Tag Archives: Kindle

Stirchley Speaks and my Kindle

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February Edition – 2/2/16

It was (as ever) a great night in Birmingham at the P Café. Jess Davies hosts a brilliant night ‘Stirchley Speaks’ – an open mic spoken word event hosting 3 feature acts. I was delighted to be asked to be one of the headliners this month, alongside Alisha Kadir who I’ve known on the circuit since 2014 and Mark Kilburn who I met through Stirchley Speaks a few months ago. His poetry is filled with wisdom, life, passion, pain, sometimes humour  and it was a joy to hear a full set of it. If you get a chance or see his name on the bill, GO!

Alisha Kadir

Alisha Kadir; guitarist, poet, activist, artivist… generally all round creative individual who is an active member of the Midlands arts scene. She’s performed at the NEC, TEDxBrum, Opus Club, in pubs, coffee shops and people’s kitchens. We look forward to sharing with you a combination of her music and poetry.

Mark Kilburn

Mark was born in Birmingham and lived in Denmark for a number of years before returning to the West Midlands in 2004. Between 1996-8 he was writer in residence at the City Open Theatre, Arhus, and in 2002 was a recipient of the Canongate prize for new fiction. Between 2004-5 Mark was on attachment at the Birmingham Rep and in 2012 his poem about the London riots, Milton Friedman Talks Disaster Capitalism in a Burning Hackney Diner, won the AbcTales.com poetry competition. Most recently, Ballad of a Claret and Blue Boy, a poem celebrating Aston Villa, was featured in the club’s compilation of fan memories prior to the 2015 FA Cup final. Mark’s novel, Hawk Island, is available from electronpress.com

Nina Lewis

Nina Lewis is a published poet, with a fresh and honest approach to her writing. Her writing focuses on honest recollections, retold with often beautiful imagery, as well as being able to touch on more lighthearted moments. She had previously stopped writing for fifteen years and now finds herself back on the literary scene – the journey of which can be followed on her blog awritersfountain.wordpress.com

© Copyright P Café

 

The Kindle Bit (rant)

It was great fun performing an entire set, as I used new material, I also took my Kindle out for its first bought-with-this-intention outing. I have fought against this particular tech since e-readers where invented. A pain in the heart for any bibliophile, and being gadgetry you can’t even safely spray it with old-book-scent. But then in 2015 I read an article in a writing magazine that assured us they were no longer thought to be replacing the book (I mean if Apple can stop making I-pods?!) … and I started to thaw a little. I took a plane to Poland and I was the only passenger with a paperback (and no, no-one had a hardback either) and finally on the circuit I have seen plenty of people using them. I occasionally use my mobile, but I have to enlarge it, which means a lot of scrolling. Also the fact they cost 50% less than they used to is another factor.

I know deep down I am still a little unsure as it was only released from the packaging this month (it was a Christmas present from Mr G). However, I LOVE IT! So much lighter than the laptop and more screen friendly than the phone, perfect at home. I still use the laptop for writing though but have the office packages to import documents onto it. I know the cloud and ever note and the rest of it all exists – but you’ll understand, if I don’t think about it – it’s not real!

Anyway, loved performing with it and it worked well to keep me on track although I did deliver a slightly different set to the one I had prepared.

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Lots of positive feedback and a definite emotional response to the more tear jerking poems. I love it when people come to talk to me afterwards, not for the ego boost or praise but to find out which words have lingered, what are the poll poems, what happens to the listener. More and more the feedback is detailed and I get what I need to hear as well as the compliments (which don’t get me wrong) are good for me to hear too. Knowing I am on the right track for my life is what really matters, the creative soul/spirit is in balance and I am a better, happier being for it.

The open mic-ers were amazing and included some real treasure and this evening Stirchley had music and dancing too. I know Jess started it with a spoken word concept and is willing to branch out and have performers open the night up with something different from time to time.

A fantastic night and a great way to start February!

 

A Week of Work, Goodbyes, Book Launches, Selling Property and Holidays!

