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Archive for October, 2012

WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

The aches always the aches.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

THE DANCE still THE DANCE.

LISTENING TO:

FINAL VERSION of CGE – JIMI DEWHIRST – HYDRANOID MUSIA.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

STAFFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE COMMISSION

COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA.

THE BBC broadcast their piece on The Colin Grazier Enigma last Monday evening on Midlands Today –
I had to wait until Wednesday until I finally got to see it and a fine piece it was too.

The strange pheonominan of being recognised by strangers was also something that entered my experience, being served in shops and being asked “Are you that poet bloke who has done the enigma thing, that was on the telly?” Then going on to tell me how great they thought it was that Colin was being remembered in this way, or that they were related to Colin or Olive.

The people of Tamworth know who Colin was and what he did. There is a pride that lives within the psyche of Tamworth. Everyone wants to tell you the Enigma story, they all want to be part of it. Lets hopw they turn up tomorrow evening.

My post is late this week due to the final preparations of the technical media, but as I write I can say that both the Music and the Film Projections have been rendered into their final forms.

Yesterday saw the cast perform as part of the Colin Grazier Memorial Service which was a pleasant change to the rehearsal schedule, which continued straight afterwards and meant that we could not join the Royal Navy Association for a rum or two afterwards.

More rehearsals tonight and tomorrow afternoon with the big performance at 6:00pm starting at the bandstand – then to under the town hall – then to the Almshouses – the to the railway station. A quick drink in the pub before heading to the Market Square for the 2nd act.

Do come along if you can, ensuring you wrap up warm and wear shoes suitable for walking.

This is a new approach to bringing poetry to new audiences with a FREE promenade theatre piece for all the family.

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

I am also working on a couple of poem commissions as part of my laureateship more of which in the coming weeks.

THE FIZZ.

The next Fizz takes place in TAMWORTH on Wednesday 7th November at THE MOAT HOUSE, LICHFIELD ST, TAMWORTH. Starting at 8:00pm

The guest poets will be the CORK POETS, Matthew Geden and Conor McManus with the usual open mic.

Free Entry, with a Bar, Coffee and Cakes plus a Carvery from 7:00pm for £4.95.

NEW WRITERS GROUP.

The new writers group that I am supporting in Coleshill attracted 14 writers to the first meeting, where we discussed what they might want to look at over the coming months. Most of the participants are prose writers so we will be focusing on stories – last week we started with setting by exploring ideas around a room that was special to them. Next month we will look at Characters and Conflict, with the December session looking at Plots and Themes. So hopefully over Christmas they can develop a piece for critique in January.

OTHER ACTIVITIES.

Everything else is a little bit on hold at the moment – Although I am working on the Stroke Association Anthology, which may now be launched in the New Year so as not to rush the production. More on this as things get firmed up.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in October and November

30th Oct – COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA – TAMWORTH
6th Nov – NIGHT BLUE FRUIT TAYLOR JOHN’S– COVENTRY.
7th Nov – THE FIZZ – MOAT HOUSE – TAMWORTH
15th Nov – GIGGLING GOBLIN FOLK AND POETRY – ASHBY DE LA ZOUCHE
16th Nov – SPOKEN WORLDS – BURTON – ON – TRENT.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

LACK OF SLEEP.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

THE DANCE OF THE SEA.

LISTENING TO:

CGE – JIMI DEWHIRST – HYDRANOID MUSIA.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

STAFFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE COMMISSION

COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA.

All focus is on my Poetry play the Colin Grazier Enigma, rehearsals continued with the added pressure of The BBC coming along to film and article to be broadcast on Midlands Today on sometime this week.

Joan Cummins and Cameraman Nigel came along to Tamworth last Wednesday evening to film the wedding and hunt for wolves scenes, along with interviews with myself and Simon Quinn the Director.

Joan’s interview style took me by surprise, but was one I very quickly warmed too. The first question being “Colin Grazier, no one knows who he is, why would a poet want write about him?” Followed by “Well we all know the Americans captured the Enigma codes, it was in the movie, so why are we just telling the story again?” To “This is promenade theatre piece, is Tamworth ready for this, will the people of Tamworth take to this?” Provoking answers out of our passions for the piece.

The BBC’s Joan Cummins interviewing Danny McBeth who plays Colin Grazier – provoking answers.

It was also good to meet Phil Shanahan whose book the Real Enigma Heroes was my prime source of information when I was developing the script. – I must get him to sign my copy next time.

Rehearsals moved into full flow with the bringing together of the actors and dancers who worked through the excellent choreography of Ami Radcliffe, providing a seascape with all the movement and drama of the sea.

Following my technical difficulties of last week, I ended up spending £100 on a new piece of software which after a very short time in which to learn how to use it, I managed to achieve getting close to the result I wanted, just in time for the visit of the BBC crew, where I was able to mock up a piece of film the demonstrate what will be the final piece.

