Tag Archives: Sarah James

Book Launch – The Magnetic Diaries – By Sarah James

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I was delighted in February when Sarah James asked if I would read at the book launch of her 3rd collection, The Magnetic Diaries, published by KFS Knife Fork and Spoons Press.

I read alongside Maggie Doyle, Ruth Stacey, Jenny Hope, her daughter Lissy Hope and Fergus McGonigal (Worcester Poet Laureate), it was also a DAN (Arts Network) evening out. An enjoyable time was had by all at Park’s Café, Droitwich.

Park's cafe 3

It was interesting to see how a collective of poets interpreted the theme ‘timely poetry’ too.

I arrived after being in the city with WWM writers group and it was a great day in my poetry skin. I met most of the local poets at a Book Launch for ‘Be[yond]’ in September 2013 and have not looked back since, this launch felt like a full circle of some kind.

It was good to hear Sarah talk about the background of the book and read selected poems from the collection. I loved the way she chose to do this. Quotations written on  paper were selected by the audience (like a raffle) and then found in the book and read. It was a creative way and brave way to perform.

Here are some photographs of the evening.

Mag diary fergus Fergus McGonigal

mag diaries maggie Maggie Doyle

mag diaries jenny Jenny Hope

mag diary mag diary me Nina Lewis

and Sarah James

mag diary sarah

I realise this is not a very detailed review of the event, I have added related links – I urge you to check them out, local newspaper articles and Sarah’s own blog reveal more about the background of this new collection.

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Buy your copy of The Magnetic Diaries here:

http://www.knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/magneticdiaries.html

Magnetic diaries KFS

Sarah James – The Poet

Sarah James is extremely busy at the moment, she has a collaborative collection published with Angela Topping, ‘Hearth’ Published by Mother’s Milk Books. You can catch them at the Cheltenham Festival this weekend or SpeakEasy next month, 12th May where they are headlining.

‘Next on my event list now is not The Magnetic Diaries but the launch of Hearth, a collaborative pamphlet with Angela Topping, at Cheltenham Poetry Festival later this month.’ © Sarah James 2015

Sunday, April 26Hearth, the collaborative pamphlet between Sarah James and Angela Topping, will be launched at Cheltenham Poetry Festival in a Mother’s Milk Books reading and panel Q and A on collaboration on Sunday, April 26, from 11am-12pm in the Playhouse Theatre Lounge.

SJ-AT-Hearth-front-cover-scaled

Tickets are £6/4. Bookings through Cheltenham Town Hall in person, online at www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk or call 0844 576 2210 from mid-March.
Festival brochure (page 4) and Cheltenham Poetry Festival website.

RELATED LINKS;

http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/

Sarah’s review of the launch http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/?p=5972

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/regional/12899918.Droitwich_author_brings_modern_day_Madame_Bovary_to_life/

 http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/?p=5992

Review of September

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September was a truly magical month for me in my writing skin. I marked the one year point of becoming a poet (again) and also started to get lots of opportunities and offers that reflect (to me) the next level of my adventure.

So here is my review of September – chest infection aside, it has been the greatest month!

Blogs & Projects

I continue with 52, I wish I had more time to read the wonderful poetry that has grown from Jo Bell’s project and would like to be able to post some of my older poems for feedback, may have to take them to Stanza instead, with my poetry and work life keeping me busy I manage to get ahead and then find myself 2 or 3 prompts behind the rest.

Naked Lungs – My 1st commission – 3 other poets and myself are due to perform at Birmingham Lit Fest next month in a piece about Urban Nature which we are all writing for at this current moment in time. Very exciting and I can’t wait!

One Year a Poet – OYAP, some party I have been organising since August to bring together writing friends to perform and celebrate a year back on the circuit.

INKSPILL – I have had so much on this month that the writing retreat hit the back burner for a bit – it is worked on in my head and will come together for the final weekend in OCTOBER.AWF 2014 OCT Cal

Submission

I worked on very few submissions this month and at least I know the outcome of recent submissions.

I sent poetry to Barefiction & Poetry on Loan competition, I missed 3 other submissions due to a busy performance schedule and too little editing time.

Barefiction and Scottish Mental Health both sent rejections of encouragement and Sarah James won the Poetry on Loan competition.

There is a glint of light, which I hope to share with you all soon.

 

Performing Poetry

Events I performed at include;

Angela francez st chads 3z st chads4

The Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room – Ludlow, hosted by Jean Atkin and headlined by Angela France.

