Sunday, 20 April 2014


Yesterday I went along to the Writers’ Centre Norwich to take part in a performance poetry workshop hosted by Salena Godden.

Salena is a poet I've admired for a while now - her poems are so honest and passionate, and she uses humour and wit to talk about heavy subjects in a way that I think is really accessible. So when I heard she was giving a free workshop in Norwich (and on a Saturday too!) I knew it would be an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

And it was!

There were eight of us in the workshop group, and it was fantastic to work alongside such incredibly talented writers, all of whom had very different writing styles. Salena's workshop style was relaxed and fun, and the games and exercises she devised were engaging and thought-provoking. I particularly like the warm up exercise, in which we all asked to think about the relative value of certain randomly-chosen words. It was a pretty ingenious way to get our brains in gear, and I might even try it with my Y13s when I give my next school's workshop on Thursday!

I've also got a few half-finished pieces that might find their way into finished poems in the not too distant future. All in all, it was a great good experience, and I'm really looking forward to the companion workshop with Ross Sutherland next month.

Aside from that, the NaPoWriMo challenge continues at pace, and I'm pleased to say that I'm still on schedule, with twenty poems written in the last twenty days.
You can have a read of the poems I've written this week using the links below. Let me know what you think - I'm particularly fond of the sonnet about Sutton Hoo, Ritual, and Colonel in Chief (of my Heart)

Day 14 - Fresh Air and Exercise
Day 15 - Irony
Day 16 - Colonel in Chief (of my Heart)
Day 17 - burial at sea
Day 18 - What we Believe but Cannot Prove
Day 19 - Ritual
Day 20 - Polaris


Next week:

On Saturday 26th April, I’ll be heading down to Colchester to take part in a gig organized by the very lovely Steve and Tina Lawton. Steve performs poetry under the moniker Just Some Guy, and is a really great poet and performer.

I'm really looking forward to telling some poems at this event. Tina and Steve open up their own house (!) to guests, and the bands and performers play in their front room, so it sounds like it’s going to be a really interesting night!

Then, on Sunday 27th April, I’ll be performing alongside Elaine Ewart as part of the Allographic: Other Voices open mic in Cambridge.

I always really love reading at Allographic gigs, as the audiences are always so warm and welcoming. It’s also a fantastic change to see a real variety of performers, and the open mic portion of the evening frequently unearths amazing local talent – so I’m really looking forward to going along.

If you want to come down and catch this performance, just pop along to the Fountain on Regent Street, Cambridge on Sunday 27th April. The show starts at 8:00pm and entrance is free – although donations are very gratefully received.

I’m planning on trying out a few of the new poems that I’ve written over the course of the NaPoWriMo challenge this month, so if you fancy hearing poems about Philosophical Sweet Shops, or odes to vegetable peelers, then you should definitely come along! See you there!

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