A funny week this one because it included a major poetry event, the Worcester Poet Laureate Final. I spent most of the week as a bundle of nerves swinging between trying to manifest positive thoughts or not think about it at all!
After my poetic adventure at Cannon Hill Park, I felt fairly worn out. To be fair it was the fifth event of last week. This week I had work, two open mics, clothes shopping, appointments for Opticians (who messed up the lenses in my new specs) and at the Hair Salon (dread), as well as tutoring, attempting some writing and learning my poems by heart.
I was unfortunately too tired to get to Mouth & Music. At the beginning of the week I was working full time, Monday was a 16 hour day! I rarely do those anymore, unless it involves a desk and my laptop. Both Monday and Tuesday I went straight to bed and slept for a couple of hours. I wanted to get to the ‘Comedy themed’ night and have heard that it was great fun, I was just too tired. Tough call, but as I fell asleep before 10 PM, the right one.
I did manage HOWL – Leon Priestnall’s amazing night of poetry in Birmingham. It was a full audience and a fantastic, lively event.
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.
Leon Priestnall pictured here @ P Café ‘Stirchley Speaks’
© 2015 Murdock Ramone Media
Unhindered Reign are one of the leading spoken word duo’s on the Birmingham scene. Featuring at Spoken word Brum staples such as Level Up and opening for US slam champion Buddy Wakfield at Hit The Ode. With both top Knotch writing and performing styles- tackling issues both social and personal- Luci and Sipho, who make up Unhindered Reign, are two artists not to be missed for anyone who wants to see the best of what UK spoken word has to offer.
The man, The moustache, The myth…. You’re never quite sure what he’s going to pull out the bag- or even which of his alter ego’s is going to show up on the night. Rest assured you won’t mistake him in a line up!
Jess Davies is a Midlands based artist who dabbles in both the contemporary arts Scene and the Poetry scene. She was recently commissioned to write a poem for the museums at night tour at the local pen museum. Her writing is personal, heart wrenching, observational, heart wrenching, surreal and humorous. She currently runs Stirchley Speaks at the P Cafe in Stirchley
All headline acts were fab, I particularly liked Unhindered Reign (Luci Hammans and Sipho Eric Dube), as I hadn’t seen them before, I have seen both poets on the circuit but hadn’t seen either perform – together they are… legendary! Currently work for the BBC and George the Poet.
The open mics were filled by;
Timothy Scotson, Frankie Ryan (Ryan Murray), Nicole Murphy, myself – Nina Lewis, Abbie Foster (who it was a pleasure to meet), Anna Higgins (who has been around poets forever and finally made her debut performance- powerful indeed), Lexia Tomlinson, Leah Atherton, Oakley Flanagan, Tom Crossland and more.
An invigorating evening of poetry and an eclectic mix of styles and performances.
Worcester Lit Fest
Worcester Lit Fest started on Friday 12th June with the Launch & Poet Laureate final, in which I was placed 3rd. Delighted! Here are links to posts about this event.
Saturday there were several events I wanted to attend. It was Caldmore Carnival and a few months ago David Calcutt started working on a group poem using our workshop poetry. We rehearsed a choral reading, sadly I was never able to go as it clashed with the last WWM meeting of the year, an important one in which I said goodbye to Ian MacLeod, the Lead Writer. I take over the group from September.
Evesham is also hosting the AsparaWriting Festival at the moment and Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn, a well respected local author had organised an afternoon of poetry. It was Heather Wastie’s first official appearance as Worcestershire Poet Laureate and sounds like it was a great success.
Heather Wastie current Poet Laureate, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn & Fergus McGonigal, Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2014-2015
Writing West Midlands
The goodbyes were harder than I thought they would be. After spending a year and a half as an Assistant Writer for the Worcester Senior group, I am now taking over as Lead Writer. Read all about it here WWM
Worcester Lit Fest
Last night I went to an event ‘A Night at the Museum’ at the Royal Worcester Museum. It was a poetry book launch, to mark the end of Ben Parker’s Residency and celebrate the new Poet in Residence, Dr. Todd Swift, taking up his position. Chloe Clarke, Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate was also performing.
This book launch marks the conclusion of Ben Parker’s tenure as poet-in-residence 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 Briti…sh-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
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.
I saw all three perform at Ben’s Book Night at The Hive and was looking forward to relaxing into a chair and listening to them again. Great venue, inspiring art and beautiful words.
It was a lovely evening and I treated myself to Ben’s Pamphlet too. All proceeds go towards the museum, a kindness they appreciated.