Tag Archives: Jonny Fluffypunk

WoLF for the Day

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Wolverhampton Literature Festival (WoLF) was my main focus this week. The festival is in the 2nd year with an amazing Arts Programme. Friday 26th – Sunday 28th.

I performed as part of a 5 person collective organised by the Wolverhampton Arts Festival Team. Our reading was in the Art Gallery on Saturday 27th 3:30 PM

http://www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk/ninasophielauramauricerosina/4594119177

WoLF COLLECTIVE: NINA LEWIS, LAURA LIPTROT, MAURICE MALCOLM, SOPHIE SPARHAM & ROSINA TROTMAN

 

 

 

In an ideal world I would have been able to stay in Wolverhampton and immerse myself in the full festival experience. I really wanted to go to Liz Berry and Bones Presents on Friday night, but only had Saturday free.

I made the most of my time by attending events at the Lych Gate Tavern, organised by Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists – (Steve Pottinger, Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse) before heading over to the Art Gallery for 3 PM.

I had hoped to arrive in time to catch Music for Dogs.

Written by Paula Meehan (former Ireland Professor of Poetry), Directed by Patricia Kessler, Performed by Carol Caffrey

I missed it, which made me sad, it has had some fabulous reviews. At least I managed to see Carol before she headed off.

I saw MY CLOTH-EARED HEART BY MELANIE BRANTON

Melanie Branton is looking for a boyfriend. And it’s not going well. In her first full-length spoken word show, My Cloth-Eared Heart, she charts a thirty-year epic quest that has included a brush with a psychopath, stalking various strangers on the internet, and a turbulent relationship with a verb. A show about love, failure, stubbornness and being single in a couple-centric world.

wolf melanie branton © WoLF Programme

I first saw Melanie Headline Uncorked – Holly Daffurn’s night in Worcester, last year. It was great to see the whole show.

I caught most of Jonny Fluffypunk’s new show, had to slip out early to get to the Gallery. He is one of my favourite poets (I feel connected to his surrealism, punk driven imagination and love for coffee) it was a shameful to miss the end, but I had to set up for our performance,  such are the perils of clashing performance programmes.

HOW I CAME TO BE WHERE I NEVER WAS

BY JOHNNY FLUFFYPUNK

Jonny Fluffypunk grew up where nothing ever happened. This is a story about finding yourself, when you find yourself somewhere you don’t belong. It’s about unrequited love and the importance of a good record shop. it’s also about trains and memory and tiny magical moments and letting go. It’s lo-fi stand-up spoken word theatre for anyone who has ever loved, owned a vinyl record or just been alive.

wolf jfp © WoLF Programme

The theatre of the imagination blew me away!

 

exterior-wolverhampton-art-gallery1536ls (1) art fund org© Art Fund 2018

Then it was time for the WoLF collective, 90 minutes of music, poetry, books and life shared by five very different voices. It was fun and great to chat with the audience about poetry afterwards. It was lovely to meet Laura Liptrot, Maurice Malcolm and Rosina Trotman and reconnect with the ever-wonderful Sophie Sparham.

Before the Slam there was time to go for a bit of food and a bunch of us headed off to try amazing cuisine, Indian Street food in Zuri Coffee. A real gastro experience.

SLAM.jpg

Then I got lost wandering around the streets of Wolverhampton in completely the wrong direction. (Anyone surprised by this has not been reading my blog long enough!)

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists presented the second Wolverhampton Original Literature Festival Poetry Slam. MCs, Steve Pottinger, Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse.

Brenda Read-Brown won the slam with Rick Sanders and Ezra Poundland taking second & third place.

Another great year for WoLF – may the howl continue. You never know by the 3rd or 4th year, I may even know my way around!

 

 

My gratitude to Amarjit Nar for making yesterday possible.

 

And finally… this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Sophie’s boots… having spent a while in conversation it was time for the event to kick off and it wasn’t until she took to the mic that I looked at her feet! I had the beginning of my set all prepared but seeing her feet really threw me. Love these DM’s.

sophie boots

So my opening line: ‘I have just lost all my words & fallen in love with Sophie’s Boots!’ is going to find its way into a poem sometime soon!