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Last week I took a backseat with gigging and only attended 2 events, more for the friends involved than a night out. I was working full time pretty much and needed some energy for our weekend away.

Here’s a quick catch up from the past week.

Last Wednesday evening I went to the Vertu Bar in the Jewellery Quarter to say goodbye to ‘Carys Matic’ Jones. Carys has now reached Bangkok  safely and is about to spend an unknown amount of time in Thailand.

vertu-bar-photo-created in birmingham

© 2014 Created in Birmingham

 

It was my dad’s birthday the same day, but I can catch up with my dad this week, Carys was only having the one Goodbye Bash. She piggybacked the event on an already existing acoustic night and invited all her performing friends to come and take to the stage. I wrote 2 poems especially for her filled with wanderlust and descriptions of bravery and strength. carys

Carys made this photo collage of the evening. Southway were an amazing electro duet, friends of hers from London, they came up to play her party and then went off to the Hare and Hounds – they have been booked to come back to Birmingham and are currently in Bristol – watch out for them, they are beyond lively and great fun!

southway

© 2014 Carys Jones

 

Everyone had a great night, lots of energy in the room and Carys herself couldn’t stop smiling!

© 2014 Samuel Francis

© 2014 Samuel Francis

 

The following evening saw me journeying to Worcester on a mad chain of errands, work, then tutoring, then back to my flat to remove a dining table, then to the estate agents to drop off keys for the property then off to the book launch.

Andrew Owens writes prose ‘not poetry’ (a joke for any followers who were also at the launch) – his short stories and flash fiction are well known in this region. He invited us to guest spot at his book launch, which is very generous, there was a real sense of us celebrating Black Pear Press Publishing his book. We had 5 minute slots, I felt very under-prepared after the busy week/ day I had had I had to find material on my phone. I shared a freewrite, one of my FWF posts (need to get back to that challenge again!) – people liked it but it was a short 300 word flash, I could have performed a poem or 2 as well. I opened the event and had no idea of time, it was all a bit panicky for me. It was lovely though to see so many friends perform, Andrew, like me, gets around these events and there were performers from a wide range of the region.

I had some great feedback on my story during the interval including from the publishing team at Black Pear Press.

Great atmosphere and CAKE! And I got to hear some new stories as well as buying a signed copy of his book!

andrew Owens

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Andrew Owens

 

On Friday (after 12 long weeks and lots of unexpected additional expenses) I finally completed on the flat, the exchange of contracts happened and everything was handed over and completed before I finished work. I spent some time on Friday night playing with the money on the screen – but now everyone has been paid back it isn’t a lot! However, I no longer have the expense of maintaining 2 homes and should be due a rebate on some of the mortgage payment too! (Good job because my car has its MOT and insurance to be paid for this week!)

I went to the flat for the last time Thursday night and woke up Friday morning, knowing it was no longer mine! Strange – but I have had nearly a year to let it go…. time is a great healer – just relieved it can be loved again and managed to catch up with a few of the neighbours again too.

flat

 

On Saturday Mr G and I were up early to go away with friends down to Dorset/ Devon to visit River Cottage for a Food Festival. We have been there a few times over the past few years but it has NEVER taken so long to get there!

5 Hours in standstill traffic on the motorway!journey

We had a great time when we actually managed to get there though. There was a Cider Festival we happened upon the first night. The sun had come out by Sunday and River Cottage! It was amazing, we got to meet Hugh, tell him about our allotment and garden and get his autograph. He was chatty and lovely. We had seen him previously there but not to talk to. hugh We have photos of ourselves with him too!

We had a great time with our friends. Everyone has been so busy these past few years it has been a while since we had a chance to catch up properly. We had a couple of evenings out dining and on the last day we were going to go to the beach, worried it would be another long journey back, we opted to leave and follow the others home.

A great weekend ended with some take-out burgers, a few hours in the garden, a cider and then a power nap that lasted all night! I have now caught up with my sleep – ready for a week in my poetry skin, starting with Poetry Bites tonight.

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