Tag Archives: events

Review of the Month – July

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ww me If July was a race it would be 100 metre sprint, if it was weather it would be a full on 30 degrees (I am from the UK), July was like the best day ever groundhogged over and over!

Busy, full and delightful.

Was it all Roses?

There were a few dips, loss of confidence in my writing but I am learning that self-belief isn’t a constant and that all artists feel this way sometimes. So, rather like my illness in the early days – I am choosing acceptance. It is better to admit defeat, say this is the way I feel today, so what can I do that will create more time for writing another day. Anything from the TO DO list, which is huge this summer, as I am attempting to unpack the house (finally), deep cleaning as I go.

Write Daily

I am a firm believer in this action and I DO. Even on a dip day some writing will have been created – that is how a dip day is spawned, it doesn’t come from not writing. Besides I had 10-15years of not-writing. If you want to be a runner, you may have a day when you do a quick power walk and some pilates, but I am sure you wouldn’t stop altogether. Even on the non-training days they are devouring everything they can about their chosen goal.

LET IT GO

I have talked about Elsa moments before on this blog. I missed a few submission opportunities this month because I couldn’t key into what the writing required. I am currently working on a big project and that is taking the focus when I am working – and so it should. I have tried to make submissions with work I have already collecting dust.

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JULY

I was still on holiday, basking in heat and oceans at the beginning of July. As soon as I was home the run of poetry events kicked in.

 

WEEK 1

Magnetic Diaries A wonderful Poetry Play at The Courtyard, Hereford.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/the-magnetic-diaries-poetry-play-including-micro-interview-with-author/

Rhyme with Reason A great open mic night in Birmingham.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/birminghams-growing-poetry-rhyme-with-reason/

Poetry Lounge A fantastic night in Ludlow.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/poetry-lounge-in-the-sitting-room-july-7th/

Ledbury Cider with Poets Ruth Stacey Book Launch

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/ledbury-poetry-festival-the-launch-of-queen-jewels-mistress-by-ruth-stacey/

Quiet Compere Tour Worcester Stop 6 A great event to be involved in, 1 of 10 poets.

sarahnina lewisNeil LaurensonMyfanwy FoxMike AlmaJasmine Gardosiclive deeCarl SealeafClaire WalkerCatherine CrosswellAdrian Mealing Sarah Dixon © 2015

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/quiet-compere-tour-2015-stop-6-worcester/

Then after this run of events I found myself exhausted. I was working full time too. I spent the whole weekend sleeping and unfortunately missed the 52 Picnic and reading in Stratford-Upon-Avon at the Poetry Festival. A great shame as this was something I was looking forward to for a long time.

The Pangaea Slam a wonderful poetry competition I discovered in 2014, this year I posted a video in WEEK 1, unfortunately since then I have been busy with writing projects and life and have not managed to complete this event. It is now on my hit list for next year.

 

WEEK 2

After a weekend of sleep, I was ready to go again and as it was the last week of term, I had less work to do and more energy to play (all my poetry work is play).

Ten Letters was an amazing experience, Poetry Theatre at its best. A wonderful collective.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/ten-letters/

10 letters 2

Walsall Caldmore Community Garden Workshop with David Calcutt. This workshop was great, the tools of the job was our starting point, due to the weather we spent most of our time writing in The Bakehouse, a wonderful artisan café in town. There were some interesting pieces that came out of this workshop, not to mention the gorgeous food at The Bakehouse and the help yourself bookcase!

In the evening I went to Mouth & Music where the theme (thanks to Gary Longden) was inventions that never made it – the hardest theme I have ever had to write for. I tried to write a poem in the hour I had between the workshop and M&M, it was still in scratch stage but will be developed. It was a great night.

MM July me Peter Williams © 2015

At the weekend I was heading to Shropshire for Writing Down the Dingle, a writing workshop facilitated by Jean Atkin. I had to pull out of this workshop as we had a college reunion the same day – a group of Drama students that haven’t seen each other for 20 years, which was fabulous and a great start to the summer holidays.

