s End’, survived the first month of Mr G working away from home, been a Guest Poet at The Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room -Ludlow, I was invited to be a guest poet at Word Up, Birmingham – alongside Antony Owen and Lily Blacksell, I was booked as a Special Guest for a charity event in March and as a headliner/Guest Poet for a new Open Mic Night in Stourbridge – that’s booked in for May, was worried March was looking a little full already. I’ve read 4 books, made contact with Rachel Kelly after reading her book ‘black rainbow’ and was inspired to write a New Year blog post – I have been really touched by this connection, got copies of Heather Wastie’s and Bert Flitcroft’s books, was the team leader in Mouth & Music’s Spark Off Event,

poetry loungem&M1803_BlackRainbow_Dhb.inddTPTD coverapples_book_largesinging_puccini_book

FINALLY got an appointment with my Doctor (have been trying since November), avoided all January SALES (mainly due to the car costing a small fortune and the rest being spent on poetry),

Had to survive with my mobile phone dying on me (for the 4th time) finally getting it sent away! I laughed at how they mistook my age to mean techsavvy lending me a Samsung Galaxy without any manual! The loaned charger didn’t work either – fortunately mine is designed to fit different handsets so it seems.

Mr G and I adjusted to a working life apart only to be reunited several months sooner than we expected.

It snowed! Four times – the 3rd time I narrowly missed two collisions on the brow of a hill and had to call in to cancel work as all exits were snowed in. Even people in Landrovers were struggling – I stood no chance – my car has a moped sized engine and is as useless as me in ice and snow.

BLOGS & PROJECTS

Delighted to see a new flow of followers this month, I have managed to blog about this month and also I think there are probably a high percentage of people looking and searching for things in January. Great to see the activity remain strong. You know me, always trying to beat the stats!

52 came to an end *which I missed as I was offline for Christmas, we are being weaned off with some new prompts from Norman and have the promise of books and anthologies to look forward to.

This year I am seeking to place my poetry in suitable places, rather than spending my life writing to theme (although no doubt I will do this also).

Work re-started (after Christmas break) on my own personal poetry project and will probably be the case for most of the year. I also submitted work for magazines and a collection of poems.

I continued to attend David Calcutt’s Community Garden workshops in Walsall. This month we were writing in the moment. My poetry can be seen on his website (link to follow). I was nearly an hour late but caught up with pages of ideas and two almost poems. Our path has been raked over ready for the community path to be built up to the wild area, this path will feature our group poem written in December.

Our Poetry Society Stanza group was invited to submit poetry for a competition at Corinium Museum, Cirencester  http://coriniummuseum.org/, a group of us went on Poet’s Day Out Trip – cake, museum, lunch, shopping. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Kathy Gee, Maggie Doyle & Claire Walker. I have written pages of notes, chosen the artefacts to write about… now I just to need to WRITE!

Corinium-Museum-Logo

SUBMISSIONS

I submitted work to publications and poetry press.

Popshots Outsider

Magma Violence

Faber New Poets

PERFORMING POETRY

This year I decided to pull back on the 100+ gigs of last year to allow more time to work on writing. Despite this promise I couldn’t resist January, especially as I missed most of December. Wonderfully I started and ended the month with Guest Poet slots. I have more events booked through until July, which is brilliant.

The Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room – Guest Poet alongside Bert Flitcroft – Jean Atkin, Ludlow

SpeakEasy New Year , Fergus McGonigal & Maggie Doyle, Worcester

Mouth & Music, Spark Off! – Team Leader in opposition with Peter Williams – Heather Wastie & Sarah Tamar

Drummonds 42 (the 42nd event) – Andrew Owens

Word Up – Guest Poet alongside Antony Owen & Lily Blacksell- Ddotti Bluebell & Jasmine Gardosi

It feels like I have attended more events than this – there were plenty I didn’t go to – needing writing time and having a different focus this year and of course, some just clashed; Spoken Word at The Ort (I hope to make it by March, the dates clash with Stanza meetings), Luck’s Weight Exhibition poems and photographs by Jean Atkin & Andrew Fusek Peters, Hit the Ode, Spoken Worlds, Sunday Xpress, Shindig, Grizzly Pear, Purple Penumbra, Je Suis Birmingham.

