Tag Archives: Wenlock Poetry Festival

WENLOCK POETRY FESTIVAL 2015

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I LOVE WENLOCK POETRY FESTIVAL – it is such a great programme and a lovely town too. I dream of a year when I can book in and make a weekend of it. Last year I went alone, on the Sunday and bumped into lots of people I knew. This year there were so many people going that I knew, it was part festival, part reunion.

wenlock poetry festival

The programme as ever was a delight with so much choice. Claire Walker and I spent a while with the decision of which events to book, we had a limited budget as we had to get there and wanted to buy people’s poetry on the day.

There were lots of events I would have loved to attend on the Sunday including workshops, I had half a mind (a silly notion) that after driving to Wenlock and back I would have the energy for Cheltenham Festival the next day. Truth – my Sunday was a day of recovery and had I been at the festival would have probably missed the morning!

wenlock poetry fest

We were about to set off when we heard from our friend Kathy Gee, she’d arrived! We were only about an hour away. We hoped to meet up with her in the morning, but reception and signal are two things that Wenlock is not great for, we managed a quick conversation outside the bookshop, WPF Trish farrell © 2014 Tish Farrell she was in the pottery going to see Kei Miller. A poet I recently discovered at a workshop in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Claire I started out at The Edge (Arts Centre), perused the book stall and bumped into Hannah Lowe, who was an inspiration to Claire when she started writing, great meeting your heroes in the first half hour.

We dipped into the poetry film and then decided to walk down to the town.

We bumped into Mogs (who had come 2nd in the Wenlock Poetry Slam the night before, the winner this year was Paul Francis). We saw Jo Bell, Jean Atkin and Emma Watkinson, love the fact you just see poets walking about on the streets of Wenlock.

We went to George and Dragon for lunch and the open mic Poems & Pints hosted by Mark Niel. I read two poems, the first one competing with two noisy dogs barking at each other. Tough crowd. I wasn’t stopped in the street this year but I thoroughly enjoyed the event and listening to all the poetry.

WPF G G Trish Farrell

© 2014 Tish Farrell

After this we walked up to the Pottery for our first ticketed event – 52.

Jo Bell

For the 52 weeks of 2014, Jo Bell ran online poetry group 52 under the banner “Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going.” A unique brand of collective critical encouragement generated the largest workshopping group in the world. The resulting community has claimed prizes and publications ranging from Bridport to the Rialto, from the Charles Causley prize to valued fellowships and PhD places.

Join some of the 52ers including organisers Jo Bell and Norman Hadley for a celebratory reading, and to hear work from a new anthology published by our publisher in residence, Nine Arches Press.

Norman Hadley

https://fiftytwopoetry.wordpress.com/

I was not prepared for how emotional reuniting with everyone was let alone the event itself – and of course the aftermath of packs of 52ers let loose on Wenlock once more.

52 wen© 2015 Rachael Clyne 

It was the best party atmosphere ever. Even greater than the initial impact of Stratford Poetry Festival 2014, where we were strangers. We all piled into the Pottery, Norman Hadley (Head Boy) Master of Ceremonies and he did such a grand job, he got through all the names in the hat – those of us who had read last year in Stratford and those who hadn’t (who went first of course)! It was emotional.

52 wen 2© 2015 Rachael Clyne 

He made Jo Bell get up and speak at the end too.

52 jo Jo Bell © 2015 Norman Hadley 

52 and the extended prompts of Norman has recently come to an end and I think we all feel it a bit. Thank goodness for Hannah Linden who founded a group for us to continue sharing our successes and the community.

After the event a bunch of us 52ers went to the Poetry Café and I popped in to see Deborah Alma, The Emergency Poet, on the way, to pick up a prescription to draw me to the ocean.

 © 2014 Writing West Midlands

© 2014 Writing West Midlands

www.emergencypoet.com  EP dot com

 In the Poetry Café I saw Jean Atkin, Poet in Residence at the festival and bought a much sought after copy of Luck’s Weight. The book of poems alongside Andrew Fusek Peters which grew out of her Acton Scott Farm residency 2014.

Then it was back to  The Edge for the rest of our events.

Jonathan Edwards – Costa Poetry Prize Winner– his event was great. I am inspired that, like me, he is a teacher too.

The opportunity to hear the Costa Poetry Prize winner for 2014 Jonathan Edwards reading from his prize winning debut collection ‘My Family and other Superheroes’, and talking to Anna Dreda about his Costa win.