 

WEEK 3

I started to focus on writing, I am still editing a collection and now have a couple of new projects to work on from Walsall. I started working on my 1st poetry sequence for 42 for ‘Island of Lost Souls’, I started with black out poetry based on a page of HG Wells. From there I edited and extended the sequence, keeping the archaic language of the original text. In the end the sequence was 5 poems long and following positive feedback I might make it a flash fiction piece.

It was also the Walsall Festival this week, originally an event that was planned got cancelled but I did get to a workshop at Walsall Arboretum facilitated by Jimmie Rennie and David Calcutt, which was great fun.

Photography Janet Jenkins © 2015

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writing cafe

 

Followed by a reading at The Bakehouse. It amazed me how different all of our writing was from the stimulus of the lake.

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sammy Sammy jimmieJimmie me Nina

janet Janet david David

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In the evening I performed at The Sun at The Station for Arts All Over the Place at the Madhatter Charity Fundraiser. Rachel Green booked me for this event a month ago, having opened the festival for them last year. I was delighted to be asked, although I wasn’t sure which poems to perform. It was a great event and well attended – a great fundraiser, such a success that they are considering making it a bi-monthly event.

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Rachel Green © 2015

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Howard Atkins © 2015

I took some bookings for August Headlines, diary is now booked up to October.
WEEK 4

I had an amazing night at Shakti Women Womanly Words event. Lots of great performances and a touching experience. It was the first of a schedule of events planned for this summer.

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42 Drummonds was a great event, my sequence of poetry went down well and we all got to say goodbye to Math Jones, who is off to the smog of our Capital City.

And since then I have chained myself back to my virtual desk to continue writing.

©Murdock Ramone Media

©Murdock Ramone Media

SUBMISSIONS

I have sent 4 submissions this month, I am waiting to hear the results and keeping my fingers crossed as always!

 

It has been an amazing month. Made more spectacular by the fact that my (unpaid) summer holidays started 2 weeks ago and since then I have been in my poetry skin and I still have 6 weeks to go. This is my holiday, being my poet self!

WORCESTERSHIRE POET LAUREATE – The Final – I am a Finalist!

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I am delighted to announce this news! WLF&F logo concepts

Back in March, I entered the competition for this year’s Worcestershire Poet Laureate. I was over the moon to make the long-list. There was an interview with two of the team, at which you had a chance to read poetry as well as answer lots of questions. This idea is a good one, as you can tell a lot from people with a little informal chat and some interview questions.

From there I made it to the short-list with 6 other poets. We will compete for the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate on the 12th June, at The Guildhall in Worcester, as part of the opening ceremony for WLF – Worcester LitFest & Fringe.

PLEASE VOTE

We all wrote two poems, our first of which have been published on the WLF website and are open for public votes.

http://worcslitfest.co.uk/worcestershire-poet-laureate-competition-2015/

I am not allowed to tell you which poem is mine, you have ONE VOTE – it’s FREE so please take some time to read the entries and cast your vote.

THE PROGRAMME

You can see the full programme  Prog LitFest 2015 v3.

TICKETS

Tickets can be downloaded or collected from the Tourist Information Centre at The Guildhall or from Worcester Live Box Office, Huntingdon Hall, CrownGate, Worcester WR1 3LD Tel: 01905 611427 or from a member of the LitFest team. Note: When you pay via PayPal your receipt is your ticket – please print a copy and bring it with you to the event.

THE LAUNCH

You can join us at the launch for just £5

June Event Venues Time Ticket Cost  PayPal
12 Friday Launch Poet Laureate Competition / Young Writer Winners / Flash Fiction Winners Guildhall 6pm for 6.30pm start £5.00 btn_buynowCC_LGbtn_buynowCC_LGbtn_buynowCC_LG

WORCESTER LITFEST & FRINGE

I will be performing at;

The Launch Of The Festival – Poet Laureate Competition
And Young Writers’ Awards
The Guildhall, High Street, Worcester WR1 2EY
Friday 12 June – 18:30 for a 19:00 start
Join us for the launch of the Festival and watch 6 poets go head to head as
they compete for the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015.
Judges include: current Worcestershire Poet Laureate Fergus McGonigal,
Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle, County Arts Officer Steve Wilson,
Young Poet Laureate Chloe Clarke and the Secretary of LitFest.
To open the event, we will present the prizes for the Young Writer
competition and the winners of the Flash Fiction competition will be
announced.
Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.worcslitfest.co.uk/2015-
programme-tickets.

