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Archive for December, 2011

WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

NOTHING

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

EVERYTHING

LISTENING TO:

Christmas songs – they are everywhere.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

This is my final blog of the year as I will take a break over the festive period so I have decided to do THE REVIEW OF MY YEAR – THROUGH LISTS.

This week I am selecting my top ten events of the year, which I posted about on this blog. I have decided that rather than make this a wordy post that I will list the events with a photo and links to the appropriate blog posts.

1. The Polesworth Poets Trail Workshops – Feb-March

The Poets Gather at Pooley

The posts for the trail workshops were all written in March you can view them here:
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/03/

2. The Trip to Memphis – April

Sun Studio's - No longer unassuming.

The trip to Memphis and Nashville was discussed in my blog post of the 7th April you can read it here:
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/if-you-can-keep-your-head-when-all-around-are-losing-theirs-then-you-are-not-fully-aware-of-the-situation/

3. The Lost Poets – Started in April.

Inspired by the Secret Writer’s April Fools List I have covered 26 of the 50 lost poets, there will more next year.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/list-of-lost-poets/

4. The Nuneaton Summer Poetry Day – July

Mal Dewhirst, Gary Longden, Mark Niel, Alan Ottey, Rach Flowers

Nuneaton Summer Poetry day was the subject of my blog on 8th July you can read it here.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/the-fruits-of-the-poetree/

5. The Great West Midlands Poetry Relay – July

This wonderful day was reviewed in my post of the 26th July and can be viewed here:
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/places-poets-poems-pigeons-and-pies-%e2%80%93-the-view-from-the-bus/

6. My trip to Cork – August.

Mal Dewhirst, The Lord Mayor of Cork - Cllr Terry Shannon, Paul Casey and Rosie O'Regan

Perhaps the Poetic Highlight of my year, a really wonderful time.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/o-bheal-an-guth-fili-by-mouth-the-poets-voice/

7. Poet in Residence at Dig the Abbey – August

Pots and Pipes - Dig the Abbey 2011

My residency saw me produce some new poetry using the methods of Archaeology which have been well received – there will be more next year as I have been asked to organise more things poetic at next years dig.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-mythological-layers-of-hallowed-earth/

8. The unveiling of Gold Leaf at Pooley. – October

GOLD LEAF by Dalziel and Scullion

The column of gold leaves was unveiled at Pooley along with 5 of the new poems, a wonderful day.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/the-interpretation-of-sunlight/

9. The Return trip of the Cork Poets – November

Mal Dewhirst, Jennifer Matthews, Afric McGlinchey, Colm Scully and Antony Owen after the Fizz

It was great to host Afric, Colm and Jennifer at the Fizz and the first time poets have been asked for an encore.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/the-clockwork-poet/

10. Lunch at the Ritz – November.

How the other half lives – for a few hours at any rate.
https://pollysworda.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/the-folk-singers-awards-lunch/

SOME MORE LISTS OF THE YEAR.

THE FIZZ GUEST POETS IN 2011.

January – Sarah James
March – The Lichfield Poets
May – The Polesworth Poets Trail Poets.
July – Matt Merritt
September – Antony Owen
November – The Cork Poets – Afric McGlinchey, Colm Scully and Jennifer Matthews.

MY TOP FIVE READINGS OF THE YEAR.

Memoirs Poetry – Erdington Library hosted by Jan Watts 9th June.
Leamington Peace Festival – Hosted by Barry Patterson – 19th June
O’Bheal Cork –Hosted by Paul Casey – 8th August
Spoken Worlds Burton on Trent – Hosted by Gary Carr – 19th August
Shindig Leicester – Hosted by Matt Nunn – 24th October

MY TWELVE FAVOURITE POET PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR.

Sarah James – The Fizz – January
Fergus McGonigal – Spoken Worlds – May.
Gary Londgen – Memoirs Poetry Erdington 9th June.
Barry Patterson – The Fizz – July.
Elaine Feeney – Whitehouse Limerick – 10th August
Antony Owen – The Fizz – September
David Calcutt – Nightblue Fruit – 4th October.
Afric McGlinchey – The Fizz – November
Colm Scully – The Fizz – November
Jennifer Matthews – The Fizz – November
Janet Smith – Poetry Bites – November
Ash Dickinson – Spoken Worlds – December

FOUR NEW POETS OF THE YEAR.

Janis Kind
Gina Coates
Bernadette O’Dwyer
Barry Hunt

All achieving their first published poem on the Polesworth Poets Trail.

THE TEN EXISTING POEMS ON THE POLESWORTH POETS TRAIL.

God’s dance within us – Garrie Fletcher
Osanna – Penny Harper
The Polesworth Pact – Sarah Armstrong
Squab – Mal Dewhirst
Song 13 – Jonathan Morley
Listen – Gill Learner
The River Anker – Jane Holland
Famous Men – Helen Yendall
Power – Janine Warre
Memories of Pooley Mine – Raymond Hendy.

