Tag Archives: Inkspill

INKSPILL 2018

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INKSPILL 2018 

COMING SOON

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Now in our 6th year, this annual Writing Retreat offers you time and space to get motivated and get writing.

We have our Guest Writers lined up, there will be interviews and workshops with them as well as features on their work.

The full programme will incorporate writing activities and motivation to keep your pen moving. As with previous years the INKSPILL Archive will be open and so too will our virtual Book Shop.

The story behind INKSPILL (2013)

The initial idea came when I found out about Iyanla_Vanzant’s Wonder Woman Weekend.

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I couldn’t afford to go, although it would have been a great event to attend, I decided I could facilitate my own special weekend in place of this.

And Inkspill was born. A FREE, Non-Profit venture.

 

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Guest Writers to be announced soon.

Spread the word, share this banner across your social media networks and join us from the 27th October.

INKSPILL Spooktastic – Writing Exercise #4

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It doesn’t seem right having this weekend retreat so close to Halloween and not include an opportunity for some Horror writing.

Writing Exercise #4 – Mysterious/Scary

A murder has taken place in a cabin in the middle of a snowy field.  Your character finds three sets of footsteps entering the cabin, but none leaving.  Apart from the victim, no one else seems to be there.  What is going on?

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INKSPILL Mashup – Writing Exercise #3

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Pull two books off a shelf at random. Open each to a random page and copy down whatever sentence your finger first lands on. Then write the shortest, most natural bridge between the two sentences, making it seem like the both come from the same book.

Attempt to write one full paragraph. Feel free to copy them into the comments below.

INKSPILL Lazy Sunday Morning

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Writing to music is nothing new, I do it often, especially at social gatherings where the tunes turn me into creative mode! I recently spent a wonderful 6 days at Swindon Poetry Festival and took part in a workshop ‘Call & Response’ with Rishi Dastidar, so this is also a small nod to that.

This video is just audio of the track Lovely Day by Bill Withers so feel free to be in another window on your screen writing if you are not buried in a long hand notebook.

Press PLAY and write away. Spill your morning thoughts, don’t self-edit or stop that pen. Just keep it moving.

INKSPILL Guest Poet Interview 2 with Antony Owen

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Now you have met Antony and heard about his latest collection The Nagasaki Elder, we hear more from him on poetry in this second part of the interview.

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Antony Owen reading at the Restless Bones Book Launch 2014 © Rang-Zeb

 

1. What are your plans for 2018?

To rest, to spend more time with loved ones who I have avoided over the years. Five poetry collections in 8 years on gruelling subjects take a toll. So, to rest then and find some joy again.

 

2. What advice would you give to poets writing about conflict?

Write about it but be aware of the impact it will have on you. I hope all writers pen even one poem because poetry has to say something or it says nothing. What will our future generations say if artists are silent? In many cases propaganda and art were bedfellows in WW1 and WW2 but we remember the revolutionaries and poets like Sitwell, Owen, Douglas, Scannell, and not the doom merchants.

We must right that wrong and make art fight against the nefarious tabloids and avarice of media moguls out to brainwash us with apathy and front page headlines of wardrobe malfunctions of Z-list celebrities whilst 70 million refugees are ignored.

One of my friends who died last year wrote about the Jewish holocaust and she was one of the most under-rated and courageous poets I know. I thought of her a lot when I wrote The Nagasaki Elder. We are responsible to move the mirror from the vanity of selfies towards the issues like displacement and show the forgotten people and those hushed atrocities.

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3. Why is poetry important?

It defines us in the most eloquent way. Poems are epitaphs for the times we inhabit. Nations like Britain are in a period of violent re-definement. For example, The focus on British Values is now being taught in our schools but what about human values? This is where poetry and art comes in as an equilibrium to reflect what is happening and suggest the malfunctions of society including government imposed changes.

School teachers and students deserve more respect and consultation in what poems should be taught. When I speak to school students they are more interested in modern poetry dealing with current issues. They crave to be heard and poetry and art are part of the clay that sculptures who we become as adults and how we respect art. Poetry is only important if it connects with people and sees them as important.