 

Adam Millard
42 Worcester Festival Special
Drummonds Bar, The Swan With Two Nicks,
28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP
Wednesday 17 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start
42 Worcester’s Festival Special this year sees the welcome return of Adam
Millard. A writer, mainly fantasy and horror, Adam’s whole life consists of
movies, books, and writing. He’s 31 and lives with his beautiful wife Zoe,
and son, Phoenix Justice. Adam has over fifty tattoos and smells of rich
Mahogany.
Who can resist?

 

SpeakEasy Festival Special
Thursday 18 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start at The Old Rectifying House,
North Parade, Worcester WR1 3NN
Here’s your chance to read your short stories, poems, prose, try out your
performance poetry or music that tells a story. This evening is for you!
Please email curators Maggie and Fergus at speakeasy.litfest@gmail.com or
arrive early to claim an open mic slot.

 

LitFest Solstice Walk – a fabulous freebie
Starting around 10:30pm Saturday 20 June
Join us for a spookily fun walk around Worcester’s famous waterside for the
Summer Solstice – this year we’re keeping it local – the walk will be along
the banks of the River Severn. Starting outside Cripplegate Park gates on the
St John’s side of Worcester Bridge at 10:30(ish) Saturday 20 June, following
the Jonny Fluffypunk / Offa’s Poet gig. We’ll bear health and safety in mind
and ask everyone to bring a torch and wear stout shoes / boots and warm
clothing.
The route will be along the riverside to Diglis Lock and encompass the
Diglis basin marina area. There will be poetry and prose performances along
the route to entertain you.
Start time 10.30pm – finish anticipated just after midnight.
Anyone who wants can perform their poetry, short stories or flash fiction.
We’re allocating 5-minute performance slots for those interested.
Bring a torch, warm clothing and wear stout walking shoes.
Contact secretary@worcslitfest.co.uk

 

PERFORMANCES/ EVENTS 

These are the events I will going to – there are lots more, check the full programme.

‘A Night At The Museum’
Ben Parker & Todd Swift – Poetry Book Launch
The Museum of Royal Worcester, Severn Street, Worcester WR1 2ND
Saturday 13 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start
Free Entry – refreshments available

This book launch marks the conclusion of Ben Parker’s tenure as poet-inresidence at The Museum of Royal Worcester. Ben Parker will be reading from a collection of poems produced during his residency, which will be available for purchase for the first time. This event also marks the beginning of Todd Swift’s residency at The Museum, and Todd will be reading from his highly acclaimed poetry.
Ben’s poetry has appeared in a number of magazines, including The White
Review, Under the Radar and Oxford Poetry, as well as Lung Jazz: Young
British Poets for Oxfam. His debut pamphlet, The Escape Artists, was
published by tall-lighthouse in October 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013
Michael Marks Award.

Todd is a British-Canadian poet, publisher, critic and editor. He is the editor
of numerous anthologies; and has published eight full poetry collections. His
poems have appeared widely, including in Poetry Review, and Poetry
(Chicago). In 2004 Todd was the Oxfam Poet-in-residence. He blogs at
Eyewear and runs the indie press Eyewear Publishing. Todd’s PhD in Creative
and Critical Writing is from The University of East Anglia (UEA). He was
born in Montreal, Quebec.

 

Festival Fringe Events with ‘ConFab Cabaret’
John Hegley
John Hegley – ConFab Cabaret Special
Monday 15th June 20.00-22.30 (Doors Open 19.30)
Tickets £10 online (address below) or £12 on the door
A fun packed variety night with lashings of Spoken Word.
John Hegley will be headlining an extra-special ConFab
Cabaret. John performed on the streets of London in the early eighties,
fronting the Popticians, with whom he also recorded two sessions for John
Peel, and has since been a frequent performer of his words, sung and
spoken, on both local and national radio and television.
Tip top support will be provided by luscious lovely local Malvern muses –
Adrian Mealing, Amy Rainbow, Catherine Crosswell, Clive Dee, Myfanwy
Fox and Sue Thompson. With a fabulous audience poem and
added merriment from international circus performer Steve Kaos!

