Tag Archives: PFL

More Poetry Events September Poets with Passion, PFL and Hit the Ode

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On Sunday 13th, I was back again at Café  1 birm ortin Birmingham, this time with Tessa Lowe and Poets With Passion. Once again it was lovely to reconnect with poets I hadn’t seen in a while and meet new people who love poetry. Tessa’s events are always relaxed and it was a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon.

Before I left she asked Chris Fewings and I if we would be interested in leading the group as one off sessions. Depending on the weather, I have agreed for 2016.

I cannot wait to pick a theme and find poems.

1 birm ort yelp

Poetry for Lunch with Jan Watts at the P Café, Stirchley 17th

Last year you may remember that Jan Watts, former Birmingham Laureate, ran a series of weekly poetry events in the ‘bear pit’ at the Library of Birmingham. Due to funding cuts the library was unable to repeat this successful programme in 2015.

I was delighted when Jan decided to re-launch PFL at the P Café and gutted that I had work booked and couldn’t attend the first event a week before.

It was a great event, lots of poetry was shared and they are creating a Smorgasbord of poetry on the wall at P Café from PFL.

The P Café is an amazingly creative place with a fantastic menu of delicious food, drinks and treats. The truffles are to die for and the atmosphere of the place breeds instant relaxation and happy vibes. I only wish I lived a little nearer!

The best moment at PFL has to go to Elaine Christie –

PFL ELaine

What are the chances of this happening – A fly landing on the page of my poem, when the next line I was about to read was – “Or lost in the flurry of flashing fireflies”

pfl dave pfl jan pfl me pfl mike pfl mogspfl 1

Photography Elaine Christie © 2015

Hit the Ode with Bohdan Piasecki (Apples & Snakes), Birmingham 17th

It was a busy old day for poetry. In the evening Myfanwy Fox (thanks for the lift) and I were in Birmingham for Hit the Ode. They have 3 headliners – a local, national and international poet.

Leon Priestnall (who hosts HOWL) was headlining in the local slot and he was on fire for his set.

The National Poet was Jackie Hagan from Manchester and the International poet was Toni Stuart from South Africa.

hit

Hit the Ode brings the most exciting poets from the region, the country and the world to the heart of Birmingham.

Join us! We have poems. Poems you can spread on toast in the morning. Poems which sing embarrassing songs under the shower. Poems which will heal if you apply steady pressure. Good poems, Come and get them.

Featuring:

From Birmingham, Leon Priestnall
A stalwart of the Birmingham poetry Scene, Leon is a poet with a passionate performance style, betraying influecnes ranging from hip-hop artists to the Beats. Leon runs the popular Howl event series in Kings Heath, and has been a Hit the Ode supporter for years – we’re delighted to finally be able to offer him a full slot. He will be joined on stage by a special musical guest.

From Manchester, Jackie Hagan
Jackie Hagan was raised on broken biscuits, by hecklers, in a little town that’s now studied on the GCSE syllabus as a ‘failed social experiment’. She performs poetry and comedy, is a playwright for Graeae Theatre and runs Seymour Poets, a creativity project for isolated adults based at blueSCI Arts and Wellbeing centre in Manchester. Jackie is the winner of the 2015 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show for Some People Have Too Many Legs.

From South Africa, Toni Stuart
Toni Stuart is a poetry writer, performer and developer from Cape Town, South Africa. Her work uses poetry to interrogate a range of social issues such as the stories of place and displacement, HIV/Aids, and gender-based violence. She was named in the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 Inspiring Young South Africans for her work in co-founding I Am Somebody! – an NGO that uses storytelling and youth development to build integrated communities.

Bohdan Piasecki © 2015

The whole night was electrifying as always and I thoroughly enjoyed being back at HTO – (they take the summer off).

J. H © 2015

Benches by Jan Watts – The Book Launch

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Book Launch Benches PFL Jan

Tuesday 5th August was the official launch of Jan’s book ‘Benches’, her first novel, although she has written playscripts and short stories and is of course a former Birmingham POET LAUREATE – it goes without saying that she writes poetry. The photo above was taken at ‘Poetry For Lunch'(PFL), a spin off from her ‘Phenomenal Women’ events, one of which I was lucky enough to catch at Birmingham University last Autumn as my poetry odyssey began. PFL provides a half hour platform for local poets to perform in a tag-team, it is fast, fun and furious. Every Thursday 1-1.30pm the amphitheatre at the Library of Birmingham. Free poetry with your sandwiches city folk, what could be better?

I was looking forward to a catch up in the city with a poet friend, I had not seen socially for a long time, a good time was had in the Bacchaus Bar, where we sat on thrones and drank tea. Then we headed to the Mailbox to find Jan on the canal in her boat ‘Telga’.

 

The Beginning on Telga

It was a lovely way to start the afternoon – with fizz and lemon drizzle cake and some of Jan’s homemade (prize winning or should be) pastry. Then we headed down to the Library of Birmingham for the launch. Part of the OFF THE PAGE season of events, where the library showcase local writers who have written/set stories in the city.

The Book Box was part of the library I hadn’t discovered when I did a huge floor to floor exploration last October, (it opened in September but I waited for the mass exodus of the media and cityfolk) for a more authentic feel of a library. I was particularly struck by a library shelf section that just said GOD. I hadn’t ventured into this far corner downstairs though, it is a great space, boxed in at the sides and open at the top, below street level so you can watch the people of the city pass by and opposite are some of the older, grander buildings in Birmingham.

Jan is always entertaining, she is one of these women whose spirit and energy just exudes from them all the time. She is brilliant and her book readings have been thoroughly enjoyable. There is something special about hearing an author reading their own words.

Here is where you can buy a copy of Benches.

jan benches

Price: £7.99

Ships in 3-5 business days.

Nancy Byrde tells us her version of the canalside goings on that spice up her retirement. Together with her dog, Steven, she gets close to her family, the good and the evil. She dices, with drugs, violence, a teenage runaway and being over exposed at a wedding she wasn’t invited to. Will she find a new happiness? Benches is set in and around Birmingham in the UK. The names of places has been changed to protect the innocent. It grew out of an encounter with a bench that had been graffitied with a rude word. This is a debut novel.

***** 5 star rated reviews.

 

It is also available as an e-book for a fraction of the price:

Benches Benches By Jan Watts eBook:

£2.99
Go on! Treat yourselves!