WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
The very disappointing ending to SPOOKS!
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
Some interesting opportunities!
SOME OF MY DOINGS:
There have been several great further responses to the debate on a Staffordshire Poet Laureate, for which I would like to thank those who offered their thoughts. There are 3 or 4 active people on the Staffordshire Literature scene who are interested in working with me to engage with the appropriate authorities to see if we can move this forward. Therefore I propose to work with them to see what we can achieve. I will of course let you know the results through this blog.
Poets can still contact me through my email address email@example.com with any further thoughts.
This last week has seen me working on ideas for future projects which are all very tentative at the moment and I need to think about which I want to pursue and how they will be part of achieving the things that I want to do, the things that I enjoy doing.
I also found that I had done enough walking of the subject of my Cork poems following my trip and readings back in August; I now have one completed poem and another partly drafted. I would like to get them finished ready for when the three Cork poets visit the UK next week as part of the Coventry Cork Literature exchange.
The Cork Poets: Afric McGlinchey, Colm Scully and Jennifer Matthews will be in the UK from the 1st to 5th November, with a reading at Night Blue Fruit in Coventry on 1st, a meeting with the Mayor of Coventry, a tour of the Polesworth Poets trail and reading at the Fizz in Polesworth on 3rd finishing with a reading and interview on Hills FM on Friday 4th.
Details for the Fizz10 are on the poster below.
The Runaway writers have been invited to play a part in the Short Story week events being organised by the Grace Dieu Writers Group in Coalville Leicestershire on 10th November. The evening will be a meeting of four writers groups with the Charnwood Writers and the Ashby Writers also taking part. Each group has selected 3 short stories from their members to take along to be read to the audience on the evening.
My short story about Absinthe drinkers – The Green Fairy, along with Kirstie Brooks story – Chocolate and Dea Costelloe’s story -Taking Her Chance were all selected by the Runaway Writers members to be the stories we will take along.
I am really looking forward to meeting with other writers in the Midlands; it is rare that these opportunities occur, where we can share our work with a wider readership. Writers groups tend to get focussed on their own activities, which after an initial momentum of excitement and expeditions developing writers into breaking new ground, can often see the group settle into a comfort zone as the momentum does not progress beyond its initial force. New members can often bring a new vitality to prevent stagnation but new members are not coming along all the time and it would be a lot to ask of them to bring a new dynamic to the group; many are new writers and are looking for help and guidance which the group can give them.
I have always seen The Runaway Writers as a progressive group, who have always sought to network and collaborate with different groups and to try and keep things fresh and to push individuals into writing realms which they would not have otherwise considered. Through the support and attitude of the members writers are encouraged to experiment.
An evening with these other well respected writing groups is most welcome, it not only allows us to benchmark our work against other pieces being produced by local writers, it also develops new friendships which are always welcome. I would like to thank the Grace Dieu Writers for organising it.
Tonight (Monday) sees me reading at the Shindig at the Western in Leicester as one of the guest poets alongside Jane Commane, Charles Lauder and Wayne Burrows – I am really looking forward to it, it is an event that I have been to a couple of times, it always has an appreciative audience and some great poets reading from the floor.
My LOST POET for this week is Sir John Beaumont (1583 -1627)
My interest in Sir John Beaumont the first baronet is many fold, he was not only a contemporary of Michael Drayton but also a good friend. He was born at Grace Dieu Manor close to the Priory from which the Grace Dieu writers mentioned above take their name. It was his son also Sir John who published the elders poem of The Battle of Bosworth, which is also of interest to me due to my Yorkshire ancestry.
Sir John was born in 1583 and at Grace Dieu Manor in Leicestershire, He was the second son of Sir Francis Beaumont and Anne Pierrepoint, He was educated at Oxford University, which saw him admitted to the Inner Temple at around 1600.
