Poetry Wrap 4 – is bursting! It covers 3 weeks instead of just one, settle down, get comfortable and have a read!
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In the 2nd week of May I had a gorgeous 3 day run of poetry events, starting with Mouth & Music on the 12th – the theme was Love in times of Revolution and I really struggled to write to this theme. One of the hardest challenges this year. In the end I managed to write 3 poems on the day all about Love and Revolution, I performed the final set of the evening and these poems performed back to back made for a moving set. I am beginning to explore form thanks to the University of Iowa and my current MOOC study; ‘How Writers Write Poetry’. It was a Pantoum for those of you who are interested.
Written in four-line stanzas; and the second and fourth line of each stanza become the first and third of the succeeding stanza. In the last stanza, the second and fourth lines are the third and first of the first stanza; so that the opening and closing lines of the pantoum are identical. Each line is a repeton.
One expert insists that it should be both rhymed abab bcbc … zaza and that the lines be isosyllabic. This was more true of the Pantoum in French. English is a little more loosey-goosey as was the Malay version. The same expert says that there is a variation where the poem is ended with lines 1 and 3 used as repetons in reverse order as a couplet.
Copyright © 2001-2013 by Charles L. Weatherford – Source Poetrybase
The night was headlined by Roy MacFarlane – former Birmingham Poet Laureate, a favourite poet of mine and an incredibly lovely chap! It was great to catch up with him, as I hadn’t seen him since last summer. His set was moving, sexy and exciting! Music was provided by the wonderfully talented David Coughlin, who made me feel like I was away on my holidays being treated to a great gig.
The following evening I headed to Kings Heath to join in with HOWL, an event that Leon Priestnall has been running for a while now, due to work commitments and energy levels I hadn’t been able to make it over before.
Another superb evening – INCREDIBLE talent from both performers and open mic-ers. WOW! Another lovely venue and great support from the staff too.
Leon has built up an incredible reputation for both himself and this event in a relatively short period of time. Topping the night off was a lady (audience) who actually HOWLED her appreciation all through the night!
The following day I received some exciting news. I had been LONGLISTED for Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate Competition 2015-16, which I entered back in March, in secret! My interview went well and I have been shortlisted for the final (12th June) here’s a link to the full story COMING SOON
I went to SpeakEasy, where I didn’t perform but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Sarah James and Angela Topping have recently published a collaborative pamphlet called ‘Hearth’, they launched the book at Cheltenham Poetry Festival and will continue to promote it. If you get a chance go and see them and buy the book! RRP is £5, available from the poets directly or from mothersmilkbooks
Lots of talent from all the performers and the evening was finished off by the energetic performance poet Jeff Cottrill, who is from Canada. International Guest Slots going on now.
Then I took a week off from performing, concentrated on working, Hay House Summit and my MOOC course with the University of Iowa. I also received some great news, another poem published in a print anthology, another book launch. LINK COMING SOON
Stanza was the last thing I did before half term.
I missed Poetry Bites (sadly) as I had a 4 day run and I decided that with MOTs for the car, optician appointments and visiting relatives, I wouldn’t have an abundant amount of energy left. Maybe the meditation from last week has helped, I seemed to have sailed through.
My first performance was at Drummonds 42 where the theme was Fairies, Pixies, Witches & Warlocks. Most of wrote about the Fae folk – who have plenty of shadowy, darker elements.
I took great pleasure in working on a poem about two ceramic pixies my Great Aunty used to let me play with as a child, another poem about an online ‘Which Fairy are You?’ quiz, one about Scottish fairies and finally with so much research left over I wrote a short piece of Flash Fiction, which seemed to go down well.
All of these pieces were written at 5 AM! I woke up really early on Wednesday and couldn’t sleep, I had originally factored in plans to do three things before the evening’s 42. I decided I may as well get my set ready and spent the best part of 3 hours creating it. I had planned on going back to bed, but this never happened.
The evening was brilliant and there were some top notch performances as well as some new faces.
The following morning, I was up early (I haven’t actually managed a late morning or lie in all week), to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a Poetry workshop with Angela France.
We were editing today and I was reminded to take a poem. The day before I had read an article/ conversation posted on social media. It was a conversation between Jonathan Edwards & Tishani Doshi as part of the Walking Cities project. I was immediately inspired to use it as base stimuli and emailed Jonathan for permission, which I am delighted to say he has honoured. So I made use of the early morning and penned a new poem to take to Stratford – and I am glad I did because it is now even stronger than the first few drafts. It has changed quite considerably. I will share it with Jonathan Edwards and then submit it for publication, I would love it to feature in my first collection too.
The workshop was great (as always) and it was lovely to see everyone again. The sun even came out in the afternoon for us to write in the garden. My notebook is full of references & poets to look up as well as two newly penned poems.
The next day Friday, I went to Word Up. I took the train in, which was great for my writing notebook which now has snippets of conversation. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable. Headlined by Jan Watts, Leon Priestnall & Heather Wastie. It was a great night of performance and poetry. It was nice to see Carys Jones, who is now back in the UK too, even better to hear her perform new material. She is currently working on a show to take to Edinburgh Fringe this year too.
Last night saw the last event of the month – Opus Club at The Dark Horse in Moseley. Both this night and Word Up are hosted by Jasmine Gardosi and are definitely worth going to. I decided to perform with the House Band and it was AWESOME. Initially I was worried because it was a whole band and I had expected just one or two musicians. I needn’t have worried, family genes are full of musicality (thanks Dad) and it was so good people thought it had been rehearsed that way. I managed to learn two poems off by heart – which was a minor miracle because I changed the set 3 or 4 times and spent most of Saturday with Mr G in a local Garden Centre!
Here’s some flavour of the night, it was certainly eclectic, Headlined by Hannah Silva.
Photographs used with permission from the wonderful Rang-Zeb Rango Hussain. A second post about OPUS will be posted where you can see more photos.
It was lovely to see people I hadn’t seen for ages and meet new ones. And that – as I used to say back in the days of showbiz, is a wrap!