WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
I only have niggles this week, nothing worth mentioning.
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
Argus – Wishbone Ash.
SOME OF MY DOINGS.
This last week has seen a series of bank holidays which have proved to be both full of activity and at the same time relaxing. Activities which included attending a football match, luckily my team survived relegation in the last game of the season, which I did not attend. The last weekend saw a group of us descend on Herefordshire where we took over several barns for a weekend of eating, drinking, a talent show, scrap heap challenge, wine tasting and walking, plus a trip to Hay-on-Wye, more of which I will be discussing later.
I am waiting for a final confirmation email for the selected poems on the Poets Trail and I was hoping to be able to give you more information on the poems and the poets in this blog, but as of the time of writing I have not received the expected email. So I may have to create another post this week when the confirmation is received and I have informed the poets of their success.
Radio Wildfire this week was entertaining – although the break in transmission did have me wondering if it was my computer, and the echo at one point had me looking to see if I had the broadcast open twice.
Dave Reeves introduced some great material from abroad including Norman Cristofoli based inTorontowhose CD Pass the Mustard is a fantastic mix of music and poetry.Normanis now a friend of mine on Facebook, it is really fantastic that you can hear something and to be able get in touch with the artist and tell them that you like their work.
Jacqui Rowe was a live studio guest and talked about her work at Wightwick Manor as part of the Making Art History Project, which has seen several artists bring their skills to interpreting this Arts and Crafts manor house that was built and furnished by the Mander Family of the paint fame.
Jacqui was the only writer amongst the glass blowers and other visual artists and I very much admire her work on this project as I think it opens up further opportunities for writers. I quite often see commissions for artists advertised only to find that they are for painters or sculptors and that the writing arts are not considered as being part of the brief.
Jacqui has not only written poetry but has created some copper etchings for the project and has shown that writers really do have something of value to bring to these commissions. Jacqui seems to be given space to develop her own themes and to explore them in her own way. The finished exhibition will show how the house has been the collaborative focus as it brings together the different arts.
I do hope that other groups commissioning art also take on board the role that writers can play to bring a new dynamic to their projects.
I am certainly someone who sees collaboration among the different art forms as a way of generating something new and exciting instead of us all being precious about our talents and see the collaborative process as something that produces impurities.
I think Making Art History project has enabled each of the artists to capture the purity of their work, whilst at the same collaborating to achieve the goal of the exhibition.
The Exhibition runs from the 18th to 29th May at Wightwick Manor,Wolverhampton
More details can be found here:
Another, new feature of Radio Wildfires broadcast is Gary Longden’s monthly listing, where Gary gives out all the Poetry and Spoken Word events for the coming month, so there is no excuse for not engaging which poets and writers at the many events across the region – 40 this month.
Gary also gives his view on the three he considers to be the most interesting and this month he kindly selected the Fizz 7 on the 17th February as one not to miss, so I thank Gary for doing that for me.
The Fizz 7 will feature the New Polesworth Poets and see the first reading of the New Poetry Trail poems, all are welcome admission is free and there will also be an open mic.
I saw Tony Owen at the Night Blue Fruit Poetry Night in Coventry last night and managed to get a copy of his latest collection The Dreaded Boy which is published by Pighog Press and is the first of their Passport series. I was honoured to see that Tony had included me in the acknowledgements; it has been a real pleasure for me to see this brave, forthright collection grow out of the last eighteen months.
Tony will be making his regional launch of the Dreaded Boy at the Inspire Bar in Coventryon 15th June, which is a free event and all are welcome.
Tony will also be the guest poet at the Fizz in September.
Copies of the book will on sale at both events, with £1 from each book going to the Karen Woo Foundation, which seeks to run Healthcare and Education projects inAfghanistan. Karen was a British doctor who gave up her job in theUK, choosing to use her talents to bring medical care to the sick an impoverished of war tornAfghanistan. She was killed by a gunman in 2010.
You can find out more about Karen and the Foundations work at:
My lost poet of this week is Rosemary Tonks, she published two collections of poetry in the 1960’s both of which are now out of print and original copies are hard to come by, as Chris and Melanie Prince, who run the Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye told me when I went in search of a copy over this last weekend. They don’t hold on to copies for very long. Rosemary converted to Catholicism in the early 1970’s and disappeared to become a recluse, refusing permission for a reprint of her poetic works.
The poems were part of another life which she no longer wanted to be part of and she therefore wanted to break all links in her new solitary life. She would I suspect not thank me for reminding people of her works.
I do respect her privacy and her need for solitude but at the same time I think her poetry is too important to go unnoticed. This was her in a different life, a life of hedonistic pleasure spent pursuing relationships and sexual experiences that she became to realise were not what she sought, the ecstatic highs were all to short and there was always a sadness, someone whose despairing lows were all too lasting.
I first became aware of her through Brian Patten’s BBC Radio 4 programme. Rosemary Tonks: The poet who vanished. I was completely taken by the poetry, it immediately charged my senses with hotels and affairs, the sexual tension, coffee, stains and Jazz, Its often shabby imagery where pleasures are enacted, provides the imperfect backdrop, the imperfections of the setting making the act perfect, you cannot take away from the act because the shabby setting enhances it. But at the same time it cheapens it, makes it sordid erotica, brothel fodder.
It is the woman who suffers, the woman who realises that the erotic flush, is not her idealised fantasy, it she who is left with the despairing, lasting lows, she who has been burgled of her time and passion.
Her first collection NOTES ON CAFES AND BEDROOMS was published in 1963 and the second collection
ILIAD OF BROKEN SENTENCES in 1967
You can find more information and the poems from her second collection here:
Hay-on-Wye is the home of the original book town, with what must be more miles of bookshelves than anywhere else in theUK. Every poet and writer should visit a least once year if not during the festival at the end of May into June, then at least find some time to make the pilgrimage to the pre-kindle world of real books.
All poets should visit the Poetry Bookshop, where Chris and Melanie Prince have the largest collection and range of poetry and academic studies of poetry in the country. I managed to pick up works by two of my lost poets over the weekend, who will be subject of my lost poet series in the coming weeks.
Chris and Melanie can also source books and take on-line orders, so my many readers from abroad can also make use of their services, but you can’t beat an actual visit.
The Poetry Bookshop website is at: www.poetrybookshop.co.uk
COMING SOON DOINGS
Readings in May.
3rd May – Night Blue Fruit – Taylor John’s Coventry
17th May – The Fizz 7 – Polesworth Abbey
20th May – Spoken Worlds – Burton upon Trent