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Jonathan Edwards’s first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren) won the Costa Poetry Award 2014 and was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2014. He won the Terry Hetherington Award for young Welsh writers in 2010, received a Literature Wales New Writer’s Bursary in 2011, and in 2012 won prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition and the Basil Bunting Award. He won the Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition in 2014. His work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, including Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review and The North.

Jo Bell and Robert Peake with Nine Arches Press launching their new collections

We warmly welcome The Canal Laureate, Jo Bell, described by Dame Carol Ann Duffy as “one of the most exciting poets writing today,” alongside the illuminating and sharp-minded Robert Peake to Wenlock for 2015. 

We are thrilled to announce that both Jo and Robert will be launching their new collections at this year’s festival: 
Kith

‘Kith’ by Jo Bell is her  long-awaited second collection spanning love, sex, boats and friendship and yet so much more, as these bold and generous poems interweave bigger questions of place, identity and community and what these mean to us, here and now. Jo Bell joins us to launch her long-awaited new collection, Kith. Her work is sharp, joyous, precise and plain. As the Poetry Society’s Canal Laureate she covers the industrial waterfront, but is often diverted for a roll in the hay. These poems celebrate our fellow-travellers, honouring deep friendships, one-night stands and the ongoing pursuit of home. “MacCaig meets Bukowski – on the towpath.” 

Robert Peake The Knowledge
‘The Knowledge’ by Robert Peake is a stunning a collection of stirring and delicately attuned poems that not only roam but actively seek – travelling to all manner of places but also moving through time, taking leaps of faith or journeys into memory and sensation.

A wonderful start to your festival evening!

Introduced by Jonathan Davidson with Jane Commane, Nine Arches Press

It was great to finally get my hands on a copy of Kith and to speak with Jo, although I missed the evening catch up over Curry as I was at another event. I will make sure we get to speak at Stratford! It was great to meet Robert, the man behind the Transatlantic Poetry sessions I have enjoyed this year.

and Hollie McNish to finish the night off. Hollie McNish

This April, the extremely talented Hollie McNish will be hitting the road once again, after her first UK tour in October 2014 sold out across the country. She has now added a further 12 dates, including Wenlock. The gig will be an hour of pure unadulterated poetry, spanning two albums and one book, to be released March 2015. A true festival gem!

Hollie is a UK poet who straddles the boundaries between the literary, poetic and pop scenes. She has garnered titles like “chick of the week” (MTV), “internet sensation” (Best Daily)” , “really, really amazing” (Davina McCall) and poet Benjamin Zephaniah stated “I can’t take my ears off her”. Her poem “Embarrassed” was tweeted to fans by renowned singer Pink. Her album Versus was released in October 2014, recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London.

It was a bonus to see a set from Emma Purshouse too.

wenlock 2015

Other highlights included buying MyFanwy Fox’s collection and falling over at the feet of Liz Berry, bless her. Mostly, discovering a festival that doesn’t just repeat the success of the previous year, but builds on it.

I had a great Poetry Day and I look forward to next year!

LINKS:
https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/a-great-day-at-wenlock-poetry-festival/

http://www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org/

A Poetry Wrap

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CN-1780-logo-uofiowanapofeature3WWM PINKcaldmore4BL me Universe poem

I am incredibly busy at the moment and don’t have the hours needed to blog spare, so for a while I am going to follow suit and do what other busy bloggers do – reduce my week into a wrap post. The absolutely amazing writing life happenings will still get a individual post though.

This week I have been working full-time as well as organising sets, writing new poetry and working on several projects. My MOOC course with the University of Iowa finally started! Postponed since March. It has been a worthwhile move so far and has created several pages of poetry. I continue to write poetry for NaPoWriMo – although I realise I have not blogged any extracts of these yet. Caldmore Garden Poets are working on a collaborative piece for the Carnival (and later in the summer, a festival). Unfortunately, I can’t make the Performance as I have my final WWM writers group on the 13th before the summer break. I am also sending David Calcutt workshop poetry to be published on his Natural Histories website.

This week two opportunities suddenly arose and I  submitted a commission proposal for a summer festival and made a bid/application for another event.