EVENTS & WORKSHOPS

Stanza

Writing West Midlands – Assistant writer/ Mentor- the new mentor role (which was a time-limited position came to a close this month to praise and positive feedback)

The Stanza Group working on Museum Poetry

David Calcutt – Caldmore Gardens Workshop & Poetry on the Path Project

A great start to the New Year and my 3rd year in the world of writing, 2nd year in the world of poetry.

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PS: Like all Bloggers I keep my eye on the traffic and I forgot to add this gem to the review: BOOM!

Your blog, awritersfountain, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 38 hourly views – 2 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats

First Gig of the Year – Guest Poet at The Poetry Lounge

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poetry lounge I booked a spot for The Poetry Lounge before Christmas and was looking forward to the first gig of the year, the Guest Poets were Bert Flitcroft and Nadia Kingsley, I enjoy reading and listening to both these poets.

Then the first miracle of 2015 happened! Jean Atkin asked me to Guest Poet as Nadia was ill (she is going to have her Guest Spot in a few months time, catch her in July), hope you feel better soon Nadia and thanks once again Jean for the opportunity.

This is my 2nd Guest Poet slot and I loved it. I wish I had rehearsed and prepared more but with work and tutoring had little time to extend my set with preparation.

sitting room

I think I chose a good selection of poems and entertained the crowd. It was lovely chatting to people and receiving positive and personal feedback on poems that had resonated with them.

It wasn’t easy to follow Gaia Harper, an incredibly talented young poet who should definitely run for Shropshire’s next Young Poet Laureate (16th January deadline, I think), she will have the best of luck in the future and is a name to watch out for. Her love of language and words was obvious and her delivery was confident and self assured – and I had to follow that with my books brimming with post-its!

I always enjoy these nights in Ludlow, the atmosphere is always soothing and friendly. It was great to see people again, all ready for a new year of Poetry.

Excellent open mic-ers; Steve Harrison, Gaia Harper, Robert Harper, Graham Attenborough, Steve Griffiths, Deborah Alma, Bethany Rivers and David Harley. I particularly enjoyed hearing Deborah sharing her own poetry with us. She is famous in her Emergency Poet role, and it’s well worth a visit for her special poetry treatments, she is an equally a brilliant writer and I felt privileged to hear her set.

poetry lounge

‘A wonderful, warm, funny, transporting Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room. Thank you wonderful guest poets Nina Lewis (fantastic rant about her car tax Incident) and Bert Flitcroft – we kept recognising ourselves Bert  and great reads from all our open mic slots, with special mention for the astonishing Gaia Harper  who was just fab. Great to hear Deborah Alma read, she should do it more often… Thank you everyone!’

– Jean Atkin

December Review – Week 1 – Work, Stanza, Southcart Books & Reading Aloud

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best teacher This week there was a high proportion of time committed to earning extra Christmas money by spending more days doing the day job than anything else, which I have found exhausting. No surprise considering my tasks included; teaching 120 different children in a morning, creating modroc volcanoes, papier mache Greek masks, adjudicating and marking test papers and having two days at a school where every lesson was in a different classroom with different kids (unusual in the Primary setting). By Thursday I was asleep at 7pm and Friday wasn’t much better. Good job I have already committed to cutting back on the performance poetry scene. Although I have noticed this sudden lack of creativity and socialisation has taken a toll on the way I feel emotionally. I gain inner strength from this full diary of writing events and activities and there is something to be said for the adrenalin boost too. 2015 is going to be a year of learning ‘balance’.

type I had time to write – but found some projects impossible to research without internet access (how dependent we have become), our connection failed on Monday and has only just been rectified – some signalling problem they said. (Our central heating and hot water has also broken!) I did manage to complete my Wild Fire Poem for David Calcutt (from the workshop in October)! I took it to Stanza on Friday and received some editing advice which makes it even stronger. Workshop poetry doesn’t always work outside of the bubble it was created in and I think some people were finding the connections I made difficult to understand which made me worry, so I went back to the drawing board with it. I performed it yesterday at Southcart Books to an audience that included fellow workshop participants and David to a positive reception.

