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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah James’

WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Ear ache

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

A walk in the country

LISTENING TO:

New York Bands

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

MARS ON THE RISE BOOK LAUNCH.

12th May – Century Theatre – Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville Leicestershire.

As I mentioned last week the Mars on the Rise is book launch is upon us, this is the first Steampunk novel by Rae Gee. The book explores dark themes, through the evil dealings of the company Veetu Industries, purveyors of SEX, DRUGS and STEAMPOWER. Not for the faint hearted but as
Jane Davitt said in her review for the US Launch:

“I was swept away by the story and brought into a world that’s brilliantly depicted in vivid detail.”

This novel is already number 54 on the German Gothic novel chart and number 38 on the German Gothic Romantic Novel chart, based on e-book downloads alone.

The run up to the launch has not been without its difficulties, with delays in the production and one of the bands having to pull out – but these have all been resolved in the main.

The Evening will feature the book launch with conversations with Rae, the showing of the Veetu Industries Commercial.

Plus performances from two great Steampunk bands and a Steampunk comedian.

The Cogkneys are a Derbyshire based Steampunk band and The Dark Design, who are coming all the way from Brighton to perform, describe themselves as Celtic, Steampunk, Victoriana band. They will be joined by the comic Count Rostov entertaining with his Steampunk wit.

I will reveal my alter-ego Sir Nigel Mallard as master of ceremonies.

THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF ALL THE COGS, PISTONS AND CHAINS OF STEAMPUNK AND WILL BE A BOOK LAUNCH LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

Tickets are still available from Rae. – rae@glasscompletelyempty.co.uk

Links to websites
The Cogkneys – http://www.thecogkneys.co.uk/
The Dark Design – http://www.reverbnation.com/thedarkdesign
Count Rostov – http://www.countrostov.co.uk/

I will post photos and views on next weeks blog.

NIGHTBLUE FRUIT

Last Tuesday saw Nightblue Fruit with a very accomplished reading from Sarah James and a bizarre reading from a student, Adele.
Gary Longen’s review can be found at http://behindthearras.com/wordsandvoices1.html#Blue_Fruit

RADIO WILDFIRE – DAVE REEVES INTERVIEW.


As you are aware I recently started recording a series on the Lost Poets for Radio Wildfire, a few weeks ago I took the opportunity to interview the host and driving force behind this internet radio station, taking spoken word out to new listeners.

Dave Reeves at home behind the Mic.

MAL: Tell us a little bit about your background Dave, and how you came to be involved with Radio Wildfire?
DAVE: I’ve got a long history as a community publisher and writer and was editor/publisher of Raw Edge Magazine; the West Midlands based publication of new writing for 13 years until 2008. Radio Wildfire grew from a conversation between Vaughn Reeves and me late one evening when we were involved in the less sexy side of publishing (but a side crucial to the operation), stuffing envelopes with magazines. Basically we wondered why material that we were listening to at home was so hard to find on radio and, as with many projects, decided it was a case of – if no one else was doing it and we wanted to hear it, we’d have to do it ourselves.

MAL: Take us through how Radio Wildfire has developed?
DAVE: The original idea really began to take shape when Ali McK came onboard to help us make a pitch for some business help and at around the same time Ben Stanley got involved, taking charge of the technical side. It was Ali making us get the paperwork in order and Ben setting up the transmission side that moved us along.

MAL: Who do you have on your team to produce the programmes?
DAVE: The production is mainly done by Vaughn at the moment, with Ben working on programmes and projects when he is available. The setting up of The Loop is now Vaughn’s territory, as is the production side of the Live! show. Ali holds the back room together and deals with the production admin.

MAL: Tell us a bit about how you put the programmes together?
DAVE: The Radio Wildfire Live! show goes out on the first Monday of each month at 8.00pm, and is put together from tracks that people upload to the ‘Submit’ page of our website, tracks from cds that are posted to us, and interviews that are either conducted live in the studio or recorded the previous day. The Loop is then made up of tracks from the Live! show plus material from our ever-expanding archive of spoken word and music. All of the material that we use has to be the original copyright of the artist and not registered to any collecting body: so no cover versions.

MAL: Who do you see as your audience, where are they located and what are their interests?
DAVE: The audience is global, mainly in the English speaking world obviously, and predominantly from the UK. The longer that we are transmitting the further afield the material comes from. We have contributors in Canada and the US, but also get music tracks sent from Indonesia, for example.

As for their interests: I think an active interest in spoken word literature and literature with music is what they have in common – and we’ve got some great examples of extracts of novels read to live music as well as poetry and song. Plus short plays are becoming something of a feature at the moment, a development that we are really excited about. Although drama is a thread of material that we have been interested in from the very beginning the inclusion of it is audience led, by which I mean people have approached us with examples of their work rather than us going out to them.

MAL: Where do you get the material for the broadcasts?
DAVE: There are three main ways of collecting material: i) material that people upload to the ‘Submit’ page of our website; ii) work that is sent to us by post; iii) community projects that we undertake and which create content for transmission. Besides this there are of course the larger regular sections of our output which we create in-house.

MAL: How can people get new material to you?
DAVE: There are two ways of getting work to us, either through the ‘Submit’ page of the Radio Wildfire website, or through the post. The reason for the ‘Submit’ page is that it constructed so that you give us the right to transmit it by ticking a box and we don’t have to come back and ask if you own the work. This can be extremely important when people buy the rights to a piece of music and then include it in the track that they send to us, it let’s us know that we don’t have to get permission from elsewhere.

To send cds by post you just need to contact us through the website and we’ll send you a permissions form which has the postal address on. It’s crucial that people do it this way, please, as we need that permission form before we transmit anything.

MAL: Have there been any interesting incidents that you can tell us about, funny or otherwise?
DAVE: Interesting for us is probably the times there are three minutes to go before transmission of the Live! show and we find that we can’t get the software to transmit from the mics, but such things don’t make very interesting reading for anyone else. I guess the incidents that really stand out in the memory are novelist Jim Crace coming into the studio on a night that it was so cold that we all had our coats and gloves on and he and I started talking about Captain Beefheart rather than his writing; poet Julie Boden getting lost trying to find the studio and us hanging out of the window trying to guide her in with minutes to go before she was due to be on air; showing Jacqui Rowe’s etchings on Facebook at the same time she was reading the poems about them live from the studio; storyteller Clive Cole using models as props while he was telling a story live from the studio – just what you need as a listener, visual’s you can’t see (made me think of old radio shows with ventriloquists: anyone remember Educating Archie?); poet David Hart getting lost on the way to the studio (you’ll be getting the idea that the studio is well hidden); and us coming in to find the studio broken into and computer gear stolen just two weeks after we moved in to the new building: and this is why we now take care to ensure that we are so well hidden!

