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  It’s been a pub copy (from the days of Poetry & Jazz, I assume), acquired and withdrawn from two universities.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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My latest pamphlet news

It’s been a really busy time on the pamphlet front: I’ve enjoyed the editing process and I’ve learned so much from working with Davina Prince to ensure that my poems are as good as they possibly can be.  We’ve both worked closely with Karin Koller through several typeset drafts in recent weeks; the final draft is probably winging its way through the ether to my inbox as I type.

Choosing a title has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make and I went right up to the wire on this.  It’s not the working title I’ve become accustomed to using, and reading on successive drafts.  Neither is there a title poem in my collection.  It is a pamphlet title which, I hope, offers a challenge to the reader.

I was awake and feeling excited before the alarm went off, this morning: having chosen the Pantone colours for the cover and endpapers, I was thrilled to see that they looked just as I’d envisaged them, fresh from the printer on the card and paper we’re using. In around ten days time, I hope to be holding a proof copy – I can hardly wait!

I’m keeping this post as short as possible, with the promise of more details very soon (including the answer to the questions you’ve all been asking: What’s the title?  When’s the launch?).  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you via the comments box below.

What the postman brought

Look what landed on my doormat this morning!

Interpreter's House 56

Perfect bound, its cover like a silk skin, that ink-on-paper fresh-from-the-printer’s aroma; the latest issue of The Interpreter’s House is a joy to handle.  Running my eye down the list of poetry and prose contributors on the back cover, I’m impressed.  And delighted to be in such fine company, as I have a little poem in there, too.  It’s one that will feature in my forthcoming pamphlet as part of a short sequence (more about that in my next blog post).

Hot on the heels of its Brighton launch, there’s to be a Nottingham launch, too.  It’s hosted by Five Leaves bookshop.  I’m really looking forward to reading at this event.  Here are the details if you’re local to the midlands or fancy a jaunt for an evening of poetry and Prosecco:

TIH Nottingham launch

You can buy a single copy or take out a subscription here.

Me?  I’m factoring a long coffee stop into my day.


A Midsummer Poetry Festival

My last poetry day out in Sheffield was a bid to take my mind off impending hip replacement surgery.  It did the trick.  Yesterday, with footie on the telly and two men with chainsaws in the garden, a day ticket to a Midsummer Poetry Festival was just the (ahem) ticket.

I love getting a ‘poetry hit’  as soon as I leave Sheffield station:

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and again, with Andrew Motion’s poem, ‘What if..?’ on the ‘sheer cliff’ of a Sheffield Hallam building:

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Bank Street Arts was my destination for the day’s events.  The first was a workshop and reading by Cutting Edge Poets.  A selection of their work is displayed on the wall in the atrium:

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Glass cabinets house an interesting assortment of book/word-related exhibits.  Here’s my favourite:

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Next up, readings by Nia Davies, John Harvey, AB Jackson and Roy Marshall provided the small audience with diverse writing styles and delivery.  I particularly enjoyed AB Jackson’s wit and polished performance.  I hear Roy read regularly, so enjoyed hearing three new poems inspired by his former work as a cardiac care nurse.  I admired Nia Davies’ feminist voice; hard-hitting poems.

These poems on postcards, by various published poets, were on display around the gallery space.  I like the idea of a Keeper of Cards as curator (aka Peter Sansom, I think):

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Technical issues beset Rob Hindle’s solo performance of Yoke and Arrow, a poem-drama about the Spanish Civil War and the death of Lorca.  In fact, I found the documentary and news footage rather too distracting overall.

I enjoyed Matthew Clegg’s one-off performance of his poem series, Chinese Lanterns, aided by fellow Longbarrow Press poet, Andrew Hirst.  A tea ceremony and the use of simple props engaged the audience from the outset..

The final event was an ‘orchestration’ of readings from The Footing anthology by Longbarrow Press poets.  Again, I enjoyed the contrast of styles and voices, not least James Caruth, whom I enjoyed hearing for the first time last summer.

If you’re local to Sheffield or fancy a day out, the poetry festival has events throughout June.  (Click on the link above for details).

On the way back to the station, a few more sights along the way:

This brick wall art is rather arresting, don’t you think?

2014-06-14 16.39.29

and this cheeky ‘word art':

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Nearly there:

2014-06-14 21.21.11

Obsession: a self-portrait

It’s official – I’m obsessed.

But it’s not always been the case.  You see, if my ‘seventies State Secondary education taught me anything, it was that I wasn’t ‘artistic.’  And I hated my art teacher, even if he was a) male and b) young (staff attributes in extremely short supply in my Girls’ High School).  The other (female) art teacher was ‘hip’ and ‘mod’ (and my best friend was in her class).  Even worse, I was expected to transform a blank sheet of cartridge paper with nothing more inspirational than said teacher’s voice droning lines from a play about some Welsh fishing village full of dead people.  And I got what I wished for: I defected to the art class next door and deafened (deadened?) myself to the magic in the Welsh bard’s words.

Until (shame on me) relatively recently, when I was transported to Llareggub by Richard Burton et al in the 1954 BBC recording of Dylan Thomas’ ‘Play for Voices,’ on air one sleepy Sunday afternoon (somewhere mid-sick leave), this spring.  And utterly convinced by Tom Hollander’s lead performance in the biopic ‘A Poet in New York.’  Since then, courtesy of BBC4, I’ve been on a guided tour of The Writing Shed with Owen Sheers, and marvelled over Peter Blake’s Under Milk Wood-inspired labour of love.  And I’ve raged against my ageing, addled brain for failing to record the BBC Wales TV production which followed, as if my bingeing on iPlayer hasn’t been sufficient.  It hasn’t: I want a recording I can watch anytime.  I’ll just have to wait for a repeat showing (or the release of the inevitable BBC DVD).  All three programmes are still available on iPlayer for one day.  (Click here, here and here for an instant fix).

Then on Thursday I googled Under Milk Wood + vintage editions and ended up treating myself to this gorgeous 1972 Folio Society edition in fine condition (costing little more than a certain ‘Ultimate’ centenary edition), which arrived in this morning’s post:


It features beautiful lithographs by Ceri Richards:









Oh, yes – and (since it came up under the same search) the aforementioned recording as a 2 CD set:


Tonight I’ll be slipping Under, dipping my toes in the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea…