June – what a busy month, brimming with challenges, competition, festivals and longer term projects, as well as taking stock half way through the year.
My MOOC course How Writers Write Poetry with the University of Iowa finished and I enjoyed an incredibly busy month of performing, writing and getting published. The sparkly, golden bits most people get to see instead of being aware of all the hard work and ground work that caused the success in the first place!
- Voting closed for Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate poems. I reached the final along with 5 other talented poets.
- I did a workshop with David Calcutt and the Caldmore Garden Poets, they were scheduled to perform a group poem at the carnival day on the 13th, which I couldn’t attend as I was working the final Writing Group for Writing West Midlands. Due to the weather this performance has been rescheduled and I can now take part on the 21st July!
- A recent poem of mine from the workshop where e.e. cummings was our starting point – ‘Late Spring’ has been published on David’s blog you can read other poems there too. http://naturalhistoriesblog.com/others-writing/
- My term ‘poeting’ coined last year is becoming widely used by many poets! Hoping to get it into OED next year!
- Jess Davies had her opening night of a new spoken word event in Stirchley at the P Café, it was packed and well attended. Stirchley Speaks – and it certainly did!
- Scary Canary hosted another Permission to Speak, Rob Francis’s fantastic night – NOW FREE!! This month saw Brenda Read-Brown and PTR Williams headline.
- I went to Debbie Aldous’s Spoken Word at The Ort and shared a lovely meal and some Tennis with Tessa Lowe beforehand.
- I spent a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon at Cannon Hill Park, The Mac (Birmingham) with a collective of poets – we took over the storytelling tent whilst they all went for lunch and performed to some greatly enthusiastic children. We are also hoping to get some of our poems hung on trees down by the lake, later this year. We had a special guided tour to this secret location.
© Jasmine Gardosi 2015
All of these events can be read in further detail in my Poetry Wrap post. Enjoy!
Poetry Wrap 5 (A Brief Introduction on Exhaustion)
- The 2nd week of June saw a performance at HOWL and a great packed night of poetry, hosted by Leon Priestnall. Fantastic headliners and I met two poets who I have only seen around and never spoken to before, Luci Hammans and Sipho Eric Dubepart, A.K.A ‘Unhindered Reign’ – one of three headliners, the others being Glyn Phillips and Jess Davies. I met with Sipho a week later at workshop with Candy Royalle.
I spent most of this week on tender hooks and full of nerves and butterflies as it was the WPL final and the Launch of this year’s Worcester Lit Fest. I spent most of the week preparing for it and missed some previous diary entries for open mics due to energy levels, it was a full on week of work, work for me too.
- Friday 12th June was the Poet Laureate Finals, the winner this year was Heather Wastie.
Heather receiving her engraved award with Maggie Doyle at Worcester’s SpeakEasy Lit Fest Special.
© WLF Team 2015
Suz Winspear was the runner up and I came in 3rd position.
© Betti Moretti 2015
Read all about the experience here WLF 2015 The Launch & Poet Laureate Final even typing this has my heart set on edge again!
- The WLF took over my life for the next 10 days, this week I saw Ben Parker, Todd Swift and Chloe Clarke (Young Poet Laureate) performing at the Royal Porcelain Museum, where Ben has just finished his residency and Todd is taking over.
© WLF Team 2015
It was a super night of poetry. I treated myself to Ben’s collection, I love his work.
- I had my final session at The Hive as Assistant Writer to Ian MacLeod, from September I take over the senior writing group as Lead Writer for Writing West Midlands. We invited the parents to come and take part with the end of the session, it was great fun!
- The week started well with news that my poem ‘Beyond Gas Street Basin’ is to be published in an upcoming anthology of city poems called ‘Birmingham Bound’. It was a poem I was commissioned to write last year by Naked Lungs for Birmingham Literature Festival. I am delighted to be in a book all about Birmingham as it is a city that has opened it’s poetry doors for me since the tail end of 2013.
