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.
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.
Events I performed at include;
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
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.
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.
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.
Sunday Xpress, Birmingham, hosted by Brendon, headlined by Ash Dickinson.
Performances and Events
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.
I also managed to get to Stanza this month again, hosted by Ian Glass, a very packed group this month.