Following the death of his father and then his elder brother he found himself the head of a creative family, his younger brother was the dramatist Francis Beaumont who was also acquainted with Drayton and was a student of Ben Jonson. Grace Dieu is not that far from Polesworth in Warwickshire and it makes me wonder if the Beaumont’s were ever guests of the Goodere’s and the Polesworth Circle.
Sir John lived for many years as bachelor eventually marrying a Catholic, Elizabeth Fortesque; their sympathies towards the Catholic faith saw them fined for recusancy for refusing to attend Anglican services.
He began writing poetry in around 1602 – in his poem Metamorphosis of Tabacco, a mock heroic poem in smooth couplets which he published anonymously, which he dedicates to both his brother and to Michael Drayton as his loving friend.
His poem on Bosworth with its heroic couplets whilst a fine piece of Elizabethan verse, pales a little in the comparison of that of Shakespeare’s treatment of the subject in Richard III. It is the focus on this single event in the Wars of the Roses that makes it interesting. The content has differing detail to Shakespeare and while not contradicting – it adds more colour to the picture of this battle. It is also worth considering the sources of Beaumont’s version, presumably some of it from Shakespeare, who in turn used Holinshed’s chronicles, which Beaumont may also have referred too. But let’s not forget Grace Dieu is only a few miles from Bosworth, that Beaumont will have had access to some of the family histories, the stories passed down through the Digby’s of Coleshill for example. These may not have been available to the commoner Shakespeare and so therefore Beaumont is able to add further detail, be it second or third hand, but never-the-less some elements of truth surrounding the events of the 22nd August 1485.
Sir John died at Grace Dieu in 1827, he was succeeded by his son also Sir John, he was killed at the Siege of Gloucester in 1643 and was succeeded by the third and final Baronet of Grace Dieu Sir Thomas, on whose death in 1686 the Beaumont Baronetcy of Grace Dieu was extinct.
But this is not the end of the link with poetry and Grace Dieu – for a new creation of the Beaumont Baronetcy saw the Beaumont’s of Staughton Grange, who made their home at nearby Coleorton Hall, The 7th Baronet Sir George Beaumont was keen artist who befriended the Lakeland Poets, It was on a visit to Coleorton Hall that William Wordsworth wrote these lines on Grace Dieu Priory.
“Beneath yon eastern ridge, the craggy bound,
Rugged and high, of Charnwood’s forest ground,
Stand yet, but, Stranger, hidden from thy view
The ivied ruins of forlorn Grace Dieu,
Erst a religious House, which day and night
With hymns resounded and the chanted rite.”
An on-line copy of the poems of Sir John Beaumont can be found at:
SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS
24th Oct – Shindig, Leicester.– I will be a guest poet at this event.
November Readings and Workshops
1st Nov – Night Blue Fruit – Taylor John’s House Coventry – Guests The Cork Poets
3rd Nov – The Fizz – Tithe Barn Polesworth. Guests The Cork Poets
25th Nov – Spoken Worlds – Burton – Guest Ash Dickinson
The next Fizz is on THURSDAY 3rd November at the TYTHE BARN in Polesworth when we will have as our guest poets Afric McGlinchey, Colm Scully and Jennifer Matthews from CORK in Ireland.
Please note that this is a change of day and location from the normal Fizz events.
Words for Peace
Coventry Central Library, Smithford Way, Coventry CV1 1FY
An afternoon of poetry workshops run by local poets Antony Owen and Mal Dewhirst. Coventry schoolchildren will use war poems from Owen’s “Dreaded Boy” and selected famous war poetry to explore the themes of peace and reconciliation today. Influenced by what they have read and discussed the young people will create a collaborative poem as well as their own individual poems on what peace and reconciliation means to them. The poems will then the subject of an exhibition throughout the rest of 2011 in the Central Library. It is hoped that this exhibition will go on to show at other venues at a later date. Time: 12noon – 4.00pm – This event is by invitation only through local Coventry Schools.