MAL: Where do you see Radio Wildfire heading in the future, are there any particular things you would like to be able to do?
DAVE: We are about to undertake our next live Outside Broadcast from Leamington Spa Heritage Festival. Two, two-hour transmissions from Gallery 150 on Saturday June 2nd will include a mix of new creative work and a series of vox pop interviews of people talking about things they have seen and done on that day. This is part of the work Radio Wildfire is undertaking in 2012 to celebrate 75 years of the Mass Observation movement. There’ll be opportunities to be included in the show and to interact with us as well, so do log on that day and join us. You can get more details by mailing us at listentoleam@gmail.com

The intention has always been to programme the station more but this takes time and money. We have been collecting material by doing field recordings at live events since we started operating and have hours of material that Vaughn is currently going back through as a preliminary to extending The Loop in the near future: an extension that has also seen your own The Lost Poets transmitted on a monthly basis.

What would we like to do? More. It’s as simple as that. We love working with recorded sound and to do more work with artists and communities is what Radio Wildfire is here for.

MAL: And for you personally what are your future projects?
DAVE: I’m currently performing a show based around my book and cd from Offa’s Press, Black Country Dialectics. I’m also rehearsing a new selection of spoken word and performance poetry with self-accompaniment on squeezebox and harmonica: something I last published on a cd titled poetryreeding. Another cd is being recorded under the title of The Devil Is In The Retail. The live shows use props as well as poetry and music: suitable for festivals, clubs, pubs and … well you get the picture. Thanks for asking.


Listen to Radio Wildfire at www.radiowildfire.com where The Loop plays 24 hours a day and the next LIVE SHOW is Monday 7th at 20:00.

SOME OTHER EVENTS COMING UP.

12TH MAY
MARS ON THE RISE BOOK LAUNCH

15th May
Poetry Alight at the Spark Café – The second evening of this excellent event with several guest poets plus pre-booked open mic’ers. Gary Longden will no doubt be providing more details in the coming weeks.
15th May. I expect to see several of the poetry trail poets reading at this event.

18th May
Spoken Worlds – Burton’s premier Poetry event – it was excellent last Friday, where I played my sound poems as Poet as DJ – and got many positive comments. The next is on 18th May – 7:30 start Open mic plus real ale pub – The Old Cottage Tavern, Bykerley St, Burton-on-Trent.

22nd May
THE FIZZ – Bringing all thinks poetic back to Polesworth – Guest poet is Margaret Torr – plus open mic, refreshments available 7:30pm start – Polesworth Abbey Refectory – High St, Polesworth, North Warwickshire.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in May

1st May – Nightblue Fruit – with Guest Poet Sarah James
12th May – Mars on the Rise Book Launch – Century Theatre, Coalville, Leicestershire.
15th May – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield
18th May – Spoken Worlds – Burton on Trent
22nd May – The Fizz – Polesworth – Guest Poet Margaret Torr.

June 6th, 7th and 8th – THE WALL – Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Temperamental Software

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

The buzz of creativity

LISTENING TO:

Solo – Edgar Froese

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

MARS ON THE RISE BOOK LAUNCH.
12th May – Century Theatre – Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville Leicestershire.

I have not mentioned this for a while and the event will soon be on us. Mars on the Rise is the first Steampunk novel by Rae Gee. The book explores dark themes, through the evil dealings of the company Veetu Industries, purveyors of SEX, DRUGS and STEAMPOWER. Not for the faint hearted but as
Jane Davitt said in her review for the US Launch:

“I was swept away by the story and brought into a world that’s brilliantly depicted in vivid detail.”

This novel is already number 54 on the German Gothic novel chart and number 38 on the German Gothic Romantic Novel chart, based on e-book downloads alone.

The run up to the launch has not been without its difficulties, with delays in the production and one of the bands having to pull out – but these have all been resolved in the main.

The Evening will feature the book launch with conversations with Rae, the showing of the Veetu Industries Commercial.

Plus performances from two great Steampunk bands and a Steampunk comedian.

The Cogkneys are a Derbyshire based Steampunk band and The Dark Design, who are coming all the way from Brighton to perform, describe themselves as Celtic, Steampunk, Victoriana band. They will be joined by the comic Count Rostov entertaining with his Steampunk wit.

I will reveal my alter-ego Sir Nigel Mallard as master of ceremonies.

THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF ALL THE COGS, PISTONS AND CHAINS OF STEAMPUNK AND WILL BE A BOOK LAUNCH LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

Tickets are still available from Rae. – rae@glasscompletelyempty.co.uk

Links to websites
The Cogkneys – http://www.thecogkneys.co.uk/
The Dark Design – http://www.reverbnation.com/thedarkdesign
Count Rostov – http://www.countrostov.co.uk/

NIGHTBLUE FRUIT

Tomorrow, 1st May sees Polesworth Poets Trail poet Sarah James headline at Nightblue Fruit in Coventry.

Taylor John’s House, The Canal Basin – Coventry – 8:00pm – Bar plus Open Mic.

THE WALL.

THE WALL – TAMWORTH 2012 is an Arts Connects – Fired Up Theatre production that sees the arts team at Tamworth Borough Council working along side Staffordshire’s Premier Community theatre company.

This is a courageous project that brings together community artists and provides a platform for excellence in the delivery of the arts in the town. This to me is what Council Arts teams should be doing in regenerating artistic activities in towns, providing collaborative opportunities for artistic development and then showcasing the results.

This show will have the effect of waking people up not only to the issues that the show explores but also how much talent there is in town. It will be a show where those artists and performers who perhaps thought about being part of it, but then for what ever reason did not get involved, will take a step back and go WOW; I wish I had been part of that.

This production is only the second time the Wall has been performed as a show by anyone other than Pink Floyd. The first show was at The MAC in Birmingham about ten years ago and very much followed the original material. This show sees the original music performed by Floydian Slip but to a new, updated script written by Simon Quinn that brings in contemporary themes. Ami Radcliffe of Radcliffe Dance is bringing brand new choreography to the piece. The show also introduces new poetry delivered as film or sound pieces. The show is performed by a cast from the local community that brings together actors, dancers, singers, poets, film makers and artists as well as backstage technicians, wardrobe team and promotions. All collaborating on delivering the biggest show that Tamworth has ever produced.

