Tag Archives: charity

Open Poetry for PIPKA

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PIPKA is a self organised refugee camp set up to help Refugees in Greece.

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Performers included:

Set 1
Mike Alma
Mickey Ali
Romalyn Ante
Suzan Atasu
Richard Archer
Elaine Christie
Ann Clarson
Tina Cole
Leanne Cooper

Guest: Helen Calcutt

Set 2
PIPKA Aurelie Blondeau

Grace Dore
Emily Galvin
Amanda Glover
Penny Harper
Jane James
Janet Jenkins
Gerald Kells
Nina Lewis

Set 3
Liz Mills
John Mills
Neil Richards
Janet Smith
Mel Woodend
Sue Wood

Guest: Christina Thatcher

GDGrace Dore © 2017

It took Mike and I an epic amount of time to get to Walsall – 2 hours (!) as there were motorway closures and traffic queues at stand still throughout the route, we did make it in time for the 2nd and 3rd sets.

It was great to see everyone again at the Arboretum, it feels like a long time since I have been there. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see Helen and Christina in action either. They were performing at Waterstones, which I believe has been postponed/rescheduled but was on a date I couldn’t attend. I was not expecting a buffet but was very glad of it – Mike and I had not eaten and were planning to grab lunch in the cafe before the event as we set off plenty early enough to do so.

Also, the main focus was to raise money for charity, so giving a donation to perform was all part of it too. If I had a valid passport I would go and do something too. Especially after hearing Aurelie Blondeau Calcutt talk about her experience with Helen out there.

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Elaine Christie © 2017

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Helen Calcutt © 2017

Below: all photos by Elaine Christie, unless otherwise stated.

 

 

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Many people shared important poems about the refugee crisis.

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Janet Jenkins © 2017

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Christina Thatcher performed a couple of sets from her collection ‘More Than You Were’ a book about grief and losing her father. Emotive the exploration of a relationship that is far from perfect and no longer able to be reconciled. This is a hard and beautiful collection.

https://christinathatcher.com/

In July 2013, David Thatcher died of a drug overdose in America. More than you were was written by his daughter, to try to understand what came after. The result is a striking collection of poetry which explores addiction, family politics, childhood memories and grief. © 2017, Parthian Books.

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After the event Helen sent this message of gratitude.

Pikpa poetry was brilliant yesterday. Thank you everyone who came and performed for us. Listened to us. And donated. We have now raised £610 for Lesvos Solidarity – Pikpa. Nearly half-way there.

A special thanks to Christina Thatcher for travelling all the from sunny Cardiff to read from her new collection – stirring, compelling, brilliant. To Aurelie Blondeau Calcutt for the very positive, informative talk. And to Pop for putting it all on for us. Love to you all, it was a truly successful (and inspiring) afternoon.

Helen Calcutt © 2017

EC2 Elaine Christie © 2017

If you would like to make a donation you can do so here.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/pikpa-medical-uk

In May 2017, my sister-in-law and I visited PIKPA, a self-organised refugee camp on the island of Lesvos, providing support to the most vulnerable individuals seeking refuge. We were both inspired and saddened by what we saw. After speaking with Dimitri Ippioti, one of the two nurses on PIKPA, we decided to focus on crowdfunding for healthcare.

Helen Calcutt © 2017

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Feminist Poetry Night for Refugee Action

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I am always on the look out for something different, this month I found it. Milly Morris was looking for artists to help with her fundraiser. A very brave decision as she didn’t know us or our work and had no idea what a great bunch of performers were in attendance.

Basically (I say basically, as I have never run a marathon before), David Parfitt and Amelia Morris are running the Vienna Marathon in April to raise money for refugee action. This fundraiser was to start off their donation pot and Milly raised nearly £500 which is fabulous. As with all organisers Milly was worried that no-one would turn up, performers would let her down and no-one would come.

Well Birmingham will never let you down when it comes to poetry or/and charity, ever! I guarantee that! Get students from the university involved and you guarantee an audience.