Staffordshire Arts Festival – Reams of Dreams at St. Chad’s, hosted by the then Poet Laureate, Tom Wyre and former Poet Laureate, Mal Dewwhirst. The Young Poet Laureate was announced and I took an incredibly emotional journey back to somewhere that was home 10 years ago.

Mouth & Music, Kidderminster, hosted by Heather Wastie & Sarah Tamar, headlined by Ben Norris

MM Sept BenMM meMMBenNorrisworcs speak

SpeakEasy, Worcester Hosted by Fergus McGonigal – Worcester Poet Laureate, headlined by Peter Wyton and also appearing Brenda Read-Brown, who won the Worcester LitFest Slam and was awarded her trophy.

One Year a Poet – OYAP – A party of spoken word to celebrate one whole year back on the scene. A whole load of poetry and writer friends enjoyed free cake and words of each other and the amazing saxophone of Dutch Lewis, hosted by myself.

OYAP2ame3 andrcakes Andrea

Poetry For Lunch, The Library of Birmingham, hosted by Jan Watts, this month inside, in the mezzanine overlooking the foyer.

Spoken Word at The Ort, Birmingham, hosted by Debbie Aldous.

Poetry Bites, Birmingham, hosted by Jacqui Rowe, headlined by Charlie Jordan & Jan Smith.

Naked Lungs at Cherry Reds, Birmingham, hosted by Joe Whitehouse & Chris Baker, booked for a set. Very exciting evening. My fourth official booking to perform.

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Word Up, Birmingham, hosted by Ddotti Bluebell – a night of amazing poetry. Headlined by former Birmingham Laureate Stephen Morrison-Burke.

100,000 Poets for Change International Event: Carnival Records, Malvern, hosted by Clive Dee, an exciting afternoon of music and poetry in the perfect vinyl loving setting! A one off spectacular that I most pleased to have been invited to perform at.

carnivalcarnival records 100000 poets

Sunday Xpress, Birmingham, hosted by Brendon, headlined by Ash Dickinson.

adameve21 Ash Dickinson

 

Performances and Events

Ben Norris Oscar Frenchwolverley tea shopFacebookElvis McGonagall Wenlock Edge

Ben Norris at The MAC, Birmingham, in his one man show – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family.

Wolverley Village Tea Shop – Pop Up Poetry Event organised by Sue Wood and featuring Worcester Lit Fest poets and others. This was an open mic style event and I was invited to perform, I wish I had, especially when most people there asked me why I hadn’t read and said it was a shame, I was having a dippy day and was more than happy to sit in the sunshine and listen to poetry, whilst drinking real coffee.

Elvis McGonagall at The Hive, Worcester, an event organised by the Worcester Lit Fest, also featuring; Fergus McGonigal – Worcester’s Poet Laureate, Maggie Doyle – Worcester Poet Laureate Emeritus and Claire Walker, who came 2nd in this year’s Poet Laureate Competition.

Meetings and Projects

I  met with Joe and Chris a.k.a Naked Lungs and the other 3 poets they have chosen to work on the commissioned project of Urban Nature which is to be performed on Oct 11th at the Library of Birmingham at the Birmingham Literature Festival. We met in a coffee shop and then explored some hidden nature in a community garden in Digbeth. Digbeth Garden Hannah J Graham

I also managed to get to Stanza this month again, hosted by Ian Glass, a very packed group this month. stanza scrabble

Poetry and Pollination at The Hive – Gig 10 in the run of 10

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MAY 9th

Ledbury PFLedbury Poetry Festival and Worcester Lit Fest WLF&F logo concepts

thehiveworcsorg

© 2013 thehiveworcs.org

have collaborated on a series of 3 poetry events leading up to the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Ruth Stacey has worked with Ledbury Poetry Festival organisers to bring these events into the heart of Worcester, the new library, The Hive.

 

I really enjoyed the first event in the Studio, Poetry and Place, an evening of listening to 3 amazing poets. Click the link in related articles to read about it.

I have already reblogged Claire Walker’s detailed review of Poetry and Pollination (related links) if you want more information on the acts and performances it is a great read!

poetry and place

Poetry and Pollination was booked in advance and I had been counting down to the next Ledbury/Litfest/Hive event with excitement, as the run up was during my insane 10 gigs in 11 days (never again!) period, – in fact Poetry & Pollination was gig 10. I hadn’t managed to write to the theme, Bees – well we were at The Hive! I have written 1000’s 0f poems and not one about bees. New material was needed.