 

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RELATED LINKS:

http://www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk/

http://www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk/poetry/4593175102

Poeting, Training & Performing – September

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I am currently working against end of month deadlines for a few projects as well as working the proper job to make up for lack of summer funds. I am really too busy to be blogging and in three days time will be reviewing September anyway… but I also believe my poeting needs a mention, after all that is why this blog was created and some of you are following the journey.

 

Business Meetings, Plans & Poetry On Loan Training

This month I have taken on board training – which is something I haven’t done for a while. I had a great business meeting, which was a spin off from the laureateship competition exposure and this guided me through the end of year ideals well. Including some possible job applications, which have now been openly shared across social media increasing my known competition, which is terrifying but hasn’t put me off going for it anyway. This meeting helped me come home and set some clear goals for myself rather than just wavering between writing the manuscript, performing poems and getting involved in projects (like Caldmore Gardens with David Calcutt’s residency, NPD with Heather Wastie, organising the next INKSPILL – AWF’s very own FREE online writing retreat, supporting and promoting Arts All Over the Place Festival in support of Mental Health).

I did ‘Poetry on Loan’ training with Brenda Read-Brown and Jon Seagrave (Jonny Fluffypunk). It was a great session with librarians and poets sharing experiences and evaluating from our roles. I hope one day soon I will be able to provide the service of Poet on Loan. Ready now. Sadly I missed this year’s competition, remembering the deadline as the end of the month rather than the beginning!

 

Rehearsals

I have been rehearsing for Caldmore Carnival (26th)

Janet Jenkins © 2015

and NPD Light & Shade (on National Poetry Day – 8th October). Caldmore was brilliant, a group from the Calcutt/Caldmore workshops sent poems which David then edited into a   CHORAL poem to be performed by Andy Summers, Jimm Rennie, Janet Jenkins and myself, unfortunately after making the rehearsal Jimmie wasn’t well enough to perform this past Saturday and David took his place.

LIGHT and shade 

light shade NPD

Suz Winspear and I met with Heather Wastie for our first ‘Light and Shade’ rehearsal and ideas flowed extremely well. The whole spectacle is now blocked and there will just need to be a few run throughs before the night. We have sorted costume and now all we have to do is get to know the final performance draft of our poems, practise and enjoy! It is a great collaboration to be part of.

 

Caldmore Carnival – Choral Poetry Performance

It was a pleasure to see the garden caldmore being used in full summer (September) glory and I am glad we performed before they had all the talented dance and music groups on, the talent of local young people.

caldmore 3 caldmore2

Carnival Photography Nina Lewis © 2015

We had a great weather day too!

 

Swingerella – Wrecking Ball Tour – Birmingham

I really feel this show deserves a blog post of its own. I may have to do a feature of some sort as Andrea Smith/Shorrick is taking the world by storm as Swingerella and her show was amazingly powerful with messages that need to be exposed. I booked my tickets to see her show at the Mockingbird Theatre, Custard Factory, pre-Edinburgh – Swing did the fringe and went down a storm there and then came back to perform a swansong on home soil.

When I have some more time next month, I will blog about her fabulous journey and the show, which has reached the end of its run. She may even give us a sneak preview of her next venture.

Jimmy Riddle © 2015

Jimmy Riddle © 2015

 

Poetry Bites with Jacqui Rowe, Featuring Liz Berry & Jane Commane

It was a pleasure to be at this event, not only to watch the headliners Liz Berry and Jane Commane but also for so many reasons.

It has been ages since I have been able to get to Poetry Bites, there were so many poets I hadn’t seen for a while who also managed to attend and it was great catching up. I got to sit and chat with Jonathan Davidson and Jane Commane AND some poetry friends from elsewhere came to check it out and perform. I think I may have converted several new fans.

It was fantastic to hear Jane Commane’s poetry. She is a well established editor (Nine Arches Press) and so often my involvement with Jane (since 2013) has been when she is wearing her editing shoes. To hear her poetry was a delight.

Liz Berry, well like John Hegley, she is back in my world again, so soon. The upside of this is I remembered to take my book to be signed and as it hasn’t been that long since her KAF appearance, she remembered our conversation about the book.