Milly needn’t have worried it was an amazing night.

ORT CROWD 19th February

The venue – The Ort Café was packed, standing room only for many. Our names were written on lolly sticks and picked at random, which is a pot of fairness idea from the classroom but made it apprehensively exciting. Even if it did mean I was one of the last to perform.

My poem about Annie Edson Taylor (the first woman over Niagara Falls in a barrel, survived and took her cat) went down well. My set was all about strong women, despite thinking I had probably penned feminist poetry – turns out I haven’t, yet!

 

If you are feeling generous and want to give to a worthy cause they have a JUST GIVING PAGE REFUGEE ACTION

 

 

Stratford Literary Festival: The Power of Poetry to Heal

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Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival

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I was lucky enough to attend the ‘The Power of Poetry to Heal’ event last week, at Stratford Artshouse

1803_BlackRainbow_Dhb.indd I read ‘black rainbow’ at the beginning of the year and was touched by the story of Rachel’s struggle through depression. After reading it I was inspired to post my own message of honesty Truth & Rainbows which itself inspired me to contact Rachel and seek permission to use part of the book in my New Year blog post New Year Message

I was looking forward to meeting her in person, but she wasn’t the only speaker at the event.

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Speakers: Rachel Kelly, Susanna Howard & Jill Fraser

We all have a piece of literature or poetry that restores us, calms us or inspires us, but these things can work a deeper magic by triggering long lost memories, rebalancing mental health and giving hope where it may have been lost.

These three women have experienced the power of words and poetry at first hand and, in a fascinating discussion, will look at the power of words to heal.

Rachel Kelly is a journalist whose book, Black Rainbow – How Words Healed Me, charts the story of her perfect world shattered by the savagery of depression and her recovery from it.

Susanna Howard is a poet who runs Living Words and works with terminally ill patients and dementia patients weaving their words into poetry.

Jill Fraser is the director of Kissing It Better, the charity that works within the NHS brightening up patients’ lives through activities, music, drama, and poetry.

Listening to the work the women in this panel do was an inspirational experience. Learning how poetry has helped healing and how it is at work in the community, how the government are FINALLY realising mental health is as important as physical health and how there will be more focus on wellbeing in the future was heartening.

Books are bridges and words connect us all.

A very moving experience which I can barely put into words, so I hope you will spend some time checking out these links to websites. Please share the work they do… maybe even get involved; buy the books, support or donate to the charities or maybe you know people who could give their time.

Susanna Howard – Living Words

http://www.livingwords.org.uk/living-words-team/

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Living Words was created and is led by artistic director Susanna Howard. … She fell in to working with people with dementia after a period of personal displacement, when flow writing saved her. Living Words emerged out of the darkness of this period. All of a sudden the journey that took her in to that first hospital ward, to work with people who were struggling with their own personal displacement, made sense.

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We are thrilled with our first paperback, THE THINGS BETWEEN US, Living Words: Anthology 1, coming in to being- Sir Andrew Motion has called it ‘An important collection of witnessings to an important subject, and valuable for what it address, as well as the way it addresses.’.

http://www.livingwords.org.uk/poetry/buy-our-book/

All proceeds go to the charity.

Susanna-Howard stratford artshouse Susanna Howard

© 2015 Stratford Artshouse

Jill Fraser – Kiss it Better

 

Volunteers from the “Kissing it Better” charity read poems and recite songs to residents of a retirement home in Stratford upon Avon who have been diagnosed with dementia. (AFP-Yonhap News) http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20131128000975

http://www.kissingitbetter.co.uk/about/

Kissing it Better is about sharing simple healthcare ideas. It is also about harnessing the energy of the most dynamic groups in a local community and inviting them to use their specialist skills to make a difference to the care of patients and their carers within hospitals and care homes.

http://www.kissingitbetter.co.uk/jill-fraser/

Jill is the co-founder and director of the charity, she involves local schools in the programme, reading poetry to the elderly in hospitals and care homes.

