Pamphlet diary date #2: Everybody’s Reading festival

Leicester is cranking up the gears for a week of (largely) free events with the aim (as it says on the tin) of getting everybody reading.  There’s so much to choose from, catering for all ages and appetites from the avid to the most reluctant of readers. 

ER festival 2014

So, if you’re local, or within easy travelling distance of Leicester between 27th September and 5th October, why not click here to view or download the programme.

And there’s an event on page 30 that I’m rather excited about: the launch of my pamphlet, Beyond the Tune (Soundswrite Press).  It’s a joint launch with Davina (D A) Prince, whose new collection, Common Ground, is hot off the HappenStance press.  I’m delighted and flattered, and really looking forward to meeting Helena Nelson, too, if she’s able to make it on the day.  And I’m assured there will be cake and liquid refreshment (I’m hoping for Earl Grey tea) and cake.  It’ll make my poetry day to see you there, or at Shindig on September 15th, or both!

There’s a launch flyer in the offing, to feature in my next blog post and further updates on Facebook and Twitter.

As both diary dates are fast approaching, my To Do list Top 10 includes planning which poems to read and what to say.  Any launch tips, via the comments box below, will be gratefully received.

Pamphlet diary date #1: Leicester Shindig!

As promised, here’s the first of two diary dates for your poetry calendars:

Leics Shindig Sept 2014

I’m really looking forward to featuring at one of my favourite regular poetry events.

I’m treating the evening as a pamphlet pre-launch: I’ll be reading poems from Beyond the Tune and copies will be on sale for the first time.  I’ll have my signing pen handy, too!  And if you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Caroline Cook’s Primer – well, I reckon it’s rather excellent and well worth a read, too.

If you’re local (or not too far away and fancy a poetry jolly to Leicester), it would be lovely to see you there.  For those on Facebook, click here for a link to the event.  Or just turn up on the night and surprise us!

If you’re unable to make it  on a ‘school night,’ details of the (weekend) launch proper to follow, so stay Tuned :)

My pamphlet proof

In my previous post, I was excited at the prospect of getting my hands on a proof copy of my pamphlet: something tangible, after all those months of hard work, highs and lows.  So I was surprised that the elation I’d expected to feel – well, it just wasn’t there!  Instead, I felt rather flat, if I felt anything at all.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m really pleased with the overall look, the print quality and everything, to say nothing of how opposite poems can now physically ‘talk’ to each other.  And I needed the affirmation of the tactile (I’m trying really hard, here, to avoid using phrases like ‘skin-on-skin contact’…).

Thanks to Davina Prince and one or two other collection-published poets who’ve been through all this before, I’m reassured that, in a way, this is a kind of ending, if only until the pamphlet launch and afterwards.  So it’s natural to feel deflated, even a little sad.  And I’ve managed to distance myself a little, which is a good thing, as very soon my little pamphlet will have to stand up for itself as readers make of it what they will.

Last time, I promised to reveal the title, didn’t I?  So here’s an image of the front cover:

BTT front cover

Launch details and a couple of diary dates to follow.



Second time around: the 100 poems challenge


For the second year running, the indefatigable Claire Trevien is writing 100 poems in a day to raise money for a worthy cause:

Originally posted on Claire Trévien:

I am back!

As some of you may remember, I wrote 100 poems in a day last November to raise money for Refuge. You can read my report about it here.

Unfortunately, the situation has been getting worse, not better, for victims of domestic violence with the closure of numerous vital centres across the country.

So I’ve decided to revive the challenge and write 100 poems on 15th August 2014. This time, I’ll be writing the poems on the back of 100 postcards (and uploading the images to this here blog). You can claim the postcards you like by commenting below the posts, or by leaving a comment when donating.

Here is my JustGiving page, please donate! I have a very ambitious target this time, but we raised nearly £700 last time, so I think we can do it!

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Join…

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Creative Connectors Call Out: Storyboarding Workshop

Originally posted on Click; Connect; Curate; Create:

We are looking for 2 Creative Connectors to help us with our Gaming project commission.

We are working with local company Ogglebox Sensory Computing Ltd to develop to a prototype augmented reality trail game for Bosworth Battlefield using smart glasses. The goal of the project is to use the technology in the glasses to recreate aspects of the Battle in front of the eyes of the visitors, and in the locations where they may have actually taken place.  Smart glasses include a computer that allows the wearer to run mobile apps with graphics that are displayed so they look as if they are at some distance away; and the idea is to use them to give visitors the sense of stepping back in time.

Bosworth Battlefield Sun Dial

Bosworth Battlefield Sun Dial

We need your feedback on the design and content of the trail, feedback on how the smart glasses feel to wear and how easy…

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This week’s poetry shopping

Browsing the poetry shelves in a local second-hand book shop yesterday, I came across this piece of poetry history:

Out Loud  by Adrian Mitchell  (Cape Goliard, 1968)

Out Loud
by Adrian Mitchell
(Cape Goliard, 1968)

Pop art on inside cover

Pop art on inside cover








Bizarrely, the bookshop is opposite Leicester’s Knighton Public Library where I heard some of Mitchell’s poetry read at an arts week event, recently.  It’s been a pub copy (from the days of Poetry & Jazz, I assume), acquired and withdrawn from two universities.  It seemed in need of a good home (and some spinal surgery) so I was happy to part with £7.50.

From poetry past to poetry future:

Poem from a Bus Shelter written by Claire Shaw illustrated by Louise Crosby

Poem from a Bus Shelter
written by Claire Shaw
illustrated by
Louise Crosby

Comic book  or graphic poetry?

Comic book
or graphic poetry?









Louise Shaw is also the cover illustrator of the current issue of The Interpreter’s House magazine:

Interpreter's House 56

She came to Wednesday’s TIH launch at Five Leaves bookshop in Nottingham and spoke a little about the Arts Council-funded project.  You can read about Seeing Poetry here and read Claire Shaw’s poem here.  I couldn’t resist buying a copy.  I certainly think it will engage younger readers.  Is this the shape of poetry future?  I’d love to know your views via the comments box below.

#Sole2Soul Future Curators Workshop

Originally posted on Click; Connect; Curate; Create:

Falkner PanelA free one-off workshop for people aged 16-25 with an interest in history and museum curation is being offered as part of the Centre for New Writing’s ‘Sole 2 Soul’ project. The workshop is part of an Arts Council funded initiative, which will create new digital assets for the Falkner Boot and Shoe exhibit at Harborough Museum. The offered workshop will train 12 Future Curators in the skills necessary to curate and rejuvenate the Falkner Boot and Shoe Exhibit. Participants will be given a guided tour of the Falkner Boot and Shoe exhibition before hearing poems, tweets and flash fiction about the exhibit. Afterwards, they will be given support and expert advice to produce a Future Curators webpage and podcast, as well as being interviewed for a radio programme. This workshop is a wonderful opportunity for anyone young person interested in history, museums and their engagement with social media to…

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