Monthly Archives: July 2013

July kit?

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Well it’s been a fabulously busy July, lots of poetry, Pink and sun! 

I’m fortunate enough to live within easy distance of the Ledbury Poetry Festival, which I always try and visit each year.  This year however, I took part in two events and am still on cloud-nine.  The first event was co-hosing The Write On! Writing Squad Poetry Showcase on Saturday 6th July.  I co-hosted this event with fellow writer and poet Ruth Stacey who is also assistant writer at the Worcester Writing Squad.  It was an afternoon of stunning poems from very talented young writers who can all now write on their CV’s that they’ve read at Ledbury Poetry Festival.  Writing Squads meet monthly over ten months each year and are running at various locations over the West Midlands.  For more information visit: http://www.writingwestmidlands.org/young-writers-schools/write-on-writing-squads/ 

Then, on Thursday the 11th, I performed as one of the V’s, with Ruth Stacey, Sarah James and Catherine Crosswell, where we took traditional male forms and subverted them to give them a more feminine and more feminist angle.  It was double-bill, with the very talented Decadent Divas performing the second half.  The Diva’s being Charlie Jordan, Maggie doyle, Laorna Meeham and Laura Yates. It was an amazing evening with Burgage Hall full, yes, full, and to cap the evening all eight of us were presented with a Ledbury Poetry Festival bowl.  The very talented Sue Thompson penned a wonderful sketch to commemorate the evening.

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There was time for fun, sun and music at the third Colwall Family Music Festival, with a wonderful and varied line up.  My children enjoyed the day and bopping around to their new favourite band – TwoManTing.

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To listen to TwoManTing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARGOkDQ3Fzs

Today was the final session and Sharing Session of my first In The Pink Dementia Poetry Project. This is run by the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford and involves poets visiting care homes, nursing homes, day centres and hospitals and listening and taking part in conversations with residents with dementia, we scribe as we listen and then edit their words (with their permission) into poems. We never add, just edit. The poems read and shared today were sad, funny, reminiscent, insightful and bold. It was a very special afternoon. The nursing home laid on afternoon tea with a good selection of cakes. Poetry AND cake, sounds like my kind of afternoon.

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Um, well I guess it’s been a while…

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I’m quite shocked to realise it’s been six months since I last blogged.  Time seems to have grown limbs and sprinted away far more quickly than I realised.  June has slipped into July and the school holidays are creeping ever closer and we’re already heading, slowly, into the dark half of the year.

I have been busy, very busy and all in a good way. 

Since January I’ve been leading the Worcester Writing Squad for Writing West Midlands, these squads are aimed at young writers, either 8-11 or 12-16 and take place for a couple of hours at the weekend for 10 sessions per year.  The Worcester session has about 14 very talented young writers aged 11 or younger.  For more information on Writing Squads see the Writing West Midlands Website: http://www.writingwestmidlands.org/young-writers-schools/write-on-writing-squads/

I’ve also joined “In the Pink” a Dementia Poetry Project co-ordianted by the poet John Killick and the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford.  This is an incredibly humbling role, in which myself and 3 other poets visit care homes, nursing homes, hospitals and listen to patients and residents with dementia and write down their words (with their permission) then edit these words into poems.  We never add anything, just take words away which weaken the thread of the poem/s.  http://www.dementiapositive.co.uk/poetry-in-herefordshire.html

And finally…my poem The Merchant’s House has featured on Kidderminster-based Poet Heather Wastie’s blog, Weaving Yarns.  Heather is currently Poet in Residence for the Kidderminster Museum of Carpet.  Fellow Worcestershire Poetry Stanza Poet Kathy Gee also has poems featured.  My poem was inspired by Medieval dyeing methods.  Heather’s blog can be found here: http://weavingyarns1.wordpress.com/