We regularly give talks at a variety of venues across the country. We have spoken at major conferences, dinners, and other major meetings. These have included The House of Lords, The Royal Society of Medicine and the QEII Conference Centre in London. We also run Master Classes and Workshops.

Copyright Kissing it Better

Copyright Kissing it Better

Jill Fraser

Black Rainbow Rachel Kelly

http://www.blackrainbow.org.uk/about-rachel/

You can watch media interviews on this page.

Rachel Kelly is a journalist with a long-standing interest in mental health. Her best selling memoir Black Rainbow describes how poetry helped her overcome depression and is published by Hodder & Stoughton, with all author proceeds going to the charities SANE and United Response. It was awarded the prize for Best First Book at the 2014 Spear’s Book Awards.

‘Rachel Kelly has written with bracing honesty and considerable courage about her own struggles with depression. She tells of both her own travails and the solutions to them, and her book will be immensely helpful to others in like circumstances.’

Andrew Solomon, National Book Award winner

Rachel worked at The Times for ten years as a reporter, feature writer and columnist on alternative health. In October 2011, she co-created iF Poems, a children’s poetry app for the iPhone and iPad. iF Poems was on the Apple Editor’s Choice: All-Time Favorite apps list and has sold in over thirty countries. A book version of the app, If: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility, was published in 2012 by Canongate and is now in its fourth edition.

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Meeting Rachel was amazing, she remembered me from the emails and blog post and urged me to write another – so here it is Rachel.

rachel kelly Rachel Kelly

Maybe, in the future I will invite some Guest blogs on the Power of Poetry to Heal.

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http://www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk/

Celebrating its 8th year in 2015, The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival will be held between 25th April and 3rd May, 2015.

The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is the highlight of the regional calendar and has become one of the most significant literary festivals in the UK, attracting thousands of people who share one passion: a love of books, writing and reading.

A NEW YEAR Message ~ inspired by ‘black rainbow’ Rachel Kelly

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Link to the original part of this message: Approaching the New Year Truth and Rainbows

NEW YEAR MESSAGE

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Over Christmas I read Black Rainbowan amazing book by Rachel Kelly. I sent Rachel an email this week requesting permission to use part of Chapter 15 to base this post on, I was delighted when I received a reply the same day! Thanks for your kind permission Rachel and heart-warming email.

I had been thinking about my NEW YEAR blog message, when I read this chapter these pages jumped out (page 275-278). Sections of the book are shown in this

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2015 and You

In Chapter 15 of Black Rainbow, Rachel writes about a book group she started in her neighbourhood, they were all trying to help each other beat depression, the difference with this book club was they reviewed self-help books. Rachel herself worked through some of her depression by rekindling her love for poetry and sometimes prayers. It was this factor that encouraged my mum to recommend this book to me, that was my connection. Only in my own battle against illness I rediscovered writing poetry.

I spent the first 3 years of depression fighting it (something all suffers know is futile), I self- medicated; devoured self-help books, my whole library lending list was full of them, I read every single relevant title in my local library as well as stocking my own shelves at home (eat your heart out Bridgette Jones), I tried meditation, both in audio form and prayer/meditations, I tried pilates, yoga, t’ai chi, visualisation, mood boards, life coaching (I am trained myself and know how important it is to see a coach from time to time) – I was stuck – nothing worked because I was severely depressed in need of help, therapy and medication.

I agree that the list of things above can enhance healing experience, in fact my own experience of psychotherapy last year worked wonders and my sub-conscious still has the power to drag me back before I fall too far. We arm ourselves as best we can with a whole stock cupboard of counter balances, do our best to protect ourselves from the darkness, despite knowing that if and when it hits we just have to live with it, let it do its worse and rebuild afterwards. Become as resilient as nature. The plant may well look dead, but you keep watering it and you will be amazed by what happens.

So let’s start our New Year arming ourselves with tools, create the change we want to see happen. Only you have that power.

