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Archive for September, 2012

WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Aches.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

Ireland

LISTENING TO:

Traditional Irish Music.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

A MUCH NEEDED BREAK.

Apologies for not blogging for a couple of weeks, but I have been touring Ireland on a much needed break although I did manage to read in the open mic. at O’Bheal in Cork where the guest poet was Ilya Kaminsky who read in his distinct voice from his collection Dancing in Odessa, including his Musica Humana (an elegy for Osip Mandelstam, who featured as a lost poet on this blog).

Ilya’s reading was absolutely excellent delivering his poems with phonetic perfection, from someone whose first language is not English and who is also deaf, he masters a rythemn to deliver his glorious take on the world.

You can read more about Ilya at – http://www.ilyakaminsky.com/

The break itself began with the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin and I slightly diverted drive across country to spend a week in Galway, which including a tour the poetical landscapes of Connemara and the Isles of Aran.

Galway Bay

The settled week was followed by a week of touring down to Killarney and the Ring of Kerry, then a couple of days in and around Cork, a disappointing trip to Waterford, finishing with a trip to Kilkenny before a night in Kilrane before getting the ferry from Rosslare to Pembroke.

The Ring of Kerry

Two weeks of a wonder of welcomes and generosity, of landscapes that pour themselves out in front of you and wrap themselves into your thoughts, spilling your senses into overdrive, all of which will no doubt appear in my poetry in the near future.

Talking of which, my future in poetry is all wrapped up in………

STAFFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE.

Notice on the Laureate.

Staffordshire County Council, through Libraries and Arts, are delighted to have appointed Mal Dewhirst for the role of Staffordshire Poet Laureate 2012/13.

We would like to invite you to join us at the Inauguration Ceremony to celebrate this auspicious event.
The ceremony will take place on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October, 7.30pm at Lichfield Library.

The evening will include special guests; Grevel Lindop, who will read his ‘Shugborough Eclogues’, and recently appointed Gloucestershire Poet Laureate; Brenda Read-Brown, Co-ordinator of the West Midlands Poetry on Loan Scheme and judge of the Staffordshire Poet Laureate.

Tickets for this event will be £2, including a glass of wine, and can be purchased at or booked from Lichfield Library, Tel 01543 510700.

As part of the celebration evening, Mal will answer any questions about the role, if they are submitted in advance by e-mail to alan.medway@staffordshire.gov.uk

Everyone welcome.
To find out more, visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/poetlaureate

THE STROKE ASSOCIATION – 20 Anthology

I have created a page on the menu bar above with the details on how to submit work for this exciting new project, which has already stirred some good interest, with submissions coming in with some really inventive interpretations on the theme of 20. The deadline is the 8th October and can be sent to me at maldewhirst@yahoo.co.uk.

COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA.

The Colin Grazier Memorial – Tamworth

My Poetry play the Colin Grazier Enigma, now has a cast and rehearsals start in full next Sunday 7th October.

I need to finalise the sounds from the musical soundtrack to the poetry in Morse code, bringing this together with the visuals, part of which was filmed from the ferry on my return from Ireland.

A busy time ahead.

You can read more details on the performance at http://www.thisistamworth.co.uk/Tamworth-naval-hero-Colin-Grazier-commemorated/story-16998769-detail/story.html

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in October

2nd Oct – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield.
4th Oct – Staffordshire Poet Laureate – The Library Lichfield.
19th Oct – Spoken Worlds – Burton-on-Trent.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Nothing

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

The Staffordshire Poet Laureate

LISTENING TO:

Hedonism – Bellowhead.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

STAFFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE.

On the 4th October, National Poetry Day, The county of Staffordshire will appoint its first Poet Laureate and I am honoured and pleased to say that I am the poet that the Arts and Libraries team from the County Council have chosen to hold this position in its inaugural year.

I have lots of ideas on things I want to do, which I will be discussing with Council team over the coming weeks, my aim is to hit my year as laureate running, this is not a role to ease myself into, the year will pass far to quickly to allow that to happen.

So watch this blog to share in my year in the role, which I hope will provide opportunities for many poets in the county.

ANOTHER NEW PROJECT.

