Tag Archives: Fundraiser

Poets for Ukraine

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Yesterday I listened to incredible poems from George Szirtes, Moniza Alvi and Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese at LIVE at The Butchery. Their poems will sit with me for a long time.

During the event Jacqueline Saphra dropped a link to the Fundraiser which happened in London on Mother’s Day, 30th March.

Transcript/Video Information:

A fundraising, awareness-raising, spirit-raising day of poetry in solidarity with the people of Ukraine at this time of great peril and suffering.

Poets for Ukraine, in partnership with The Society of Authors, The Poetry Society, The Poetry School and JW3 held a Poem-a-Thon here at JW3 where sponsored poets read in relay for up to five minutes, some in person and some virtually.

Special guests include:

Juliet Stevenson, Jessie Ware, Meera Syal, Sophie Ward and Nick Hytner
Naomi Shihab Nye from the USA
Headliner poets from the UK, including former Scottish Makar Jackie Kay
Former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke
Imtiaz Dharker who holds the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry
This year’s Costa Book Prize winner Hannah Lowe
Forward Prize winner Fiona Benson
Former Poet Laureates Carol Ann Duffy and Andrew Motion
Poet in Residence for Radio 4 & 4 Extra Daljit Nagra
Veteran actors Harriet Walter and Bill Paterson
They will share the spotlight with Ukrainian poets appearing on video both from the frontline and the diaspora.

All proceeds to our chosen charities, Goods for Good and Hope and Aid Direct.

The links for giving are available under the video.

Go and watch it on the JW3 London channel.

Poetry for Ukraine

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Whilst the war on Ukraine rages, it is hard for us to feel okay about posting other things. In times of crisis artists do what they can in the way they do. I can donate, I can help, I can promote others doing the same.

Art itself can help raise spirits, many of you will have seen the footage of the brave young singer in the basement or the man playing Imagine for the refugees crossing the border.

Little girl sings Frozen’s ‘Let it Go’ as she hides in bomb shelter in Ukraine | ITV News

Musician Davide Martello, 40, lives in Konstanz, southern Germany.


There will be many local fundraisers for you to get involved with. Here are some coming up in my region and beyond.

Fundraiser In Ledbury For Ukraine

Saturday 19th March, 10.30am – 10pm,

The Poetry House, The Barrett Browning Institute, Ledbury HR8 2AA.

There will be:
Drop-in Art Workshops with artist Jeanette McCulloch10.30am – 12.30pm Make a beautiful Ukraine inspired folk art greeting card
Poetry Clinic
11am – 5pm Receive individual feedback from poet Lesley Ingram. Minimum donation £20 for 20 minutes.
Open Mic
2pm – 5pm Read a poem by a Ukrainian poet. Or any poem of your choice. Drop-in. All welcome.
Poets and Musicians for Ukraine!
6pm – 10pm Live performances from Elvis McGonagall, Connie Gordon, Jonny Fluffypunk, Mark Stevenson, Amy Rainbow, Nick Trigg, Sara-Jane Arbury, John Rose and Steve Rooney. Minimum donation £10.


Raising money for https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal


Manchester Writers for Ukraine Illustration by David Bailey https://www.davidbaileyillustration.com/

A spoken word event Manchester Writers for Ukraine will be taking place on Friday 25 March 2022 at 7:30pm at the King’s Arms in Salford.

Writers will include Sarah Butler, Michael Conley, Fat Roland, Peter Kalu, John McAuliffe, Cheryl Martin, Reshma Ruia and Louise Wallwein. All funds raised go to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Manchester writers share poems and stories in the intimate setting of the Kings Arms Theatre.

All funds raised go to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

#StandWithUkraine

Full capacity seating with no social distancing. Please do not attend if showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Tickets here.


The following night, in Worcester Earth Hour is an event raising funds for Ukraine.

Saturday 26th March, 7:15 pm, Freds, 33 The Tything, Worcs., WR1 1JL

Entry to the event is free, all proceeds will be for the fundraiser.


And in April, Ade Couper, Worcestershire Poet Laureate, is organising Poetry for Ukraine.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2022 AT 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Worcester Quaker Meeting House

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

An evening of live poetry to raise funds for people affected by the war in Ukraine.

Find out more information about the event here.


Review of the Month – February 2016

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February has been an amazing month. I love writing in the start of a fresh year, seems that all possibilities are achievable and the cold air is enough to keep me chained happily to my desk/dining room table.