Tools for creating change

Let’s start with a prayer Rachel pinned to her noticeboard, read it, let the words sink in. If you are not religious, see it as spirit talk, being a better human being, mankind;

Lord, help me to notice all the signs of goodness

around me and give thanks for them.

Lord, we are each other’s gifts: help me to be thankful for

every life-giving encounter and to see that your gifts

are all around me if only I would look.

In gratitude I will find healing. 

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Gratitude Journals

I have posted about (and written) gratitude journals over the years, if this is something you want to do or need to do to spot the good and take notice, now is the time to start one. Do it for January, dip in daily/weekly/monthly. I used to make a note of 3-5 gratitudes a day.

I chose a small, pretty notebook, tied with a purple ribbon and kept it next to my bed, I used to reflect on a short list just before going to sleep.

The more you take notice, the more you will see.

 

Print the Prayer

Do what Rachel did, print it out, stick it on your noticeboard, notice it.

 

Meditate

Use the prayer. Read it aloud and then ponder on what it says, what is good around you, what signs of goodness do you see and hear today? Give thanks for them. Literally… ‘Thank you for ……’

Think about your own gifts, what do you give to people? Who have you encountered that you felt blessed by or antagonistic towards – not all signs are sent sugar-coated, sometimes there is a different kind of obstacle to overcome to create change.

What of God’s gifts or the universe’s gifts/ mother nature… what are you missing? Open your eyes (you know you have 3)!

Finally repeat the endlines as a mantra until you believe that healing is possible.

In gratitude I will find healing. 

 

be grateful

I persuaded the group that we should each bring along favourite poem to the next session. I brought my faithful Herbert poem ‘The Flower’, with its message of rebirth. A friend brought this poem entitled ‘Instants’, its author unknown:

It was actually written by Jorge Luis Borges, however the versions I have found are slightly different in wording to the poem seen by the group (I imagine this is a translation issue). The wording here is referenced from ‘black rainbow’ and appears as it does in the text apart from the fact the poem is one stanza, WordPress and I have some formatting issues!

Instants

If I could live my life again,
In the next I would try to make more mistakes,
I wouldn’t try to be so perfect, I would be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
 I’d be sillier than I have been this time around,
 In fact, I’d take very few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic, I would take more risks, 
I would take more trips,
I would watch more sunsets,
I would climb more mountains,
I would swim more rivers,
I would go to more places that I’ve never been,
I would eat more ice creams and fewer lima beans,
I would have more real problems and fewer imaginary
ones.
I was one of those people who lived prudent and prolific lives –
each minute of his life.
Of course I had moments of joy, but,
if I could go back I would try to have only good moments,

After all, moments are what life is made of,
Don’t miss out on the now!

I was one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
without an umberella and a parachute,

If I could live my life again I would travel light.
If I could live my life again I would walk bare foot
from the beginning of spring till
the end of autumn.
I would take more rides on merry-go-rounds, 
I would watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I had the life to live. But now as you see, I am eighty-five,
– and I know that I am dying .

WOW! At this point I probably needn’t type anymore, right? I mean it has all been said. This poem made me feel invincible. Read it again. We all agree. Old age is after all a place (hopefully) we are inevitably heading towards, this was another reason I was so angry about being debilitated by depression in my 30s. That time when we should be jumping out of planes and climbing mountains on the other side of the world.

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We weren’t eighty-five and we weren’t dying. The time had come to watch more sunrises and play with more children, to shout with joy and swim more rivers.

We spent time at the group making our own lists inspired by ‘Instants’… ‘Let’s boost our sense of delight.’ We made logs of the past year and recorded what we had most enjoyed doing and what we hadn’t enjoyed too.

 

Write your list

Rewrite the poem from your own perspective, what would you care less about or strive to do more? Maybe you can make these part of 2015 and not wait until you are eighty-five. Make your wishes reality.

Or copy what the group did and create your own log from 2014.

Find the pursuit that allows you to be your most creative self. Go with the flow.