Poetry Bites is un-mic-ed (without a mic) and Liz is softly spoken. It was a magical combination listening really hard and hanging onto the edge of the last sounds in words.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/kaf-liz-berry-and-blair-dunlop-13th-august/

 

In Other Poeting News

I was asked to guest poet next month at an event in Cheltenham and started working on some new submissions.

Last month I was booked for the next AAOTP Arts All Over the Place Fundraiser and spent a morning writing poetry about Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll. Due to unforeseen circumstances I wasn’t able to attend this event until it was nearly over, I did manage to perform and the poems went down well and are also be suitable for the Festival display.

AAOTP2

I booked tickets for Swindon Poetry Festival and am delighted to be one of ten readers at;

Lunch with a celebration of ’52’ group and Anthology Fri 12:30 – 2 2/10/15 – Lower Shaw Farm: Come along and enjoy lunch at Lower Shaw Farm, after which we will have readings from the 52 group brought together last year by Jo Bell. This will be a celebration of this wonderful project. There will be readings from the book and from 52ers present.

Lunch with a celebration of ’52’ group and Anthology is happening this Friday 2nd October. So I am now rehearsing National Poetry Day Poetry, a headline set and poetry for 52, hard because we will be reading poems on behalf

Hilary Robinson © 2015

Hilary Robinson © 2015 52 Flash Bomb Poetry outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace 2014

of people who cannot be there and we all read poetry differently. Fortunately I have just found communication about organising the reading of other people’s poetry. Some of my original selection have already been chosen. We are reading one poem each from the anthology

52 the book

and one of our own from the 52 Project. I can’t wait – particularly excited as I missed the Stratford meet earlier this summer.

42

Quite unbelievably it is the 50th 42 event this week – looking forward to a celebration and performance this Wednesday. Writing poetry for it over the next 48 hours, poetry that I am hoping will also work for a submission this month.

42

I have lots of great things to look forward to next month and then I think I will rest back a bit more and see the end of the year off behind a desk (that, I would like to believe… we will see)!

 

 

June – Review of the Month

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June – what a busy month,  brimming with challenges, competition, festivals and longer term projects, as well as taking stock half way through the year.

My MOOC course How Writers Write Poetry with the University of Iowa finished and I enjoyed an incredibly busy month of performing, writing and getting published. The sparkly, golden bits most people get to see instead of being aware of all the hard work and ground work that caused the success in the first place! CN-1780-logo-uofiowa

WEEK 1

  • Voting closed for Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate poems. I reached the final along with 5 other talented poets.
  • I did a workshop with David Calcutt and the Caldmore Garden Poets, they were scheduled to perform a group poem at the carnival day on the 13th, which I couldn’t attend as I was working the final Writing Group for Writing West Midlands. Due to the weather this performance has been rescheduled and I can now take part on the 21st July!
  • A recent poem of mine from the workshop where e.e. cummings was our starting point – ‘Late Spring’ has been published on David’s blog you can read other poems there too. http://naturalhistoriesblog.com/others-writing/
  • My term ‘poeting’ coined last year is becoming widely used by many poets! Hoping to get it into OED next year!
  • Jess Davies had her opening night of a new spoken word event in Stirchley at the P Café, it was packed and well attended. Stirchley Speaks – and it certainly did!
  • Scary Canary hosted another Permission to Speak, Rob Francis’s fantastic night – NOW FREE!! This month saw Brenda Read-Brown and PTR Williams headline.
  • I went to Debbie Aldous’s Spoken Word at The Ort and shared a lovely meal and some Tennis with Tessa Lowe beforehand.
  • I spent a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon at Cannon Hill Park, The Mac (Birmingham) with a collective of poets – we took over the storytelling tent whilst they all went for lunch and performed to some greatly enthusiastic children. We are also hoping to get some of our poems hung on trees down by the lake, later this year. We had a special guided tour to this secret location. MAC With Frankie Ryan, Tony Fox, Syrac Citam, Timothy Scotson, Callum Bate and Nina Lewis at Cannon Hill Park.

© Jasmine Gardosi 2015

All of these events can be read in further detail in my Poetry Wrap post. Enjoy!