For a few weeks beforehand I had the time to write but not the inspiration, muse was looking at the flowers, rather than the bees. Then, whilst fleeting around social network sites I found 2 posts about bees. One about the pollination process, the other a Guiness Book of Record type tale of an elderly lady who covered herself in bees. Notes were scribbled in my carry-it-everywhere-you’re-a-writer notebook.

Weeks later I had still not managed to get the scribbles into a poem.

The night before The Hive I was at SpeakEasy, thinking I would still have time to write a bee poem or two when I got home – even if the title was ‘It was not to Bee!’ It was a fairly late night and I was exhausted when I got I, went straight to bed, with my carry-it-everywhere notebook, picked up the nearest pen (which was unfortunately a felt tip) don’t write in felt tip if you can help it, the ink blurs and the next day it is hard to see what has been written, even harder to perform from a felt-tipped script! As I found out.

The Pollination poem has still, as yet, not materialised, nor has the poem about the bee lady – I am hoping to write both before the summer! Instead I fell back on the wise words of every writing tutor – write from what you know – the result of which was two poems about my experiences with bees, both humorous (I don’t usually do funny, unless I am writing with Tim Scarborough – more on that in another post) I wrote about a teenage experience of getting a bee stuck in dreadlocked hair and another about evicting a huge bumble bee from a class of screaming 7 year olds!

I received lots of positive feedback on my performance – it was helped by stage lights and no PA system, I lost my inhibitions and started jumping around the space, acting out my poem, making full use of that dusty, old, drama degree. ‘Another level/ the next level’ in my performance poetry – a great compliment to hear – performance morphs and changes, just as poetry. We grow, change, develop. I am glad after 6 months of spoken word, my work is rising to the next level.

The audience enjoyed these poems, I wrote another one about endangered bees and read that along with a few of my favourite nature poems (another genre I don’t tend to write).

It was a great night with talent after talent, it was especially satisfying to hear Ian Glass and Ruth Stacey as they don’t tend to read their work often and both are wordsmiths with golden nibs, their poetry is amazing. Ruth has a collection coming out soon – Fox Boy – Dancing Girl Press, she will be performing at Ledbury Poetry Festival – can’t wait! More information soon.

It was also a treat to have a few new-to-me faces and a little audience too. Charlie Hammond, a great performance and very funny poem about a parker pen. Lesley Ingram, who mainly performs around Cheltenham area also treated us to her set of delightful poems. Duncan Forbes who read about the seasons.

Maggie Doyle (Worcester Poet Laureate Emeritus and recent KIDDERMINSTER CREATIVES SLAM WINNER!) opened the night.

Jenny Hope read some beautiful poetry, I love hearing her read, such a gentle soulful poet.

Timothy Stavert read about his daughter observing bees.

Suz Winspear treated us to a deliciously darker set,  I especially liked her poem about the Yellow House and hope to hear it again soon.

Claire Walker shared one of my favourite poems of hers ‘A Little Outing’, alongside her bee poems, one describing the fear her daughter has of the humming bees, which transported me back to my own fear, filled childhood.

The headline slots were filled by Ruth Stacey and Sarah James.

Sarah read from her second Be[yond] published last year by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press and her first Into the Yell – Circaidy Gregory Press

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It was a superb night, a great night was had by all – organisers, performers and audience.  To top it, a few of us rounded the night by going out for a few celebratory drinks!

 

Links to related articles:

Poetry and Place

Poetry and Pollination

Be[yond] Book Launch

Poetry Bites – Guest Spots: Helen Calcutt and Sarah James

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Poetry Bites: Helen Calcutt, Sarah James

I have had my eye of this event for a while but have never managed to make it to a night. The Kitchen Garden Café is a fantastic venue and Jacqui Rowe hosts a superb night. For just £5/£3 you get to see TWO top guest spots and plenty of talent from the floor in 3 minute slots.

A few of us planned to go to support Sarah James, who performed a very strong set – complete with tulip! She looked as if she was enjoying the evening as much as the rest of us.

I knew there were floor spots but only decided last minute to join in.  I am glad I did, the audience was very warm.