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The chapter closes with a letter written by Sir Sydney Smith in 1820 which Rachel was sent. It parallels with her own guidelines for dealing with low spirits… apart from his advice to avoid poetry. I would say BATHE IN IT!

Thanks again Rachel for writing the book in the first place and for allowing me to reference sections here

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ADVICE CONCERNING LOW SPIRITS

A letter from Sydney Smith to Lady Georgiana Morpeth, Feb. 16, 1820:

Dear Lady Georgiana,– Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done — so I feel for you. 1st. Live as well as you dare. 2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°. 3rd. Amusing books. 4th. Short views of human life — not further than dinner or tea. 5th. Be as busy as you can. 6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you. 7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you. 8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely — they are always worse for dignified concealment. 9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you. 10th. Compare your lot with that of other people. 11th. Don’t expect too much from human life — a sorry business at the best. 12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy, sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion, not ending in active benevolence. 13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree. 14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue. 15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant. 16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness. 17th. Don’t be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice. 18th. Keep good blazing fires. 19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion. 20th. Believe me, dear Lady Georgiana,
Very truly yours,
Sydney Smith

 

Despite constant advances since the 1820s, much of this advice is still relevant and helpful, some more so.

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Let’s finish with a reminder that life is precious, we are heading forwards – let’s make it worthwhile. Spend some of your time with those staying young at heart.

 

 

 

 

In return for the permission to use part of Chapter 15, here are some links to Rachel’s website, go and BUY her book on Amazon or download the app.

‘I would love to get the book into the hands of those who need it and all my author proceeds go to mental health charities.’  – Rachel Kelly 1803_BlackRainbow_Dhb.indd www.black-rainbow.co.uk

Rachel Kelly is a writer and former journalist on The Times. Her memoir Black Rainbow was published by Hodder & Stoughton in April 2014 and won the Spear’s Best First Book Award in October 2014.

All author proceeds from the sale of this book go to the charities SANE and United Response.

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Book Launch – Restless Bones Poetry Anthology for Born Free Foundation

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Restless Bones – The History Behind the Project

Elaine Christie is a local poet and also works hard to protect animal rights. The story behind the conception of this project/idea is touching, last year Elaine’s best friend, Pat Clarke passed away. Elaine was left some money …. I leave the rest of the explanation to Elaine Christie, who came to the Book Launch with decorative balloons and a cat wreath;

© 2014 Elaine Christie

© 2014 Elaine Christie

“This lovely cat wreath was to remember my best friend Pat Clarke, who died last August. She left some money to me and when I read about China skinning animals alive, I had an uncontrollable urge to do something. Something more than signing petitions and writing letters and emails, powerful they may be, seeing dogs piled on top of each other almost crushed and tigers anxious and angry crammed in cages awaiting their fate, I thought of all the superb poetry I had heard over the years and the idea came, wouldn’t it be ideal if I could bottle that, as a message to the world to wake up, this kind of cruelty is not acceptable. The final push came when leaving The Barber Institute after a workshop with Jacqui Rowe. Saleha Begum and I went for a coffee and she gave me the final push! Thank you Saleha xx
There are many to thank, firstly the poets, each of you were picked for your talent and I’m as passionate about your poems as you are! I know you have looked into these cruelty issues and I hope I haven’t scarred you all for life! Jacqui’s poems have stayed with me for years, such rich language and the stories behind the poems are marvellous, and you do have a magic eye! I wish I was half as intelligent! Thank you for editing our book, it has made all the difference and has wings to fly!”