Poetry Wrap 5 (A Brief Introduction on Exhaustion)

 

WEEK 2

  • The 2nd week of June saw a performance at HOWL and a great packed night of poetry, hosted by Leon Priestnall. Fantastic headliners and I met two poets who I have only seen around and never spoken to before, Luci Hammans and Sipho Eric Dubepart, A.K.A ‘Unhindered Reign’ – one of three headliners, the others being Glyn Phillips and Jess Davies. I met with Sipho a week later at workshop with Candy Royalle.

I spent most of this week on tender hooks and full of nerves and butterflies as it was the WPL final and the Launch of this year’s Worcester Lit Fest. I spent most of the week preparing for it and missed some previous diary entries for open mics due to energy levels, it was a full on week of work, work for me too.

  • Friday 12th June was the Poet Laureate Finals, the winner this year was Heather Wastie.

WLF Heather WPL

Heather receiving her engraved award with Maggie Doyle at Worcester’s SpeakEasy Lit Fest Special.

© WLF Team 2015

Suz Winspear was the runner up and I came in 3rd position.  WPL

© Betti Moretti 2015

Read all about the experience here WLF 2015 The Launch & Poet Laureate Final even typing this has my heart set on edge again!

  • The WLF took over my life for the next 10 days, this week I saw Ben Parker, Todd Swift and Chloe Clarke (Young Poet Laureate) performing at the Royal Porcelain Museum, where Ben has just finished his residency and Todd is taking over.

BP Chloe Chloe

BP Dr Todd Swift Todd

BP Ben Ben

© WLF Team 2015

It was a super night of poetry. I treated myself to Ben’s collection, I love his work. Ben Parker From Porcelein

  • I had my final session at The Hive as Assistant Writer to Ian MacLeod, from September I take over the senior writing group as Lead Writer for Writing West Midlands. We invited the parents to come and take part with the end of the session, it was great fun!

 

WEEK 3  

  • The week started well with news that my poem ‘Beyond Gas Street Basin’ is to be published in an upcoming anthology of city poems called ‘Birmingham Bound’. It was a poem I was commissioned to write last year by Naked Lungs for Birmingham Literature Festival. I am delighted to be in a book all about Birmingham as it is a city that has opened it’s poetry doors for me since the tail end of 2013.
  • WLF continued and I had the delight of watching John Hegley at Confab Cabaret, Malvern. A SELL OUT Fringe event.
  • WLF I performed at the 42 WLF Special and met Adam Millard for the first time.
  • WLF I performed at WLF SpeakEasy Special and thoroughly enjoyed Brenda Read-Brown‘s set.
  • WLF I watched the Offa Press Poets, Bert Flitcroft & David Bingham at the Institute before seeing Jonny Fluffypunk return from his Austerity March experience in London to perform for us again. A highlight for me.
  • WLF Bert and Jonny joined us on the Summer Solstice Walk up the River Severn, where we all performed poetry at locations along the walk. A super, magical experience.
  • I was asked to perform at a fundraiser next month for Arts All Over the Place.
  • I attended a workshop with Candy Royalle, the international act at this month’s HTO (Hit the Ode) – which I missed as I was performing at the WLF Special SpeakEasy. It was amazing, she is a forceful spirit, driven and dazzling in her buoyant enthusiasm. Great to meet her, gutted I missed her set. I created 3 poems, in the 3 hours as well as picking up some great performance tips. Mainly driving home some things I already know. It was lovely to work alongside friends too!
  • I was invited to be a featured poet, but was unable to accept as I will be at Ledbury Poetry Festival, I am hoping this booking may happen later this year instead. Something else to look forward to!

Read about these events on fine detail here Poetry Wrap 6 & WLF – Worcester Lit Fest & Fringe 2015 – A Wrap! which includes links to individual WLF posts I created throughout the festival.