It was the first time I had heard Helen Calcutt, although she is very involved in the scene our paths have not yet crossed. She has a dance background, so there is some common ground there and she looked incredible after recently becoming a new mum! Amazed that she is back to performing so soon afterwards.

Although I know of Jacqui Rowe I have missed all her workshops, surgeries and events up until now. It was lovely to finally meet her in person and a treat to hear her poems.

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Helen Calcutt

http://helencalcutt.org/about-2/

Sarah James

http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/

JacquiRowe

http://www.jacquirowe.com/

 

 

 

 

Poetry Bites;

“One of the top 10 venues for poetry in the UK” (Susan Richardson, Radio 4).

My Writing Day Part 1

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inkspill just writeMy day of writing is going well – I am using my self disciplined invisible time-table! Today is a National Teacher Strike and my school is closed. I won’t get paid for supply, I havent had to do any – I welcome this day to write and catch up with my life (as a writer!), like I mentioned in a social media status – on one hand I don’t make any money today and on the other hand, well the other hand is the one I write with!

Mr G made sure I was up early – he forgot I wasn’t working today. After the post event adrenalin of last night – I went to Poetry Bites, an evening of fantastic poetry booked and hosted by Jacqui Rowe (Editor Flarestack Publishing) a group of us went to support Sarah James, who was one of the booked poets, I then found out you could book a floor spot and couldn’t resist sharing a couple of poems. It was a fantastic night and of course when I came home I found myself wide awake to begin with, it was about 1a.m when I rolled into bed, so I could have done with a bit of a lie in and my pink eyes tell that story!

I made a coffee, grabbed the 3 issues of my writing magazine that I am still attempting to find time to read and headed back off to bed to do my Admin.

3 hours later, I have emerged (still in PJs) but now online and upright. I had a diary full of writing tasks and now I have an A4 to do list in order and am about to hit the ground running with an edit and final re-write of the poems written especially for tonight’s 3rd Anniversary of Drummonds 42. The theme is Zombies and although I don’t do horror, I have enjoyed attending 42 each month since Halloween and sharing the darker thoughts of my mind which would never be shared in public without events like this. Tonight though – it is special (I feel I should be baking cakes, but I am definitely far too busy writing to do that or clean the kitchen (Mr G)…) in honour of the anniversary I am using the theme and have managed to write 2 post apocalyptic zombie poems… I enjoyed the challenge.

My writing diary, which has been littered with weekly post-it notes has now got extra pages paper-notestaped in and is looking fairly full until the summer. I have 8 writing tasks today – I think that is OVER AMBITIOUS to say in the least especially as I have to make it to the library before closing to collect my Art Network Poetry Display (which came down last week) and then get out to the 42 Gig…

My 1st writing task before editing the Zombie poems is to write a short Bio – for the Born Free Anthology – I struggle with these as I never know what to put and can feel my ego smugly pushing me out the way to get to the keyboard. Elaine needs it a.s.a.p so I promised her it would be my 1st online job of the day.

Better get some work done now then, the sun is shining – I am happy, have my 2nd coffee of the day – had I been working I would still be without a break and over 3 hours in! Bliss. I cannot wait for the flat sale to go through so I can afford at least a few of these writing days a month.

inkspill notebook

The Quiet Compere (21/3/14)

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What an event, this one…macwhatshappeningcouk
I only knew Sarah L Dixon through 52, Jo Bell’s challenge (which I have blogged about before – 52 poems in a year – one a week) there must be many poets meeting or at least making connections virtually. I hope to ask Sarah L Dixon to tell us more about her Quiet Compere idea, when she is less busy.
Basically she runs an open mic night in Manchester, the difference from other event is the format. To allow the poet more time to share work she books 10 acts and gives them 10 minutes each.

She had the idea of taking this format on the road regionally, got Arts Council Funding for her idea (I slip that in as if it were easy – but I am fairly sure that was a process on its own!) then starting taking herself on tour. Each venue hosts 10 local poets who are pre-booked and they each delight the audience for 10 minutes. She has ‘toured the North with a jaunt into Birmingham’ – luckily enough.

I saw the line up in late January/February and recognised many of the names. We heard the Manchester night sold out so we made sure (my poetry friends Claire Walker and Maggie Doyle) we had our tickets well in advance.
You would expect to pay more than a fiver to go and see many of these names. The tickets were an ASTONISHING £3.00! Entry to some open mic events is more than that!