I am looking to Wenlock Poetry Festival this weekend. Before that I am reading at a Book event for Restless Bones Poetry Anthology in Birmingham tonight, attending a meeting with Writing West Midlands, hoping to catch ‘Men In General’ tomorrow night on their Worcester leg of the tour, back to Birmingham Friday night for Ddotti Bluebell and Jasmine Gardosi’s Word Up event where Sarah Dixon (Quiet Compere) is headlining alongside Bobby Parker and Jackie Smallbridge (Scrubber Jack). On Sunday I am tempted to get over to Cheltenham Poetry Festival to see Sarah James & Angela Topping and also Math Jones. I am not sure I will have enough energy for that though – especially as I have full time work at the beginning of next week in an incredibly challenging environment.

Motherʼs Milk – Teika Bellamy, Sarah James, Angela Topping
11am-12 midday, Playhouse Theatre Lounge, £6/4
Two prize-winning poets – Sarah James and Angela Topping- have joined forces in the first of a new
series of poetry duets being published by Mother’s Milk Books. Sarah and Angela will be joined by
Dr Teika Bellamyof Mother’s Milk for a Q&A session, where the focus of the discussion will be how,
as mothers, we can best meet the demands of family life whilst still pursuing our own creative projects.

Math Jones – The Other Side of Sleep Reading at Cheltenham Poetry Festival
Saturday at 2:30pm Arachne Press Event

Oxfam Bookshop 31 Cambray Place GL50 1JP

I would highly recommend this events if you can get to the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. There is a wealth of great events in the festival programme this year. It is just a shame it clashes with Wenlock Poetry Festival too.

author_fuel_greeting_card-rdd5bef2736024fb4880dc3b6eca7b7f5_xvuak_8byvr_325Next week I am going to the sua litfest to see Rachel Kelly, Susanna Howard and Jill Fraser. I am going with mum, who switched me onto Rachel Kelly’s book to begin with. 1803_BlackRainbow_Dhb.indd

Wednesday I am performing at an Open Mic, Thursday sees some writing deadlines. I will also be completed Napowrimo, writing assignments for my MOOC and preparing my  next Headline set and planning for the next WWM group which I have the delight of leading for the 2nd time this year.

AND BREATHE …

Introducing Daniel Sluman

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Daniel Sluman

Daniel Sluman is a UK Poet, his second collection comes out later this year – I am proud to announce that we will be blogging and promoting Daniel’s forthcoming collection, here at A Writers Fountain.

Sonia Hendy-Isaac © 2014

Sonia Hendy-Isaac
© 2014

Throughout the coming months I will be hosting all things Daniel Sluman. We appreciate re-blogs and shares on your social media.

ds nine arches

Daniel is published by Nine arches Press, a highly sought publisher, they are actually the first Publisher in Residence this year at the Wenlock Poetry Festival (April), and are also publishing Jo Bell (Kith) and Sarah Leavesley later this year too.

Introducing Daniel

Daniel Sluman’s poems have appeared widely in journals such as Cadaverine, Popshot, Shit Creek Review, and Under the Radar. He received an MA in Creative & Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire in 2012 and his debut full-length collection, Absence has a weight of its own, was published in 2012. His second collection, ‘the terrible’, will be published Autumn/Winter 2015, also with Nine Arches Press. He tweets here.

LINKS

Follow this link to buy/ find out more about Daniel’s first collection ‘Absense has a weight of its own’.

http://www.ninearchespress.com/publications/poetry-collections/absence-has-a-weight-of-its-own.html

© 2014 Nine Arches

© 2014 Nine Arches

Daniel’s first collection reviewed by Amy McCauley

‘Dealing with a poet of extreme integrity.’

http://www.drfulminare.com/slumanreview.php

LOOK OUT FOR OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL SLUMAN COMING SOON!

The Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room

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A superb night – an amazing first half, I was totally absorbed, glad I could sit and enjoy, this is not to say the 2nd half wasn’t also great – just treat after treat in the first and perhaps my mind was more attentive (not thinking about the return journey, in the dark)! Great 2nd half too! glad I could sit and enjoy. Good mix of poetry tonight! I had a fab time! It was lovely to see the Shropshire crowd again and although it is a journey across there it is worth it! The atmosphere is warm and I love the venue and all the lampshades. sitting room

And as if that much love wasn’t enough Andrew Fusek Peters was there, I met him at Wenlock Poetry Festival and discovered some of his poetry is from a place I know well…

It was good to hear him read and I got very excited by the prospect of getting a signed copy of his book (which I’d not got enough money for by the end of the day in Much Wenlock)! He didn’t have enough copies.