- WLF continued and I had the delight of watching John Hegley at Confab Cabaret, Malvern. A SELL OUT Fringe event.
- WLF I performed at the 42 WLF Special and met Adam Millard for the first time.
- WLF I performed at WLF SpeakEasy Special and thoroughly enjoyed Brenda Read-Brown‘s set.
- WLF I watched the Offa Press Poets, Bert Flitcroft & David Bingham at the Institute before seeing Jonny Fluffypunk return from his Austerity March experience in London to perform for us again. A highlight for me.
- WLF Bert and Jonny joined us on the Summer Solstice Walk up the River Severn, where we all performed poetry at locations along the walk. A super, magical experience.
- I was asked to perform at a fundraiser next month for Arts All Over the Place.
- I attended a workshop with Candy Royalle, the international act at this month’s HTO (Hit the Ode) – which I missed as I was performing at the WLF Special SpeakEasy. It was amazing, she is a forceful spirit, driven and dazzling in her buoyant enthusiasm. Great to meet her, gutted I missed her set. I created 3 poems, in the 3 hours as well as picking up some great performance tips. Mainly driving home some things I already know. It was lovely to work alongside friends too!
- I was invited to be a featured poet, but was unable to accept as I will be at Ledbury Poetry Festival, I am hoping this booking may happen later this year instead. Something else to look forward to!
Read about these events on fine detail here Poetry Wrap 6 & WLF – Worcester Lit Fest & Fringe 2015 – A Wrap! which includes links to individual WLF posts I created throughout the festival.
- I had 2 writing days at the beginning of the week, it has been a while since I have been able to dedicate time to actually writing. I did a lot of market research too and drew up a list of submissions to hit before the end of the month – as I realise I have hardly sent any work out there this year.
- I took part in an open mic as part of my town’s current Festival.
- I went to the Two Towers Brewery to perform as part of Debbie Aldous’s new night Spoken Word and More.
- Droitwich Summer Festival invited 9 performers to entertain with poetry and music at a magical Live Lit event hosted at Park’s Café and organised by Malcolm Wakeman and MC-ed by Fergus McGonigal (everything he touches, turns to gold)! Performers included;
Fergus McGonnigall (previous Worcestershire’s poet laureate) & MC
Heather Wastie (Worcestershire Poet Laureate )
Bridget & Malcolm Wakeman
John & Pauline Franks
Sarah James (runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza) & Val.
It was lovely to go for a meal with people afterwards too and chat away the night. I finally got to bed at 2:30 a.m after I had worked off the adrenalin! I have been looking forward to this event since Sarah James launched her new book The Magnetic Diaries, KFS Press. Since then she has had Hearth published, a collaborative book (Mother Milk Books) and is about to have PlentyFish – her new collection published with Nine Arches Press.
- New opportunities for training presented themselves and I was fortunate to be online at the time. Looking forward to telling you all about this latest venture in September.
- I also continued work on my own collection.
- I had a poem published on Visual Verse – ‘Shame in the City’.
- News of the 52 ANTHOLOGY published by Nine Arches Press – Out soon!
- I performed at Sunday Xpress just before coming home to pack my suitcase! They have found a new home at The edge Artspace, Foundation Arts, a great venue in Digbeth. The room was as crowded as outside (it was a hot day – the beginning of this heat-wave, just in time for my holiday! Loved performing this afternoon, it is the first time I have felt this great after Sunday Xpress, fabulous venue, great people, new faces, abundant talent – just a marvellous mix. Unfortunately I missed the bands this time as I have to make some submissions and pack a suitcase. I will be back over there over the summer though. Fabulous success, deserved after years in the pubs of Digbeth. (There are some gems of bars in Digbeth, just noisy and full of local life that is great for a pint but not so accommodating for a poem!)
All this and more can be found in Poetry Wrap 7
And now I am going on holiday for a much deserved rest!
THE WRITE YEAR WILL BE UPDATED ON MY RETURN