Community Poems
Last week saw the final Community Café workshop with twenty community members of all ages taking part in creating new lines in response to the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb. I have planned out their sound poem on paper but have yet to compile it, a job for tonight. – I then have to take the lines of all three poems and create a final piece to be included in the show, but I need a day or so to think that one through.

Floydian Slip
Thursday evening saw the Director, Simon Quinn and myself travel up to Chesterfield to meet with the band Floydian Slip at their rehearsal room. Our purpose was to map out the first act to match the music to the action and dance. We also needed to make the spaces between the songs for the film and sound poems. The real delight was to have one of the original Floyd tribute bands provide a personal performance the whole of the first act. It was an absolute surreal experience and I look forward to going back in a couple of weeks to map out the second act and then working with them on the shows.

Poetry War Film
Saturday and a chance to get the camera out and record some poetry. The shoot took place at Tamworth Assembly Rooms and saw the first use of my backdrop to allow me to create a composite montage of poetry and war.

Antony Owen, the Coventry War poet came along to read the poems for the film, delivering some Wilfred Owen, August Stramm and his own poetry. Antony is great to work with and his performance was professional and accomplished. I much appreciated him changing the town in the original poem to be Tamworth so that the piece for the show is specific to the town. I think this has a real impact, it brings it home, makes people think about how close the war and conflict in distant lands can come into our lives.

Antony delivered excellent performances in a few takes that allowed time for us to experiment with some of his other poems and ways to express them on screen; I am really looking forward to working with these films in the future.

Yesterday saw my temperamental software give me a headache all day as it failed to render the finished result of Antony’s performance overlaid with footage from World War I. I finally managed to get it sorted at 10:00pm last night and rendered the first draft, and even if I do say so myself I really quite pleased with it.

SHOW DATES
THE WALL is being staged at THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS IN TAMWORTH – 6-8th June 2012 – Tickets are on sale from the box office or through the web, check THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS website for details.
http://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/whats-on/event-calendar/cat.listevents/2012/04/30/-?start=30

SOME OTHER EVENTS COMING UP.

15th May
Poetry Alight at the Spark Café – The second evening of this excellent event with several guest poets plus pre-booked open mic’ers. Gary Longden will no doubt be providing more details in the coming weeks.
15th May. I expect to see several of the poetry trail poets reading at this event.

18th May
Spoken Worlds – Burton’s premier Poetry event – it was excellent last Friday, where I played my sound poems as Poet as DJ – and got many positive comments. The next is on 18th May – 7:30 start Open mic plus real ale pub – The Old Cottage Tavern, Bykerley St, Burton-on-Trent.

22nd May
THE FIZZ – Bringing all thinks poetic back to Polesworth – Guest poet is Margaret Torr – plus open mic, refreshments available 7:30pm start – Polesworth Abbey Refectory – High St, Polesworth, North Warwickshire.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in May

1st May – Nightblue Fruit – with Guest Poet Sarah James
12th May – Mars on the Rise Book Launch – Century Theatre, Coalville, Leicestershire.
15th May – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield
18th May – Spoken Worlds – Burton on Trent
22nd May – The Fizz – Polesworth – Guest Poet Margaret Torr.

June 6th, 7th and 8th – THE WALL – Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

TWO TYPES OF SHOPPERS – THE AIMLESS and THE FOCUSSED – both oblivious to the rest of us.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

MY NEW STUDIO BACKDROP SUPPORT KIT.

LISTENING TO:

THE WALL – PINK FLOYD

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

THE SEASON OF LONG BALLS

Well the Football season is nearly over and Tamworth are safe for another season in the Conference Premier. I must admit since I started following Tamworth some six or so years ago my interest in the teams across all the divisions has grown and I now take note of what is happening in the four divisions of the top flight as well as the Conference Premier, North and South.

Tamworth had a good start to the season but have struggled since Christmas. They can play some good football especially against the better teams, where they up their game and play to feet carving out openings that find results. They tend to be a bit chameleon like and let the opposing team set the play which they then copy and against the poor teams they revert to a long ball game which frustrates the fans as invariably they don’t win the balls in the air and the attack is cleared only to see our opponents nick a goal in the last few minutes.

This was clearly shown in the battle they put up against Everton at Goodison Park in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, losing 2-0 but getting high praise in the process, OK, we lost but then we were expected to lose, but in holding Everton the way that we did was a result in my book. Then weeks later we lost at home to Bath City who have not been off the bottom of the league for most of the season, we should have won that game easily. Focussing on the way our teams win is not the end of it, it is important to understand how our teams lose, especially when there is not the luxury of strength in depth. Still we can put that aside for another season, we are safe.

Whilst every Tamworth fan would like to see our team in the football league emulating our Staffordshire rivals Burton Albion, we have to accept that The Lamb ground would not really be up to league standards and as such if we did succeed in getting promoted we would struggle to rejuvenate the playing facilities and also pay the wages of the players required to make us a permanent fixture of the football league.

Tamworth have never over extended themselves financially and chased the unsustainable dream that so many clubs have in the past only to find themselves in liquidation and demoted beyond the Conference and in effect having to start again. Football clubs are businesses but they should never forget their core activity is the game, without the game the conference, hotel or what ever facilities they want to sell, are meaningless, the game is their unique selling point. They are just another offering in an already over crowded hospitality industry without it.

I don’t often talk about my footballing passion on this blog so that was my summary of a season on the Terraces or my view from THE SHED.

THE WALL.

Last week saw another workshop at the Community Café this time in Amington where we explored the themes of Comfortably Numb and created a new sound poem. Some fantastic lines were generated by the small group who attended, including Chloe who as a 12 year old was not phased by writing lines of poetry and was by far the most prolific. It was interesting that her lines took the voice of the comforter, the adult caring voice. The sound poem brings this out and creates an interesting juxtaposition of voices with the her young voice expressing the voice of reason, this would not have been so immediate and obvious from a page poem.

The final workshop is this week at Belgrave when we will create the third piece.

I already have some great lines and recordings to be included in the final piece from all three workshops and I am really looking forward to the next workshop to gather some more.

Rehearsals for the show are also progressing and the difficulties of working with different groups of people, each playing their part but rehearsing separately, then all coming together for the performance, has raised some interesting challenges. Not that they cannot be overcome and this week will see the mapping of the show from the individual acting pieces that have already been blocked out, to the already choreographed dance pieces, to the band, to the choir, to the projections, to the lighting, to the props etc.

