Yesterday I went down to check out the Straw Bear Festival across the Fen at Whittlesey.
It was very chilly morning but the crowds were out in force, enjoying all the folk dancing, beer drinking and of course the straw bear himself. Don't worry, the 'straw bear' is actually just a person in a costume and not a real bear! (No need to ring the RSPCA!)
The festival also includes lots of other activities: great food, drink, workshops and concerts. There was even some poetry and storytelling at the town library, and the Peterborough and Fenland poetry group Poets United were kind enough to invite me join them as part of their afternoon performance.
The event was really well-attended, and the members of Poets United put on a cracking show! The group performed loads of great poems relating to the Fens, as well as some great stuff about the First World War, childhood, pantomimes, and even the divorce of the Owl and the Pussy Cat! I read out a few of my newer poems, and the one about the Emperor's New Clothes went down particularly well. I'm really looking forward to coming back to the festival again next year!
On the way home I looked in on the Whittlesey Workhouse Exhibition at the Whittlesey Museum. My commissioned poem, The Spike, is now up as part of the collection, and I'm really pleased that the team at the museum liked it enough to include it!
Next Wednesday, I'll be at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum for this month's Fen Speak open mic night! It's free to attend, and we're always keen to encourage new readers, so do pop along if you're in the area! It's a fantastic chance to try out that new poem or piece of writing, and a lovely way to meet new people too!
We'll be at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Museum Square, Wisbech PE13 1ES from 7:30pm, and the open mic starts at 8pm.
Then on Saturday 18th January, I'll be performing at the Cambridge Union Arts Festival, as part of the Allographic: Other Voices Collective. We'll be on stage from around 3pm, so if you're in Cambridge pop along to the University of Cambridge Student Union to check us out!
Later that very same evening, I'll be at the Unitarian Church, on Emmanuel Road in Cambridge, to perform as part of the SHINDIG and Allographic Press music and poetry extravaganza!
I did an interview with Slate the Disco to promote this gig, and you can read about it here. Patrick Widdess also spoke to the Slate the Disco crew, and you can find his interview here.
The show itself starts at 8pm, and you can get tickets for £4 in advance (or £6 on the night).