THE SEVENTEEN NEW POEMS TO GO ON THE POLESWORTH POETS TRAIL.

Brick Making Remembered – Peter Grey.
Pooley Hall – Gary Longden.
Unrippled – Sarah James.
Women’s Memories of Mining Menfolk – Dea Costelloe.
Jutt – Bernadette O’Dwyer
Advice to a Geordie Lad at Pooley – Barry Patterson.
Aloft – Janis Kind (INSTALLED)
Black Swan Possibility – Jacqui Rowe (INSTALLED)
A Cry – Janet Smith.
In their Footsteps – Marjorie Neilson
Pooley Pit Ponies – Margaret Torr
The Pooley Miner’s Tale – Barry Hunt (INSTALLED)
Living Echoes – Gina Coates
Reflected Strata – The Riddled Veins of Pooley Park – Hench-4
Them up there don’t know us down here exist – Gary Carr.
Ladies of the Woods – Terri Jolland (INSTALLED)
Kite – Mal Dewhirst in collaboration with The Year 3 Children at Birchwood Primary School 2011. (INSTALLED)

FIVE POETRY BOOKS – I BOUGHT IN 2011 FROM THE POET.
And they signed them.

The Dreaded Boy – Antony Owen
Troy Town – Matt Merritt
Where the Dagda Dances – Terry Murray
Where’s Katie – Elaine Feeney
Digging for Toys – Bobby Parker

THREE SMALL COLLECTIONS FROM MY PEN IN 2011.

Nuneaton – Poems from the Summer Poetry Day.
Cork Poems – From my trip to Cork.
Midland Purple – From my Residency at Dig the Abbey.

POETRY AWARDS OF NOTE.

Sarah James – The Rubery International Poetry Award – 3rd place for “In to the Yell”.
Antony Owen – The Wilfred Owen Story Award.

THE TEN POETS ON THE GREAT WEST MIDLANDS POETRY RELAY.
and their starting points.

Emma Purshouse – Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station.
Philip Monks – Burton-on-Trent Library.
Mal Dewhirst – Polesworth Abbey Green Park
Helen Yendall – Hatton Country World
Rohit Ballal – Worcester Arts Cafe
Adrian Johnson – The British Camp Malvern
Deborah Alma – Town Green Bromyard
Kurly McKetchie – Highley Leisure Centre
Dave Reeves – Telford Odeon
Roz Goddard. – The Pie and Ale House Stafford

Thank you to the team Jonathan Davidson and the team at Writing West Midlands for their organisation of the day.

You can hear the poems and follow the route here:
http://www.montyfunkpodcast.com/pages/poetrytrail.html

A FACT ABOUT TUESDAY

TUESDAY – The most popular day of the week for Midland Poetry Events.
THE FIZZ – NIGHT BLUE FRUIT – THE GOBLIN FOLK & POETRY CLUB – WORD WIZARDS – POETRY BITES
Though not all on the same Tuesday of the month so you can go to them all.

THINGS I DID IN 2011 THAT I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD?

Visit Gracelands.
Get into Steampunk.
Read Poetry on the Streets of Nuneaton.
Have Lunch at the Ritz.
Get an Iphone.

DATES FOR THE FIZZ IN 2012

Tuesday 24th January Guest Gary Carr.
Tuesday 27th March
Tuesday 22nd May
Tuesday 24th July
Tuesday 25th September

All in the Refectory at Polesworth Abbey.

AND FINALLY

I would like to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Creative New Year.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

December Readings

27th Dec – Word Wizards – Buxton

January Readings.

Spoken Worlds – Burton
Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Ashby
24th Jan – The Fizz – Polesworth – Gary Carr.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Drivers who get in the right hand lane then turn left.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

My new camera

LISTENING TO:

Savoy Brown Live 1969-1972– Savoy Brown

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

The worry is over; I have my new video camera. I have been planning to buy a new camera for sometime, but with a massive amount of choice and limited budget, I had ended up confused as to what to buy. As is often the case with me, I put off buying one until I had more time. However my hand was forced by the opportunity to make a film early in the New Year, an opportunity to work with professional actors, with directing, filming and editing on a script that has been written by a local writer who is producing the film.

I sought advice from a fellow film maker on what I should buy and then searched the marketplace to locate one in time for me to familiarise myself with it before the shoot in early January. Panic set in as there were none to be found and a lead-time that saw the delivery at the end of January.

I finally found a firm in London, whose website said they had 4 in stock, a telephone conversation with their sales team confirmed that this was the case, that delivery would be 2 to 5 days and so I place my order.