© 2014 Rangzeb Hussain

Elaine with the Cat wreath in memory of Pat Clarke © 2014 Rangzeb Hussain

And so began some VERY hard work for Elaine to realise her vision!
Restless Bones The Anthology
Is packed full of poetry from the past and the present, the work of; WILLIAM BLAKE, ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, LORD BYRON, EMILY DICKINSON, WILLIAM WORDSWORTH amongst others.
As well as including many poems the book showcases the wonderful art of Josephine Wall. It is a beautiful book to enjoy time and time again.
Contributors
VIRGINIA MCKENNA
RICHARD BONFIELD
JANINE ALLEN
MIKE ALMA
JUDE ASHWORTH
DAVID BARBER
WILLIAM BLAKE
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
LORD BYRON
DAVID CALCUTT
HELEN CALCUTT
G. K. CHESTERTON
CHYI YU
ELAINE CATHERINE CHRISTIE
EMILY DICKINSON
DES – LONE WOLF
EUGENE EGAN
GIOVANNI ‘SPOZ’ ESPOSITO
CHRIS FEWINGS
CAROLINE GILL
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
RANGZEB HUSSAIN
SARAH JAMES
JANET JENKINS
NINA LEWIS
TESSA LOWE
CHARLOTTE MEW
MATT NUNN
ANTONY OWEN
MALINI PATEL
JADE PHIPPS
CLARE POWERS
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
JACQUI ROWE
ALFRED LORD TENNYSON
CLAIRE WALKER
JAN WATTS
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
TOM WYRE
An incredible amount of work went into producing this book. Elaine worked closely with Jacqui Rowe (Writer in Residence at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Editor at Flarestack and host of Poetry Bites) who kindly edited Restless Bones. We are all grateful for the opportunity to be involved and appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this project.
Art of Josephine Wall
Buy the book to see it all – it is worth it!
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© 2014 Josephine Wall

The Book Launch at Akamba – 21st August
Copyright 2014 R. Hussain Copyright 2014 R. Huusain
The venue was Akamba – an incredible place and perfect setting for the subject of the anthology
Tessa Lowe was the host and Rangzeb Hussain the official photographer, a selection of contributors gathered to perform their poem, undercover and outside. In a place that I have been assured is very authentically African. Tessa not only hosted the evening but also arranged for Ansumana Drammeh, a djembe drummer from The Gambia to accompany some of the Poets. David Barber had spent a while in rehearsals with Ansumana before the event and Reuben Woolley (a poet who just toured events in the UK for a fortnight, who lives in Spain) had some time to rehearse with him too.
I arrived an hour early in the hope that I would also have time to work with Ansumana – who was the person who talked to me about the setting reminding him of places he had camped. He listened to the poem and then drummed away, a short dialogue between us and we tried for something slightly quieter. Then 3rd time we did it was the opening of my performance/ set. It worked wonderfully well, a talented musician who knows how to find rhythm in words.
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Wrapped in blankets and by the warmth of candle light we enjoyed the evening under the thatched hut roof. The rain didn’t get us and the blankets added to the atmosphere of the evening, particularly in the photos. The staff at Akamba were brilliant and supportive.
The evening was an incredible experience – hours of poetry and wonderful conversation – a gathering of poets and friends. As Elaine chose poets from the local circuit I knew most of the people but I hadn’t read their poems, I cannot wait to sit down and read my way through the collection, I know it will be a book I read time and time again.
Here are some photographs of the evening – the full collection is too big to post. All copyright belongs to Rangzeb Hussain, a talented poet and photographer!
© 2014 Rangzeb Hussain – thanks for the permission to use your photographs.
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Tom Wyre
BL RH Jude Ashford
Jude Ashworth
 BL RH Antony
Antony Owen
BL RH Tessa
Tessa Lowe Hosting &   Ansumana Drammeh enjoying a quick break before drumming.
 BL RH Elaine
Elaine Christie
 BL rh jan
Jan Watts
BL RH DB
David Barber
BL RH Spoz BL spoz RH
Spoz – GIOVANNI ESPOSITO
BL RH jACQUI
Jacqui Rowe
 BL RH me 2
Nina Lewis (me)
BL RH David Calcutt
David Calcutt
BL RH Claire
Claire Walker
Mike Alma also performed his poetry – although I am not sure there is any photographic evidence of his set.
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The night was finished by Open Mic spot poets –
Sammy Joe
BL RH Sammy Joe
Reuben Woolley
BL RH Reuben Woolley Ansumana Drammeh
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A Poetry Anthology about the natural world and how it is declining.
All funds go to Born Free Foundation, to fight the Fur Trade.
A Limited Edition Poetry Anthology about the Natural World and how it is declining. Poems from Born Free’s Poet in Residence Richard Bonfield and Virginia McKenna. Poetry From- Antony Owen, Caroline Gill, Chris Fewings, Claire Walker, Clare Power, David Barber, David Calcutt, Elaine Catherine Christie,Eugene Egan, Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito, Helen Calcutt, Jade Phipps, Jan Watts, Janet Jenkins, Janine Allen, Jude Ashworth, Matt Nunn, Mike Alma, Nina Lewis, Rangzeb Hussain, Sarah James, Tessa Lowe, Tom Wyre. Poems from Animal Liberation Front, Famous Quotations and poems from Wordsworth, Blake, Dickinson, Browning. Fantasy Art from Josephine Wall! This is a collection not to be missed, all funds go to fight the fur trade.
BUY IT! 
Restless Bones will be available to buy soon £9.99 from The Born Free Website – links to follow.
4 of my poems feature, written especially for the anthology;
Nerve Endings
At the Hands of Humans
the other two were chosen by Elaine Christie;
Night Sky
Universe
ALL MONEY WILL BE DONATED TO THE BORN FREE FOUNDATION – you get to help animals and enjoy incredible poetry! (You won’t even have to tip a bucket of water over your head!)

