Tag Archives: reading

Sculpture Workshop Reading

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I have a whole page in my TO DO List book of missing Blog posts from April – June. Over the next month I am attempting to plug the gaps. So look out for more Flashbacks. We have now reached May!

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Photo by Aris Ioakimidis on Pexels.com

This event started with a workshop back in September at the Jinney Ring, celebrating the annual Sculpture Trail. I am running a new Sculpture Trail workshop this year in September, drop me a line if you are interested in making an advanced booking.

For information – worcspl@gmail[dot]com

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Following the workshop the project went twofold – an exhibition of our poetry which has been on display at The Jinney Ring since April and a Reading.

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It took a while to find a venue in the village, but in the end it was perfect and the Church even had a Book Sale! Plus it was an extremely warm Bank Holiday and a stone building is the perfect air con and a new opportunity has arisen for some Autumn/Spring workshops based in St. Mary’s.

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© 2018 Martin Aspley-Davis

We are a vibrant church set upon a hilltop in the village of Hanbury in Worcestershire. We, at the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, attract people of all ages and outlooks to services that range from the contemporary to the traditional, from the informal to the formal and we would love to meet you. © 2018 https://www.hanburychurch.org/

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On arrival the path from the gates had been chalked, the church steps were chalked and there was a billboard advertising the event.

Just as I hoped, this brought people in for a few poems, we also had an audience who enjoyed the full almost hour of poetry about the Jinney Ring Sculptures.

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The workshop poets all thoroughly enjoyed hearing each other’s take on the Artwork and it brought back many memories of the trail. It is always interesting to hear other people’s poems when there is a shared source. The Mermaid sculpture featured in a fair few poems and not one of them the same.

It was unfortunate that not every poet was able to be there, however other Workshop Poets kindly read poems from the missing participants.

Maggie Doyle, Margaret Adkins, Polly Stretton & Nigel Hutchinson.

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            Jenna Plewes & Serena Trowbridge

The acoustics in the Church were great and the poetry was quality. It was a wonderful celebration of work, we read poems by Claire Walker, Roz Levens, Cass Osborn, Anne Milton and Linda Williams too.

To make more of a day of it we went back to where it all started and enjoyed tea and cake in the sunshine at The Jinney Ring.

My gratitude to Judith Burman, the Church Warden for advertising and helping organise this event and to the Rev. David Morris for allowing poets to use the Church in the first place. We all had a wonderful time and it was a great success.

What was also special is a number of people had never had the pleasure of exploring/discovering the Church before and I know they too will now probably take a walk through the woods up to the Church (as we did when we were children). I look forward to working with words inside the Church later in the year.

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Diverse Verse 3 Charity Anthology Book Launch

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DIVERSE 3

Richard Archer produced the first Diverse Verse (2016) before I happened upon his charitable project, I made sure that I was on board when he did it again in 2017 and after creating Diverse Verse 2, he has done it again!

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I am proud to have a rather strange poem written during NaPoWriMo 2017 included in this publication. Proceeds go to Cancer Research UK.

Richard Archer commented on how the collection affords an opportunity for first time publication, which I think is great – you never forget the feeling of the first poem published.

The books are certainly diverse with a mix of known, novice and up and coming poets from all over the world, bound together in a perfectly formed paperback!

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Scott and Amy – owners of Walsall and the Black Country’s only independent bookshop. 

The Launch took place in Walsall at SouthCart Books on 28th April and was great fun. There may even be a write up in a Midland Arts Magazine soon. I will keep you posted. Rick Sanders, myself and Richard Archer were interviewed and offered insights into the project and the writing process/life of a poet.

There was a relaxed atmosphere throughout the launch and as ever Scott and Amy put on a generous spread and served hot drinks to keep us caffeinated, wine was available but I was driving.

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Richard Archer

The event ran from 11 – 3 PM and was divided into 3 readings with plenty of time to catch up, socialise and browse the Bookshop between each set. It was great to catch up with poets I have not seen for ages and to promote the last Laureate opportunities to them.

I also love the fact Southcart Books is open, so sometimes customers come and have a listen or just come to browse the shelves above your head as one guy did in the 3rd Reading.

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In the first section we heard 5 minute sets from these poets;

John mills
Liz mills
Mogs
Alison Reed
Mike Alma
Ian Henery
Matthew Cash
Martha Cash

Many performed the poem they had in the anthology alongside other work. Some sets were deeply moving and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting back for a listen.