Within minutes of the order being placed, I received a telephone call from the company, checking out who I was and whether I realised I had ordered a professional video camera (I would say it is a semi-pro camera) and was it to be used for professional purposes. What is to do with them, I thought and asked them for some credentials, which they gave me and I confirmed I knew what I was buying and that it was for professional film work.

Then the worry started, my thoughts turned to thinking they had not really got any stock in the warehouse in Gatwick, that they had taken my order and my cash and were now stalling until they could get one in from Japan, at the end of January (like all the others). A search on their website still showed four in stock – when I had ordered one – should that have not gone down to three.

Daily I viewed the order tracking webpage and day after day it said my order was processing, two days, five days, 6 days order processing but not despatched. Day 7 and I resolved to ring them, only to receive an email to say that due to the amount of Christmas orders, my order had been delayed but it would be despatched later that day and because they had promised me a 2-5 day delivery they were upgrading the delivery at no extra charge to me.

And true to their word it arrived the next day.

Christmas is upon us and I am not prepared yet again. Christmas never sneaks up upon me; after all it is fixed, if there is one thing I should be able to plan for it is Christmas. It never happens, though this year I have not worried about it and so my preparations and present buying, though late, have gone more smoothly than I could have wished for, with a couple of trips to the shops and most of it bought.

Work always seems to disrupt my planning and Christmas becomes another thing to worry about on top of the pressures I already face. This has, in the past had the effect of taking the shine off the festivities, leaving me shattered by the time the day comes and then worrying about the next tasks once the day is over.

It is no different this year as I have three main projects going on at the moment with the Poets Trail, the book launch and now the film that I mentioned above; plus plans are forming for three poetry residencies and some readings and workshops for next year.

Whilst I might fret about them, all of these projects are a delight and with Christmas just sort of happening – well not causing me stress, which to me is it happening, then this year may well find me in a better state of festive cheer, it has only taken me fifty years to achieve this. Better late than never as my Mother would say.

GIGS – there are only two gigs on my calendar for the rest of the year. One tonight at The Giggling Goblin Café in Ashby, the other is Word Wizards end of year “anything goes” evening on the 27th in Buxton.

Word Wizards is run by poet and singer/songwriter Rob Stevens and his wife Lesley, they regularly travel down to Burton for Spoken Worlds and I have promised to try and get to Word Wizards several times over the last twelve months and has always failed to get there. Buxton is quite away for me to travel on a Tuesday evening, but that has never been my excuse, I simply have just never made it.

So weather permitting I will get to the Word Wizards Event on 27th December.

Next week – I will do a review of my first year of blogging and will return to more lost poets in the New Year.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

December Readings

13th Dec – Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Giggling Goblin Café – Ashby de-la- Zouch.
27th Dec – Word Wizards – Buxton

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

The worry!

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

Padstow Christmas Festival.

LISTENING TO:

The November Tracks – Hydranoid Musia.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

Breakfast at Fifteen Cornwall

Last weekend was the annual trip to Padstow Christmas Festival, our weekend of fine food, beer and wine, along with a coastal walk and some shopping in the harbour towns of Cornwall. We bumped into Rick Stein wandering along the harbour front, who then skipping up an alley as the crowd shouted for him to sing along with the Voxpops choir. Dawn French, looking well and full of smiles was seen shopping in Fowey on Saturday Afternoon. Food was provided by Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, several of Rick Stein’s establishments including The St Petroc’s Bistro and his pub The Cornish Arms; all were excellent for both food and service.

We are already planning next year and there is talk of Breakfast at Hugo Wooley’s Woodlands Country Hotel and Dinner at Paul Ainsworth’s No 6.

Since my last blog I was delighted to hear from the editors of BE: Magazine who have accepted one of my Cork poems, The Grange Circle Bodhrani, which will be published in the next issue due out in February.

They have also set a theme for the third issue to be published in April 2012 so here is the advance notice to enable poets to write to meet the deadline of 20th January. I have included the text details below.

Worcestershire Literary Festival Be: magazine – issue 3 poetry theme

In addition to our constantly open poetry submissions, we have one poetry theme for the third print issue of Be: (due out early April 2012).

All poetry submissions should be 40 lines maximum and previously unpublished.
The usual submission guidelines and methods apply as can be found at: http://www.bemagazine.co.uk/submission-guidelines/

Theme: Myth and Fairytales

We want to read your poems inspired by Myth and Fairytale. Be: that a revised telling for today, or something new? From talking Greek to Olde English; Politically correct or dark-edged, from James Finn Garner to Angela Carter, or explore the inner-workings of this spell-binding subject, we look forward to reading your submissions. Set your imagination free.

We are open to submissions to the themed poetry slots until January 20 (Friday) – and if submitting for these, please mark your submission as themed Myth and Fairytale.

NEWS FROM O’BHEAL.