Offa’s Poets And Jonny Fluffypunk
St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN
Saturday 20 June – 19:00 for a 19:30 start
Offa’s Poets Bert Flitcroft and David Bingham
‘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.
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.
Jonny Fluffypunk
And…the unforgettable ‘economic refugee’ from the Home Counties
returns to LitFest. Stand-up poet, sit-up storyteller and give-up musician
Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the poetry, comedy and
alternative cabaret circuits for over 10 years. A multiple slam champion who
hates competition in the arts and an outspoken voice for anarchy, peace and
bicycles, Jonny’s a favourite with LitFest audiences. His ‘Sustainable
Nihilists’ Handbook’ is published by Burning Eye, and he is currently touring his no-fi stand-up spoken word show ‘Man Up, Jonny Fluffypunk –One Man’s Struggle with Late-Onset Responsibility’ to rousing acclaim.
An evening not to be missed!

WorcesterLitFest 2014

wlfjfp7wlfjfp1WLF speakeasy

 

Review of February – Another Great Month!

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‘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;

Published

Performing and known locally

Headlining events

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!

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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.

SUBMISSIONS

I submitted work to;

Rethink Your Mind (Competition)

Corinium Museum (Comp.)

 

PERFORMING POETRY

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

Stanza

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.

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© 2015 Forward Arts Foundation

© 2015 Forward Arts Foundation

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Sonia Hendy-Isaac © 2014

Sonia Hendy-Isaac
© 2014

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3 in a Row: Mouth & Music, Howl & SpeakEasy – A Week of Events

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This week was a fairly busy one, due to full time work I was not able to make one of the events listed in the title, but as it is a NEW Word Event – I thought I would take this opportunity to promote it, I am hoping to make next month’s and then give you a real flavour. I heard it was a great evening – but more on that later!

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Tuesday Night saw Mouth & Music – this month upstairs in the Gallery (a space I love) with headliners Lorna Meehan and Katie Wragg. I was lucky enough to catch Katie last month headlining SpeakEasy, I wanted to hear more from her, a talented guitarist/songwriter who has collaborated on performance work with Heather Wastie and I hope one day will write Kidderminster, the Musical. (Although she may hate me mentioning such an idea as I have made it sound like a feasible project! Sorry Kate.) And Lorna – who I would follow around the planet listening to, a fantastically talented performance poet, who herself has been booked to headline these 3 events this month – so you read more about her in a minute.

It was an incredible evening, some real talent and great pieces shared. Even had an open mic-er who has spent a year listening to us all and joined in at the mic. Magical when that happens. Splendidly dramatic performance as well!

Stonking night at Mouth & Music – Lorna Meehan, Jasmine Gardosi, Katie Wragg, Heather Wastie, Peter Williams, Paul Francis and a ton of talented open mic-ers…. and in the warmth of the gallery! Loved it – I had the inspiration for 5 new poems and scribbled notes all over next month’s flyer!

I am beyond excited that Tom Crossland and Joe Whitehouse grace the stage in April and before that, next month we have the talents of Paul Francis and Rich Stokes, as if last month’s Spark Off wasn’t fabulous enough!

Next month’s theme is Politicians and as I am attempting to write some similar themed poetry for submission this week I should have it covered. My research this week was to watch and transcribe a programme which in turn pushed me towards focussing on a few specific areas. Should be a fun challenge – I use Media/ politics in poetry but have never written one purely from a political point of view. It is good to stretch yourselves as writers.

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I wanted to get to Kings Heath for Howl the next evening – but had also been working full time with some older children and was still tired from the previous week I think – my medication doesn’t help with the tiredness (in case you were wondering why tiredness and sleep feature so heavily on the blog).