I am filming on Saturday, a well known Midland Poet, is coming along to read as a talking head – reciting his and others poetry which will be overlaid with archive footage to create a montage on themes suggested by the production. A chance to use my new studio backdrop kit and to play with lighting, the things that excite me, even when people give me those weird looks.

I am glad of the opportunity to work on a production on such a scale, in both bringing my experience and also adding to my learning at the same time.

Some events coming up.

Nightblue Fruit with one of the Polesworth Poets – Sarah James – 1st May – Taylor John’s House, The Canal Basin – Coventry – 8:00pm – Bar plus Open Mic.

Poetry Alight at the Spark Café – The second evening of this excellent event with several guest poets plus pre-booked open mic’ers. Gary Longden will no doubt be providing more details in the coming weeks.
15th May. I expect to see several of the poetry trail poets reading at this event.

Spoken Worlds

Spoken Worlds – Burton’s premier Poetry event – it was excellent last Friday, where I played my sound poems as Poet as DJ – and got many positive comments. The next is on 18th May – 7:30 start Open mic plus real ale pub – The Old Cottage Tavern, Bykerley St, Burton-on-Trent.

THE FIZZ – Bringing all thinks poetic back to Polesworth –22nd May– Guest poet is Margaret Torr – plus open mic, refreshments available 7:30pm start – Polesworth Abbey Refectory – High St, Polesworth, North Warwickshire.

John Donne – Good Friday 1613 – Riding Westward.

Several poets have suggested ideas for commorating the writing of this poem at its 400th aniversary next year, but I am still open to ideas – so please keep them coming.

The Lost poets will return in June.

 

 

 

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in May

1st May – Nightblue Fruit – with Guest Poet Sarah James
15th May – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield
18th May – Spoken Worlds – Burton on Trent
22nd May – The Fizz – Polesworth – Guest Poet Margaret Torr.

June 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th – THE WALL – Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Apps that become demanding children – ITunes and Spotify you know who you are!

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

The Community Café Workshops.

LISTENING TO:

THE WALL – PINK FLOYD

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

An early post this week as I have a lot of things I want to promote.

THE WALL

Tamworth will see a fantastic production of Pink Floyd’s THE WALL over four days at the beginning of June.

The production which is collaboration between Fired Up Theatre / Tamworth Borough Council and the local community is a new interpretation of this Magnus Opus from the Floyd.

The interpretation features a new script, poetry, dance and actors drawn from the local community to explore the themes of isolation, delusion, seclusion and loneliness and how it impacts people in their daily lives.

For my part I am creating new poetry both from my own pen and also in collaboration with the Community Cafés. The poems will be performed using a variety of media from film to sound pieces to word displays.

Last week saw my first workshop with the community café in Wilnecote where a cross generational group gathered to discuss the song Comfortably Numb and to create new lines in response to the song, these were recorded and I am now putting together a sound poem from the event. I will be running two further workshops in Amington and Belgrave over the coming weeks.

Poetry Workshop at Wilnecote - (c) Community Cafe

In addition I will be supporting the Creative Director, Simon Quinn and the dance choreographer Amy Radcliffe in producing the show

You can find more about the production at:
http://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/arts-activities/the-wall

Tickets are on sale now and since being promoted on The Pink Floyd News website are selling well, so it is best to book early to get the date for the performance that you want to attend.

The performance dates are 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th June – To book tickets follow the link:
http://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/whats-on/event-calendar/icalrepeat.detail/2012/06/05/290/0/the-wall

You can use the calendar on the right to select the date of the performance that you wish to attend. Tickets are £8:00 (£6.00 Concessions Details are on the website.)

JOHN DONNE – GOOD FRIDAY 1613 – 400 YEARS.

John Donne - depicted 3 years after writing Good Friday.

Jacqui Rowe tweeted me last week to point out that next Easter it will be 400 years since John Donne sat in front of the fireplace at Polesworth Abbey and wrote the poem Good Friday 1613 Riding Westward. I am in agreement with Jacqui that we should not miss the opportunity to commemorate this anniversary of such a wonderful poem.
So I am proposing that we create a commemorative event to take place on Good Friday 2013 at The Abbey and I am looking for ideas from the poetry community as to what we might do.

I do have one or two ideas that have been suggested to me already, which I will hold on to so as not to influence your thoughts in coming up with some original, out of the ordinary approaches to creating and event.

Ideas may involve some workshops prior to the event, which I am open to organising, so don’t hold back on the ideas, lets create something new that will go down as an event in the history of Polesworth in the same way that Donne’s poem is considered.

Who knows in 100 years time our descendant poets may well be celebrating 500 years since Donne wrote the poem and 100 years since we created our event.

Please leave comments on this blog or email me at maldewhirst@yahoo.co.uk  with your thoughts.

In the meantime I will discuss it with Fr Philip and other groups in Polesworth.

If you don’t know the poem then follow this link to read it.
http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/goodfriday.php

KEITH LARGE – FISTS AND CHIPS

There are not enough serious short plays being written these days in my opinion. Not that I am adverse to comedy, I appreciate the comic sketch as much as anyone but I do wonder if writers use comedy as a safe way to get their work out there and as such avoid the controversy that a serious play exploring social issues can attract.

So I very much admire Keith Large who I have the pleasure to work with on film projects, for his taking a stance to tackle the subject of a social issue through his latest production.

Keith has written and produced a radio play called Fists and Chips, the play takes the theme of domestic violence as its focus and seeks to breakdown preconceived ideas on the reality on what is for some unfortunate people is a major part of their daily lives.

The play was produced as a radio play in a London recording studio, starring Jeff Stewart (PC Reg Hollis in the Bill) and Carrie Hill.

I would recommend that people follow the link and listen to this thought provoking, sensitive play.

You can hear the play by following this link:
http://www.dvmen.co.uk/

Keith has also put me on to an Edinburgh writer who he really rates. Simon Jackson whose poetry collection Fragile Cargo is published by BeWrite Books.

Reviews include,

“Jackson is a brave poet. There’s an underlying tenderness to Fragile Cargo, but the poems are all written with such energy and bite that the reader is never allowed to feel comfortable. They’re funny too. Jackson captures our lives and dilemmas and works like a photographer to show us the way we really are. More please.”

