Sunday, 16 February 2014

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - Fen Speak and International Women's Day

This week, I'm looking forward to being pretty busy, with a triple helping of poetry fun, plus some exciting announcements about a gig in March.

So let's get down to business!

On Tuesday morning, I'll be heading to a super-secret location to participate in the judging for the Fenland Poet Laureate Awards 2014. We've had over seventy entries for the competition, and I'm really looking forward to reading them all!

I'll be part of a judging panel, alongside Fenland Poet Laureate Emeritus Elaine Ewart and freelance creative consultant Karen Harvey, and together we'll be picking out our favourite poems from the submissions.

The top ten poets in the adult category will then be invited to read their work at the Fenland Poet Laureate Awards on Wednesday 19th March, and the winner will be announced as part of the evening's celebrations.

We'll also be judging the poems in the 11-17 year old category, and the top young poets will also be invited to the awards ceremony.

Having been one of the competitors at last year's event, it's going to be really weird to be on the opposite side of the judging fence, but I can't wait to check out all the fantastic poetry that has been submitted.

I'll let you know how we get on with the judging next week!

Then, on Wednesday, we're back at the Babylon Gallery for another round of Fen Speak, Fenland's only dedicated poetry and spoken word open mic!

As well as our regular contributors, we'll have some brand new poets hoping to join us on the evening, and I'm really looking forward to hearing everyone perform!

If you'd like to come along to watch the show, or to have a go yourself, then you can join us at the Babylon Gallery, Waterside, Ely on Wednesday 19th February. Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8pm. Refreshments are available  - in case you need a drop of something to help you up onto the stage - and we'd love to see you there!

If all that wasn't enough, the 28 Sonnets Later project continues on at pace! We're now just over halfway through, and you can see our first completed Heroic Crown here.

Writing is sometimes a very lonely job, so it's really lovely to get the chance to work on a collaborative piece like this. Plus, working with Andy, Adam and Russell always spurs me on to do some of my very best writing, so I'm really grateful to them for all their help and support.

Check the 28 Sonnets Later website daily for new sonnets!

I'll also be spending this week fine-tuning a new workshop for Y8 and Y9 and the Thomas Clarkson Academy. This time, we'll be focusing on writing prose, and I've got some pretty good games and exercises prepared. The kids were so much fun to work with last time, so I'm really looking forward to visiting them again in a few weeks time!

Finally, I'm really pleased to be participating in a special event in Peterborough on Saturday 8th March, to help celebrate International Women's Day.

The event is being organised to raise money for Peterborough Rape Crisis, and is a fantastic chance to raise awareness of the work they do, as well as celebrate the talents of women in and around Peterborough. 

We'll be performing in St John's Square, and the line-up includes musicians, poets, belly dancers, Bhangra dancers and speakers, and it promises to be a really fun day. I'll let you know as soon as we have further details of the event!

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