Paul Casey has published the review of this years Coventry – Cork Literature exchange, with the views of all those involved – you can read the review here. http://www.obheal.ie/blog/?page_id=1351

I also noted that O’Bheal will have Carol Ann Duffy with John Sampson as their guests next Monday 12th December, a real coup for Paul who always ends the year of readings with a major guest poet.

I look forward to being part of this exchange for many years to come.

DIG THE ABBEY.

Pots and Pipes - Dig the Abbey 2011

Last Tuesday saw the meeting of the Polesworth Society where Tim Upson-Smith the Community Archaeologist on Dig the Abbey came along to talk about this years dig. It was a fascinating talk describing what had been discovered and how it had been interpreted. Tim also focussed on the other activities that had been very much part of the Abbey Dig, the Big Draw which saw people sketching and painting the artefacts and the poetry written in response to the dig including my small collection Midland Purple and Janis Kind’s poem the Lady in the Cloister.

The Archaeological team are really enamoured by these activities, these are things that don’t normally happen on digs. Polesworth has re-defined the ideas around THE COMMUNITY and Archaeology. Over 150 local people volunteered to dig during the four weeks of the summer, here is a community that has a shared enthusiasm for the past and wants to be part of uncovering it and understanding it. The archaeologists have also come to realise that interpretations of the dig in terms of art works and poetry bring a different, equally valid thinking to how a site should be interpreted.

One of this years diggers had had a tee shirt printed which read “We are looking for the Warwickshire Hoard – Don’t tell the press” which to me brought in the fun and laughter that only comes where someone feels comfortable and an integral part of something. Polesworth has a wonderful habit of engaging imaginations and bringing in new creative ideas, redefining things because people are not afraid to have a go, are always happy to get involved, are never frightened to have their say.

Bids are underway for the funding of next years dig and I am already in discussions about how we can widen the Poetic aspect to the dig, which hopefully will provide opportunities for many poets to come along to the Abbey and engage with the dig to find new inspirations for poetry, whether actively in the trenches with a trowel, or through observation making notes with a pen.

I will of course keep you informed of the opportunities through this blog.

My Lost Poet for this week is the Cornish Poet JACK CLEMO (1916-1994).

Jack Clemo and Ruth Peaty

It seems appropriate having just spent a weekend in Cornwall to select a poet from the county. I could have chosen Charles Causley, a contemporary and friend of Jack Clemo, but I have chosen Jack for several reasons not least for his poetry. Jack is very much a poet of place writing about the China Clay landscape around St Austell where he grew up. He is also a poet who could be considered as one of THE GRAFT poets. Jack is also lesser known that Causley and therefore fits with the ethos of being a lost poet.

Reginald John (Jack) Clemo was born in Goonmarris in 1916, his father was a china clay worker who was killed in the first world war. He was raised by his mother an ardent non-conformist. He suffered from bouts of blindness throughout his childhood and was completely blind at 13 and by twenty he was almost completely deaf.

His poetry is heavily influenced by his strong religious beliefs and the rugged coastline and the clay lands of his native Cornwall. Poems capture the spirit and light of the Cornish landscape wrapped within the spiritual path that guided his life.

As a poet who writes about places, I often see myself as an outsider, a watcher, someone who seeks the spirit of the place without putting some of my own identity into words. This I realise is not realistic, as what I write is based upon my own experience of the place and my interpretations are based upon my experience of life.

Jack Clemo brings his religious outlook into the landscapes, styling them through his beliefs interpreting them as Christ’s country. His poems about the clay country sees the industry stripping back nature to extract the creamy china clays and then when the industry declines, nature reclaiming the land healing the scars, “The Clay Tip Worker” – this much like our experience at Pooley Country Park.

His first two collections of poetry “The Clay Verge” (1951) and “Map of Clay” (1961) reverberated with the stark clay landscapes, the tips and pools of the wheal prospects that now provide the backdrop for the Eden Project.

By contrast in later life Jack, visited northern Italy, which brought more warmth and colour into his writing published in “The Cured Arno”, still exploring his religious beliefs through the metaphors of an unfamiliar landscape.

Jack found love when he was in his fifties when he married Ruth Peaty, it is said his outlook changed, he became more playful and his wit shone through his writing, especially in the letters and cards he created for Ruth.

He was a Bard of Gorseth Kernow titled as the Poet of the Clay.

He died, aged 78 in Weymouth, the hometown of his late wife in 1994.

Links for Jack Clemo

Rescorla Festival – with some of Jack Clemo’s poetry.
http://www.sense-of-place.co.uk/Rescorla/clemo.htm

The Bloodaxe Books – Author page
http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/personpage.asp?author=Jack+Clemo

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

December Readings

6th Dec – Nightblue Fruit – Taylor John’s House – Coventry.
13th Dec – Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Giggling Goblin Café – Ashby de-la- Zouch.
27th Dec – Word Wizards – Buxton

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