Then we had an interval, food, mingling – lots of love in the Bookshop.

There is a poetry chair people to read from (a tradition in the Bookshop).

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So I settled down (cake on shelf) to open the 2nd section;

Nina Lewis
Jan Wilkes
Pauline Faulkner
Claire Sutton
Kristina Griffiths
David Wilkinson
Al Barz
Paul Elwell
Amy Carter

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Then another break, more coffee and a final readings from;

Richard Archer
Rik Sanders
Leanne Cooper
Jerry Peterson
Matt Humphries
Rachel Oram
Dale Parnell
Grace Dore

A really superb launch and a great anthology. You can buy a copy here

Diverse verse 3 is a poetry collection full of the finest poems from across the globe.

Within its covers are words that will send hearts soaring with joy or just as easily bring them crashing back to earth. Turn a page and find yourself on the wrong side of an argument, lost in a fantastical city or battling with malevolent inner demons. Read on and live vicariously through the words within.

Diverse Verse 3 is sold to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

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© 2018 MNA Express & Star (photo taken in the first shop premises) – Scott Carter

RELATED LINKS:

http://southcart.weebly.com/southcart

https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/diverse-verse-2-sells-out-again-at-southcart-books/

NaPoWriMo 2018 – 3 Day Countdown

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3 Day Countdown and more Craft Resources.

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Mark Strand

Our craft resource for the day is an essay by the poet Mark Strand (scroll down to “from ‘Notes on the Craft of Poetry’”). Strand advocates for a bit of the mystical and the personal in poetry. While he doesn’t deny that there is a “way of doing” poetry, he believes that the way is unique to each poet, and must be discovered through practice.

http://www.napowrimo.net/three-days-until-na-glopowrimo/

2 Day Countdown

 

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Jim Holt

another craft resource for your perusal. In his essay, Got Poetry?, Jim Holt discusses the practice of memorizing poetry. I memorized a lot of poetry as a child, and have found it wonderful not just for entertaining myself at bus stops (we didn’t always have iPhones), but because it creates a sort of mental index of the sounds of poetry — rhythms and beats and ways of expression that I can consult when writing without having to stop and go look something up.

http://www.napowrimo.net/two-days-to-go-3/

 

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1 Day to Go and a BONUS Earlybird Prompt

Our craft resource today is a short article featuring fifteen poets’ thoughts on revision. While our focus during Na/GloPoWriMo is on first drafts, revision is a big part of the poetic process, and one that everyone struggles with. Hopefully, this will give you food for thought and inspiration as you tackle editing your work.

Today’s prompt is one we’ve used before, but it gets great results, and who can argue with results? So today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the form of a love letter . . . to an object.

Find out more about this prompt by visiting the site here. 

http://www.napowrimo.net/one-day-to-go-and-an-early-bird-prompt-2/

 

NaPoWriMo 2018 Here We Come! 

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NaPoWriMo 2018 – Preparing for the Event

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I am reading up on the posts that came before April. March was super busy with Laureate projects, workshops and interviews and I didn’t even consider dipping into the NaPo site before April.

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This year they are adding interviews and craft resources this year and the first comes from a book I discovered back at University – part of course required reading and back that (long before the days of Amazon and home internet) I had to find a specialist shop in London and pay a huge amount of grant money to get my copy (which is one reason I still have it).

Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones Here’s an interview with Goldberg on the occasion of her book’s thirtieth anniversary, and appreciations of the book by Jennifer Ellis and Yvonne Spence.

Original source: http://www.napowrimo.net/napowrimo-glopowrimo-is-coming/

Craft resource: Richard Hugo’s The Triggering Town. Hugo’s essays on writing poetry have helped students and non-students alike figure out one of the hardest things about poetry – what do you write about, and how do you do it genuinely and authentically? The Poetry Society of America has the title essay of his book online. You can find it here

Original source: http://www.napowrimo.net/three-weeks-and-some-change-until-na-glopowrimo/

Halfway through March another Craft Resource was posted.

Mark Doty’s The Art of Description. The book consists of a series of close readings of the descriptive word choices in poems, and I found it extremely illuminating and helpful in re-orienting me away from some lazy habits I’d fallen into in writing. One of the essays from the book, a close reading of Elizabeth Bishop’s The Fish, is available online here. I hope you enjoy it!