Long story short, I did not make it. I fell asleep before 6pm right after my fast-cook-pre-gig tea and didn’t wake up until they had already kicked off. It is some drive too and I really wouldn’t have been safe behind a wheel – I could barely keep my eyes open! So I traded myself an early night and was actually reading in bed by 9:30pm and asleep before 10pm. All sure signs I wasn’t able to make it to the gig.

The day after was also my 5th writing day and I thought if I went to HOWL I would definitely spend most of it asleep- unfortunately that was the reality even without the gig – I think my day started at lunchtime.

Howl Feat is a new evening in a great little pub ‘The Sun at The Station’ in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Hosted by Leon Priestnall, this month’s featured artists were Casey Bailey, Lily Blacksell (who featured alongside Antony Owen and myself at Word Up last month), Lorna Meehan and Joe Cook.
Howl provides a space for the best spoken word artists in Birmingham to speak freely, no restraint, express themselves, provide food for thought, rock the house and entertain.

Casey Bailey
A spoken word poet and rapper from Birmingham. Poetry style is literal and lyrical, touching on a number of different subjects, from growing up in inner city Birmingham to world events. These subjects are tackled with a combination of straight talk and humour.

Lily Blacksell
Lily studies at the University of Birmingham, where she is president of Writers’ Bloc. She has performed her poetry in pubs, theatres, pub-theatres, poetry slams and literary festivals. In 2013, she was part of Apples and Snakes’ Lit Fuse programme, and she also had a poem filmed in the centre of Brum as part of their Power Plant series last summer: http://vimeo.com/109935773

Lorna Meehan
Lorna has been on the circuit for over ten years, performing at festivals like Glastonbury and touring with Apples and Snakes with her mixture of candid hilarity and mellow introspection. You can listen to her work here: https://soundcloud.com/lornameehan

Joe Cook
A.K.A Cookie, is a poet, musician, workshop facilitator and political activist from Birmingham. Heavily influenced by Hip-Hop and Reggae his musical background shows in his lyrical poetry. Described as “The Streets meets Joe Strummer” , his voice is raw, full of passion and heavy beats. He’s performed all around Birmingham at prolific venues such as The Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Mac Birmingham, Recently opening for Hollie McNish at the Rainbow Warehouse as well as performing in London with the Burn After Reading Poetry Collective

HOWL

Then Thursday rolled into view and I had finished the early mornings with work. I struggled to wake up though and after a brief early morning coffee and scan of some writing articles, I fell back to sleep. I had supposed to work on some submissions due mid-month which I knew with Valentine’s and Mr G’s birthday would be impossible over the weekend, as it is I missed these deadlines yesterday.

I completed my politician research and shopping online for Mr G and to book Valentine’s tickets, ran out of time for any actual writing, not that MUSE was shouting loud enough to get through.

I tore to the shops to pick up some birthday/valentine’s bits & made it home with half an hour to spare before SpeakEasy (or at least before Claire’s kind lift), I wasn’t sure if I was able to go this month, had I made Howl – I doubt I would have had the energy.

Speakeasy was great – we were late getting there and missed the first half almost, just caught Kathy Gee! The Headline Act was Gary Longden (Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate), was great to catch a whole set of his.

Lichfield poet, Gary Longden returns to Worcester after a long break. He is our headliner for SpeakEasy on Thursday, February 12th. We are also delighted to welcome one of the Decadent Poetry Divas – Lorna Meehan (Headlined at Mouth & Music at the Boars Head Gallery on Tuesday, February 10th). Kathy Gee, John Lawrence, Neil Laurenson, Math Jones and Charley Barnes, together with open mic slots, complete tonight’s event. We hope you can join us for an evening of varied poetry, unique styles, plenty of entertainment and, of course, the fantastic raffle.

It was a good night and enjoyable to watch for once – although Claire Walker and I have both been told to perform at the next one! There was a clashing event I may have been involved with but so far next month’s still free.

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November – End of Month Review

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I cannot believe we are only one month from the end of the 2014! This month has been busy and lots has been going on both in terms of writing and life (not that I usually separate the two).

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Blog & Projects

With only two months of 52 remaining I am making effort to actually post my poems in the group and receive feedback and editing support. I wish I had more time for this amazing project but I have been ‘on the road’ a lot this year and with one thing and another have not always found time to work on the poems as much as I would have liked. Those half baked 52 poems have never seen the light of day on the site as the intention is not workshop standard poetry.