After a week at work I was looking forward to our festive Stanza meeting, my first poetry related gathering for a week. As always it was a fun evening, I love the spirit of our members, listening to high quality poetry, receiving advice from writers I trust and having time to talk, because there never is enough time to connect personally at events. Our festive Stanza Meeting included Mulled Wine, a bounty of nibbles, included gorgeous homemade cakes and a Poetry Society mug. PS Mugshot

My only other nod to the former on-the-road-poet-life of 2013/14 was a trip out (and around many times) to Walsall – I must get my SATNAV fixed, trying to follow unsigned roads is a tad difficult for me on a Saturday (or any other day of the week for that matter)! I was dreading the Christmas traffic, but the roads and motorways were relatively clear, in fact I got home quicker than last time, however, getting there took an hour as I went wrong in the town centre five times, got snarled in the one way system and even had a police car follow me for a mile at one point. My poetry life would not be the same without an exciting road trip story to arrive with. My first collection should be called :LOST:

The Reading Aloud event ran from 11am – 4pm and I always knew I would never make it for the start. It was midday before I set off. I was hoping to make it in time to see the end of the morning, then I got lost.

It was worth every penny of extra petrol though. Southcart Books is a wonderful Independent Bookshop and if you are every in Walsall you should pop in for a browse, chat and buy a book or two. Scott and Amy are very enthusiastic about books and writers, there is a special warmth inside this haven.

sc scott and amy © Walsalladvertiser

Southcart-Books

20 Lower Hall Ln, Walsall, West Midlands WS1 1RL

Open 9.30 -4.30

Southcart Books are the only independent bookshop in Walsall helping get the word around for local writers and artists.

Situated in a grade 2 listed building, Southcart Books sells new, used and antique books. They hold community events such as book signings and book readings. 

Original source; http://creativewalsall.com/southcart-books/ © 2014 Creative Walsall

caldmore david-portrait-1

David Calcutt organised the Reading Aloud Event in support of Small Business Saturday (Nationwide) 6th December 2014. He hosted a pleasurable day of talented wordsmiths, who all took to the chair for their readings. I’ve never performed a set sitting down before, it was a new experience. I wasn’t sure what to do with my feet and I can’t say I was entirely comfortable. However, as an audience member it was like being invited into your own private Jackanory and I enjoyed the change.

I felt absorbed by this experience and was glad I made it in time for lunch and mingling, I met a few poets I didn’t know, had time to catch up with those I do know and managed a quick browse the shelves too. I ended up treating myself to three Poetry books (my own personal Christmas presents), I look forward to reading them in the New Year.

It was lovely to hear lengthy sets (15mins) as often you only get a snippet of poetry at Open Mics. I am finding it difficult to express how great the afternoon was so I am going to say it with synonyms; fascinating, inspiring, impressive, wonderful and marvellous and then let David say the rest – he said it so much better;

It felt a real privilege today to be host to such a diverse, talented and friendly group of writers today at Southcart Books – Martin Hughes, Ann Clarson, Janet Jenkins, Angela Nock, Jane James, Eileen Ward-Birch, Chris Fewings, Sammy Joe, Antony R Owen, Nina Lewis and Bert Flitcroft.

Thank you very much to Scott Carter and Amy for hosting this and providing a comfortable and atmospheric reading space. Southcart Books is such a strong, independent bookshop. Just the place you should visit. Thank you again to all the readers.

Here are a couple of photographs capturing the Reading Aloud event, © 2014 Stuart Williams

SC chris Stuart williams

Chris Fewings

SC Tony

Antony R Owen

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To round off the week I am typing up poems scribbled in my notebook over the past few weeks and if I have time (Mr G and I are also ‘tackling’ the house) I will be submitting some work too.