Projection

I now have two completed films with another three to put together.

My other task for last week was the recording of the German Voice over’s from the submariners whose voices are heard but they are now seen. Luke Comley who played Pink in recent production of the Wall in Tamworth, obliged with the recordings providing a manic, panic as the submariners realise they have been found by the sonar blips.

So all the technical parts are completed they just need to be pulled together – This performance will fill my time and thoughts for the next week, and then I can start planning some more laureate events.

The second pre-performance will be on Sunday 28th October at St Editha’s Church as part of the annual memorial service for Colin, held by the Royal Naval Association.

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

THE FIZZ.

The next Fizz takes place in TAMWORTH on Wednesday 7th November at THE MOAT HOUSE, LICHFIELD ST, TAMWORTH. Starting at 8:00pm

The guest poets will be the CORK POETS, Matthew Geden and Conor McManus with the usual open mic.

Free Entry, with a Bar, Coffee and Cakes plus a Carvery from 7:00pm for £4.95.

NEW WRITERS GROUP.

Tonight sees my first workshop with a new writers group that is being set up in Coleshill, North Warwickshire. I have been commissioned to run six workshops with them over the next six months to explore all aspects of creative writing and critiquing. Hopefully by the end of these workshops, I can leave them with the confidence in their writing abilities to continue on and develop into a group with the passion and enthusiasm that I have seen with both the Runaway Writers and The Mad Hatters Writing Groups.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings into November

30th Oct – COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA – TAMWORTH
6th Nov – NIGHT BLUE FRUIT TAYLOR JOHN’S– COVENTRY.
7th Nov – THE FIZZ – MOAT HOUSE – TAMWORTH
15th Nov – GIGGLING GOBLIN FOLK AND POETRY – ASHBY DE LA ZOUCHE
16th Nov – SPOKEN WORLDS – BURTON – ON – TRENT.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Aches and sugar

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

ENIGMA

LISTENING TO:

Roses – The Cranberries.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

STAFFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE.

Last week saw a planning meeting with the Libraries and Arts team to pull together the ideas for my work over the coming twelve months.

STAFFORDSHIRE OPEN FOR POETRY
My themes of Staffordshire Open for Poetry will move ahead with meetings as yet to be arranged with the variety of organisations in the county that have interesting and unusual spaces where we could develop something poetic, I will keep you informed as things progress.

LAUREATE SATURDAYS
Also moving forward is THE LAUREATE SATURDAYS for which a proposal has been put together on what sort of activities could take place. These will create special days of poetry in the towns of Staffordshire, this could be something major such as events in the Market place through out the day reminiscent of Nuneaton Summer Day of Poetry in 2011 or it could be a smaller event such as a reading or meeting with a specific group. I would really want the representatives of the town to decide.

I am keen to speak with the communities to look at their views on Poetry, hopefully to share their poetry and to encourage them to develop their own voices.

Not forgetting that my Laureate poem praised each town for their unique virtues, as I saw them. I want the local people to comment on their verse and to correct me where I am wrong. Such that at the end of my year we will have a new poem for Staffordshire.

If you are in one of the Staffordshire towns and want to host me for a Saturday then please contact me and we can discuss what we might do.

I am also keen to work with local poets and also poets who might want to join me on these Saturdays so please contact me if this is something that interests you.

We can have some good fun with this and create some new poetry; it’s got to be a good thing.

FIRST COMMISSION
My first commission to write an uplifting poem that promotes Staffordshire is well underway with the first draft well on the way. This poem will be used at The Staff Conference for Staffordshire County Councils Libraries, Arts and Tourism teams in November.

LITERATURE EXCHANGE / LITERATURAUSTAUSCH
My other commissions which have come through Tamworth Borough Council are also progressing – the Colin Grazier Enigma is discussed below. The town twinning Literature exchange is also progressing with the key contacts in Vaujours in France and Bad Laasphe in Germany both seeking out their local poets to discuss how this might happen. More news on this as it develops.

THE STROKE ASSOCIATION – 20 Anthology

The deadline for submissions has now passed, with over fifty people submitting, some with many poems or prose pieces, which I and the reviewers from the Stroke Association will now go through to select which one’s to be included in the Anthology.

There were some really clever takes on the theme, more of which I will discuss when we get closer to the launch.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed.

COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA.

The Colin Grazier Memorial – Tamworth

My Poetry play the Colin Grazier Enigma, rehearsals continue with the added pressures of needing to add in two, part performances in the run up to the 30th October. One of which I will tell you about next week.

The soundtrack is complete and I will be collecting it from Jimi tonight. The projections however have hit a snag. Whilst the composite images of the dark silhouette of HMS Petard and the sea taken from the ferry are all rendered and complete, it is the typing of the text over the image that is proving difficult. I would have though Sony Vegas Movie Studio would have a plug in that you just dropped the text in and clicked to scroll it left and away you go.

