‘I cannot believe it is March, but then February is such a short month! This year has been fantastic so far – as you know if you have followed the story – I am now in my 3rd year of the 1st of 4 Olympic challenges… inspired by the Summer Olympics in London, I realised that we hear the GOLD stories and not the 4, 8, 12, 16 years leading up to them. Often athletes may get to GOLD just before they are forced to retire… as writers don’t need to be in peak physical condition (we are only ever warned about the writers saggy bottom), we can (and do) write into our 80s and beyond. So once 16 years has passed I will not lay down my pen, I will carry on, but my beginners strides were to consider my writing life 16 years ahead.
Here is the beginning of year 3 (and considering I rediscovered poetry (my main focus) back in September 2013 I am only 1.5 years in) I read with awe CVs and Bios of writers in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th 5th years of their careers and thought ‘WOW, they’ve achieved that fast’ – and here I am;
Performing and known locally
Mentoring young writers
I have spent a year working as an assistant writer for Writing West Midlands and now can cover as a Lead writer (with some incredibly exciting news today about my future and this role which matches my hopes exactly)
Work has appeared on the Poetry Trail Wenlock Poetry Festival 2014
I worked on a commission performed at Birmingham Literature Festival (a year after I attended the festival as a wide-eyed gleeful new poet)
I have been booked as a featured act for a Charity event in Birmingham this Spring
I was booked last year (way before the amazing 52) to be 1 of 10 poets on Sarah Dixon’s Quiet Compere Tour 2015
I am working on my first chapbook/ pamphlet
I will be performing on the same night as John Hegley (Poetry God) this Autumn
I have grabbed every opportunity for workshops, tutorials and conversations with writers and publishers
I am supporting Daniel Sluman in the promotion of his second collection ‘the terrible’, right here on the AWF Blog
I AM HAPPY!
Now to February – how did it look?
BLOGS & PROJECTS
As I get more active in reality, naturally I have less time to blog (I still find it amazing to consider the time that goes into such small posts), however the blog is still healthy and full of life, so thanks for popping in for a read.
Literature Festival Season is upon us, I booked all my tickets for Wenlock Poetry Festival 2015, including the 52 Project with Jo Bell and Norman Hadley, my book has been ordered too. 52 was such an amazing project to be a small part of and it has brought the wonders of the publishing world and success to many of the participants.
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). I have been a bit slack this month in sending anything out, with Mr G working away from home I seem to have lost some of my precious writing time and the energy needed to flow creatively. Coping to live alone again is a hard, time consuming struggle, just one month to go though and we will be back to normal!
I did submit poetry to Rethink and entered the Corinium Museum competition.
I continued to attend David Calcutt’s Community Garden workshops in Walsall. We have exciting ventures mapped out for March, including a reading event in the garden and more workshops. Some of the poetry I have produced in Caldmore can be seen on his website (link to follow).
I also had my 2nd workshop with Angela France in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which was even more inspirational than the first and has had me mapping out all sorts of ideas and poetry threads in my notebook since!
I also booked myself onto my 2nd online writing course, this one with the University of Iowa.
I submitted work to;
Rethink Your Mind (Competition)
Corinium Museum (Comp.)
This year I decided to pull back on the 100+ gigs of last year to allow more time to work on writing.
Permission to Speak, Robert Francis, Stourbridge. Featuring Fergus McGonigal
Mouth & Music, Heather Wastie & Sarah Tamar, Kidderminster. Featuring Lorna Meehan & Kate Wragg
Hit the Ode, Spoz, Birmingham. Featuring Jasmine Gardosi, Rose Condo & MiKo Berry
Drummonds 42, Andrew Owens, Worcester.
EVENTS & WORKSHOPS
SpeakEasy, Fergus McGonigal & Maggie Doyle, Worcester. Featuring Gary Longden
Angela France – Stratford-Upon-Avon workshop – mapping poetry
Poets at the Hive – Ben Parker, Sarah James, Ruth Stacey and Todd Swift
David Calcutt – Caldmore Gardens Workshop
Caroline Horton – AND TEXT Workshop, Birmingham MAIA Creatives
Writing West Midlands – Assistant writer/ Lead Writer and cover
I was asked to perform in Mad March Events in Malvern, at a Book Launch in April, interviewed Daniel Sluman for the blog promo tour, stocked up on more books;
‘The Forward Book of Poetry’
‘FU Pardon My Tone’ MiKo Berry
‘A Poetry Handbook’ Mary Oliver
‘The Escape artists’ Ben Parker
‘Unfinished Study of a French Girl’ Todd Swift
‘Magnetic Diaries’ Sarah James
and read a ton of writing articles.