Original source: http://www.napowrimo.net/the-ides-of-march-or-halfway-to-na-glopowrimo/

I read these articles, essays and poems as suggested. I will probably read them again.

Our craft resource for the week is an oldie-but-a-goodie, Wallace Stevens’s The Necessary Angel. I first picked up this book, with a garish purple cover enlivened by an incongruous blue Cupid, in the “overstock” section of a used bookstore. Stevens, who trained as a lawyer and as journalist, is known for his intellectual, persnickety, exacting poems. His essays are no different, but if you are game to seriously nerd out about poetry, you should give it a try!

Original source: http://www.napowrimo.net/closer-and-closer/

 

INKSPILL 10 Inspiring Women Writers

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10 Inspiring Women Writers

Every writer is encouraged to read, to read widely and to read often. Sometimes despite the library, internet and our own over burdened bookshelves we wonder what to read next.

I love it when someone points me in a new direction – this is why reading groups are such a good idea. Since starting my WMRN Reader in Residence role I have reignited my fascination for a reading list.

Here is a link to The Culture Trip website where Lani Seelinger focuses on 10 inspiring women writers (in case the title didn’t give you enough ‘in’). You may not agree, you may have read some of the titles. Let us know what you think in the comment box and if a title jumps out at you send a note to yourself (or write it down), read it and let us know what you think after.

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Originally posted November 2016

 

NaPoWriMo Day 4 – Back at Work Challenge

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NapoWriMo brought with it the challenge of working today and still managing a write. Fortunately, I have learnt from the best and always have a carry around notebook about my person. So in a break I used it and got some notes of ideas down, which I later worked into my first poem of the day.

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I tackled Carrie Etter’s prompt first today which was to do with writing in fragments, contrasting the concrete with the abstract. The notebook itself was perfect for this as it holds many random thoughts, unfinished and fragmented in nature.

  1. I opened the notebook randomly and scribbled down the first 5 lines I saw. All from disassociated notes.
  2. Next I went in search of concrete images.
  3. Then abstract.

In the end I had three concrete images and lots of interesting lines of text.

At the end of work, I sat down with these scribbles and attempted to freewrite a poem. It became one of those poems that was still going somewhere but not clearly, so I (in the style of 52) lost the last 2 lines and left my poem there. Barely more than a stanza, an 8 line poem. It is a character driven piece which surprised me considering the random approach to material gathering.

It is a piece about my mother – but the character isn’t my mum or anything like her so it is a created voice narrating about her mother. This woman may have more in touch with my grandparents generation and definitely bears no resemblance to any relative of mine. Fun to write though. I may write more with this character voice in the future. I do not feel this poem stands very tall but I like the woman I have created and the imagined daughter too and think they may make a reappearance.

‘All the while, in plain nylons and navy,

turning herself invisible.’

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http://www.napowrimo.net/

Today’s featured poet is Katie Staten, who wrote a well humoured elegy for her father-in-law. https://krstaten.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/napowrimo-3-elegy-for-a-holiday/

The featured interview today is with Lawrence Ferlinghetti – an important figure in the beat generation of poets. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/11/410487944/at-96-poet-and-beat-publisher-lawrence-ferlinghetti-isnt-done-yet Read his poems and articles here poetry foundationhttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/lawrence-ferlinghetti#about

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Today’s challenge (optional prompt) came with music, so whilst at work I just copied notes on the idea behind the writing. Once I got home I listened to the music and did a piece of freewriting. Just on the music itself. Not with the prompt in mind.

Try it for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GbD20h8-_4

 

In the UK part of this track (Nimrod) was a used in a famous bread advert so you may find it difficult to imagine anything other than cobbled streets and a boy on a bicycle.

From the freewrite I have one description I may work in elsewhere. But I really only did it to leave work at the door and get my writing head on.

PROMPT DAY 4 from Napowrimo.net

One of the most popular British works of classical music is Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The “enigma” of the title is widely believed to be a hidden melody that is not actually played, but which is tucked somehow into the composition through counterpoint. Today I’d like you to take some inspiration from Elgar and write a poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly. The poem should function as a sort of riddle, but not necessarily a riddle of the “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” variety. You could choose a word, for example, “yellow,” and make everything in the poem something yellow, but never actually allude to their color. Or perhaps you could closely describe a famous physical location or person without ever mentioning what or who it actually is.