 

4. What prompted you to start writing poetry?
I was poor at formula subjects like Maths where you were right or wrong. Maths made me write poetry in the lessons and I found the sum of people, of language.

 

5. Where do you write?
Anywhere. I love writing to the music of Gabriel Yared, Hans Zimmer, Angelo Badamenti. Movie composers help create a cinematography in my mind which transcends to the page.

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6. What books are you reading right now?
Everyone Is Now Unhappy by Fergus McGonigal, An anthology of unknown WW1 war poets, Genbaku poets (A-bomb poets) David Wevill and Edith Sitwell.

 

7. Do you have any creative rituals/ patterns?

No. Don’t snap the wand to see what it’s made of or you overthink things which kills the alchemy. I do like quiet though because my mind is always active filtering and processing the world and all its black magic.

 

 

INKSPILL Introduces Guest Poet Antony Owen

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BIOGRAPHY: ANTONY OWEN 

Antony Owen was born in Coventry and was raised by working class parents. His poetry subjects are diverse with a general focus on forgotten people and the consequences of international and domestic conflicts.

He is the author of five poetry collections by Pighog / Heaventree / Hesterglock /  and most recently V  Press .

His work has appeared in several literary journals worldwide including Magma, International Times plus translated works in both Dutch and Japanese war poetry anthologies by Poetry International Europe and Coal Sack Press (Japan).

In 2015 Owen self-funded a trip to Hiroshima to interview A-bomb survivors and meet various schools who have been taught some of his poems. His work has been exhibited at various peace centres including the International Convention Centre, Hiroshima.

In recognition of his work, CND Peace Education UK selected Owen as a patron in 2015 alongside award winning writer AL Kennedy.

Other past recognitions include being selected to meet Irish President Michael D. Higgins in 2014 on the first state visit to the UK by an Irish President. This was to acknowledge Owen’s voluntary work on co-organising the Coventry / Cork twin city poetry exchange.

SOURCE: https://antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com/vitae-2/

His latest collection  The Nagasaki Elder was launched with V. Press this year. It is the result of years of work. It is a powerful collection (understatement) and is much needed in this world. Launched in September and currently on the 2nd print run.

You can buy a copy from the INKSPILL Bookshop.INKSPILL BOOKSHOP

https://antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com/

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Bridges Over the Wall – Antony reading at the Peace Poetry Vigil – Coventry Cathedral.

Antony arranged a voluntary peace poetry vigil for victims of conflict at the Chapel of Unity (Coventry Cathedral) on Sat February 4th.

This poignant remembrance project titled ‘Bridges over the wall” will consist of bridging poetry and spoken word for those without a voice from places of conflict across the world. The event will also bridge conflicts past and present eulogising those affected from the bombings of places like Coventry, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki to recent conflicts in Syria and Yemen. During the course of the vigil hundreds of dedicated poems will be read by Owen and selected poets throughout Warwickshire and beyond. Owen also plans to engage a local school and refugees to take part. For each poem read a candle will be lit in the Chapel of Unity creating a universal candle for world peace made up from places of conflict and peace poems.

Owen said “I wanted to show the social conscience of poetry and how important the role of art is in these difficult times. It is vital in these hard times that we build bridges to bring each other together and not walls to keep us apart. War poetry historically has always shed a light from the darkness of war and evoked some sense of the senseless”

Owen also acknowledged how Coventry was the first city in the world to twin with another (Stalingrad in 1944) and wanted to keep that spirit of reciprocal remembrance alive, Owen said

“In 1944 it was 900 of our women from Coventry who demonstrated human empathy to civilians caught up in the battle of Stalingrad, they embroidered their names on a tablecloth and sent messages of sympathy to the women of Stalingrad for the huge losses they suffered in World War II and their message was this: “From our city of Coventry, scarred and ravaged by the arch enemy of civilisation, our hearts go out to you, who now face slaughter and suffering even more fearful”.