I do plan to plug the gaps in 2015 – especially as I presume there won’t be 52 as a weekly event anymore, so I should have time to work on them.

I continue to work on a big project of my own, which I hope will reach daylight by 2015/16!

Paragram have sent proof copies and orders are already stacking up for the ‘Remember’ Anthology – featuring my poem ‘Picasso of Dance’.

Submissions

I only made two submissions this month, I also finished my Hanbury Hall Poems for our Poetry Society/Stanza group. We are still not sure how these poems will be used, but I will keep you posted.

Performing Poetry

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After a year of open mics and events I have decided to spend the next 12 months on writing focus. This does not mean that I will not perform, it only means I will perform less, saving a fortune in transport costs and allowing more time to write. This year I have especially enjoyed seeking out special events to be part of, finding these opportunities is a priority in 2015. I have enjoyed managing 6 performances, a workshop and a book launch instead of 9- 12 open mics and my writing has been far more productive with the extra time I have gifted myself.

Coventry Nightblue Fruit with Cork Poets at the Big Comfy Bookshop – Adam Wyeth, Cal Doyle & Kathy D’Arcy.

Nightblue fruit

Mouth & Music at the BHG – Boars Head with Fergus McGonigal & Humdrum Express

M & M

Medical Themed Quiet Compere at the Strand, Cheltenham with Sarah L Dixon

Medical Themed

Poetry Bites – Kitchen Garden Café Birmingham

A group of contributors to the Restless Bones Poetry Anthology formed the Headline act at this event.

16 Days of Activism -Library of Birmingham

Restless & 16 Days

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Events & Workshops

Workshop with Emma Purshouse, Bilston Art Gallery, Craft & Conflict

Craft & Conflict

Book Launch – The Failed Idealist’s Guide to the Tatty Truth By Fergus McGonigal

Book Launch

Stanza

WWM – Writing West Midlands – Young Writing Group & Mentoring

WWM

A Shard of Writing Time

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I am hoping to post my review of the wonderful and busy month of October soon, I have taken on a lot of day work and have some projects on the boil too – time on the computer has been non-existent and following an extremely busy half term I decided to take the weekend off, including online, that was off too!

The result is that stressful cyber loss that involves backed up emails, more updates on social media than you will ever manage and some old news being new news to you. Out of touch in just 48 hours!

I will endeavour to use some writing time tomorrow to catch up with myself before our Bonfire Party.

INKSPILL Guest Writer Heather Wastie on Her Writing Journey

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inkspill-pink2014

Heather Wastie our Guest Writer has been kind enough to compile of list of what has happened to her on her writing journey, I find the personal stories about writing, it amazes me that there are so many differences, remember it takes time, keep believing!

Here’s Heather, ENJOY!

 

 

 

Heather Wastie headshot

 

My writing journey – some of the key factors and events up to 2014

Heather Wastie

  • As small child, made up songs at the piano, writing new words over the top of music I couldn’t read

  • Wrote my first poem, about the moon, at infants’ school

  • Carried on writing – at school and outside school

AWF pencil sketch

  • Translated menus into Black Country dialect for Friends of the Black Country Museum annual dinners

  • Had articles published in local canal society newsletter

  • When I went to Sunday School, wrote mini musicals and produced them

AWF pencil sketch

  • At University began a song-writing partnership with another student –mostly he wrote the music, then I wrote the lyrics

  • Entered Bard of the Year competition run by Poetry Digest, performing my own work from memory for the first time (published in anthology)

  • In one year, was published every month (bar one!) in Poetry Digest magazine.

