Tag Archives: Stafford

Stafford Arts Festival – 6th September

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Photographs © Tom Wyre 2014

An Invitation z st chads

I was invited by Tom Wyre (Stafford Poet Laureate) to take part in Reams of Dreams, a poetry event at St. Chad’s in Stafford Town Centre as part of Stafford Arts Festival on the 6th September.

I lived in Stone (a small canal town close to Stafford) ten years ago and at Jo Bell’s 52 Stratford-Upon-Avon Poetry Festival Event I met fellow 52ers John & Liz Mills, who live in Stone. We talked about me visiting them, I hoped I could, Liz and I thought I might make it in the holidays, but the summer was jam packed. Then I found out John was also performing at this event and our reunion was booked.

A Pilgrimage to a Previous Home

It was strange going back to Staffordshire, I have not been back for ten years, Stone had sprawled, changed a lot but was still familiar and it felt like I had never left once I was back there. I drove around the town and bought some Oatcakes from the General Store. Saw the pub we used to drink in and drove past the end of the road I used to live in.

I arrived late – I had hoped to get a day in Stone, but I had accepted some work and had to take some wedding clothes shopping back for a refund, I spent way too much on clothes that I hope won’t fit me soon. Although the pre-Wedding diet/ exercise plan hasn’t gone so well since the summer. My younger brother gets married in early October.

John and Liz were wonderful hosts and great cooks too, we had a fabulous night and I was wined and dined. We had an early start the next morning as the event started just after 9am. John was one of the ‘red eyed poets’ as he said.

Reams of Dreams z st chads 3

A celebration of poetry and spoken word at St Chad’s Church, Stafford as part of the Stafford Arts Festival hosted by Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate Tom Wyre. In beautiful settings with wonderful acoustics, many of the best local wordsmiths will showcase their work throughout the day, culminating with the announcement of Staffordshire’s Young Poet Laureate 2014-15.

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STAFFORD ARTS FESTIVAL POETRY at St Chad’s Stafford today at 9.30am – 3.30pm — Free Entry and please come along to listen to some of the finest local and UK poets.

© Tom Wyre 2014

A wonderful line up it was too! Many of my poetry friends made the trip across to Stafford for this event too, including Surjit Dhami, Mal Dewhirst, John Mills, Gary Carr, Al Barz, Mike Alma, Mogs & Fergus McGonigal.

STAFFORD ARTS FESTIVAL POETRY —-

SAT 6TH SEPTEMBER 2014

“LINE-UP” ST CHAD’S CHURCH, GREENGATE ST, STAFFORD.

START / RBW Writers (TBC) /

Public Open Mic Slot 09.30 – 09.45

Surjit Dhami 9.45
Janet Jenkins 9.55
Jack Edwards 10.05
Mal Dewhirst 10.15
David Calcutt 10.25
John Mills 10.35
Gary Carr 10.45
Runaway Writers 10.55–11.10
Brendan Hawthorne 11.10
Cherry Doyle 11.20
Kuli Kohli 11.30
Kezzabelle 11.40
June Palmer 11.50
Phil Binding 12.00
Al Barz 12.10
Mike Alma 12.20
Mogs 12.30

LUNCH 12.40– 13.00

The Young Poet Laureate Applicants 13.00–13.30
John Williams 13.30
Stoke Poetry Stanza 13.40 -13.55
Nina Lewis 13.55
John Lindley 14.05
Ben Wilkinson 14.15
Fergus McGonigal 14.25
Barry Patterson 14.35
The Lichfield Poets (Tribute to Jan Arnold) 14.45–15.00
Tom Wyre 15.00
Natalie Cotterill 15.10
Presentation of Young Poet Laureate 15.20

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It was a fantastic day, an overload of poetry and audience who came and went. The Young Laureates were good, glad I didn’t have to judge that one! A great event to be part of and lovely to see the town alive with Arts and hear Poets I had not come across before.

Full Diary – Be Careful what you Wish For!

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I am joking – I love wishes coming true…. but it does make for a busy life!

I cannot believe the summer break is over and I am back to work next week – as well as watching a show on Monday, performing a set in Ludlow on Tuesday (which will possibly be after a day at work), resting Wednesday and Thursday and then heading on a road trip – back to where I used to live to stay with poetry friends I met at the 52 picnic this summer and then performing at a festival in Stafford on Saturday then heading back to Birmingham to watch Ben Norris in his one man show at the MAC! Followed by 2 day rest and then Mouth & Music, a Dance Workshop, SpeakEasy, Stanza, Writing West Midlands Writer jobs and finally my One Year A Poet Party*.

ZZ Worcester Music Fest - my first named Bill

The end of August brings a very busy weekend. I am performing at the Worcester Music Festival later and tomorrow having an evening event Words and Sounds – which happens every 12 – 18 months – I wasnt on the circuit last time.

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This week I performed at 42 on Wednesday night and Thursday night I went along to Naked Lungs – who have booked me to perform next month – both were great nights.

As far as reviewing my events I plan to wrap these 4 events up in one post (early Sept) and probably will have to post my review of August then too… as I havent been keeping an up to date draft this month.

This afternoon – before going off to the festival I am DESPERATELY trying to write poetry for submission – all deadlined for tomorrow – tomorrow morning Mr G and I have to sort out the allotment (we have had it for 5 years but it is time to let it go) we are homegrowing in the garden at home and even then we sometimes dont pick the stuff fast enough! Then there is a joint family meal – my younger brother is getting married (excited) and it is the Groom/Bride Sunday Lunch as his fiancee’s family live in a different County and she thought it would be good to meet everyone before the wedding.

Then I have a small window to send submissions I need to write today before performing and somewhere in between I need to practise my sets!

An enjoyable but hectic time ….

* One Year A Poet – In addition I am organising (and have been since end of July) a poetry night to celebrate one year back in my poetry skin. So far it is very much concept and I have just a fortnight to make it a reality – more on that soon.

So for now go and enjoy some archive posts!

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Happy writing x