The Birmingham night took place at the MAC – Midlands Arts Centre – recently reopened after a 15million pound facelift! It has been closed for a while. There is so much that has been built up around it since I went over 10 years ago! It sits nestled in Cannon Hill Park and is a great venue and just a few miles out of the city.

Gary Longden was one of the 10 performers and although I knew him, from other poetry friends and his wonderful blog (to which there is a link), I had never met him. He runs Poetry Alight – the night in Lichfield where Michelle Crosbie performed last month. Another great night I missed…. so frustrating when there is so much on and I still have to work!
I finally got to meet him, it was brief as he didn’t know who I am.

I hope to make it over to Lichfield soon, Andrea Shorrick (Swingerella) thinks they would like my poems!

The Performers were QC banner

In the 6 months I have been back on the performance circuit I have been lucky enough to perform alongside 7 out of 10 of these poets. I met Sarah James at her book launch for Beyond beyond – the same evening I watched Jenny Hope perform and met Ruth Stacey. These are the first poets I met in Worcestershire (on this set list) and they have all given so much to me over the past 6 months, including welcoming me to their celebratory curry meal – where I met lots more poets.

Sarah has her next event this Tuesday for Poetry Bites and has headlined at SpeakEasy (she has done a million other things but these are the connections to me). We also all went to The Writers’ Toolkit together in the Autumn. Jenny Hope is a lead writer for Writing West Midlands and Ruth Stacey works alongside her as an Assistant Writer. I had already arranged to work for Writing West Midlands as an Assistant Writer, the same day I met them. They have all performed at SpeakEasy and also attend Stanza meetings, Sarah is the Poetry Society leader in our region.

As well as SpeakEasy, Ruth, along with Bobby Parker performed with me at the Kidderminster Creatives re-launch, BHG Gallery event. Bobby has also headlined SpeakEasy and I have also performed at the same Mouth & Music events – the open Mic in Kidderminster.

Charlie Jordan I met through events we attended at Birmingham Literature Festival in October. We first performed at the same event in October, at Jan Watts Phenomenal Women at Birmingham University for the Books of the Future UOB Festival. Since then we were at a Twilight Poetry Event at The Rep, organised by Joanna Skelt *Birmingham’s current poet laureate. We have been in the arena together at the amphitheatre at the Library of Birmingham performing for Jan Watt’s Poetry For Lunch. Charlie is also in the Decadent Divas although due to a top secret mission she was unable to make the latest Confab Cabaret event, this means the Decadent Divas have to come back and entertain us as the full 4 piece another time.

Laura Yates, one quarter of the Decadent Divas headlined at Mouth & Music, as well as performing at Confab Cabaret as a Decadent Diva.

Ddotti Bluebell runs Word Up at York’s Bakery and also performed at Najma Hush’s Dance Exhibition Gallery opening, which is where I met her and performed newly written Dance poems. I have seen her perform at Word Up too. She is another encourager on the scene and having only recently met her, feels like I have known her a lot longer.

There were 3 new to me poets to enjoy; Gary Longden, Matt Man Windle and Ian Bowkett. Sarah L Dixon treated us to some of her poems too. When you are an active poet you often hear the same poems being performed by people in different venues so it is great to come across new poets who have 100% unknown material. That’s not to say that I dislike hearing great poetry being repeated.

Everyone was incredible and the audience were blown away in quick succession by each performer.

The evening was kicked off by Sarah L Dixon – I enjoyed her poems, observations of her three old and the world children inhabit, touching and entertaining. She introduces each poet simply by name and lets their poetry speak for itself.

Sarah L Dixon © 2014 Gary Longden

Sarah L Dixon © 2014 Gary Longden

 

Ruth Stacey was the first to step up to the mic. I love Ruth’s poems and I know she doesn’t often perform. She is currently having great success in print and I look forward to reading her Foxboy collection when it comes out later this year.

It was a real treat to hear Ruth and she shared poetry I hadn’t heard before alongside some of my favourites of hers that I have heard before.

Ruth Stacey  © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Ruth Stacey © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Laura Yates performed next and treated us to her Birmingham poem which I will never tire of. She is such a confident performer and we all enjoyed her work. Another poet that I could have spent all night listening to.

