I can't believe how beautiful the weather has been this week! Looks like we're finally getting a taste of that elusive British Summer! And the people in my town are certainly taking full advantage! It's so nice to walk home from work with the scent of cut grass in my (slightly red and hay-feverish) nostrils, and the taste of barbecue smoke on my tongue. Delicious.
Everyone I met today smelt of sun tan lotion and Mr Whippy ice cream, and I've already lost count of the number of Questionable Fashion Choices on display in my local park.
Things have been hotting up on the poetry front too, and I've got a few shows lined up over the next few months. I'm performing at a real mix of events and festivals this year, and I'm going to be supporting some incredible poets too. I couldn't be more excited!
I've updated a full list of gigs on the top right hand corner of the blog, but here's a few of the things I'm most looking forward to in the next few months:
Saturday 11th May - As part of my Fenland Poet Laureate duties, I'm going to hosting my first ever writing workshop! It starts at 10am in the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, and we're going to be using objects and artefacts from the Museum's collection as inspiration for the writing! The museum itself has not one but two Egyptian mummified hands, as well as the original handwritten manuscript of Great Expectations and plenty of stuffed animals, so we shouldn't be short of inspiration!
Saturday 25th May - I'm really pleased to be performing at the Hythe Festival, a celebration of arts and literature in Colchester. Amazing local poet Tess Gardener has done a fantastic job organising the poetry café, and the line-up features sets from the likes of Jo Bell, Adam Kammerling, Fred Slattern, Justine De Mierre and Piers Harrison-Read. I'm also incredibly lucky to performing in the support slot just before Martin Newell! Martin is a completely brilliant poet and musician from deepest, darkest Essex, and someone whom I've admired for a really long time.
I'm going to ask him to sign my copy of his book! Squeee!
Saturday 1st June - It's time for Strawberry Fair in Cambridge! I'll be performing in the Allographic poetry tent during the day, and then at the Young People's Strawberry Slam Poetry Slam in the evening.
Strawberry Fair has always been this really interesting and quirky event, and it's so cool to see poetry being taken seriously as part of the festival. Massive heartfelt thanks go to talented local poets like Hollie McNish and Fay Roberts, who tirelessly work to bring poetry to the mainstream, in Cambridge and beyond. They're awesome!
Saturday 8th June - I'm really excited to be heading to London Town to cheer on our Cambridge representatives in the Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam Finals. Kate Turner and Stephen Morrison-Burke are both fantastic poets, and it would be brilliant to see either one of them crowned Hammer and Tongue Slam Champion 2012!
While we're down there, myself, Patrick Widdess, Fay Roberts and Hollie McNish (the Cambridge Chapter) will be competing in the team slam, up against teams of poets from Bristol, Camden, Hackney, Oxford and Brighton. The show starts at 2:30pm, and it's going to be a lot of fun, so if you're in London, and you're free, come along and cheer us on!
Friday 21st June - It's great to be invited back to perform at Pimms and Poetry. It was so much fun last year and a great success in terms of fund-raising too! The event is being organised by Fenland Poet Laureate Emeritus, Elaine Ewart, and takes place in the visitors' centre-cum-café, perched high above the Fenland Landscape. All money raised on the night will go towards conservation of the Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands reserve, and copies of the latest wildlife poetry anthology will also be available to buy.
Then, I'm rounding off the month of June by giving my first poetry lecture to a group called the Elm Friendship Club. Doesn't that sound like the most amazing club ever? I hope they'll let me join!