Mark Wallington (writer for Not the Nine O’Clock News and thirteen produced TV series and films)

Simon will be touring in the near future, included a date at the Buxton Festival in July.

You can buy Simon’s book by following this link

http://bewrite.net/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=FragileCargo&Category_Code=PO

You can follow Keith on Twitter @KeithLarge3
And follow his other projects at:
http://www.carrotnapper.com/

JO BELL – NAVIGATION – REPRINT

I was pleased to hear that Jo Bell’s collection Navigation is going to be re-printed.

Jo who is the leading light behind National Poetry day and delighted us with the Bugged anthology in recent years, writes about life afloat on her narrow boat with musings on sex and archaeology, but not I hasten to add not always at the same time.

I bought one of the last 12 copies of the original print from her a few years ago and not only have I read it myself but I have also lent it several other poets who all loved it but were disappointed not to be able to get a copy of their own. Well now is your chance as copies will be available from Jo, you can contact her through jo@jobell.org.uk  . The book is well worth the £9 including postage.

I also note that Jo has taken the opportunity to slightly revise the collection and has added in some new poems, a great move on her part as it means I now have to buy the reprint but only if she will sign it for me.

And if you are not following her blog then why not it has been listed in the friend’s blogs panel on this blog for over a year. If you have been just that little bit too busy take a break and have a look now at:
http://belljarblog.wordpress.com/

TWO POETRY EVENINGS.

Jonathan Davidson has dropped me a line to promote two very interesting evenings of poetry.

Firstly, we have an evening of Persian Poetry on Wednesday 9th May 2012 at the Barber Institute in Birmingham. It will be rare and wonderful; two Afghani poets and their translators and details here: http://www.writingwestmidlands.org/2012/02/28/an-evening-of-persian-poetry/

And secondly, Jonathan is producing a poetry performance working with a team of performers and a theatre director and based on poems from the Bloodaxe Books’ anthology, Being Human. This will be rare and wonderful too and has three dates at The Belgrade in Coventry from Friday 22nd June 2012. Details here: http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/being-human . Anyone who has an interest in performance will find this useful. Jonathan has produced three others over the years and they have all been terrifically well received.

Both are well worth going along.

NEWS FROM THE POETRY TRAIL POETS.

Gill Learner whose poem Listen is on the Polesworth Poets Trail (outside the Butchers Shop on Bridge St) has full collection in print, The agister’s experiment, 2011, published by Two Rivers Press.

The collection has received some great reviews

“The poems here fizz and crackle while exploring the vast range of humanity“
Poetry Book Society Bulletin Spring 2011

“It is rarely that a first collection hits the nail on the head as accurately as this.”
ARTEMISpoetry 6

The collection explores the themes of small workshops and the craftsmen toiling at their work and brings a solid accuracy of the process of manufacturing into our thoughts. I also think the cover is something to behold.

You can read more about Gill and her work at http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/gilllearnerpage.shtml

For copies of the collection see the Two Rivers Press page
http://tworiverspress.com/wp/the-agisters-experiment/

Janet Smith whose poem The Owl is on the trail has had further poem, Still Birth, selected as one of the twenty highly commended poems for Donald Singer: Health, Art and Science – Hippocrates Awards for Poetry.

You can see the link to the award here: http://donaldsinger.blogspot.co.uk/

Congratulations to Janet, whose work goes from strength to strength

Sarah James at Nightblue fruit. 1st May

Margaret Torr at The Fizz – 22nd May

LOST POET.

The Lost Poets are on Holiday until June.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in April.

17th April – Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Ashby
20th April – Spoken Worlds – Burton on Trent.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Not being able to match the widescreen aspect ratio of video with PowerPoint page sizes.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

Someone’s Birthday last week.

LISTENING TO:

Ma Vlast – Smetana.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

Following my nominations for the Kreativ Blogger award last week, both Sarah James and Gary Longden have responded with randomness surrounding their lives which you can see on their blog posts using the links below.

Sarah James – http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/?p=2476
Gary Longden – http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/kreativ-blogger-award/

I am now waiting for their nominees to post their own randomness and further nominees. I see this as a way to find some really interesting bloggers as the Kreativ Blogger Award baton gets passed on.

This last week has seen me complete the first draft version of the film Double Booked, which I will be showing to the Producer Keith Large next weekend. This has been a great project to raise my skills in film making and to learn how to get the best out of my editing software.

Something that I thought would be easier than it turned out, was pulling together some sound effects for the sound of a background party, that according to the script was “a group of undertakers raising the dead in room 25”. This line was added as we were filming in a social club on a Saturday evening and there was a good chance that we would pick up some sound from the bar downstairs. So it was easier to explain it away in the script rather than try to record around it.

As it happened on the night there was little or no sound to disrupt the filming and so I was left with a line in the script that needed to be explained with a sound effect.

Initially I had someone going WOOHOO followed by laughter, which Jimi had sourced from a SFX site on the week. This however did not work as the woohoo sounded like some lost bird flying around the hotel and took the viewers focus away from the main action and dialogue as they tried to figure out what on earth sound was.

The Woohoo has now been dropped to the cutting room floor and laughter and a little clapping has taken its place.

The problem with a background sound is putting it in the background, making it sound as if it is taking place in another part of the building, rather than being an immediate sound that is in the same room. It is not just a case of turning down the volume as this does not take it out of the room. Jimi has the knack of understanding sound and the way it is layered from distant to near sound, of how sound changes when heard from the space in which it occurs to being in a different space where there is a barrier in between the source of the sound and the listener.

In reality we filter out sound when we are listening, only taking in the necessary noise to enable our comprehension, so we don’t really listen, only taking on the immediacy of the sound of the situation.

With films it is all the sound we want to control and deliver for the listener to take in, we filter out un-required sound before we present it to the viewer/listener – but there is the art of understanding what they will further filter out from the soundtrack, which may mean they miss something that although in the background is significant to the piece and therefore impairs their understanding of the whole piece.

There will not doubt be more work to improve the piece once Keith has viewed it, but I do feel it is shaping up nicely.

I have a few meetings coming up in the next couple of weeks for three potential projects, which are exciting opportunities to work with different groups on the development of new poetry, through activities where poetry would not normally feature, bringing the experience of writing poems into new domains and to new audiences. I am really excited at the opportunities and the recognition that poetry can bring something new and dynamic to activities that have been well established and now want to find a new way of expressing themselves and to tap into the creativity of communities.

