WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
New poems on the Poets Trail.
The Wall – Pink Floyd.
SOME OF MY DOINGS:
It is THE FIZZ at Polesworth on Tuesday 27th with guest poet Barry Patterson plus open mic. At Polesworth Abbey, High St, Polesworth where I will be your host. This is a free event and all are welcome.
Last week was a remarkable week which saw me working on every evening either attending readings, meetings or running workshops.
Whilst this was hectic there were some wonderful outcomes.
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of running a workshop with the Tamworth Writers Group in the Old Town hall, a wonderful building that was built by Christopher Wren and sees a statue of Sir Robert Peel watching over the town from his plinth at the end of the old market vault.
The workshop was part of the project to produce a performance of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, which I have mentioned previously on this blog.
The workshop focussed on the song Comfortably Numb, which we discussed as a poem and then listened to it as a song and discussed it further. The writers group then wrote single line responses to the lines from the song.
There was one surreal moment when the room was silent as the writers crafted their lines, when drifting in from the outside came the busking sound of the same very song – The busker in the Market Vault giving us his version, I could not have planned this and it seemed to reaffirm what we are doing as if the busker was offering his support to this wonderful project.
The lines that were produced were numerous and different in context and style. When they were read out I could see some concerned looks as to how these lines would be put together to make a group poem as a response to the song.
I have seen these concerned looks many times before, in fact every time I do this exercise with groups, but I have never had this fail, when we start to consider the lines and group them together then the poem suddenly comes to life as the structure, themes and voices begin to meld into a story.
We did not have time to complete the poem and the group will continue with the exercise at their next meeting with a view to submitting it for consideration as part of the show.
Friday saw me attend a meeting at Pooley Country Park to discuss the installation of new poems on the Poets Trail. I arrived to find eight of the poems standing in line in the visitor’s centre, proud representatives of the poetic art patiently waiting to be given their permanent place.
Four of the finished poems are to be installed along the canal, this involves wider consultation which is near completion but we are not quite there and as such we will be installing these in April.
The other four are to be installed in the country park which we can progress with; in fact the park rangers were just waiting for me to say where they should go.
I had already thought this through as you would expect, I am not making this up as I go along. However the site has changed significantly over the last 12 months, finding me face with a new car parking layout which meant that my original ideas would have seen the poems place in precarious positions with the risk of readers being mixed in with the passage of traffic entering and leaving the site.
This meant some rethinking but as we walked the site things fell into place and the four locations were identified and marked with a peg.
The four poems will be installed over a couple of days starting on Wednesday 28th March by the Parks team.
The poems to be installed this week are:
Barry Patterson’s – Advice to a Geordie Miner Lad in Pooley
– This will be located near to the capped pit head.
Margaret Torr’s – Pooley Pit Ponies
– Which will be located close to the path by the wind turbine.
Gina Coates’ Living Echoes
– To be placed where the new paths from the car park to the Heritage centre meet.
Bernadette O’Dwyer’s – Jutt
– Which will be placed on the bank at the back of the heritage centre on the opposite side to the playground.
I will post some photographs of them in situ on my blog next week.
So by Friday evening I was already in the euphoric realms of delight as I headed to Spoken Worlds in Burton, for which I was a few minutes late having taken some time to notify the poets of the news from the trail.
Spoken Worlds was one of those special nights when there are several outstanding performances and pieces that are marked out as genius.
On Friday there were several great pieces of note, including; Gary Longden’s poem inspired by the quotes of footballers, which was sharp and funny and captured the nonsense that footballers quote in interviews on the TV and football programmes, this poem needs to be heard time and again and should be requested when ever Gary reads it is a signature piece.
A new voice to Spoken Worlds was Dwane Reads from Derby whose poem of the moment about the hopes for 2012 were mapped out as if we had got to October and they had really happened. The poem as Dwane agreed was very much of the moment, on that this time next year would no longer be relevant. It would however be interesting to see him write the after the event version.
Margaret Torr’s delivery of a Vikram Seth poem from memory brought out her expertise as a story teller, engaging the audience with her eyes and movement. Margaret is guest poet at the Fizz in May and I look forward to seeing her perform a full set.
Terri Jolland read a very new piece where she looked back at her time working in an area of Leicester, that she returned too the previous Saturday when she went along to the State of Independence, which I discussed in my blog last week. Terri’s piece was full of memory and comparison, brought about by the surprise of revisiting the area where she had once worked and had now changed so much with the development of De Montfort University. A day that provided her with a gateway to memories and new poetry.
Terri and her husband Ray also delivered a comic sketch, which has become a trademark for them; Spoken Worlds has grown to expect such a piece. This month they delivered a comic triumph that saw William Shakespeare trying to compare Anne Hathaway to a summer’s day only to be interrupted by Anne with her musings that had this happened then he would never have completed his famous sonnet. It was full of fresh quips and whimsy and delivered to perfect comic timing, a wonderful piece.
The whole evening was full of some great poetry with other notable performances from Steph Knipe who gave us some of her poetry as song, Janet Jenkins who mused on Sparrows, Tom Wyre reading poems he rarely reads from his excellent collection Soliloquy, Ian Ward in the Borderlands, where he called Polesworth a city, that would not go down well at The Fizz where the locals still consider the town as a village. Rob Stevens from Buxton gave us song and poetry along with limericks in tribute to Edward Lear, which is part of a project to cover the Buxton Dome with new limericks.
The host Gary Carr made this magical evening flow with his eloquent introductions and before we knew it, it was 10:30 and time to head home.
LEUKAEMIA AND LYMPHOMA RESEARCH – CHARITY SHOW.
Finally Yesterday afternoon saw me attend the penultimate rehearsal for a charity show that is taking place on Friday at the Progressive Club in Tamworth to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
The show is a wonderful mix of dance, song, magic and comedy and few poems from me. It has been organised and produced by members of my extended family. This is the first rehearsal that I have been able to attend, but as my set is self contained this has not halted the progress of what promises to be a gem of a show.
There is so much laughter and enjoyment from all those involved it was a delight to be part of it, I only wish I had had more time to see it develop.
This should not mask the amount of time and effort that has gone into organising it, with performances to be choreographed, props and costumes to be made, comic sets to be written and rehearsed, songs to be learnt. I felt humbled by my small contribution, trucking up at the last minute to deliver some already written poetry. I will be reading some of my more comic poems but am working on my introductions and engagement with the audience as there is so much professionalism among the laughter of this show that I would not want to let them down.
Those who know me will also know that dancing is not something you would associate with me and my awkward out of step gyrations that make even “Dad Dancing” look good. So you will be pleased to know that I have even been convinced to dance in the finale. It took little coaxing, the spirit of those involved was so welcoming and fun that there was never any consideration that I would not do it.
There is a final rehearsal on Wednesday I am so much looking forward to it.
Congratulations to all of the Smith Family especially Emma, Clare, Dee, Chris, Ryan, Rachel and Mick and all of their friends for staging this show and bringing so much untapped talent to the stage.
The show is at 7:30pm at The Progressive Club, Halford St, Tamworth, Tickets are £4:00 and will be available on the door – all proceeds go to the charity.
There may be some photos next week, watch this space.
For more information on Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
THE LOST POETS
Don’t forget you can hear my lost poets on Radio Wildfire – Banjo Patterson is now on the loop.
I am still researching a very interesting Chinese poet at the moment and will post another piece in the next couple of weeks.
SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS
Readings in March.
March 27th – The Fizz – Polesworth – Guest Poet Barry Patterson.
March 30th – Leukaemia Research Fund Raiser – Progressive Club – Tamworth.