In my last blog post I mentioned that there will still a couple of projects that were still under discussion. As you can guess the Staffordshire Laureate was one of them. But there is one more that I can now mention.

This new project is a project that allows me to write, there is no organising of events or readings, just a chance to write a response to a historical research project.

THE BOUDICCA PROJECT.

Boadicea Haranguing The Britons. John Opie, R.A

The Project is Boudicca Project based around Mancetter nr Atherstone in North Warwickshire, where a group are engaged in researching the descriptions in contemporary documents around the Battle of Watling St in AD61 or there abouts, when Boudicca met her end as she led her army of Britons in rebellion against the Roman occupiers. The aim to establish if the Roman fort at Mancetter could be the location of this battle.

My role as the Poet in Residence on the project is to write interpretations of the life in these times.

THE STROKE ASSOCIATION – 20 Anthology

I have created a page on the menu bar above with the details on how to submit work for this exciting new project, which has already stirred some good interest, with submissions coming in with some really inventive interpretations on the theme of 20. The deadline is the 8th October and can be sent to me at maldewhirst@yahoo.co.uk.

COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA.

Able Seaman Colin Grazier GC

The play entitled Colin Grazier Enigma – tells of the events of 30th October 1942 in the Mediterranean, when Colin Grazier, Tony Fasson and Tommy Brown boarded the stricken U-Boat U-559 and salvaged the Enigma machine and the important code books that enable the intelligence operations at Bletchley Park to decode the transmissions of the U-boat wolf packs that it has been said significantly reduced the second world war.

The play has had its first read through and will go into full rehearsals in the coming week, once all the locations have been agreed. I will be working on the technical features and assisting the Director Simon Quinn on the delivery of the poetry.

The performance will take place around the streets of Tamworth on the evening of 30th October.

POLESWORTH A PLACE FOR POETRY – DIG THE POETRY – 2012.

Since my last post there has been the final workshop of the Dig the Poetry programme and the spectacular reading in the grounds among the trenches.

Sat 1st September saw the wonderful Jo Bell’s workshop entitled Strata’s – which explored the layers of Archaeology and compared them to the strata’s of our own lives.

Jo drove us hard with constant writing exercises that considered how we could look at our lives and what clues that would exist to future Archaeologists discovering our remains. The realisation that things we take for granted would be lost, that in the future our stories may not be at all clear, and that you can infer the story from what was not found.

All this allows us to consider the lives of the ancestors that we are now uncovering with a better understanding, with a more questioning mind, with less jumping to an obvious conclusion.

The workshop produced some absolutely excellent poems on what was a wonderful day of poetry.

PLUS POETRY EXHIBITION ON THE HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 7th – 9th Sept – with Readings on Sat 8th Sept.

The events took place at Polesworth Abbey, Polesworth in North Warwickshire. Where on Saturday poets gathered for a very special afternoon reading in the early autumn sunshine.

It was an afternoon that you always imagine a poetry reading should be, al fresco in, in a garden with readers and listeners sitting on the grass, breathing in every word. A gathering of friends, fellow wordsmiths whose journey through the preceding weeks as the archaeology was unearthed and captured within the words that sculpted poetry on to pages.

A very special day that will live with those who were there for always. A fitting end to this wonderful project. Something I reflected upon when I took down the exhibition this afternoon and packed it away, hanging up my hat as Poet in Residence at Dig the Abbey.

Jo Bell, Jenny Hope, Maeve Clarke, Mal Dewhirst, David Calcutt, Jacqui Rowe and Matt Merritt at the Dig the Poetry Reading (photo (c) Gary Carr 2012

You can see Gary Longden’s review of the afternoon on his blog at:
http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/poetry-at-the-abbey-polesworth-abbey-polesworth/

SOME OF THE POETRY IS ON THE WEBSITE.

Peter Ralley who is managing all the media and video for Dig the Abbey has uploaded some of the poetry written in response to the dig on to the DIG THE ABBEY website – you can see it through this link.

http://www.digtheabbey.co.uk/

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in October

2nd Oct – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield.
4th Oct – Staffordshire Poet Laureate – The Library Lichfield.

Read Full Post »