There are a few reading opportunities in the coming week:

The Goblin Poetry and Folk Club is tomorrow night (Tues 21st) hosted by Brian Langtry at the Giggling Goblin Café in Ashby De La Zouch starting at 8:00pm – A great mix of poetry and music from the floor; this has developed into a fantastic addition to the gig calendar in the Midlands. Licensed Bar and Free Entry.

Friday (24th) Sees the February Spoken Worlds in Burton on Trent at the Old Cottage Tavern in Bykerley St. Hosted by Gary Carr is starts at 7:30pm. The pub is a Real Ale pub and the event is free entry.

I will also mention that on Tuesday 28th Feb there is Poetry Alight at the Spark Café in Lichfield, I will put a reminder on next weeks blog.

My Lost Poet this week is a Canadian Modernist who was part of the Montreal Group. His poetry has been described as sometimes Metaphysical and at other times Imagist. It is his Nature poems that explore Canada’s landscape that interest me, his best known poem The Lonely Land was inspired by Frederick Varley’s painting Stormy Weather, at a Group of Seven exhibition in 1926, but I am getting ahead of myself.

My lost poet is A.J.M. Smith (1902 – 1980)

Arthur James Marshall Smith was born in Montreal and whilst I can find very little about his childhood, it is noted that he came to England to study from 1918-20 and it is during this period that he discovers the latest thinking in poetry that moves away from the Victorian poetic ideals and sees the rise of Modernism.

Modernism in Canada was virtually unknown at this time, the first Canadian Modernist collection was published by Arthur Stringer with his collection Open Water in 1914. This was hailed at the time as being the first free verse collection to come from a Canadian Poet, but was not linked to Modernism until much later.

When Smith returns to Montreal he enrolls at McGill University and by 1924 he is the co-editor and writer for the McGill Daily Literary Supplement, a year later he co-founds with F R Scott the McGill Fortnightly review. The Review attracts many young writers such as A M Klein, Leon Edel and Leo Kennedy, the group was to become the Montreal Group, who developed and promoted the ideals of modernism in a cultural background that was entrenched in Victorianism.

Smith’s poem the Lonely Land, written in 1929, was inspired by Varley’s painting. Varley was one of the Group of Seven Painters whose haunting landscapes with their distinctive visions capture the spirit of the place. The Canadian vast tracts of isolation, snow wastes and tortured forest. I had the pleasure of seeing these paintings at the Ottawa National Art Gallery in 2004 and have loved them ever since. They encapsulate as an artistic image, the genius loci, leaving you with the unnerving feelings of remoteness and disconnection.

Frederick Varley's Stormy Weather

Smith’s nature poems are most often described as being Imagist, taking the ethos of getting inside an object and sharing its uniqueness, internalizing to discover the spirit of the object, rather than the place in which it exists.
His poem – “To Hold a poem” is the first indication of this move towards internalizing his view point and much of his Nature poetry is concerned with experiencing the world through objects and the relationship to the other aspects of the landscape. This differs from the Metaphysical view which externalizes, making comparisons between the object in relation to other objects. Smith however wrote poetry that explored these different themes. He had studied the Metaphysical poets such as John Donne and his early work.

Smith in both his Imagist and Metaphysical poems seeks to put an order into things, whilst he describes the action, energies and forces at work in the landscapes, he is seeking to put the meaning and structure into these worlds. Smith to some extent goes beyond the theories of the Imagists, who see the role of the poet gaining an intellectual synergy with the object and describing what is found through the experience, but purely focusing the object. Smith goes beyond this and internalises thought.

Smith received his Doctorate from Edinburgh University in 1931. From 1936 he is promoting the poetry of other poets and is the co-editor of New Provinces an anthology of the Modernists.

It is at this time that he takes up the post of Professor at Michigan State College a position he held until his retirement in 1972. He became a naturalized American but spent his summers in Quebec. He was to become known as not just a poet but also a scholar who published many books and essays that brought Canadian Poetry to a wider audience.

He died in Michigan in November 1980. It was noted that he made a great contribution to the improvement of Canadian literacy.

Links
Anne Compton’s Essays on A.J.M. Smith

“AFTER THE EBB-FLOW”: A.J.M. SMITH’S NATURE POETRY
http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/SCL/bin/get.cgi?directory=vol14_1/&filename=Compton.htm

Patterns for Poetry: Poetics in Seven Poems by A.J.M. Smith
http://canadianpoetry.org/volumes/vol28/compton.html

Roderick Wilson Harvey Essay on A.J.M. Smith

“To Hold in a Poem”: Tension and Balance in A.J.M. Smith’s Verse
http://www.canadianpoetry.ca/cpjrn/vol11/harvey.htm

Michael Darlings Essay on A.J.M. Smith

A. J. M. Smith’s Revisions to His Poems
http://www.canadianpoetry.ca/cpjrn/vol11/darling.htm

Ken Norris’ Essay on Canadian Modernism

The Beginnings of Canadian Modernism
http://www.uwo.ca/english/canadianpoetry/cpjrn/vol11/norris.htm

The Group Of Seven – Links to websites on the Group of Seven Artists.

http://www.mcmichael.com/collection/seven/index.cfm

http://archives.cbc.ca/arts_entertainment/visual_arts/topics/754/

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in February

Feb 21st – The Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Ashby
Feb 24th – Spoken Worlds – Burton
Feb 28th – Poetry Alight at the Spark Café – Lichfield.

Readings in March.

March 6th – Night Blue Fruit – Coventry – Guest Poet Jan Watts.
March 17th – The Goblin Poetry and Folk Club – Ashby
March 24th – Spoken Worlds – Burton
March 27th – The Fizz – Polesworth – Guest Poet Barry Patterson.
March 30th – Leukaemia Research Fund Raiser – Progressive Club – Tamworth.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

The COLD wind.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

The Edit.

LISTENING TO:

Exile on Main St – Rolling Stones.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

KREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD.

I have been awarded a KREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD by my friend and fellow writer Maria Smith, whose excellent blog First Draft Café describes her goals and thoughts as a dedicated writer practicing her craft. Maria also has written some really informative articles that are of interest to all writers. First Draft Café is a blog that I would recommend all writers follow.

You can access it here http://firstdraftcafe.blogspot.com/

So as part of the conditions of the award I have to reveal half a dozen random facts about myself that are not widely known.