DIP

© 2014 Random House

 

 

Synopsis

‘This is our day of reconfiguration, where the mist has wiped the sea from the very face of the earth and the sun is swaddled far from the reach of human eye…

In Dip, Andrew Fusek Peters describes an extraordinary year of wild swimming. He leads us to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and hidden pools, into wild waters and untamed landscapes that have the potential to surprise and move us in unexpected ways.

Following in the wake of great writers such as Richard Jeffries and Edward Thomas, Dip combines meditations on place, history and myth with sharp observation and a poet’s eye. It is also a personal journey: swimming through all four seasons, Andrew Fusek Peters surfaces at last from deep depression. Lyrical, honest and incisive, Dip is about the many ways in which immersing ourselves in the elements can restore us to ourselves.

andrew f peters portrait (1 of 1)

About the Author

Britain’s tallest poet, Andrew Fusek Peters has written over 100 books for all ages with his wife, Polly, including award-winning poetry collections, verse novels and fiction. Their work has appeared on Poetry Please and Radio 3 Words & Music, amongst other places. For several years, Andrew was an itinerant arts presenter for Central TV and has enjoyed a varied broadcasting career. Today, he lives and works in Shropshire, where he is passionate about the countryside and addicted to the pleasures of wild swimming.

 Copyright © 2014 The Random House Group, a Penguin Random House Company

http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/editions/9781846044472

This summer he is doing some exciting days DIP Shropshire -workshops that involve wild swims, which is one way he helped stabilise his mind and emotions throughout his depression. I would love to attend one, but I hate swimming, we will see.

Dip Shropshire

It was a fab evening and I discovered several new poets/ artists and lapped up the warm welcome. I think my set was okay and exactly on time so James Sheard didn’t have to evil eye me off the stage! 😉 I only wish I could make the venue closer to home, learn to teleport or employ (a voluntary) poetry chauffeur!

Thanks Deborah Alma & Jean Atkin!

 © 2014 Writing West Midlands

© 2014 Writing West Midlands

 

© 2014 Jean Atkin

© 2014 Jean Atkin

Review of April – A Little Late

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writingrut I can hardly believe that it’s May already! I have fallen behind with posting because I have been busy doing. I thought March was a great month – until April KICKED IT! That’s the greatest reward about doing what you want to do. Every month brings achievement. I still have to pinch myself sometimes – but then why should I be surprised? I am working hard towards a goal. Along that road there are setbacks and fortunate moments. That is all I am experiencing, it’s not so special. It is however, something I am very grateful for, especially after my writer self has been stuck in the dark for so long.

waiting-for-perfection

The greatest thing is that writing is like riding a bike, you don’t forget how to do it. People tell me I am lucky and I don’t doubt their opinion (despite knowing what I know about my luck – which is the polar opposite of luck, something akin to calamity)! What people forget (just like those gold medal winners at the Olympics*) is that there was a lot of groundwork first and I have to admit, some natural, bigger than I am influence at work here.

I haven’t just come to writing. I have come back to writing after more than a 10 year break. I am a published poet and had my first success as a 15 year old. Nowadays that would make me a young writer, but this term wasn’t used back in the day, nor were there the opportunities of 16-25 groups and collectives, or even an essence of taking writers seriously unless they were adults. The world was different back then.

Later on, after graduating, I went ‘back to school’ to train on a creative writing course that was tutored by professionals in each field. It was modular and covered pretty much every genre. There were many times when the said professional told me that I should pursue that area of writing as that is where my talent lay, there is no greater feeling. write

Of course, that’s nothing special lots of people can write across genres and actually if you want to make money from writing it is important that you can. Some people might need to learn their trade and improve over time, whatever you set your mind to – you should be able to realise with time and effort. Every success person says so.

There is also that school of thought – that when you key into your natural, born to do expectation that you can become successful. I know I will never play football professionally, I doubt I will swim the channel – but I have full and complete belief there will come a day when there is a book on the shelf in a bookshop with name on. So you pursue what you love and if you happen to be naturally talented, then go you!

motivate disney

It is a skill people can learn – but your unique voice is what will sell your work – and editors can tell when that’s not a solid, three-dimensional form.

Yes, I have experienced success already. Yes, I am grateful, yes I am a surprised & excited by what is happening. There are plenty of people who have done more than me and still not achieved – similarly there are people who haven’t done nearly as much and have received more kudos in a shorter amount of time.

