The last 6 weeks has been much harder than the 15 years I spent not writing whilst I focused on my career. A career I gave up on in 2013 after an 8 year slide into depression. I have spent the past 5 years doing what I do best without having to put up with all the hoop jumping, red tape, politics and thankless 80 hour weeks! I also spent the last half a decade saying a resounding NO to any opportunity to work longer than a 2 week period.
However with an International Poetry Festival scheduled I felt the universe was delivering when I was offered a complete term. Here I am halfway through, I managed a whole month and a half back at the chalk-face full time (almost, some pre-booked poetry events allowed me a little time off for good behaviour). It has certainly been a hectic whirlwind working and freelancing simultaneously!
Tonight I am celebrating my 9 day freedom by working on everything in the montage above and more. My poetry skin is slipped back on and I do not need to think about work (or report writing) for a while.
This Bank Holiday weekend I am spending some time offline with Mr. G. as the Bank Holiday at the beginning of May was filled with Poetry Events.
I have a fortnight left as Worcestershire Poet Laureate and excitingly the judging process has begun to find the next one, the three finalists have been announced by themselves across social media, not sure WLF have posted the official announcements yet.
I am planning my penultimate Spark Young Writer group for Writing West Midlands, many of us have been given the nod this year. It is not a forever job, they tell you this at the beginning. WWM like to support as many writers as they can and they feel these roles benefit from fresh Leaders and so, if you are lucky you will squeeze about 3 years out of the deal. I will be sad to lose this part of my writing life, but it has been a fantastic opportunity and left me with a bank of wonderful, creative plans and activities to incorporate into future work/workshops for Young Adults/children.
I have a backlog of Blog posts to come reviewing Book Launches, Festival appearances and interviews.
I am working on Issue 4 of Contour, the final WPL digital magazine and reading submissions to the Science collection. There is still time to submit your work to both, just follow these links:
The Twin Town is going well, the European Project hosts just 4 collaborations, certainly an easier task to manage than ATOTC, with it’s mammoth 23 pairings! Several French/Anglo pairs have completed their poems and the deadline is this evening, so I am hoping to wrap it up before the end of my tenure (10th June). The French work is being translated, a truly bilingual collection.
I am currently organising events for the Poetry Day at Artsfest 2018 and as part of the Poetry Extravaganza in the evening we will have the first UK ATOTC Collective Reading.
A few weeks ago many poets received copies of Bonnie’s Crew, a poetry anthology compiled by Kate Garrett to raise funds for Leeds General Infirmary Congenital Hearts Unit, via the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.
Kate agreed to an interview a few weeks ago, I hope to start promoting it as soon as I can. It is a fabulous collection of poems.
Here is her Just Giving Page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bonnieandcrew
And then I shall have an early night and be bright eyed for getting creative tomorrow.