1. My first published poem was “What Lurks in the Tunnel” – aged 11.

The Poet at the start of his career - it would be another 5 years before he is published

2. During the 1970’s I played rhythm guitar in the rock bands, Apollo, High Mileage and Strange Beings, I was not a good guitar player but I could write lyrics so my lack of technique was tolerated for my words.

The Poet on the right - tolerated for his words rather than his axe work.

3. I like to be beside the sea, but I am not a strong swimmer.

The Sea

4. The book that I have re-read more than any other is The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.

My well read copy

 

5.   I once performed Irish Dancing in the Shenanigans Bar in Munich.

You would not want to see the poet dance!

 

6. I like to drink Newcastle Brown Ale.

The Poet's tipple

And now I must pass the award forward. So Sarah James, Bernadette O’Dwyer and Gary Longden, please take the award, and share your randomness with us. Apologies if you’ve received it before, or if you do not wish to take it forward, do not feel obliged to share again, or at all. Unless you want to of course (photos are optional). If you do take part, then please, do let me know when you have posted so I can catch up with you.

Last week saw me rushing around as seems to be the case these days.

Monday saw me listening in to the Radio Wildfire broadcast and what an excellent show it was with a mix of music, poetry, plays and a monologue. I was pleased with my interview which was far more relaxed than my previous experience on the show – the nervous broadcast of my first lost poet Michael Drayton was also included.

Tuesday saw the return of Night Blue Fruit in Coventry, which saw some excellent readings of new poems from Janet Smith, Antony Owen and Barry Patterson plus some new voices who brought some brilliant performances to the evening. The next Night Blue Fruit is on March 6th with Birmingham Poet Laureate Jan Watts as the guest poet.

Janet Smith – Barry Patterson – Antony Owen – Three great performances at Night Blue Fruit

 

Wednesday saw the Mad Hatters Writers meeting in Atherstone, which saw a mix of poems, from Charles, Gina and Myself, a short story from Janis and chapter from Alex Simpson’s excellent autobiography.

Thursday and I was out again this time in Hinckley for a meeting with Team Steampunk to discuss the plans and progress of the book launch of Mars on the Rise by Rae Gee, which will take place on May 12 at the Century Theatre in Snibston.

The Mars on the Rise 100 is growing but there is still time for you to sign up to sponsor the event, for the sum of £20 you will get a invite to the launch for you and guest, a signed copy of the book with a pack of steampunk related items plus the launch with two live bands – not to be missed contact me at maldewhirst@yahoo.co.uk  if you want to be included.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent on the edit of the film Double Booked, which has seen much improvement on my previous edits and I am now getting to feel that it is coming together – I only have a meeting of the Runaway Writers this week so I will be at my editing desk most evenings.

Yesterday, I had cause to head to Sutton Coldfield, to sort out my Iphone which seemed to have shut down; the cause was too many apps open in the background and was quickly fixed by the assistant in the phone shop.

Having resolved what could have been my annoyance of the week; I ventured to one of the chain coffee shops for a quick latte and was witness to what I can only describe as Reality Theatre. I have seen street theatre many times when performers deliver an act to a passing audience. But this was Reality Theatre, a performance like reality TV of an altercation between an elderly mother and her middle aged daughter.

The poor old lady had to take a stream of criticism from her daughter, whose life was apparently ruined because as a child she had to wear cheap clothes from C&A and never from Marks and Spencer’s. The daughter as a result only now bought chicken for her cat from Sainsbury’s as she would not buy cheap any more.

The more the mother tried to point out that money was tight, that she did her best, the louder her daughter got, not wanting to listen. The poor mother just sat and took it.

The daughter was playing to an audience of other customers in the coffee shop, neither of them had bought a drink, they just sat as the daughter berated her mother. The daughter was a nasty, vile, ungrateful person towards her mother. It was a sad little play that saw the daughter leave as her mother struggled to follow her.

If the daughter wanted to raise sympathy for herself, then she failed, all sympathies were with the mother who did not deserve this treatment but took it with a certain amount of dignity.

This was a short piece of Reality Theatre, which could not have been scripted any better to show the shortcomings of the daughter as she tried to lay the blame on to her mother’s shoulders. It showed all the drama of relationships that have soured because children do not appreciate what their parents did for them, that you have to understand the times and hardships when events occurred, that you cannot measure the opportunities of today with lack of them back then.

Sadly these two were not actors, who can exit the scene stage left and return to another life, for this mother and daughter, this is life.

More on my lost poets in a next week.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in February

Feb 21st – The Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Ashby
Feb 24th – Spoken Worlds – Burton
Feb 28th – Poetry Alight at the Spark Café – Lichfield.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

The London Underground.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

Lunch at the Ritz.

LISTENING TO:

Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

I went down the London for the weekend, a quick trip to grab a show and have lunch at the Ritz, as you do! The show was We Will Rock You which was absolutely excellent with a great cast, fantastic staging and of course a story that was extracted like a found poem from the songs of Queen. The Ritz was also something really special, something everyone should do at least once in their lives. The dining room and the waiters are a gentle piece of theatre which sees you as the diner centre stage, as the performance makes you feel like you are in the leading roles. For some this will appear to be something completely natural, going to The Ritz for lunch is a regular thing to do, but for jobbing writers such as myself it was an extraordinary experience. Not to be missed if you get the chance.

I came home to find that this blog had been nominated not once but twice for The Liebster Award, I was both flattered and honored that Sarah James and Gary Longden had both nominated this blog for the award.

What is more I think this a great idea, I am regular follower of blogs, some of which I mention in this blog, indeed if you look in the panel of friends blogs to the right – you will see some of the blogs I follow.

Counter-nominating a proposer is not in the spirit of the Award; however I would recommend both Sarah’s blog at http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/?page_id=7 and Gary’s blog at http://garylongden.wordpress.com/ as I follow them regularly.

Now I should explain what it all means…

Leister is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.

If you receive the award, you should:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!’

My five nominations of blogs I follow on a regular basis apart from the two from my nominators, and these are in no particular order.

1. Polyolbion at http://polyolbion.blogspot.com/ is the blog of Leicester Poet and Wild life journalist Matt Merritt – Matt’s blog takes its name from Michael Drayton’s great work, I have to admit that is Matt had not already used it I would have called this blog Polyolbion. Matt covers everything from book and reading reviews – to future reading dates. Matt always gives a considered insight to his subjects and I value his opinions. I have bought several poetry books following his reviews and have never been disappointed.