About the Event

Coventry now has 27 twin cities and Owen plans to contact as many of them as possible to share news of this event. The Chapel of Unity is a consistent beacon of remembrance and for decades has been a centre point of remembrance including the annual remembrance event for Hiroshima & Nagasaki where civilians of those cities also remember victims of the Coventry blitz. The vigil will be further enhanced by a separate event in the main Cathedral taking place in the afternoon which will bring Coventry Cathedral boy choristers together with those of Derby Cathedral, Leicester Cathedral and Southwell Minster for a combined service to take place separately from the vigil. They will be rehearsing in the Nave during the afternoon from about 2 pm and so providing a gentle backdrop to the Peace Vigil as it continues in the Chapel of Unity. Antony Owen hopes as many people will come to support this peace vigil by asking for a poem to be read for a place they want to be remembered. Optional donations to the Chapel of Unity and/or Cathedral can be made directly in the allocated boxes for any poems read and/or the other event in the main Cathedral. Please note that whilst entry to the Chapel of Unity is free of charge there is a separate fee to visit the Cathedral. 

About Antony Owen

Antony Owen is an acclaimed and prolific author with four poetry collections. Some of his poems have been translated in Mandarin, Dutch, and Japanese in notable anthologies by Poetry international (Europe) and Coal Sack Press (Japan). Following a self-funded trip to Hiroshima in 2015 to interview A-bomb survivors amongst other work Owen was awarded the winner of Coventry’s 2016 Peace & reconciliation award at the Coventry Community Cohesion Awards. In recognition of his work, CND Peace Education UK selected Owen as their first male UK patron in 2015 alongside award winning writer AL Kennedy.

©2017 – Coventry City of Peace

INKSPILL – Get Motivated to Write

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Writing Goals

Most of us have them right? They may be long term, monthly or daily or a combination of all three… but just like New Year Resolutions we fall off that wagon a lot don’t we? We get too tired, or procrastinate by doing housework, paperwork or reading the news. We blog to feel like we are writing, we get trapped on social networks and suddenly it’s the afternoon and we have nothing accomplished.

Well, you have made a start in the right direction this weekend because you are here, gifting yourself writing time.

 

Motivate Your Mindset

Long term goals are necessary but can often feel far away and can make us feel unaccomplished on a daily level.

Try to start small. Sit for an hour to write or use a word count limit. Remember to reward yourself for this.

The reward is key here because the satisfaction of writing isn’t tangible and sometimes we know we have put the time in but the result is bad writing, so it becomes too easy to beat ourselves up and lose motivation. Avoid the ‘what’s the point valley’!

Sit for a while and create a list of rewards.

Scroll down to see mine.

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  • A glass of wine.
  • A soak in the bath with luxury products.
  • Half an hour reading.
  • A coffee and a magazine.
  • £1.00 in the kitty for a retail treat.
  • An episode of a favourite TV programme. (I am a writer I watch far less TV than I used to!)
  • A walk in the park.
  • A coffee and cake at a favourite cafe.
  • Go out for a drink. (I am a poet, most of my social outings are work!)
  • A foot spa/ face mask/ pamper

Make sure your list is personal to you, it has to include things you really want/to do, otherwise what is the point of working towards your reward?

It also needs to be something you can do easily after you achieve your writing goal. You may want to return to your writing space and repeat another hour of writing afterwards. I wouldn’t recommend gin/wine options as rewards unless you have reached the end of your daily writing. Although Hemingway would beg to differ!

Your reward has to be special, it shouldn’t be something you would normally do. TV for me is an indulgence nowadays. If I watch any at all it is on the planner or to spend time with Mr. G.

 

The Coaching Secrets

The secret of motivation: you provide your own motivation and we all know hard work reaps rewards, eventually. ‘You get out what you put in’ and all that.

The secret of the reward: after several months of tracking daily writing with rewards you will reprogram your brain. You will associate writing as a good thing not some painful, uphill endurance task.

INKSPILL Best of British

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Copy of Event Flyer (1)

Paul Martin puts down antiques (although he does mention them) to talk about British Poets. A short documentary video featuring Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and briefly Siegfried Sassoon.

 

INKSPILL Writing Exercise #1 – Step into a Life

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Watch this short video.

Choose a person, think about their character, write their story.

200 max. GO!