 

Week 4

  • I had 2 writing days at the beginning of the week, it has been a while since I have been able to dedicate time to actually writing. I did a lot of market research too and drew up a list of submissions to hit before the end of the month – as I realise I have hardly sent any work out there this year.
  • I took part in an open mic as part of my town’s current Festival.
  • I went to the Two Towers Brewery to perform as part of Debbie Aldous’s new night Spoken Word and More.
  • Droitwich Summer Festival invited 9 performers to entertain with poetry and music at a magical Live Lit event hosted at Park’s Café and organised by Malcolm Wakeman and MC-ed by Fergus McGonigal (everything he touches, turns to gold)! Performers included;

Fergus McGonnigall (previous Worcestershire’s poet laureate) & MC

Heather Wastie (Worcestershire Poet Laureate )

Jenny Hope

Math Jones

Mike Alma

Bridget & Malcolm Wakeman

John & Pauline Franks

Nina Lewis

Polly Robinson

Ruth Stacey

Holly Magill

Sarah James (runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza) & Val.

It was lovely to go for a meal with people afterwards too and chat away the night. I finally got to bed at 2:30 a.m after I had worked off the adrenalin! I have been looking forward to this event since Sarah James launched her new book The Magnetic Diaries, KFS Press. Since then she has had Hearth published, a collaborative book (Mother Milk Books) and is about to have PlentyFish – her new collection published with Nine Arches Press.

  • New opportunities for training presented themselves and I was fortunate to be online at the time. Looking forward to telling you all about this latest venture in September.
  • I also continued work on my own collection.
  • I had a poem published on Visual Verse – ‘Shame in the City’.
  • News of the 52 ANTHOLOGY published by Nine Arches Press – Out soon!
  • I performed at Sunday Xpress just before coming home to pack my suitcase! They have found a new home at The edge Artspace, Foundation Arts, a great venue in Digbeth. The room was as crowded as outside (it was a hot day – the beginning of this heat-wave, just in time for my holiday! Loved performing this afternoon, it is the first time I have felt this great after Sunday Xpress, fabulous venue, great people, new faces, abundant talent – just a marvellous mix. Unfortunately I missed the bands this time as I have to make some submissions and pack a suitcase. I will be back over there over the summer though. Fabulous success, deserved after years in the pubs of Digbeth. (There are some gems of bars in Digbeth, just noisy and full of local life that is great for a pint but not so accommodating for a poem!)

All this and more can be found in Poetry Wrap 7

inkspill holidayAnd now I am going on holiday for a much deserved rest!

 

THE WRITE YEAR WILL BE UPDATED ON MY RETURN

WLF – Jonny Fluffypunk & Offa Press Poets

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Last night was my final WLF event, the festival finishes tonight with the Double Whammy Slammy, which is a poetry slam & a flash fiction slam! As well as it being a party to celebrate the festival, one year I will make it to the final event, perhaps even enter the slam…

http://worcslitfest.co.uk/2015/05/11/double-whammy-slammy-the-details/

I have work tomorrow in two different schools and tutoring as well, so I need an early night and need to recoup some energy, writing time and time with Mr G before another week of busy work and poeting (more about this in this week’s Poetry Wrap).

JONNY FLUFFYPUNK * STAND-UP POET * GIVE-UP GUITARIST * SUSTAINABLE NIHILIST *

I love watching Jonny Fluffypunk perform and was delighted to see him return to the festival. This is the 4th time I have seen him perform and after he’d spent the day in London at the Austerity March, I was bowled over with the energy he still had to carry him through his set.

I was delighted to hear some new material and poems that weren’t in his fantastic book The Sustainable Nihilist’s Handbook – which you should all buy because it is brilliant! I bought it first time I saw him. speak I also won the SpeakEasy raffle that night, hence my prize sharing the photo!

I was equally happy to hear poems from his collection. I always love to buy the books, read the poems at my own pace, dip in and out – but I stand by the fact that it is BEST when you hear the poet in those words, saying them. A delight! As always.

Jonny is currently touring his show jfp

NEXT ‘MAN UP…’ SHOW:

LONDON MAMA LOSCHENS’@JW3, Finchley Rd

Details/Tickets Here

‘Acute social obsevation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit… and England’s most pretentious moustache’- The Independent

I have to disagree with The Independent on this one – he has the most splendid, ravishing facial hair, it inspired my ever-becoming-more-renowned Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs and I certainly enjoyed performing that one with Tim Scarborough at Mouth & Music in front of the legend himself.

