Tag Archives: poetry festivals

Carving Time Not Pumpkins

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A writer’s life is all about carving out time. We have to learn to be organised. We have to prioritise and we have to work hard.

I have blogposts I am desperate to write about all the wonderful things which fill my diary: poetry festivals, literature festivals, performances, events, projects… but I also need to invest time in the plates spinning precariously above my head.

It’s all about hats really… (this is definitely where I should mention Swindon Poetry Festival, but the reference will not make sense until I blog about it).

The Poet Laureate hat is a tall hat and possesses magical powers!hat-2844056_1920

It can elongate time and gift me extra pairs of hands! I am currently pulling together the Hanbury Hall Poetry Project where a group of 18 poets are writing ekphrastic poetry based on a DAN Art Exhibition.

NAT TRUST

© Hanbury Hall

Many of the poets are busy creating poetry and I am delighted that I managed to get to the Exhibition, talked to some of the artists, met up with some of the National poets and got poetry written too.

The Vice Chair is organising a competitive element by choosing one poem/poet to also perform at the Celebratory event in the Long Gallery at Hanbury Hall (a National Trust property) on the 30th October. I am organising a reading with some of the poets for November 14th.

Hanbury Hall Poets

This hat is also working on a commission for an event organised by Peter Sutton to raise funds for the Elgar Festival 2018. I am writing poetry for a complete set and also researching the work of Elgar’s contemporaries. I was delighted to be asked to be a part of this project, back in September but a week at the Swindon Poetry Festival followed by another ill under a blanket as well as going back to the day job has halted the flow on creating work somewhat. Peter needs the work for programming so I will be inside the PL Top Hat this weekend for sure.

Poetry Evening Poster 3 v3

I told you this was a top hat! I am also working on an exhibition of our Sculpture Trail Poetry for the Jinney Ring, which will be on show in the restaurant throughout November.

Also working on a poetry reading event for this body of work.  final design

I have also been planning my next WPL workshop, this time with children, for Halloween, there are lots of activities planned and it should be a really great afternoon in the library next weekend.

LitFest Halloween 2017 poster

So if you know any little people – send them our way (come with them, obviously), now that WOULD be scary!

world mental health The World Mental Health Day Poetry Collection was such a necessary anthology that I scrapped the deadline and opened the submissions to last the term of my Laureateship. I was delighted after performing at the Mental Health & Wellbeing Awareness Event on the 14th to receive a submission from someone who was there. mental health awareness day bliss

I am also compiling the first issue of CONTOUR – my digital WPL magazine. Copy of Food Magazine Flyer Template (2)

 

Now my Poet hat looks like this… hat-2406035_1920

if it truly was mine it would have a coffee in the background! It has been a busy time under this hat, mostly the end of September and beginning of October, before the dreaded Swindon Lurgy caught up with me post-festival. I missed lots of events such as Howl, PTS and a workshop. I had hoped to go to many events at the Birmingham Literature Festival, but missed everything apart from the final day.

I went to see Hollie McNish perform from Plum at the Town Hall in Birmingham, it was great to watch Joe Cook supporting her. I missed all of Cheltenham Literature Festival, I missed Wellington Festival as my car needed attention. I did get to Stablemates (finally) – although they came up from London to Birmingham Waterstones. The trains were a nightmare and the total travel time verged on 3 hours… but I think I was lucky that my trains ran at all.

I have planned my next Spark Young Writers for this weekend – getting a little early spooky in.

I am busy preparing INKSPILL for the final weekend in October, especially as I will be workshopping for part of it. The first year, I knew nothing of scheduling and spent the whole time LIVE on the laptop. Since 2014, I have mastered the dark art of WordPress, although I like to be present and LIVE when I can be.

Copy of Event Flyer (1)

I am also hoping to make it to a few Book Launches before the end of the month!

hat-2749176_1920

This is the hat of West Midlands Reader Network Reader in Residence.

