A writer’s life is all about carving out time. We have to learn to be organised. We have to prioritise and we have to work hard.
I have blogposts I am desperate to write about all the wonderful things which fill my diary: poetry festivals, literature festivals, performances, events, projects… but I also need to invest time in the plates spinning precariously above my head.
It’s all about hats really… (this is definitely where I should mention Swindon Poetry Festival, but the reference will not make sense until I blog about it).
The Poet Laureate hat is a tall hat and possesses magical powers!
It can elongate time and gift me extra pairs of hands! I am currently pulling together the Hanbury Hall Poetry Project where a group of 18 poets are writing ekphrastic poetry based on a DAN Art Exhibition.
© Hanbury Hall
Many of the poets are busy creating poetry and I am delighted that I managed to get to the Exhibition, talked to some of the artists, met up with some of the National poets and got poetry written too.
The Vice Chair is organising a competitive element by choosing one poem/poet to also perform at the Celebratory event in the Long Gallery at Hanbury Hall (a National Trust property) on the 30th October. I am organising a reading with some of the poets for November 14th.
This hat is also working on a commission for an event organised by Peter Sutton to raise funds for the Elgar Festival 2018. I am writing poetry for a complete set and also researching the work of Elgar’s contemporaries. I was delighted to be asked to be a part of this project, back in September but a week at the Swindon Poetry Festival followed by another ill under a blanket as well as going back to the day job has halted the flow on creating work somewhat. Peter needs the work for programming so I will be inside the PL Top Hat this weekend for sure.
I told you this was a top hat! I am also working on an exhibition of our Sculpture Trail Poetry for the Jinney Ring, which will be on show in the restaurant throughout November.
Also working on a poetry reading event for this body of work.
I have also been planning my next WPL workshop, this time with children, for Halloween, there are lots of activities planned and it should be a really great afternoon in the library next weekend.
So if you know any little people – send them our way (come with them, obviously), now that WOULD be scary!
The World Mental Health Day Poetry Collection was such a necessary anthology that I scrapped the deadline and opened the submissions to last the term of my Laureateship. I was delighted after performing at the Mental Health & Wellbeing Awareness Event on the 14th to receive a submission from someone who was there.
I am also compiling the first issue of CONTOUR – my digital WPL magazine.
Now my Poet hat looks like this…
if it truly was mine it would have a coffee in the background! It has been a busy time under this hat, mostly the end of September and beginning of October, before the dreaded Swindon Lurgy caught up with me post-festival. I missed lots of events such as Howl, PTS and a workshop. I had hoped to go to many events at the Birmingham Literature Festival, but missed everything apart from the final day.
I went to see Hollie McNish perform from Plum at the Town Hall in Birmingham, it was great to watch Joe Cook supporting her. I missed all of Cheltenham Literature Festival, I missed Wellington Festival as my car needed attention. I did get to Stablemates (finally) – although they came up from London to Birmingham Waterstones. The trains were a nightmare and the total travel time verged on 3 hours… but I think I was lucky that my trains ran at all.
I have planned my next Spark Young Writers for this weekend – getting a little early spooky in.
I am busy preparing INKSPILL for the final weekend in October, especially as I will be workshopping for part of it. The first year, I knew nothing of scheduling and spent the whole time LIVE on the laptop. Since 2014, I have mastered the dark art of WordPress, although I like to be present and LIVE when I can be.
I am also hoping to make it to a few Book Launches before the end of the month!
This is the hat of West Midlands Reader Network Reader in Residence.
For a title that long you need a feather or two. Since our meetings in September I have been working on some reading challenge ideas for Rugby Library and planning my first workshop – to be delivered at the end of November. I am also planning to write a Guest Blog by way of introduction before the real work begins next month.
So although I would love to carve a pumpkin or two, my hands are going to be fairly busy typing for the next week or so!
I owe this blog posts on: Credo, Free Verse Poetry Book Fair, Swindon Poetry Festival, Hollie McNish, Stablemates and more!