The biggest LESSON is this –motivation sign

Get a mirror, look at yourself… that’s your competition. It is easy to fall into comparing your success with others, but don’t. Look at where you are and where you were, that’s your success!

 

* Olympics – back in 2013 I started writing again and gave myself a 16 year span, equivalent to 4 x Olympics, in September (9 months in) I rediscovered poetry and have settled on this being at the core of my writing plan. Although I can write in other genres, I feel no novel in me, I do feel many poetry collections, it is the form that happens the most naturally. It is amazing looking back to September and seeing how far things have come on in just 7 months! I only imagine how great 1 year, 2 years will be.

This year the opportunity for Poet Laureate has come up and I decided against standing for it – despite everyone else thinking that I would go for it! Maybe next year or the year after. There are so many possibilities out there to grow and expand, it will happen.

 

APRIL

So onto April. Let’s see how it went.

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Followers:

714 Followers now enjoy splashing around in the fountain, that’s 34 new followers this month – thanks to you all, especially a big thanks to those of you who like and comment – it is good to know I am not alone.

Projects:

I attempted to complete Camp Nanowrimo and NaPoWriMo, however, it was a really busy month and I will raise my hand up and admit (unlike last year) I didn’t make it! I managed to write lots of poems, some days writing more than one. I have kept the prompts and will continue to complete this mission over the next 8 months. 2014-Participant-Vertical-Bannernapo

I had hoped that joining Camp NaNo would help me get the short stories written that I needed to complete. Unfortunately I didn’t even get started and it was a shame because this year – FINALLY I had a full cabin and they were active and supportive, I just bit off more than I could chew. At the moment, this year I am working on so much that I am unsure that these excellent writing opportunities are good for me. I will look carefully at my schedule before I decide on the summer camp.

I am still participating in 52.

 

PUBLISHED

born free Last month I told you that I had 2 poems published in the up and coming Born Free Foundation anthology. The exciting news is that at a gig I did at The Ort, reading poems I had written for 52, several new poems were heard. The next day I submitted them by request and I believe they will appear too in this collection. So that’s 4, the most I have had in any one place at any one time!

 

Wenlock Poetry Trail / Festival

I managed to get to Wenlock Poetry Festival, find my poem AND get a photo or two of me in front of Croft Originals. (More  photos to follow.)

Copyright Paul Francis 2014

Copyright Paul Francis 2014

WPF 001

Copyright Paul Francis 2014

 

Acton Scott Historical Farm  

Jean Atkin has become the resident poet at Acton Scott Farm, she has created a poetry fence. WONDERFUL! I was lucky enough to get a short poem on there.

 

Acton Scott Poetry fence

Copyright Jean Atkin 2014

 

 

Events:

This month has been action packed, I have had many great opportunities!

I missed several events at the beginning of the month due to fatigue. Cheltenham Poetry Festival will happen again next year as will the WLF Hill walk and poetry event (although it was pretty much rained off this year)! Later in the month I missed all World Book Night events & also a writers’ network meeting arranged By Heide Goody/ Pigeon Park Press, a FREE writing workshop at the MAC & a local arts network meeting.

I had rehearsals for my first collaborative performance with Tim Scarborough, a talented drummer/ percussionist and poet.

Mouth & Music –

Dualogue – great set by David Culcutt and Nadia Kingsley (who I missed again in Stratford-Upon-Avon last night) and a great night for all. My set with Tim went down really well – and I am collaborating with him again now on a different set/event as well as taking the original set back on the road to Birmingham later this month.

 

Writing West Midlands –

Worked as an assistant writer and attended a meeting with the other writers which was great fun as well as informative and has led to further opportunities to support the Hayley Frances’ Page Talk project, a creative month resulting in a performance. I think I may end up being used to literally volunteer as a steward on the festival day – 8th June, or maybe there will be more I can offer/ do as a practioneer/writer.

The Hive –

WLF & Ledbury Poetry Festival had there first joint venture, organised by Ruth Stacey to bring poets and poetry to people in Worcester. This event was great and I really enjoyed seeing Angela France again and talking to Martin Malone.

Female Force –

Was Photogiraffe’s 3rd exhibition launch, it took place at the Urban Coffee House, I was only able to make the first half as I had to go to work as an assistant writer. It was a great event and I am looking forward to her 4th and final exhibition this week (Monday night)!

Female Force

Poetry For Lunch  x 3

I took advantage of the Easter Holidays – I usually have work at the time this event takes place at the Library of Birmingham. I read for a couple of weeks and then this week our Stanza group took over.

