Earth Hour is something I discovered the year after I started writing. It celebrated 10 years on the 25th March and is such a great cause.
As ever, social media profiles could be changed to show you were supporting the campaign. The idea of which is globally at 8:30 to switch off and experience the world, raising awareness for climate change and technically doing a small part to conserve energy for 60 minutes at least. Mr G always keeps the lounge in darkness and the lack of lamplight usually affects me but after coming home from the Earth Hour event, it was quite pleasant to accept the dark.
Major monuments around the world have power cut, tea-lights are lit and people think about the planet.
There are plenty of events you can find and in Worcester the WLF (Worcester LitFest) team always provide an evening of Earth Hour entertainment. In previous years I have been double booked and unable to attend, but got the date set in my diary at the beginning of the year this time.
I am a hippie at heart, so this evening appealed to me on many levels.
It was a fabulous evening of poetry, music and food. Earth Hour had a really good turn out and plenty of audience celebrating the campaign and enjoying the night from WLF. The room was packed. As stated at the bottom of the programme, there were some changes to the printed running order. It was actually Mark Kilburn who kicked off the evening with poetry. I am a fan of Mark’s work and shared headline slots with him a few years ago. Always a pleasure to listen to.
Mark Kilburn was born in Birmingham and lived for a number years in Scandinavia before returning to the West Midlands in 2004. Between 1994-6 he was writer in residence at the City Open Theatre, Arhus, Denmark, and in 2002 was a recipient of the Canongate prize for new fiction.
Between 2004 and 2005, Mark was on attachment at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre 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 across the club’s digital media prior to the 2015 FA Cup final. Mark’s novel, Hawk Island, is available from electronpress.com
Next we had the joy that is Kieran Davis a.k.a BaldyPoet, I love the poem about his daughter waking early, I have heard it a few times and it always makes me smile.
Kieran lives in Worcester with his wife and children, he is a chef and writes whenever possible. Published in many anthologies and magazines, Kieron has made several appearances in Carillon magazine.
A keen advocate for writers and the written word, Kieran supports local events when able. He is a member of Worcester Writers’ Circle, a diverse group of highly talented individuals, who have helped hone his craft. He is currently editing his first novel.
After this Paul Jeffrey treated us to some music and slipped a couple of poems in too. It was good to have some music.
Jenny Hope (an avid participant in Earth Hour events) treated us to one amazing poem. It was so good to see Jenny again and hear her work. Particularly loved her surreal bee poem.
Jenny Hope is a writer, poet, editor, creative workshop leader and facilitator. She started writing when she was six, and had fallen in love with books and all their possibilities. Her poetry has appeared in Envoi, Ink, Sweat and Tears, T he Interpreter’s House, Obsessed by Pipework, and The Rialto.
Her collection, Petrolhead, was published in January 2010 by Oversteps Books, Devon. She delivers creative writing workshops, for schools, festivals, communities and care homes. She is based in and around the West Midlands area of the UK.
After this Alan Durham took the floor. Treating us to poetry and gentle smiles. I always enjoy listening to his crafted work and watching the happiness performing it brings him.
Then Holly Duffurn treated us ‘From Russia With Love’- it has been ages since I saw her headline at Stirchley Speaks, Birmingham. She has been hidden away working on her book, ‘The Natural Baby’ now published by Green Books. But she is back now and hitting the poetry scene by storm once more.
Author of non-fiction titles for ecological publishing house Green Books/Columnist for Green Parent magazine/Award-winning travel writer/Performance poet with work commissioned by Apples and Snakes & CAGED, and exhibited at ‘We’re Here’ as part of Brighton Pride /Published in numerous magazines, anthologies and literary journals.
Explore this site to find out about my books, freelance writing projects and poetry.
And to take us to the interval and the switch off was Holly’s daughter, Jasmine Duffurn playing the Ukulele. My foot was tapping the whole time. 10/10 for bravery!
Café Bliss was then lit by candles and fairylights for the EARTH HOUR and we all tucked in to the amazing Belizean food from Eloina Bliss and Amanda Hickling. Enjoyed by all!
I snapped all the photos on my out of date mobile, hence the grainy quality – but this one was intentionally blurred to save anyone the embarrassment of being caught mid-eating! As well as gorgeous food this interval gave us a chance to chat to one another and catch up, which is always a bonus at events.
This was all that was left and that was soon polished off too! Tostadas, garnachas and salbutes. Divine!
After the interval we started back just before the end of the Earth Hour, with the raffle, where one lucky winner won the WWF Panda bear!
It was still Earth Hour when I performed my set so I performed with fairylight. Which apart from some small print was not a problem. (I had taken my reading torch anyway…)
I filled my set with ‘green poetry’ work about Nettles (written for Fair Acre Press), my poem about the American Bag Ladies who crochet street mats for the Homeless and my ‘Universe’ poems from Restless Bones and due to Martin telling me to be relaxed on timing and having at least 30 seconds of set remaining, I slipped in ‘Seduction of Elsewhere’ from my pamphlet Fragile Houses. One of my particular favourites in this collection.
It was then decided to keep the lights off, magical.
I was followed by Holly Daffurn and her ‘Family Band’ – their Beatles rendition was wonderful and had the room singing along. Talented musicians this lot!
Polly Stretton came next, sticking to theme. There wasn’t actually a theme but some of us had chosen pieces that related globally to the world or environment. Polly had worked hard on a recycling poem written to form. Which I thought was brilliant.
Polly Stretton is a poet and writer, a member of Worcester Writers’ Circle and a director of Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe. She has performed her poetry at spoken word events such as Worcester SpeakEasy, 42 Worcester, Mouth & Music, and at The Poetry Place in Covent Garden. Her writing has been published in many anthologies. Polly released the first edition of Girl’s Got Rhythm in 2012.
Tim Stavert wore his hat so as not to be confused as Baldypoet and entertained us with his poetry.
And FINALLY Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Suz Winspear completed a wonderful evening with her dynamic performance. Suz finished her set with one of my favourite poems from ‘that trip’ – Saint Johann, which is a comic rhyming poem. The audience joined in spontaneously too. A great way to finish the night.
Hats off to Martin Driscoll who organises this event every year, 2017 was spectacular. A triumph. The lights came up and I managed to capture this photo of Martin looking gleeful!