For a title that long you need a feather or two. Since our meetings in September I have been working on some reading challenge ideas for Rugby Library and planning my first workshop – to be delivered at the end of November. I am also planning to write a Guest Blog by way of introduction before the real work begins next month.

So although I would love to carve a pumpkin or two, my hands are going to be fairly busy typing for the next week or so!

I owe this blog posts on: Credo, Free Verse Poetry Book Fair, Swindon Poetry Festival, Hollie McNish, Stablemates and more!

 

April End of Month Review

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April is of course National Poetry Writing Month, NaPoWriMo, reclassified as Global Poetry Writing Month this year, GloPoWriMo. This is the 3rd year I have taken part, although I am on the go slow and as the end of the month is reached I am about to start Week 2. May is an extremely busy month but I will endeavour to complete the challenge by the end of the month too.

napofeature4

I had reached a plateau by the end of March and was mainly offline editing. This continued for most of April, I even missed Wenlock Poetry Festival, a staple event of mine since 2014. As with March I missed a lot of local events including a pop up poetry event in Birmingham, regular open mic/ spoken word nights and a few submission deadlines. I also missed a bid for an arts job that would have been right up my street. And I missed Kate Tempest at Waterstones and Attila the Stockbroker, the entire Stratford Literature Festival, including Shakespeare 400 events. Since January I’ve worked with Action Plans, but didn’t really write one for April and kind of flailed around achieving very little and missing a lot. sua litfestwenlock poetry fest

I voted for some favourites in this year’s Saboteur Awards and got involved in a new poetry project of my own. I have also been asked to take part in some exciting events over the next few months.

I performed for the first time in weeks at an event organised by Mike Alma, an afternoon of music and spoken word in a church, it was a wonderful afternoon and left me feeling buoyant. All artists involved are hoping he will organise another one soon.

A fortnight later I performed again, this time for a Shakespeare Event the final Mouth & Music, this time really was the last. I had written a sonnet especially for the night (my first ever sonnet) and lost it on a computer file somewhere (I know – back up), so on Tuesday after The Collaborative Arts Network event I attended, which was an interesting event – Arts in Mental Health, I set about writing my set. It was a good night, complete with medieval  musicians. I will write a post about it and link it up soon. WAP logo

The following night I went to 42 to share a set of ‘Bedevilled’ poetry and was booked for some Worcester LitFest Events.

Following a pile of rejections, I have experienced some success. 5 poems published this month. Dali Clock, from my forthcoming collection, was published by Hobo Review. A poem written especially for Fat Damsel was accepted by Take Ten. Living Emptiness will appear in the next issue. Shabda Press accepted Half Life, Shadows Burnt into Stone and Becquerel Town for the next anthology ‘Nuclear Impact Broken Atoms in Our Hands’.

I am now back on the Poetry Wagon having taken a little unscheduled break. Although I missed stanza for the second month running and a few deadlines scurried past before I could catch them.

We all need a break from time to time. Looking back at how busy last month was, it is no small wonder.

WMF16

Life of Poeting

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The beginning of July is a heavy touring schedule which I am delighting in after a week off!

eastbourne

I went on holiday at the end of June and missed several events, I had (I thought) found an open mic night in a pub around the corner from the hotel. After several emails I discovered the internet was wrong! Shock! Horror!

I had a great break by the sea (as prescribed by The Emergency Poet), had a break from technology too, apart from emails organising the Courtyard trip.

I needed that break because the beginning of July is a 10 day run, 10 events, 1 day off, 2 Poetry Festivals, 5 performances;

4th Hereford – Courtyard Theatre to watch The Magnetic Diaries Poetry Play

6th Birmingham – Alfie Birds – Launch night Rhyme with Reason

7th Ludlow – Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room

8th Ledbury – Poetry Festival

9th Worcester – SpeakEasy – this may have to be missed due to energy levels

10th Worcester – The Quiet Compere Tour (booked 15 months ago)

11th Stratford-Upon-Avon – Poetry Festival: 52 meet/picnic & performance at Shakespeare’s Birthplace

then a mini break in which to write, breathe & teach

13th Birmingham – Ten Letters, MAC – if I can make it

14th Walsall – postponed (from today) workshop Caldmore Gardens

14th Kidderminster – Mouth & Music

 

I will blog when I can about these events, many of which deserve an individual post.