Laura Yates © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Laura Yates © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Sarah James performed next, I haven’t heard her for a while – as I missed her headline at SpeakEasy due to Mr G’s birthday. I love listening to anything she reads her play on words and intelligent understanding of linguistics makes much more sense when it comes from her voice.

sarah james © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Sarah James © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Gary Longden performed next and treated us to some cheeky poems, none of which I had heard as this was the first time I met him, I liked what I heard and hope to listen to some more of his witty poetry soon.

Gary Longden © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Gary Longden © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Bobby Parker in complete contrast took us all deep inside of him and shared some extremely raw poems which he performed confidently and then he shared one of my favourite poems about a friend who encouraged him to go to a special event, I won’t say more – you will have to buy his books or hear him perform.

Bobby Parker © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Bobby Parker © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Charlie Jordan kicked off the second half with her wonderful performance. A true performance poet. She has been a Poet Laureate for Birmingham and the first poem she performed, I had heard before. The second one was new to me and absolutely adorable. She took us with us every step of the journey when she performed that.

Charlie Jordan © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Charlie Jordan © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Ian Bowkett came next with his PHD and humour – he would have helped me understand Maths if I had met him earlier in my life for sure, he makes numbers fun, very entertaining and for his final piece he performed from heart and completed a Rubix Cube at the same time! COMPLETED! WOW – WOW – WOW! The Brian Cox of poetry (I mean that as a huge compliment) he is much younger of course.

Ian Bowkett © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Ian Bowkett © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

He said he didn’t want to follow Charlie, I have been there and it is a hard act to follow – he did brilliantly!

In fact that was something special about the Quiet Compere tour – these 10 Poets were all top class, there was no judgement on my part but you couldn’t have judged them apart if you’d had to… good job!

Jenny Hope and her beautifully quiet voice, soft and metred came next. Again I love hearing Jenny perform and it had been a while since I last saw her. I loved her set. Could have listened all night. She hooked me in and I didn’t want the bubble to burst.

Jenny Hope © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Jenny Hope © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Ddotti Bluebell came next sharing dynamic poetry, some I had the pleasure of catching at York’s Bakery, it was brilliant – she must have had to use at least 4 voices and entertained us all with memories of her childhood and her brothers and being the only girl. Something I can empathise with.

Ddotti Bluebell © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Ddotti Bluebell © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

 

Matt Man Windle finished the night, great emotive performance he again was another natural born performer and I have since found out a boxer – well his poetry was certainly punchy!

Matt Man Windle © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

Matt Man Windle © 2014 Sarah L Dixon

It was an AWESOME evening (in the true – yes, wow at the universe and it’s awesome expanse) type way and my Birmingham poetry friends met and saw my Worcestershire friends perform. Everyone had time to mingle afterwards, it was great having so many friends at this event.

And the bit I can’t get my head around… Sarah L Dixon (coming from Manchester) had not seen these poets perform before – the evening was slick and each poet brought something special to the event.

Here are the shots from my seat – I really need to upgrade my mobile! © 2014 N Lewis

QCM IanQCM jennyQCM LauraQCM MattQCM RuthQCM Sarah JamesQCM BobbyQCM CharlieQCM GaryQCM ddottiQCM Sarah L Dixon

Check out Gary’s review – through the eyes of a performer.

http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/the-quiet-compere-mac-birmingham/

And Claire Walker’s review here

http://thegirlwhogrewintoacrocodile.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/the-joy-of-publication-and-an-evening-with-the-quiet-compere/

 

cheltenham fest

Sarah L Dixon’s next event can be seen as part of Cheltenham Poetry Festival which starts this week for a week.

A Matter of Life, Death and Poetry
Friday 28 March 2014 at 8:00pm

A touring poetry show.

The Quiet Compere presents A Matter of Life, Death and Poetry

The legendary Quiet Compere events enlist established poets and emerging voices.

The Quiet Compere introduces them with little fanfare, so that the poems (and not the poets’ track records)
tell you all you need to know.

This festival special features a stellar line-up – Rosie Garland, Samir
Guglani, Sarah Maxwell, Bethany W Pope, Stephanie Portersmith, Rod Tame, Avril Staple and
of course the compere herself, Sarah Dixon.

Let poetry show you what really matters! Join us for a selection of darkly funny, thought-provoking and life-changing poetry

Tickets are £5.00/ £4.00 and can be bought here

http://www.cheltenhampoetryfest.co.uk/eventdetail.php?ID=70

 

You can also catch Bobby Parker at the festival

bobby parker1

Schedule – Mid Month Madness

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stanza scrabble A busy week ahead, in addition to work, I have an open mic night, a poetry society Stanza meeting, a Flash Fiction anthology Launch and an informal meeting connected to the writing job I managed to negotiate back in September, which is due to start next month!