I really enjoyed writing this poem, really felt like I was getting my teeth into something meaty that may sizzle on its own feet one day.

I chose to hide a colour and what started off as an autobiographical recount ended with something far more surreal (both the midwife and the baby have special names) and is ear-marked to return to after April. In fact I may need to return to it long before then. I think it is already walking!

‘The room for dubious babies…’


Jo Bell has posted Majority by Michael Donaghy http://www.jobell.org.uk/ for Day 4 of NaPo Read.

She also notes that there was no promise that these poems would be cheerful. Food for thought today.

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58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfullThe Poetry School were after a Clerihew today, which is a brief form invented by Edmund Clerihew. If you would like to attempt one here is the format. Four lines of irregular metre and length, set in deliberately ‘wrenched’ rhyming couplets. Crucially, the first line has to end with a person’s name, typically someone famous.

I imagine there may be plenty of Trump/May poems out there today!

WOW – Do What You Want to Do and The Universe Will Assist You!

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I am getting so truly excited by this year of writing! I had no idea where it would take me really and I feel like I am exploring new and yet deeply familiar territory all the time. motivation worth

My spirit thanks me daily, when I wake up happy and enjoy being alive!

I do feel blessed and I know this is only the beginning!

I was just off to bed after an evening filled with writing and poetry and I had to check emails for work contacts tomorrow. I came across 2 other exciting emails – I ignored several 100- well it’s late…. moon-at-night-landscape_w725_h544

I have now signed up for a unique reading opportunity in December at a local university (more on this in December probably) and have also had an email regarding a special conference in December also.

The reason I had these emails was because I attended the Literature Festival last month and said YES by signing up to mailing lists and talking to people. Including organisers.

I go to bed, tired and happy! AWF moment writing

Library Blues

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I have just 18 minutes of access on the PC this morning (that will give me a chance to get ready for work at least!) had to ask for help again, was trying to log onto the Visually impaired computer (it was the only one free)… I wear glasses and had my most recent eye test in December, should I worry that I missed the notice on the monitor, – Visually Impaired – Ask for assistance.

How dumb did I feel?! I have mananged to get an early start this morning, working on 2 short submissions due at the end of the month, I need to get them finished so I can sit on them for a few days before editing.
I am simultaneously trying to get ready for my trip. I have heard it is -20 C, I have never wished to have ski-ing clothes until now. We have had more snow, not where I am based – it is cold enough though. I wrapped up to come out into town and the coat only just fits over two layers… I was planning on wearing at least four! New thermal undies better work hard!

Plan of action for today is to concentrate on OFFLINE writing after work this evening. I should continue decluttering too, as I have had about a week off from that!

I have managed to read 1 book so far this month already, kind of a cheat as it is a Children’s book – Peter Pan – 1951 print version which belonged to my mum or aunty. I felt like I should wear gloves to read it. It is hardback and I did fall asleep a couple of times with it on my face. I recommend reading such books, think you’re too old for a dream about Fairies? Best night sleep I have had in a while.

I haven’t read it since I was a child.

Have a good day reading, writing and blogging

Finish Lines

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I am currently completing some language research for a current submission I hope to have ready by the end of the weekend. I have finished my final draft and edit, however I might make some amendments after a quick surf of some websites tonight.
I booked a February trip last night and although it is paid for is a treat I can barely afford whilst trying to complete the other projects this Winter. I got a call earlier for more work next week – that has paid for the flight!

I had some Indoor Fireworks for Christmas, we have just set most of them off. Pretty hard to capture in a picture… delightful experience though. Happiness on fire.

I have also managed some time reading blogs, I added lots last night, for some reason I have woken up to be a follower of a load of sports blogs, I have no idea how that happened. The sites were running slowly last night.
I picked up on GOOD READS and have managed to join via Facebook. I was ill last year and managed to read 40 books, I have gone for 42, as it beats last year and is also the meaning of life, the universe and everything!
I just don’t know how to add the side bar gif that tracks my reads and reviews & allows you to link to the Goodreads site too – if any of you know please can you leave me technical advise? I think it is to do with the frames of the theme I have chosen that don’t support sidebar columns, I love this theme though, it suits the fountain and I don’t want to change it.
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I am on my 6th book, the chapter headings have quotations from other books, I thought it might be fun to read those too this year. I read 100 pages or so this morning. I love weekends!
I hope you’re all having a great weekend too.