2. O’bheal at http://www.obheal.ie/blog/ is the blog of my good friends in Cork, Paul Casey runs poetry events in Cork, with a weekly reading at The Long Valley in Cork City. The O’Bheal blog provides its followers with information on upcoming events as well as being the custodian of the legacy of the readings that have taken place in the past. All readings are recorded and held here and are available for you to listen too or if you were there listen to again. Including one of my own from my trip as the guests of O’Bheal in the summer.

3. The Secret Writer at http://secretwriter1.blogspot.com/ – I know who the Secret Writer is as I am part of her writing circle, but if you read her blog you will see why for the moment she wants to remain a Secret. This blog has a chatty engaging style, where she discusses her writing life, editing the novel “Her”, to a personal poetry project based around shoes. She also has an April Fools list of 40 things she wants to achieve in the year between her Birthdays.

4. Fox Tales – Worcestershire based poet and writer, Myfanwy Fox, was one of the first followers of my blog to leave a comment, I quickly discovered her wonderful blog Fox Tales at http://myfanwyfox.wordpress.com/ . I always find Myfanwy’s take on things as amusing, most definitely thought provoking and layered with a sense of realities that are often missed because we never look beyond the façade, Myfanwy does dig deeper and often sees that there are a mountain of un-answered questions to be discussed.

5. Here Come the Lobsters – Garrie Fletcher’s blog – http://herecomethelobsters.wordpress.com/
Garrie’s blog includes some great book reviews, comments on the news, ideas on writing and most recently his correspondence with a corporate internet provider. Like Myfanwy, Garrie can often point out the things that hide behind the façade.

Last week I attended the first of what I am sure is going to be many Folk and Poetry evenings in Ashby. The Goblin Folk and Poetry club was well attended with standing room only in the Giggling Goblin Café. Our host Brian Langtry, who has a large amount of music and theatre work to his credit, started the evening with a few songs. There was definitely a theme of working songs and poems, the former mining communities of the Midlands were giving a voice, particularly resonant was the song about the Dirty Thirty -30 Leicestershire miners who did strike when their fellow workers went against the strike action and worked the pits in the turbulent times of the 1980’s. – I think I will take along some of the poems that are to be installed on the next phase of the Polesworth Poets Trail. This event will also be a great night for reading poems developed out of the GRAFT project. – The next one is on 13th December at the Giggling Goblin Café in Ashby.

The Dreamer by Wendy Morthorpe

My adventures into STEAMPUNK continue – We now have a venue and a date for the UK launch of Rach Gee’s book Mars on the Rise – we have managed to secure the Century Theatre at Snibston Discovery Centre for the evening of Saturday May 12th 2012. The Century Theatre has a really interesting Industrial History and is the ideal location for launching a Steampunk novel.

You can secure your invitation to the event by sponsoring the launch for a small upfront fee of £20, which will give you an invitation for you and a guest to the evening. Plus as a sponsor you will get a signed copy of the book plus a package of materials which includes photographs and steam punk / Victorian themed goodies.

We are in the process of confirming two bands to perform on the night and also some other attractions that will enable you to immerse yourself in to the world of Victorian Science Fiction.

If you want to be a sponsor then please contact either Rach at rae@glasscompletelyempty.co.uk or myself at maldewhirst@yahoo.co.uk; there will only be 100 sponsors – so it is a chance to become part of a unique group who attend this very unique event.

For more information on the Century Theatre’s interesting history you can find out more here.
http://www.centurytheatre.co.uk/

MY Lost Poet for this week is ADELAIDE CRAPSEY (1878 – 1914)

Adelaide Crapsey (circa 1905)

I have always been interested in pushing all forms of poetry into new directions and my experimentations have seen some success as well as a lot of failures, but as the scientists amongst you will know, it is what you learn from the failure of the experiment that gives you the knowledge to pursue your success.

Adelaide Crapsey was also not bound by the conventions of poetic form and went ahead in her short life to develop two distinct forms that have kept the interest in her work alive. She is though still only known amongst some of the academic circles.

Adelaide was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1878 to the Episcopal priest Algernon Sidney Crapsey and his wife Adelaide T Crapsey, Her father, himself not adverse to controversy following charges of heresy that saw him stripped of his Ministry.

Adelaide grew up in Rochester, New York attending public School in Rochester and later Kemper Hall a Episcopal preparatory school for girls in Wisconsin. She then entered Vassar College from which she graduated in 1901.

Her career as a teacher was delayed following the death of her sister Emily, but in 1902 she took up a post at Kemper Hall which she held until 1904, when she moved to spend a year at School of Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome and then taught for two years at Smith College in Massachusetts.

She herself was in poor health and in 1911 was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which she kept from her family and continued with her teaching, until she collapsed in 1913. Her final year was spent at a private cure cottage in Saranac Lake, she returned to Rochester in August 1914, finally succumbing to her illness in October.

In the years prior to her death she wrote much of the poetry for which she is best remembered, Her collection Verses was published by Claude Bragdon in 1915 with later revised editions published up until 1934.

Her Poetry.

She created a variation of the 5 five line, 22 syllable form known as the Cinquian, influenced from Japanese forms such as Haiku and Tanka. Her version of the Cinquian uses Iambic metre and 2 syllables in the first and last lines with the middle three lines having 4, 6 and 8 syllables, see her poem Triad below.

She also developed an epigram in the form of an iambic rhyming couplet held with in the title which is an integral part of the poem, as shown in the example below On Seeing Weather-beaten Trees.

She was further remembered by the poet Carl Sandburg in his poem Adelaide Crapsey which was to keep the interest in her cinquain forms from become obscure and forgotten.

An example of THE AMERICAN CINQUIAN developed by Adelaide Crapsey in her poem Triad.

Triad

THESE be
Three silent things:
The falling snow … the hour
Before the dawn … the mouth of one
Just dead.

An example of Adelaide Crapsey’s Epigram Form.

On Seeing Weather-beaten Trees

IS it as plainly in our living shown,
By slant and twist, which way the wind hath blown?

Some further links.

Adeliade Crapsey’s verses on the web:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?type=simple&c=amverse&cc=amverse&sid=ba916e3235ca30151c821ab8aab270be&q1=adelaide%20crapsey&rgn=div1&view=toc&idno=bae8954.0001.001

Karen Alkalay-Gut’s biography of Adelaide Crapsey.
http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/alone_in_dawn/

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

November Readings

22nd Nov – Poetry Bites – Birmingham. Guest Joseph Horgan
25th Nov – Spoken Worlds – Burton – Guest Ash Dickinson

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.

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