This week I have mostly been writing and sending submissions to poetry competitions and magazines.
As well as sending out a couple of speculative submissions to Poetry London and Myslexia, and entering the Rialto and RSPB Nature Poetry Competition, I also sent a poem to Poetry and Paint, for possible inclusion in the third issue of their magazine.
Poetry and Paint is a fantastic printed/electronic arts anthology, which seeks to celebrate the very best in visual arts and creative writing. Each month, creatives are encouraged to submit multimedia pieces inspired by a key theme. Writers and artists can also work together to submit collaborative pieces, and team work is very much preferred. But, if you're a painter without a poet - or vice versa - don't fret! The Poetry and Paint team also run a 'match making' service, pairing great writing with incredible visuals to create new and exciting work.
As I am not an artist (by any stretch of the imagination) I just submitted a piece of writing, and I'm really hoping it makes the grade. Fingers crossed that my poem gets picked!
This week I also finished my commission for the Chatteris Town Museum. The brief was to write a piece inspired by the nineteenth century Fen Cottage display at the museum and, after painting myself into a corner regarding a particularly tricky rhyme scheme, I finally managed to finish my poem. The imaginatively entitled Fen Cottage was sent to the curator of the Chatteris Museum yesterday. If she likes it, there's every chance that the poem could become part of the permanent display!
Earlier in the week, I spent a bit of time writing and redrafting some performance poems. August is a quiet month for me (I'm not able to get to Edinburgh this year) so I'm going to spend the time putting together some new material ahead of the Hammer and Tongue Regional Final in September. I really want to have some new stuff ready for this slam, and I'm also going to try to learn the poems off by heart - so I've set myself a pretty major task! Wish me luck!
But the best thing that happened this week was that I received confirmation of a ten minute performance slot at this year's Aldeburgh Poetry Festival!!!
The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival is organised by The Poetry Trust and is one of the longest-running and best-respected poetry festivals in the UK. Now in its twenty fifth year, the festival has hosted the likes of Pascale Petit, John Hegley, Roger McGough, Helen Mort, Ko Un, and many many more!
The very wonderful Amy Wragg, from Get on the Soapbox Events was kind enough to recommend me for the show, and I'm incredibly, ridiculously grateful! It's the most exciting thing!
I'll be performing alongside Suffolk-based poet Rowen James, and we even have our names in the programme! I'll also be volunteering at the festival, helping with organisation, stewarding, shepherding, and heavy lifting. It's going to be incredibly good fun, and I've definitely talk about it again sooner to the date. Exciting!