 

Friday 7th March, 1st Submission and PUBLISHED

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At the beginning of the month I had an opportunity to join a list of other fantastic poets submitting work for an Anthology of Poetry to support the Born Free Foundation/Charity. I found this specific writing task challenging, mainly because I did a lot of research into the fur trade (the focus of our work) and found it beyond upsetting. I also found it really hard to write decent poetry on the subject.
In the end I opted for a wide view of the whole human impact in the animal world, especially considering we are ALL members of the Animal Kingdom, the second was the release of several animals rescued from captivity. They had never seen the outside world before and it took over 20 minutes to coax them from the cages.

The anthology is the brain child of Elaine Christie and the other nice thing is that it features lots of my poetry friends. She has compiled a wide selection of excellent poetry and the book will also include some stunning artwork. My poetry was accepted. I look forward to holding this publication in my hand and supporting the promotion of the project later this year!

It took the whole writing day to complete the final edits, but it was worth it and besides the two poems I submitted it has provided me with a small bank of poems on this important subject.
AND I GOT PUBLISHED! 🙂 born free

 

Matador Survey for Charity – Book Cover of 2012: Please take part

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I know authors who have gone down the Self-publishing route – usually as a result of writing specialist books which just don’t have the commercial value of mass publication. Although it is not a route I am considering, I read about this survey and liked the opportunity to gift to charity just through a simple vote.

The following text is copied from the Matador site, please CLICK THE LINK to vote & support  Arthritis Research UK.

Thank -you

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Matador’s team of cover designers has been busy again in 2012! We want to recognise good cover design in self-published books, so we’d like you help us choose the best in-house cover design from one of our books.

Good cover design can make or break a book, so our designers aim to match a good cover to the correct book genre and produce something that forms a part of the book’s “brand”. All our book and ebook covers are designed in consultation with the author and our Marketing Department to give a book the best chance of commercial success in a crowded market.

We’ve selected our twelve favourite covers from titles newly published in 2012, but are throwing open the decision as to the best one to the public.

By voting in the survey you’ll be helping to raise money for Arthritis Research UK; when we reach 100 votes we’ll donate £100 to the charity. The author of the book with winning design will also receive a £25 book token.

If you would like to view other Matador book and ebook covers, please visit our online bookshop. Details of the self-publishing services we offer authors can also be found on our website.

Thank you for taking part!

http://freeonlinesurveys.com/app/rendersurvey.asp?sid=fbsxzqa7xs0s6bt173137&refer=