  • Winner Poetry Digest Ina Carlyle Love Poetry Competition 1996 (published in anthology)

  • Poetry collection Until I Saw Your Foot published by Lapal Publications 1997

  • Edited 2 oral history books about people in the Black Country 1997-9

  • Self-published Poems of the Head in Dynamic Relation to F M Alexander 2007

AWF pencil sketch

  • Entered my first poetry slam in Bilston

  • Through entering slams, began writing and memorising longer poems

  • Did well in slams but have only won one – PUREandGOODandRIGHT, Leamington 2010

  • Formed Brewers’ Troupe performance poetry company with Emma Purshouse, co-wrote, co-directed and performed site-specific piece SNUG in Hollybush pub, Cradley Heath 2010

  • Poetry collection The Page-Turner’s Dilemma published by Lapal

    © Peter Williams 2014
    © Peter Williams 2014
  • Publications 2010

  • 2011: Winner Apples & Snakes Jawdance Audio Poetry Competition;

  • Winner British Science Festival open mic competition with poem, The case of Sir Bernard Spilsbury; Shortlisted for Birmingham Poet Laureate;

  • 3rd place, Worcestershire Poet Laureate competition

  • Got ACE funding to be Writer in Residence Museum of Carpet 2013, writing poems, monologues and songs from oral history interviews

  • Created and performed Kidderminster Stuff show about Kidderminster and its carpet industry with singer/songwriter Kate Wragg 2013

  • Commissioned by Canal & River Trust to create audio piece Idle Women and Judies. Booked for live performances of the piece in canal museums.

  • Wrote and performed How do wars start? With Worcs Poet Laureate, Fergus McGonigal, funded by Kidderminster Arts Festival 2014

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC APOLOGY to Heather for the formatting – text was all consistent size in original document.

 

 

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!
BL Josephine wall

© 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.
BL RH A © 2014 RH
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.
BL RH Tom
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.
BL RH 1BL RH Zeb
The night was finished by Open Mic spot poets –
Sammy Joe
BL RH Sammy Joe
Reuben Woolley
BL RH Reuben Woolley Ansumana Drammeh
BL aKAMBA
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!)

 

Adverts for Events I cannot make

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OXJAM is tonight and tomorrow in Birmingham, a slam to raise money for charity – I had thought I would be away so didn’t sign up, maybe next year. But if you can make it – the line up is amazing and you will definitely get your monies worth in entertainment!

I know all the judges, apart from one and I know you will not be disappointed. If you live anywhere near Birmingham get yourself down there.

oxjam

 

The other event is tomorrow night (it clashes with the slam ^ at the Electric Cinema) is a night celebrating the life of Maya Angelou. It costs £15 and takes place at the wonderful Warehouse Café in Digbeth, Birmingham. It has been organised by  the Shakti Women and will be another fabulous evening.

A tribute to an iconic woman who has enriched women from all walks of life, through her writing, poetry, public speaking and activism. We invite you to celebrate A Night with Maya. There will be live performances, readings and music. Light refreshments provided (a glass of wine on arrival and canapés).
After the event there will be music and dancing.
Tickets are limited, MUST BOOK.

Eventbrite tickets

There is HAPPYHOUR at 2pm today – which means you can book one ticket and take a friend – £7.50 for a night of entertainment and dancing, free wine and canapés (covered in ticket price) sounds like a bargain to me!

Grab a friend and GO!

©womensfundcentralohio.org

©womensfundcentralohio.org

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe 20-29th June 2014

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WLF speakeasy

I have loved being part of this year’s WorcsLitFest, having so many events and opportunities on my very own doorstep has been wonderful.

I didn’t plan it very well – as I also took on a full week of work – and missed many daytime/ teatime events I could have otherwise attended. There’s always 2015. I also missed the last 3 days of the festival due to performing in Birmingham and celebrating birthdays.

My highlights were being asked to guest spot for the Decadent Divas (something I was unfortunately not able to do as it clashed with Dave’s Woodstock Party) and performing at Jonny Fluffypunk’s event! wlf jfp2

There was a packed programme of 33 events and performances – look at the glorious programme here;

Click to access 1-litfest-programme-20143.pdf

WLF&F logo concepts

I went to the launch event – a fun packed event concluding with the new Poet Laureate being chosen, congratulations to Fergus McGonigal our new ambassador for poetry and Claire Walker, who came 2nd and Suz Winspear who came 3rd.

Prizes for the young writer competition and flash fiction were also announced.