I continued to write new material and submit work this month, although I did overload my Action Plan and found it quite unmanageable. A lesson to take forward now into March. There were a few opportunities I didn’t feel ready for that I hope will come up again next year and will fit in more with what I hope to be doing by then. It is hard to make such decisions but I have learnt that it is important to objectify and consider what you can gain and what will be the challenge in choosing that path at this moment in time. It is wisdom that comes with growing older for me as I have always taught myself to say YES, YES, YES!

This month I have headlined, performed poetry sets, done open mics, written new material, researched, edited, submitted and been published. I have run the full writing gauntlet and occasionally felt the pummel sticks.

sammy

It was also Sammy’s funeral, I have written about this at the end of the review.

Week 1:

  • Promotion
  • Application
  • Submission
  • Headline
  • Daniel Sluman Book Launch
  • Emma Purshouse/ Open Mic
  • Published
  • WWM Young Writer Group
  • National Libraries Day – Liz Berry

I sent a poem to Emma Press for approval for the Waterstones Love Poetry Night, supported WWM promoting the Worcester Writing Group.

Headlined Stirchley Speaks at the P Café along with the wonderful Mark Kilburn and Alisha Kadir. Booked onto a workshop.

Went to Daniel Sluman’s Book Launch for ‘the terrible’ and finally met him and Emily in person. I had a superb evening and was able to enjoy the words of Angela France and David Clarke, two poets I admire greatly, all published by Nine Arches.

the terrible daniel sluman

After the book launch I hotfooted it back across to the Black Country to catch Emma Purshouse in action at PTS Permission to Speak, although I arrived in the interval the 2nd half was long and jam packed full so it was worth the extra miles to get there and I did get to watch Emma – it has been too long. It was good to be back in Scary Canary as it has been a while since I have been able to attend Robert’s night due to double booked dates.

My three romance poems written in January especially for a brief of how we love in the 21st Century were all accepted for publication by New Ulster.

My two Spider poems written for the Maligned Species Project were published in e-book form. You can buy your own copy £2.99 Spiders E-book Fair Acre Press money raised goes to local wildlife charities as stated on the Fair Acre Press website.

My Writing West Midlands Young Writer group worked on our book focusing on an alternate history (AH). It was a great session, we hope to have the work finished by late Spring. The group has grown recently but we still need to secure new membership – 12 to 16 year olds if you know of any in the area looking for fun creative writing/hobby.

WWM

I just had time to get home and eat before rushing back out to celebrate National Libraries Day with an evening of poetry from Liz Berry, which was wonderful. Her work fills me with spirit or the spirit of her work, the essence leaves me within a cradle of positivity, I just feel younger afterwards and full of that hope, that a younger me felt.

NLD LOGO

I spent the last day of the week writing and creating my overly ambitious action plan.

RELATED LINKS

Stirchley Speaks Headline

Daniel Sluman Book Launch

National Libraries Day Liz Berry

 

Week 2:

  • Submission
  • Research
  • Published
  • Open Mic
  • Love Poetry – Emma Press

I heard last month that Fair Acre Press had taken both my spider poems for publication in the maligned species e-book series, this week they released the Grey Squirrel E-book with another of my poems included. Squirrel E-book £2.99 You can buy a copy here, the price point is to keep it affordable for all, the content of each collection is outstanding, it truly is a bargain and you are making a charitable donation at the same time.

Nadia Kingsley and all her commissioned poets and eco-experts have worked tirelessly for months on this project and it would be great if the response for the e-books was as strong.

maligned

I submitted a poem to Visual Verse based on the American Gothic and from writing this poem built up a body of research I would like to explore further when I have finished working on current projects.

I booked a place to perform at the Feminist Fundraiser to raise money for Refugee Action.

refugee action

I went to Sammy’s funeral. Later that evening a few of us went to HOWL at the Dark Horse in Moseley, we were still pretty much propping each other up but I think Sammy would have approved. I performed my valentine poem, the one about the volcano and the whales.

I missed the final SpeakEasy with Maggie and Fergus at the helm because I was one of 10 performers sharing the stage before Liz Berry took us through her heart-warming set of love poetry and more. It was great to perform at Waterstone’s in Birmingham and to meet new to me poets too, not to mention listen to Richard O’Brien read from his pamphlets and Liz Berry of course. Phenomenal as always.

