Friday 27 March 2015

Poetry Evening at poetrywivenhoe with Martin Malone

Wivenhoe, late afternoon yesterday

Sincere thanks are due to Peter Kennedy, Pam Job and other organisers of poetrywivenhoe for a wonderful evening with you last night, headed up by Martin Malone, poet and editor of The Interpreter's House. Martin was the outright winner of the Wivenhoe Poetry Competition 2011, with his poem 'Digitalis' about his father's 'summer of love'. 

Martin Malone at the microphone

Martin shared with us a mix of old and new work. He gave us a flavour of some of his latest poems, new takes on Great War themes, that will make up the practice element of his PhD. He also read from The Waiting Hillside, his first collection, published by Templar Poetry (2011). 

I had attended a poetrywivenhoe event once before, for the 2014 launch of the so too have the doves gone anthology, and it was good to return.  It was a privilege to be invited as the (relatively) local reader and a joy to be there among a host of poets, many of whom read to us during the 'out of the hat' Open Mic slot in the middle of the evening. 

My set comprised poems largely but not exclusively from my chapbook, The Holy Place, co-authored with John Dotson, and published by The Seventh Quarry in Swansea in conjunction with Cross-Cultural Communications in New York. 

Martin signing copies of The Waiting Hillside and The Interpreter's House (with Stuart Mugridge's cover illustration)

It was good to meet up with Rebecca Goss again. I had attended her stimulating workshop at Writers' Centre Norwich on the 'coast' last autumn. It was also a pleasure to meet MW Bewick (last month's poetrywivenhoe reader), one of the two editor-publishers of Dunlin Press, who have just launched the volume of 'Collected Reports from East Anglia', Est.  

Peter Kennedy, Pam Job, Caroline Gill, Martin Malone


Conversation with MW Bewick (left)

The Ceilidh House, Skye

 Thank you, poetrywivenhoe! 

Wivenhoe at sunset

Monday 23 March 2015

Poetry Wivenhoe Reading - Come and Join Us!

My thanks to Poetry Wivenhoe for this invitation. I shall be reading from The Holy Place (with a few other poems thrown in). Do come and join us if you are in the area.

Saturday 21 March 2015

21 March: Celebrate World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day

21 March 2015

Dylan Thomas Boat House, Laugharne, Wales

"As a deep expression of the human mind and as a universal art, 
poetry is a tool for dialogue and rapprochement. 
The dissemination of poetry helps to promote dialogue among cultures 
and understanding between peoples because it gives access 
to the authentic expression of a language."
 Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO,  
Message for World Poetry Day

A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day 
was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999. 
  • An article on the wonders of Children's Poetry from Australia can be found here. A day after our solar eclipse, my chosen article includes a wonderful quotation of Valéry via Sartre. The article is written by Damon Young and comes from The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • An article from the USA by Jane Hirshfield on restoring amazement in Poetry can be found here
  • And finally, is your poem worth a cup of coffee? See what The Guardian has to say about the World Poetry Day initiative here.

Monday 9 March 2015

RSPB - a poem in: a poem out

This is not a good photo, I'm afraid, but Waxwings are hard to find this year!

I have donated a hand written copy of my Waxwing poem, 'Red Letter Day, Lattice Avenue', to the RSPB in the hope that they may be able to sell it and raise some funds for wildlife. My poem was first published in 2014 in Reach Poetry (Indigo Dreams Publishing).

By the same token, we bought a hand written copy of Professor David Morley's poem about Goldcrests. I am looking forward to its arrival from the RSPB. The Society had a file of bird poems (well, wildlife in general, but mainly birds) at the Norfolk Festival of Nature. Matt Howard, RSPB Eastern Region Community Fundraiser has been coordinating the venture. Poets who have donated work include Matt Merritt, Kathleen Jamie and Heidi Williamson. Wendy Cope had given a Haiku, which I expect will find a home before long.

Monday 2 March 2015

Stanza Bonanza ~ Suffolk Poetry Society and Poetry Swindon

Arriving at the Poetry Cafe - with Elizabeth Bracken

Six poet members of the Suffolk Poetry Society were invited to take on a team from Poetry Swindon at the Poetry Society's monthly Stanza Bonanza. Paul McGrane from The Poetry Society was our host. Maurice Spillane (Poetry Swindon) and David Gill (SPS) acted as MCs for the teams. 

Reading my set, largely from The Holy Place

Team Swindon and Team Suffolk

Back: Maurice Spillane (Poetry Swindon poet and MC)
Middle: Kate Foley (SPS), Elizabeth Bracken (SPS), Hilda Sheehan (Poetry Swindon), me (SPS), Cristina Newton (Poetry Swindon), Sam Loveless (Poetry Swindon), Louise Crossley (Poetry Swindon)
Front: Florence Cox (SPS), George Morehead (Poetry Swindon) and Cro Page (SPS)

SPS Reserve poet: Sue Wallace-Shaddad

... with Paul McGrane, host and organiser from The Poetry Society

David Gill, MC for Suffolk Poetry Society

Maurice Spillane, MC for Poetry Swindon

Thank you, Paul and The Poetry Society, for a riveting evening!