My selfish hope for the future is he publishes a second book. Although having embarked on that part of the poetry journey myself, I know how much work goes into editing a small chapbook collection (just 25 poems) so I imagine, a second book may not be something he is attempting to work towards right now as he is an extremely busy stand-up poet and the only Sustainable Nihilist Poet that we know of!

Last night’s event was great fun and we even convinced Jonny to join us on our Solstice Poetry Walk.

http://www.jonnyfluffypunk.co.uk/

Performing regularly throughout the UK, Jonny has won Poetry Slams in Brighton, Bristol, Brixton, Cirencester, Lydney and Ledbury Poetry Festival amongst others (plus 2nd place two years running in the National All-Stars Slam at the Cheltenham Literary Festival)- whilst remaining, of course, fully opposed to competition both in the Arts and life in general.

Have a watch here – more You Tube videos are available.

FUTURE DATES where you can see the wondrous poet for yourselves – some details TBC – check his website for updated information;

Thurs 25th-Sun 28th

Glastonbury Festival

POETRY ARMY:POETRY CAN F**K OFF

Stage / date / time TBA

PLUS SOLO STUFF AROUND SITE.SPONTANEOUS!

 

July 2015 

Sat 11th

Stroud

SVA

MR FLUFFYPUNK’S PENNY GAFF:

with Liz Bentley: Crash! Bash! Trash!

 

Fri 24th-Sun 26th

WOMAD Festival

Malmesbury, Wilts

Hip Yak Poetry Stage. Times TBA

 

Fri 30th-2nd Aug

Port Eliot Arts Festival

St Germans, Cornwall

 

August 2015

Sat 1st-Sun 2nd

As July 31st

 

Thurs 27th- Sun 30th

Shambala Festival

Market Harborough

Wandering Word Stage. Times TBA

 

September 2015

Sat 19th

Stroud

SVA

MR FLUFFYPUNK’S PENNY GAFF:

Rob Auton: The Water Show

 

October 2015

Sat 17th

Kendal

Lakes Comics Festival

Details TBA

 

November 2015

Thurs 19th

Torquay

Poetry Island @ The Blue Walnut

7pm £TBA

WLF jonny

Photo Credit WLF Team © 2015

WLF Offa

The Offa Press Poets

Last year I was fortunate, along with Adrian Mealing to perform a poem before Jonny’s show. This year WLF invited the Offa Press Poets to open the first half of the evening. Bert Flitcroft and David Bingham won the same competition I entered (and was obviously rejected from) last year. I have bought both of Bert’s books previously and recommend them highly.

apples_book_large   singing_puccini_book

It was lovely to see him and hear him perform again.

‘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. – WLF Programme

I always enjoy discovering new to me poets, David Bingham is the editor of a couple of magazines: Blithe Spirit & Journal of the British Haiku Society and has a selection of wonderful poems in his book. He also chatted freely after the event, which was a lovely connection.

http://www.offaspress.co.uk/shop/

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. – WLF Programme

the-chatter-of-crows2

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;

https://worcslitfest.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/1-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.

 

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Well done WLF!

 

 

 

Mouth & Music 28 – Collaboration with Tim Scarborough

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Mouth and Music 28 – Tuesday 13th May

 

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Tim Scarborough and I collaborated for the first time at Mouth and Music in April, since then we have worked together again for a Photogiraffe Exhibition Event – this was our 3rd collaboration and it came to be as we were all talking at the exhibition and Tim mentioned he was struggling with the theme. Heather told us to work together and we didn’t need much more convincing.

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It is great fun collaborating, I would encourage any artists to do it. It depends on who you pick, Tim and I are lucky, there seems to be lots of creative synchronicity and we don’t disagree in an overly dramatic, diva-ish way! Another reason the sets work well in performance is we REHEARSE – something I am guilty of not putting the time into my own act. Having said this the 4 hour rehearsal time we had before Tuesday was to co-write and edit our poems for the set. We created two new pieces and polished up a couple of individual poems with each other’s input, we had just 1 poem which used percussion and we blocked out where that would happen.