No you can use the titles and text plug in with key frames (I lost you a few minutes ago, didn’t I, I can tell) but anyway that does not work, well not quite true, I did mange to get it to work, but I don’t know how and so can replicate it. I am searching out alternatives and any ideas from the film world would be most welcome.

How do you simulate a typewriter on a film using Sony Vegas Movie Studio or alternative plug-in?

A bit of panic and still 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

THE FIZZ.

The next Fizz takes place in TAMWORTH on Wednesday 7th November at THE MOAT HOUSE, LICHFIELD ST, TAMWORTH. Starting at 8:00pm

The guest poets will be the CORK POETS, Matthew Geden and Conor McManus with the usual open mic.

Free Entry, with a Bar, Coffee and Cakes plus a Carvery from 7:00pm for £4.95.

Before you shout about me abandoning Polesworth, the move is purely due to the usual venues being unavailable on the night. I do plan to keep the event at Polesworth but also to introduce alternate nights in Tamworth, making this a monthly event rather than the current bi-monthly evening.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in October and November

19th Oct – Spoken Worlds – Burton-on-Trent.
21st Oct – The Swan – Stone – Staffordshire -3:00pm to 6.00pm

6th Nov – Night Blue Fruit – Coventry.
7th Nov – THE FIZZ – TAMWORTH

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Time and Tiredness

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

Laureate things

LISTENING TO:

CGE – JIMI Hydranoid Musia

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

STAFFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE.

National Poetry Day saw my inauguration at the First Staffordshire Poet Laureate at Lichfield Library and what a splendid turnout.

The evening was opened by Alan Medway from Staffordshire Arts and Library Services who introduced Grevel Lindop who read his wonderful Shugborough Eclogues, following the seasons, through the landscape capturing the essence of place. These are really are wonderful and worth searching out.

Grevel Lindop – Delivers the Shugborough Eclogues (c) Gary Carr

Sue Ball then introduced the role of the Laureate and the expectations on the holder of the role. Introducing Councillor Pat Corfield to make to presentation. I was very much taken with Cllr Corfield’s enthusiasm for the role and his view that this was the start of something significant. He presented me with two books, one for me to keep and use to write poetry throughout my year, the second for me to write a single poem to hand on to my successor.

Cllr Corfield presents me with two books for the Laureateship (c) Gary Carr

I then had the opportunity to thank all of those who had support the creation of the role and to lay out some of the ideas that I intend to pursue. My theme of Staffordshire Open for Poetry will see me seek out the spaces that the poetry community can fill with verse in what ever form is appropriate to the place.

Never one to miss an opportunity to promote my projects (c) Gary Carr

I also Introduced Laureate Saturdays – when I will visit the towns in Staffordshire to engage with Poets, Communities for readings, workshops and an exploration of local dialects and interests through poetry.

I then read my poems, Memphised, Cobh, Setting and for the first time the complete poem All Sides of the Shire. Creating a Journey across the globe to Staffordshire.

Brenda Read Brown (c) Gary Carr

The evening was completed by a performance from the Gloucestershire Poet Laureate, Brenda Read Brown, who gave us her unique take on life, love and attending music festivals. All to wonderful effect and to the delight of the gathered company.

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 tomorrow and pieces can be sent to me at maldewhirst@yahoo.co.uk.

If you have not submitted, yet, then look through your work and find a tenuous link to 20 and send it in.

COLIN GRAZIER ENIGMA.

My Poetry play the Colin Grazier Enigma, began rehearsals today, with the sun shining we chose to walk the route of the promenade and rehearse the scenes in the places where they will be performed on the night of the 30th October.

Colin Grazier Enigma – Rehearsals in situ.

I am still working on 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

THE FIZZ.

The next Fizz takes place in TAMWORTH on Wednesday 7th November at THE MOAT HOUSE, LICHFIELD ST, TAMWORTH. Starting at 8:00pm

The guest poets will be the CORK POETS, Matthew Geden and Conor McManus with the usual open mic.

Free Entry, with a Bar, Coffee and Cakes plus a Cavery from 7:00pm for £4.95.

Before you shout about me abandoning Polesworth, the move is purely due to the usual venues being unavailable on the night. I do plan to keep the event at Polesworth but also to introduce alternate nights in Tamworth, making this a monthly event rather than the current bi-monthly evening.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in October and November

2nd Oct – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield.
4th Oct – Staffordshire Poet Laureate – The Library Lichfield.
19th Oct – Spoken Worlds – Burton-on-Trent.
21st Oct – The Swan – Stone – Staffordshire -3:00pm to 6.00pm

6th Nov – Night Blue Fruit – Coventry.
7th Nov – THE FIZZ – TAMWORTH

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