The first week of these 3 sessions we had the honour of Frank Skinner in the audience – he actually stood there, watched and was entertained for some time before (I presume) hot footing it down to the Hippodrome!

Thanks to everyone for letting us have the whole session.

Jan Watts has organised an extra morning event this Tuesday – but I have to go back to work and earn some money!

PFL (the one with celebrity audience)

PFL

Hit the Ode

I have managed to get to these gigs for the past few months, this one was very special – due to the headline acts; SHANE KOYCZAN – Winner of the US Slam Poetry Championship, JASMINE COORAY & JODI ANN BICKLEY.

You can always tell QUALITY line ups when you look around the room and spot HEADLINE ACTS just paying to watch!
I had asked for a spot and was put on the reserve list. I had already performed at Poetry For Lunch and then a minute before they started Bodhan came and told me there had been a no show and so I had one of the 6 spots, much to the envy of many poets in the room, everyone wanted to perform on the same stage as Shane. I felt awful because I hadn’t prepared a set or practised, as I didn’t think anyone would give up these gold-dust spots. Fortunately I had a handbag full of poetry and I took the page to the stage this time!

I needed to do this as my 1st experience, in February was the worst, WORST set I had EVER performed and it knocked my confidence a lot. I attempted to perform from memory before I was ready – I have since performed from memory at Word Up and do now know (for tonight’s SLAM) 3 of my poems off by heart.

It was a great night and my poems went down well. It’s great when headliners talk to me about my poetry – so thank you Jodi.

HIT THE ODE

The Ort

This was one of the best gigs for Spoken Word at The Ort – for attendance (standing room only) and acts, lots of musicians/ bands. It was a high energy gig and it was here that I performed some of my 52 poems that will be published alongside the animal poems in the Born Free anthology.

The Ort

Word Up

Word Up was great as always, I missed last month due to an events clash. It was great to see everyone again and Kate Walton (Story Tramp) made it as she had come home for a quick visit before hitting all the festivals, it was lovely to see her again. A night of great, high quality performances and lots of fun! Ian Bowkett was headlining and it was great to see him again! This time he came with his poetry book and I had my first 21st Century experience of the download card experience. I will be getting an e-reader copy.

Next month I am going to have the miss the waffle house afterwards though as I didn’t get in until after midnight.

Word Up

Wenlock poetry festival

This was a great weekend festival, which I managed to get to for the last day, I still haven’t had time to update my blog post about Wenlock, but I will be posting it soon and will pin it.

 

George & Dragon open mic with Mark Niel – Shropshire/ Wenlock Poetry Festival

Throughout the weekend there were Open Mics and a Poetry Slam, I made it in time for the final lunch time open mic organised and hosted by Mark Niel – it was great and wonderful to see Anthony Owen popping in to read a couple of his poems from collection. It was great to see so many people had come for lunch and poetry, tables were even reserved in the small front bar at The George & Dragon.

I was walking back from the Edge Arts Centre later in the day and was stopped by a couple who had seen me perform and wanted to tell me how much they loved my first poem.

 

Saints, Sinners & Fools, Pigeon Park Press

Last week saw the Pigeon Park Press host an event in Kafe 6/8 (which is another one I haven’t had time to post up on the blog yet). They run about 4 events a year, I missed the Winter Stories event at the end of last year due to clashing events. This night clashed with Drummonds 42 but as that is monthly and these are one offs and I had been invited by Heidi Goody, I thought I would go. It was great to share poetry with a new audience and it was also the first time I have seen a play extract performed as part of spoken word/open mic night.

Again, it was great getting feedback on my poems from people who hadn’t heard any before.

Submissions

I have been mainly concentrating on performing this month as you can see, alongside attempting new writing – particularly poetry – as part of NaPoWriMo. However, I realised last month that there are many opportunities that I miss due to being busy and ultimately to achieve my goal I have to start getting published again.

A Minor – I submitted some poems.

Wenlock Poetry Competition – my 1st poetry competition entry. I didn’t get placed.

WPC

Lichfield Poetry Competition – my 2nd poetry competition.

Poetry on the Farm – I wrote 3 Farm poems for Jean Atkin, resident poet at Scott Acton Historical Farm, she has chosen one for the poetry fence. I hope to get to see her and the farm sometime this month. (Work keeps getting in the way!)

I also developed a poetry page on Facebook and have had 100 likes in just 12 days 🙂

1 the end

An Exceptionally Busy Week!

