A few weeks ago, I emailed the Peterborough Arts Festival. They were looking for proposals for a ten minute commission from performance poets and writers and were opening their search up to unsolicited proposals. Now, I am nothing if not unsolicited, so I dutifully filled in the form, submitted my application and promptly forgot all about it.
Then, on Tuesday of this week I received an email from Mark Grist saying that the committee would like me to perform my piece at the Arts Festival on the 8th July.
This is amazing for two reasons:
1. Mark Grist is a real poet, who has been in the Guardian and on TV and has had hundreds of thousands of hits on youtube. Not only this, but he is a genuinely amazing poet, deserving of all his recent attention and praise. To think that someone like that has even watched my youtube videos is completely baffling.
2. Part of the commission means that I will have a mentor, who will help me out with my ten minute piece. In my case, this mentor is Mixy, an amazing Peterborough-based real poet whose work I have admired for a very long time.
The scary part about the whole thing is that I now have just seventeen days to come up with a decent set! Talk about pressure! But I've already written three poems that I'm happy with, and I've started a fourth, so I'm on the right track I think. Though heavens know how I'll fare when I have to go back to work again next week.
But overall, I'm just so disgustingly excited about this opportunity, that I had to break the fourth wall here on my blog and tell you about it, so apologies for dismantling the 'author's mystique' that I've been building for the past few years.
If you want to come on down to the Peterborough Arts Festival and watch me perform, please do. It's on Sunday 8th July and my set is on from around 2pm. The link to the Festival Website is here
And if you're not keen on seeing me perform, then come along for a chance to see all the other brilliant poets on the bill, especially Mark Neil, the headline act and the Poet Laureate for Milton Keynes, who is the funniest poet I have ever met!
I've also been allowed to start a blog on the Cambs24 local news website, so I'm having a lot of fun putting things together for that. The blog aims to unearth great poetic and literary events in and around Cambridgeshire and I've also got a long list of local poets who I want to interview. Really, it's just an excuse for me to bother people whose work I love, but hopefully, no one will realise this for a long time. The blog itself, Literary Ely, can be found here. Check back every week for a new article.