Tag Archives: Paper Swans

Pinnacle Points – The Poetry Café

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I am very excited, packing a bag and heading down to London. Earlier this year I was published by Paper Swans in an anthology called ‘Schooldays’.

We were invited to read at the Book Launch in London which is taking place this Saturday 3-5 pm at The Poetry Café, Covent Garden, London.
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This will be my second reading in London, last time it was in North London and people kept asking if it was at the Poetry Café, well now it is! Special wish ticked off my non-existent grid sheet of goals I want to achieve.

As an extra bonus I will get to see friends and family down South too.

HOWL

I will be travelling with my poetry notebooks in preparation for my next headline gig, HOWL – Leon Priestnall’s excellent Spoken Word night at The Sun at The Station, Kings Heath – Birmingham.
Leon books three headline acts each month, I will be performing alongside Carl Sealeaf & Sophie Sparham.

It is also David Calcutt’s FINAL workshop in Caldmore Gardens as his residency comes to an end. It is not the end of projects which have come from the 12 months of workshops though and many writers are busily working away on several things I hope to tell you about in the future.

Unfortunately it falls on the same day I am travelling home, so whether I make it in time remains to be seen.

August Does Not Flutter – It Whirls

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I love August – I think I told you last year, bound to love my birth month, the time when every LEO feels their inner Leo and connects to the warmth of the sun.

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I have never been one for the Horoscopes, although birth maps and star maps always seem to correlate closely to the human in question and as we were all made from stars, the path cannot be that far off.

August IS summer (despite the UK weather), it is FREEDOM (why I chose a career path with every summer off), it is SPIRIT, time to connect and reconnect…

I have become (temporarily I hope) one of those people who doesn’t socialise as much as I used to (denying it is an age thing right now)! My birthday will be time to reconnect with all those friends I hold in my heart and don’t often see.

Before that, August whirled in with a full diary and bountiful booty in the form of poetry to enrich my life!

  • I have: booked tickets for events in August and September.
  • finished work on a project which is now out there, cast in the submissions net.
  •  been asked to read at a book launch
  • asked to do a set at a gig in a Nature Centre – which sadly I am double booked for
  • I have planned my trip to London
  • to read at THE POETRY CAFE!
  • I have just come home from the first poetry event of the month for me at P Café, Stirchley Speaks.
  • I have a workshop booked with Claire Walker when I get back from London
  • then later the same day I am headlining at Howl along with Carl Sealeaf and Sophie Sparham
  • I have tickets to see Liz Berry perform – finally!kaf fest
  • A stanza meeting.
  • A reading at a Book Launch for Paper Swans in Oxford.
  • Poetry Launch for Margaret Thatcher’s Museum by Antony Owen.

    © 2014 Antony Owens

    © 2014 Antony Owens

  • Word Up with Not a Silent Poet
  • Poetry Walk with Roy Macfarlane at Croome Court
  • other possible open mic/ KAF festival events
  • workshop with Angela France in Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Drummonds 42 – an altered states theme ^ which after all this writing activity I may well be in!
  • To celebrate the end of the month I am going to the Poetry Picnic organised by Apples and Snakes.

A happy summer 2011

September is already bustling in the diary stakes, with workshops, performances and book launches, not to mention (oh, go on then) my new role as Lead Writer for the Writing West Midlands Senior Writing Group, in addition I am booked for training on a new venture and to improve my media savvy skills (ready for next year’s Pangaea Slam – which I intend to complete), I have tickets for a friend’s post Edinburgh show and a wedding (not mine – yet)!

October is already brimming with Poetry Festivals and we will celebrate National Poetry Day, more book launches, performances, writing jobs and workshops are already lined up in the diary.

I look forward to this new season of events and will rest at Christmas!

Writing Projects

I am currently working on two large writing projects which I hope will come to fruition and I look forward to telling you more about them in the Spring. In the meantime, they have resulted in an idea for an article on Motivation and several practitioners I hope to contact and blog about – inspirational people that I consider myself blessed to know.

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Keep Writing x

Published Poems (May)

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I cannot believe that I have neglected to give these successes a proper post, they deserve more than a mere reference in a monthly review.

In May the deadline for submissions to the Seamus Heaney Anthology were extended, I took full advantage & submitted some poems, one of which – ‘Bridgework’ was accepted for publication.

The launch is planned for late summer in Norwich.

Later in May, an April submission bore fruition. Paper Swans accepted my poem ‘Ambiguous Answers’ in the up and coming School Days Anthology.

There will be London, Oxford and Edinburgh launches for this publication.

I am delighted.

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This year I have been focussing on building my own collection and have watched submission deadlines sail past without entry. So I am hugely fortunate that 6 months into the year I already have work published in three anthologies and several websites.

Review of May

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What an amazing month May has been, jam packed full of life and brimming with poetry and forward motion.

WORK & LIFE

I worked a lot towards the end of the term about 10% more than I have in previous months and stopped worrying about money. I feel a lot more chilled out generally, I think I have Hay House to thank for that. This year I managed to complete the first 3 series of the World Summit, missing the last 4 days as I was busy with life and poetry and enjoying my half term and the sun when it appeared. hay house logo

You can read all about the beginning of the Hay experience here;

The Hay House World Summit 2015 – Week 1

Hay House World Summit 2015 – Week 2

It got me over the prickly start I had at the beginning of the month too. Which was left over from April, I think and inspired this post, in an attempt to spin a positive;

The Ups and Downs of Creatives: Motivation & Mindset

As creative people it is important to acknowledge that our moods, feelings towards our work and our bubble worlds are not always going to be perfect, freeing environments, the hard work we do can be felt sometimes, the rejection, frustration and competition.

PROJECTS & ONGOING POETING

May saw the end of my MOOC course ‘How Writers Write Poetry’ with the University of Iowa. I thoroughly enjoyed this 7 week programme, my highlights were the lessons in form and I have 10 poems as a result of my participation. It was scheduled for earlier this year and I would have been more active with the class groups if the original dates had stood, I enjoyed it all the same. A much better experience than my first online course in 2013, however still an isolating experience with over 800 participants active and little feedback from tutors, well actually none at all. Good job the students knew what they were talking about, most of us were fairly experienced poets and the course ran on two levels for those poets who felt they were still emerging. I shall miss the weekly sessions in a way, but also know the calendar CN-1780-logo-uofiowawouldn’t allow for another intense input for June, I can utilise my study time for more writing now.

David Calcutt continued to edit a Caldmore Garden group poem, it is a great piece. Stitching together the best from all of us. The workshop team are going to be performing it on the 13th June at the Carnival in Caldmore. I would love to have been there but have our final Writing West Midlands group booked. Honoured that my work is being used in this way. Love a community project.

I missed the May workshop at Caldmore Gardens because someone drove into my stationary car this month and mangled the door, I had to cancel Confab Cabaret too. I look forward to the next one in a few days time.

Writing West Midlands – we have as I have mentioned, our final session mid-June, the May session was great fun, Ian MacLeod was on holiday so I had lead writer role, with a whole bag full of tricks. Charley Barnes helped me in the role of assistant writer, it was great. Lots of spectacular ideas were born. Always the sign of a great session, I think.

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I enjoyed another wonderful workshop with Angela France in Stratford, where we carefully edited each other poems and worked on several new pieces, as well as enjoying lunch at The Dirty Duck. The day before I had read an article posted on social media. It was a conversation between Jonathan Edwards & Tishani Doshi as part of the Walking Cities project. I was immediately inspired to use it as base stimuli and emailed Jonathan for permission, which I am delighted to say he has honoured. It was an interesting poem to work on. There were some scribbled notes left for pondering over on the final stanza and I am pleased to say that part is now completed too. A shiny new poem as well as the poetry we spent the afternoon, in the sun, in the garden working on.

I had paid for all day parking at the Marina, so didn’t have to rush off as with previous workshop days. A bunch of us went for coffee in an Italian Café where a new ‘found’ poem was born. I have still yet to write it but I have a photo on my phone to remind me and some scribbled notes in my notebook. Stratford-Upon-Avon is such a beautiful town to wander around. I sat by the river writing for a while. Poetry Wrap 4

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Promotion started for the Quiet Compere Tour at The HIVE, in Worcester on the 10th July. I am one of ten poets who will be performing and am so excited to have this opportunity. Last year the one in Birmingham at the MAC blew me away. The studio space in The Hive is a lovely space to perform in. QC It is great to appear alongside these talented poets. This has been in the pipeline since APRIL 2014 and I am beyond excited!

SUBMISSIONS & PUBLICATION

I have written some new material this month through workshops, university and writing time. I have not submitted a great deal. I feel very much in the starters blocks with this. I need to work out a submission schedule again, after losing the last one, which included a great file with all the guidelines from each magazine saved in a document, when the laptop died.

I did discover the Seamus Heaney Anthology submission had an extended deadline, so I took a punt and I am glad I did because I had my poem ‘Bridgework’ accepted for the up and coming anthology.

I had previously sent work to Paper Swans for a School Days anthology, I have a poem published/accepted by them, exciting Book Launch opportunities in the summer too. I am chuffed.

I haven’t made any new submissions this month, I have been working on new material, my collection and preparation for Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finals.

POET LAUREATE

I applied for Worcestershire Poet Laureate this year, I made the long list, had an interview and made the short list.

Six of us compete for the title in the Guildhall in Worcester on the 12th June.

Our poems are currently posted on the WLF website, you can go and vote for your favourite.

VOTE: Poems in the FINAL – Worcestershire Poet Laureate

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PERFORMANCE POETRY

2015 was the year for less performing more writing, I am doing well on this challenge. I can accept that there are bound to be some busy months within that, this was one of them. I am doing about 20% than I did in 2014, this month I managed to attend some events as well as perform.

Starting with Headlining at Permission to Speak, I was booked at the beginning of the year and enjoyed this night very much. Thanks to Rob Francis for the booking and support. MM3 Rob Francis

Mouth & Music – Roy MacFarlane. Always a great night, good to see Heather Wastie and Sarah Tamar are back, together after both suffering with ill health. Roy was incredible, the theme – Love in times of Revolution lead for some very heartfelt, moving poetry and performances.

HOWL – is an incredible night hosted by Leon Priestnall, I hadn’t managed to get to one before and I am already booked in for a slot next month, it was a great night.

42 – my favourite theme fairies and pixies, a fantastic night of good performances and great writing.

Word Up – featuring Leon Priestnall, Jan Watts and Heather Wastie and one not to be missed. A great night, one that leaves you with a real buzz, partly down to Jasmine Gardosi working us up to her energy level.

Opus Club – as with HOWL, I have wanted to get to one of these nights since they started in at the beginning of this year. It was madness, incredible madness. The vintage theme saw us all swinging back to the time of the speakeasy, there was an amazing magician turning tricks in the bar, Harry – mind-blowingly talented and has put me off gambling for life! The amazing house band, talent after talent weaving across the open mic stage and opportunities to perform with music. Headlined by Hannah Silva. Have a look at the night in pictures here Opus Club – The Dark Horse – definitely a fantastic way to see out the month!

I also went to SpeakEasy to see Sarah James & Angela Topping perform from their new pamphlet, Hearth and discovered the energetic stage presence that is James Cottrill, a Canadian Peformance Poet.

All of these events can be read about in more detail on Poetry Wrap 3

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It has been a splendid start to the Summer! Next month includes; Worcester LitFest and Ledbury Poetry Festival, the Poet Laureate Finals, Droitwich Summer Festival and performances around the Midlands. Poetry to work on, submissions to make and treasure to find!

Happy writing x

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