Have a great week,

Keep Writing x

 

Review of March

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March was a funny month, I took my first break from writing since the winter. It wasn’t intentional, just happened due to working more hours and needing some time off to relax, read and sleep. I had 5 days off from writing, followed by another week, during this time I missed several events/ performances. Towards the end of March there were 3 events I decided to not attend to enable me to afford the trip down to London. The cost of the 3 events covered my transport costs.

I had intended more writing and reading than performing in 2015, but I thought I would plan it. I feel I need to get to grips with a year that is running away with me.

Our laptop broke and I lost a lot of work in progress, editing that I hadn’t backed up. I didn’t have the heart to deal with this straight away – now in Mid-April (already!) I have started to tackle the lost work. This of course takes extra hours.

Back to March…

Andrew O Book Launch Sue Thompson

BLOGS & PROJECTS

I finally managed to send David Calcutt my Caldmore Garden poetry, fortunately it was published on his website before our laptop broke.

My MOOC Poetry Course online with the University of Iowa was supposed to start, it was delayed and is due to start now on April 13th.

I received some incredibly exciting news from WWM (Writing West Midlands) which I am not yet at liberty to share. Needless to say I AM OVER THE MOON!

I booked tickets for Stratford Literary Festival next month. sua litfest

I am reading a LOT. Prose & poetry.

The 52ers created a new group ‘MINT’ so we can stay in touch when it is all over, I have tickets for 52 at Wenlock Poetry Festival and have ordered the book, we are also meeting/ performing at Stratford Poetry Festival in the summer.

AND – very excitingly I was invited, by Hark Magazine to perform at 10 minute set in London at the launch for Issue 4.

 

SUBMISSIONS

I submitted to Under the Radar and Paperswans, fingers crossed for those new-works.

I missed a few other submissions as life got busy and deadlines past as they sometimes do. I need to get more organised.

 

PERFORMING POETRY

Permission to Speak

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/poetry-events-in-march-permission-to-speak-4-3-15/

Spoken word at The Ort

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/performing-poetry-spoken-word-at-the-ort-6-3-15/

Malvern Book Promoters

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/malvern-book-promoters-mad-march-book-promotion-events/

Nomad Variety – Martineau Gardens Charity night

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/nomad-variety-at-martineau-gardens/

Hark Magazine Launch – London

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/hark-magazine-launch-reading-in-london/

World Poetry Day https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/celebrating-world-poetry-day/

Southcart Books

Caldmore Community Gardens open day

Sunday Xpress

 

I missed Mouth & Music, SpeakEasy, Poetry Bites, Drummonds 42,

 

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

WWM meeting (there were many last month)

Such a Busy End of the Month! NOW … It’s MAY!

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Such a busy end of month and now we already in MAY! How did that happen? I have lots of posts to catch up on when I get a chance between now and the end of the weekend. Here’s is a taster to tease you;

  1. The one about Wenlock poetry festival, shows, events and sharing a love of words (not to mention meeting heroes).
  2. The one where I go to Saints, Sinners and Fools.
  3. The one where I round up the month and review everything.
  4. The one where I am in awe of Grayson Perry.
  5. The one where the Worcester Stanza group perform at the Library of Birmingham.

…. that is more than a taster really, your starter has been served!

Do be sure to check back later, I am writing a few pieces, I mean really last minute for events over this next week. If I felt busy this week – I have to remember it has just been a warm up for next week!

 

Any ideas, tips and knowledge to share on best foods for energy – apart from slow release carbs like pasta and the humble – has – everything -in – it- you – could- possibly – need banana, your tips will gratefully received.

© Sarah Wilkinson 2014

© Sarah Wilkinson 2014