I am missing one of the biggest Performance Poetry Events this month due to a family commitment, however the latter will require less energy and I need to remember the ‘balance’. Otherwise it would be two Performance Poetry events!

There are also deadlines for Short stories and poetry submissions as well as working on writing some a Haiku or two and other poetry to submit later in the month. typer

Between now and Tuesday I am hoping to learn another set of poems off by heart. I need to write my next 52 poem (this week is about journeys) and I was hoping to write some poetry about journeys this month. I think this challenge may also create the material I take to Stanza on Friday night.

I am also beginning to create a collection of poetry. Busy, busy, busy!

I have started to read the poetry collections that I bought at the end of last year in the Autumn, starting with Be[yond] by Sarah James (the poet whose book launch opened the world of the local circuit of poets and events to me, back in September 2013).

beyond 

A collection of poems which explore wordplay and the science of language and the universe.

I am also spending the day with webinar interviews playing in the background from webinar

Imagine the possibilities and loving and accepting ourselves, feel good that I took a leap of faith last year and renewed my life over.

Be[yond] Launch Events and Readings

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The adventures of yesterday continued…

I managed to make it back in time for the poetry launch AND I got a seat (which was fantastic) after all that driving. I met Paul and he introduced me to Sarah James – the poet whose book launch it was. She had arranged a perfect night with an eclectic mix of poets performing and reading.

Remembering what Jonathan had said at the network meeting about supporting each other, and because I was curious and at a book launch, I treated myself to a copy of Beyond. And enjoyed lively poetry from Claire Walker, Maggie Doyle (Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2012-2013),  Jenny Hope, Polly Robinson, Heather Wastie and Oxfordshire poet Andrew Smardon.

The atmosphere inside Park’s Café was buzzing and during the interval I talked to lots of other poets.

Maggie told me that they were all celebrating with a curry at the Dilshad Restaurant later, I was invited. I had planned to eat the great food they serve at Parks especially as I had missed lunch but what an opportunity.

I wish I had photos of the massive long table of hungry poets eating, we took up the length of the place! It was great as I got to chat more to some people I had already met and met some others.

Funny how things repeat. At the network meeting there were people advertising Stanza groups, I had never heard of them. They are poetry groups, like writing groups for poets and are run by members of the poetry society, I made a mental note to search the internet for one later. Talking to Maggie she told me half the room at the launch were in the local Stanza group… guess what my next venture is? They have a new member. It will also be great to see these people again.

I went to the event alone, I needn’t have worried by the end of the night I’d met so many poets and made some new friends. It is great to surround yourself with creative people.

And explaining it better than I can some background on Sarah’s poetry collection Be[yond] and some reviews of her amazing talent for words!

Sarah’s second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] is published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, July 2013.

Love & lust, betrayal & endurance, disturbance & peace, life & loss, nature & modern society, language & what lies in the shadows between lines delight and tantalise in Sarah’s latest work.Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 12.09.42

Following on from her prize-winning first collection, Be[yond] combines Sarah’s characteristic crafting and eye for detail, imagery and metaphor with a new, more probing, approach to language and poetics.

The three sections of this collection – Against Air and Water, Through the Ether and From Earth and Fire – guide readers past the beaches of Birmingham, through meditations on water, a dreamworld strangeness, mezzanine memories of France, de-familiarised cityscapes and gorse wildlands to the edges of everyday life, love and language.

In the words of other poets:

“Moving on from her very successful first collection, Sarah James shows that she is not afraid to take risks. Experimenting almost scientifically with form and language, ‘Be [yond]‘ is innovative and adventurous and at the same time accessible and enjoyable.” – Jacqui Rowe

“An inventive voice emerging out of the entwined interstices of the domestic and the relational: precisely observed, embodied, thick with language.” – Scott Thurston

“Sarah James’s background in Linguistics makes for exceptional poetry. The rhythm is beautifully handled at a phonological level, and the imagery is striking. Here, though, the imagery is not just an adornment, it is drawn from various semiotic systems to convey hidden meaning, as if each poem were a text version on Sir Thomas Tresham’s Triangular Lodge.” – Alec Newman, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press editor

© 2013 Sarah James