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I have just looked at my calendar and freaked out a bit!

The next few weeks are extremely busy with going back to work after the Easter break and performing!

I have also got to try and fit some writing in, particularly deadline pieces and poems for NaPoWriMo and 52, as well as the 10,000 words target I have been working towards in rough draft short stories and flashes for Camp NaNoWriMo – which sadly this year, I have barely been in the cabin, on the website or present online or in any reality writing meets at all.

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Tonight I am performing at Word Up, tomorrow we have a BIG family meal to celebrate my Uncle’s Wedding which took place in London a fortnight ago.

 

 

 

  • Sunday I am hoping to make it to the Much Wenlock Poetry Festival.

 

  •  Monday there is a TV script workshop I have been invited to attend – although physically getting a ticket is proving to be a mission!

 

Tuesday I am back to work. Then I am performing at the following events;

 

  • Saints and Sinners is Wednesday, run by Pigeon Park Press.

 

  • Thursday I have Poetry For Lunch – the stanza group are taking over.

 

  • Friday I have a Stanza meeting.

 

  • Sunday I have my FIRST EVER Poetry Slam!

 

  • Monday (fortunately a Bank Holiday) I have Najma Hush’s *PhotoGiraffe final exhibition event, Abstract Elements

 

  • Wednesday Confab Cabaret

 

  • Thursday SpeakEasy

 

  • Friday Poetry & Pollination – Ledbury Poetry Festival & WLF at the Hive  do415com open mic

 

  • Saturday – Writing West Midlands Assistant Writer Role

 

Then I am performing Tuesday, possibly Thursday and definitely Friday of the following week!

WHOAHOO! That’s some schedule with work as well!

Power naps start TODAY! ws_Empty_Battery_852x480

 

My First Poetry Competition

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The title is not strictly true, as a young writer I entered one or two and I have sent off poetry for FREE subscriber magazine competitions, however this was the first Poetry Prize Festival Competition I entered. wenlock

For the Wenlock Poetry Festival. Funnily enough I was thinking about this earlier whilst doing some chores, I decided that I don’t feel strong enough, whether that is confidence or belief in my work to enter PAID competitions yet. With the exception of some local ones I have chosen to support this year.

My inbox just confirmed that. I have only been back in the writing chair of poetry since September and in that time I have produced many poems. I should count them and make myself feel good – I know I have written about 14 this weekend!

I received a lovely email, they have now shortlisted from over 500 poems they were sent and I didn’t make the cut, or at least my poem didn’t. It was very hard having an OPEN theme – it could be anything…. I look forward to finding out at the end of April.

In the meantime it is a blessing, the Wenlock Poetry Festival and promotion of this competition takes place on the same day we are all having a family meal to celebrate my Uncle’s marriage to his long time girlfriend, they are travelling up from London.

My plan is to concentrate on one off submissions alongside some anthology work and still build my own reputation, possibly broaden the tech, get out there on You Tube, keep up the public performances and give my writing some time. I feel I am pushing the writing at the moment.

It is nice to know my poem will appear on the Wenlock Poetry Trail as part of the Festival.

Accepted Twice in One Week!

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These things take time… I know this. I have given myself 16 years and I am only 15 months in, really just 6 months into the poetry journey. I know people and have read about others who have found success much quicker and those who have already spent decades searching…

You reap what you sow… and I am beginning to – do something enough times and at some point you are bound to be successful!

At the end of February I was battling against deadlines that I had left too late. One of my missions was to write a poem for Wenlock’s Poetry Trail. I got my email into Paul Francis minutes before the deadline. Once again writing to a specific criteria was a challenge – my main barriers were geographical/ retail knowledge of the area and the 20 line restriction. My poetry tends to be short, but most poems are over 20 lines.
Each of the selected poems are displayed in the shop windows.

I hadn’t forgotten about this submission, I had no idea how long it would take for the results and have had such a busy week with work and gigs that I haven’t had much time to log in and sift through emails.

Tonight after blogging about all the recent activity I thought that I should check for acceptances and rejections in the inbox and to my delight I found the good news. Two emails actually. One (6th March) accepting my work into the poetry trail and another sent today confirming an extra request.
The proprietor of the shop in which the poem is displayed –Crofts – the Ecclesiastical Outfitters, liked my work so much he has requested permission to publish it on his website and Twittersphere.

wenlock Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April 2014 wenlock1