Sunday, 14 July 2013

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - Chatteris Museum and the John Hegley Gig

Another week of glorious summer sunshine! That's two in a row, which is practically unheard of in this country!

We took advantage of the beautiful weather this week with plenty of beer garden visits, evening walks, and impromptu picnics. I'm also the proud owner of not one but two unidentified insect bites. My blood is clearly very tasty indeed!

On Thursday, my Muscovy Duck sonnet was featured on the letters page of the local paper.

The Ely Weekly News were kind enough to publish the poem, alongside a small potted biography and a picture of my smug little face.

The poem itself is a sonnet based on the local Muscovy suck population in Ely, and was written as part of my local poetry project with the Fenland Poet Laureate Award.

I pass the Muscovy ducks on the riverside almost every weekend and I'm always struck by their loud, attention-seeking behaviour. Then, while watching coverage of Glastonbury Festival a few weeks' ago, it dawned on me: the Muscovy Ducks are little anatidae rock stars!

I mean, c'mon! Look at that fifties quiff!
This week I also received my second group speaking invitation. This time, I've been asked to visit the patients at the Macmillan centre in Wisbech for a chat about poetry and the Fenland Poet Laureate Award. I'm really looking forward to it - watch this space for more details! 

Yesterday, I visited the Chatteris Museum to work on my poetry commission for their Fenland Cottage display. The museum is lovely; small but well-curated, with lots of information and artifacts, as well as some thoughtful and engaging presentations. If you're ever in Chatteris, it's definitely worth an hour of your time.

I've been working on the Fen Cottage poem for a few days now, but I think I've painted myself into a corner. I started off with a pretty complicated rhyme scheme, which worked well in the first stanza, but brought the poem to a crashing halt half way through verse three. I don't know if it's salvageable, or if I'll just need to jack it in and start again. Ho hum. 

This week I also gave the blog a bit of a make-over. I thought it was time for a change, but as you can probably tell, I'm no designer! The new banner was made using a free internet-based cropping tool and Microsoft paint! It's like I'm still living in 1998!

Anyway, next week I'm really excited to be doing a supporting set for one of my poetry heroes!

As part of the Arts Alive in Libraries initiative, John Hegley will be performing at the Chatteris Library on Thursday 18th July. The show has been organised by local arts organisation ADeC, and is a fantastic chance to see John play a full set in a really intimate venue. Tickets cost £6 and are available here.

John is one of my favourite comedy poets, so it's amazing to be able to share a stage with him!

If you're unfamiliar with his work (shame on you!) I can tell you that he regularly performs sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, has published ten books of poetry and prose, and is a regular at comedy and poetry festivals around the world. He's one of the UK's best comic poets, and he's an expert on the ukulele too!

If you're free on Thursday night, come along to the show, I promise you'll have a fantastic evening!

The doors open at 7pm. See you there!

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