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So when we took to the stage that the very 1st time we had performed these poems together. We managed to overcome a slightly shaky start and silence and a groan* are still a reaction! *The endline of Tim’s poem was humorous but in a lavatorial way, to make the audience feel better, I announced that we would take their silence and groan and raise them. This worked – and the set/material got stronger.

We finished with two funny poems which we thoroughly enjoyed performing. The Hair That Wouldn’t Stop and Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs (written with Jonny Fluffypunk in mind) who sports some great face hair stylizer of his own.

We took a medley of our sets on the road to Birmingham last Friday and included these two hairy poems in our set list. They were even better the 2nd time, but that’s another post!

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I have since read messages from Jonny Fluffypunk (who is an amazing stand up performance poet) requesting space in Bristol to help him spend the day rehearsing! If you are in Bristol, let me know if you have space to accommodate a very lively and lovely poet rehearse during the school day! I definitely need to free up time to practise sets with more than a quick read through with a stopwatch!

Mouth and Music is always a great night, entertaining, relaxed and oozing with talent. It was good to see Paul Francis made it across from Much Wenlock (it isn’t just me who heads miles away for gigs), it was good to have time to talk to him and other artists. There were lots of new to this event open mic-ers too, which is always good to see/hear.

I really enjoyed the headline acts – Four Tart Harmony, managed with just 3 voices and were incredible, I had experienced a bit of a dippy down day and they really raised my spirits. I have their business cards and wouldn’t hesitate to book them for any parties in the future – should I be planning any.

Jonny, of course was extremely funny, I didn’t mean to heckle him, it just came out – hadn’t realised he wasn’t asking a question, he hadn’t even finished his sentence. I got to chat to him afterwards, he remembered me from the Worcester SpeakEasy gig (flattered) and he didn’t believe we had written the moustache poem as homage to him, his turn to be flattered.

mm jfp   All in all a great night! So good Tim nearly forgot to take his drum home (which may have confused people as we didn’t use it) – he had gone prepared to work alongside another open mic musician, Mr Scarborough, much in demand.

 

Next month’s theme is adjectives…. pretty much anything then, I will still write something specifically for it, currently working on a poem/tribute for a friend who is leaving the country next week.

 

RELATED LINKS:

Moustaches in May Heather Wastie’s official review on the M&M Blog.

SpeakEasy Poetry Performance

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High on post performance adrenalin I am updating the blog and hoping that tiredness will kick in at some point!

WOW! What a night!

I cannot even get my thoughts in order… speak

This picture was the end result of the night – my set folder. A bottle of fizzy bliss *raffle prize and Jonny Fluffypunk’s Book – bought and signed!

I have been looking forward to tonight for a month! And despite a seemingly ‘rehearsed’ performance, I hadn’t chosen my set until 15 minutes before I was due to leave, spent 6 minutes reading out loud – to check it fitted the 6 minutes allotted time then spent longer trying to find my leggings before nervously leaving for the venue.

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I am glad to see that the years training on a Drama Degree have not been totally wasted! To be fair the nerves feel more like excitement and adrenalin nowadays (6 weeks & 7 performances into this venture) … but I definitely wasn’t calm or collected on the inside.

It was a great night, a room packed full of talent and friendly faces. I was up early (2nd on) which at least meant that I could relax and enjoy the rest of the night!

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There were fantastic performers;

Timothy Stavert
Andrew Owens
Symon Winter
Michelle Crosbie
Andy Kirk
Ruth Stacey
Tony Judge
Jenny Hope

as well as open mic performers and the headline act – Jonny Fluffypunk, who was absolutely amazing, he gigs all over the UK so catch him if you can – you will not be disappointed!

I had a fabulous night and have been home for 4 hours – tiredness is just about beating adrenalin at nearly 3 a.m!

The event is organised by Maggie Doyle and Fergus McGonigal, who is also the incredibly lively and vivacious MC who holds the whole night together. The atmosphere last night was a calm electric 🙂 – I am editing this on Fri. 15th and I am still buzzing from last night’s event! (That’s on 5 hours sleep, a full day at work and a night out at my 3rd Stanza Meeting!)

I received such positive feedback, I now believe that I am on the right track! I shall make sure I don’t fall off the wagon this time!

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Enjoying the free fall!

* Raffle: The 1st one I have ever WON! 🙂