DAlma The next day, inspired I sat down at my desk after work and researched and wrote new poetry. Now with the submission fairies.

I am amazed that I survived these two weeks as well as I did as I was also working full time for the first time in years too. At the end of the 2nd week it was also Mr G’s birthday and Valentine’s, so I had to schedule collapsing for Monday!

RELATED LINKS:

Love Poetry with The Emma Press

Fair Acre Press Maligned Species Project

 

Week 3:

  • Editing
  • Bookings
  • Workshop
  • Performing
I did a lot of desk work (writing) as it was Half Term. I have been working on and editing my manuscript (that was left to settle with time at the end of 2015) since January and this week my main focus was to pull it together and resubmit. This is a long process and not only takes time but the brain needs to be fully immersed and engaged too. I tend to be a little flighty at the best of times, so I really forced myself to settle down with tasks and deadlines. I even cancelled a workshop because I needed the time, that and I didn’t feel 100% and the thought of driving and thinking about something else was not appealing.
I booked a spot at The Black Country Museum next month where I will be part of a PTS showcase sharing work at Dave Reeves open mic night, featuring Jan Watts.
I finally made it to a Crunch Workshop at the P Café and came away with one or two ideas I need to log. The traffic and weather were awful though, so it put me off venturing out again for Poetry For Lunch, besides I am still trying my best not to over-do it on the gigging front.
refugee
I saved my energy for Millie Morris and her Fundraising event for Refugee Action at the Ort Café, a night of Feminist Poetry (not everyone stuck to the theme) but when the soapboxes came out the crowd responded appropriately. Lots of difficult subjects were covered and many people had to stand the whole night (venue was packed), it was a buzzing night and a successful fundraiser too. It was very brave and inspired for Millie to host such an event and it was rocket fuel for minds and hearts, everyone got something back in return for turning up, being there.
RELATED LINKS:

Feminist Poetry Night for Refugee Action

 

Week 4:

  • Writing
  • Published
  • Open mic
  • Submission
  • Stanza

I was back to work this week and it also my younger brother’s birthday. I had my poem ‘Restraint’ published on Visual Verse.

I researched the Valentine Day Massacre, another notebook filled with promising poetry ideas for the future, although beyond macabre. I was writing the poems to perform at 42, there were a few of us who took the theme literally.

I did battle with the end of my action plan – which was so complicated I copy and pasted a new end of the month list. I submitted some poetry and wrote a new poem in my lunch hour to take to Stanza.

I had the lovely surprise of post that wasn’t bills but my contributor copy of the gorgeous Abridged Floodland issue magazine.

The weekend saw me make a few last minute submissions and thereby avoiding all household lists of things I need to do, (now added to the March plan)!

 *a test to see if Mr G still reads my blog*

me 2

RELATED LINKS:

Nuclear Impact, David Bowie, Al Capone

And on the extra leap year day, I did not propose to Mr G, to be honest I forgot I could until we were chopping up veg for our amazing tea. I didn’t write a new poem. I worked hard and kept my temper around youngsters who were losing theirs, I marked books and smiled impressed by some of the detail. I drove home through road works, caught up with some telly. Prepped that meal that Mr G made and caught up with this blog.

 

Rest in Peace x

BL RH Sammy Joe © 2015 Rangzeb

Sadly, February also saw our goodbyes to Sammy Joe (Samantha Hunt), her funeral was on the 10th February.

A day of reflection and tears, helium hearts and balloons released to clouds as people from all walks of life (friends) and family laid her to rest. Sammy kept all her circles separate but a good deal of cross over occurs. I knew it would be a sad day (total understatement – as I still can’t really find the words) but I hadn’t prepared myself for how I would feel afterwards.

There is not a day that passes without me thinking about her. Sometimes not thinking, but I see her face right there even as my mind focuses on a computer screen or making the dinner.

The day of the funeral the weather had been forecast as rainy, overcast. Usual for the time of year. The sun shone, brightly and despite some darkening clouds not much rain fell and nothing but sunny skies for the duration of our time at the Crematorium.

To lose a friend at any time of life is horrible, to lose them unexpectedly is even worse and to have mixed feelings about their passing, knowing they should still be here on earth makes it feel unbearable.

When that person belongs to a community it makes it easier because you have each other to reach out and share grief together. So a big thank you to poetry friends (nowadays just called friends, I think) who have carried me through this difficult time.

 

all sorts 09 10 076

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