WLF Laureate1

The next event was just 30 minutes later in Malvern, on the hills. I was asked to take part in this and would have loved to, but had Writing West Midlands job the next day. I hope I can take part in the magic next year.

Midnight Moonlight Solstice Walk – celebrate the solstice, walking on the Old Hills with poetry and stories on the way.

Ruth Stacey held a Native American Myths workshop that I would have loved to attend – but due to hotfooting over towns for Writing West Midlands job I couldn’t have made it.

I also missed the Authors’ Fair at the Guildhall, the Romantic Novelists’ Panel and wlf cat-weatherill-2-lowres by Cat Weatherill.

 

On Sunday I was part of the Pop Up Bus Tour, a fun event! Including performances on the bus and in the park. wlf pop

The EP – Emergency Poet was parked up at the Hive. It was great to see Deborah Alma and James Sheard again and this was the first time I had seen her emergency ambulance and had a consultation, great fun. Deborah does many festivals and Lit events and is well worth looking up and going to see!

wlf ep birmingham mailwlf ep

Then I hotfooted it over to Birmingham to take part in Poets with Passion at the Sahara Restaurant. Missing the Beatfreeks performing at the workshop, I do see a lot of Beat poetry performed in Birmingham, so may well have seen it before.

On Monday I worked and had forgotten I was going out at all… fortunately I remembered and went to see Man Up Jonny Fluffypunk.jfp Jonny is a stand up poet and one of my favourite discoveries in this world of performance poetry I have immersed myself into. I have seen him perform twice as a headliner but his one man show is not to be missed! I am not going to say more about it because it is unbelievable and you need to catch it for yourselves if you ever get the chance! Amazing. wlfjfp5 I didn’t know before I got there that there had been a shout out for performers as they were trying to create an interval in an interval-less show. I did have a poem on my phone, a poem that was on my set list for SpeakEasy on Thursday, but this opportunity was too good to miss and it was one that Fergus McGonigal, Adrian Mealings and I took up!

wlfjfp3wlfjfp1 I performed my Adjectives poem, written for Mouth and Music, it went down well and Jonny loved it – until the beret line and a slight ad lib on my part! It was a great feeling and thanks to WLF Crew and Jonny for letting us have some of the stage time!

I took Tuesday off from events, although there were plenty of things I wanted to see, I knew with wok as well energy was needed to survive the week.

On Wednesday I went to the Festival Special of 42 with Lou Morgan. It was a great night and I enjoyed putting my set together, the newly written 52 poem about Martha Graham, The Picasso of Dance, went down very well and had lots of feedback.

WLF 42 It was a cracking night and Lou’s Q & A session was very interesting. I regret not having the time to mingle and chat afterwards, I was so tired and knew I wouldn’t be home until gone 11.

On Thursday after working I frantically re-jigged the set list for my 6 minute slot and filled the Adjective gap with Moustaches. speakeasy Festival Special was just that a special night! Some amazing open mic-ers and guest performances and also 2 headliners, who blew everyone out of the water!

Scott Tyrrell was new to me, a Northern Poet full of comic wit (who left Worcester for Glastonbury this year!) His material was heart felt and chuckle full – mostly about Fatherhood, my favourite poem involves a book review for Where the Wild Things Are. Great stuff.

Emma Purhouse I discovered back at the beginning of my poetry odyssey! She is amazing, funny, poignant and highly observant of life around her. I hadn’t seen her perform for a while and was looking forward to it. We had a little moment to chat too, which was lovely and she encouraged me to enter Offa’s Press Submission – which I was already beavering away on – as if full week of work and LitFest wasn’t enough – I was also trying to compile a manuscript to send to Offa. I was delighted when Emma encouraged me to do it, confirming that my material was a match, lets hope Offa feel the same about my submission!

Her set was amazing, loved it! WLF sp

This was my final WLF event as I was performing in Birmingham on the Friday, partying over the weekend, I missed some cracking bits at the end – including Double whammy Slammy – Poetry and Flash – Congratulations to Brenda Read-Brown for winning the poetry prize, the 4th Slam Poet Champ of WLF.

 

WLF speakeasy

Well done WLF!