Monday, 9 February 2015

MONDAY NIGHT NEWS - Workshops, Podcasts and Sonnets

Last Sunday was the first of February, and Februaries are the time for sonnets. Confused? Then let me explain: back in 2012, four poets decided to challenge themselves by writing 28 sonnets (7 each) in twenty eight days.

Adam Warne, Andy Bennett, Russell J Turner and I took it in turns to come up with 14 lines, and together, we managed to write a sonnet for each day of February. Of course, 2012 was a leap year, so we actually ended up with 29 sonnets but that's what happens when you leave poets in charge of a calendar!

In 2013 we came together again. This time we collaborated to create a sonnet crown. Then last year, went even further by writing two sonnet coronas - our most challenging project to date!

This February, we decided to do something a little bit different. And so, the town of Buckley Oak was born! A fictional place somewhere in Middle England, filled with eccentric characters and dirty secrets. Think of it as Royston Vasey, but in iambic pentameter...

We've completed nine sonnets so far. Why not have a little look?
#1 - Welcome by Andy Bennett
#2 - Arabella Finn by Leanne Moden
#3 - Trish and Chips by Russell J Turner
#4 - Mr Ball by Adam Warne
#5 - Circadian by Andy Bennett
#6 - The Lollipop Lady by Leanne Moden
#7 - Shovel by Russell J Turner
#8 - Buckley Oak WI by Adam Warne
#9 - Ancient Grudge by Andy Bennett

I've written about a barmaid and a lollipop lady, but tomorrow's sonnet focuses on the local butcher, and his less than hygienic food safety standards. Keep an eye out for it!

Zombie Shakespeare. Because reasons

As well as writing some sonnets, I've also been out and about this week too! Last Thursday, I took a day off from my regular nine to five and went down to Kimbolton School, near Huntingdon, to do a poetry workshop with a group of Y13s.

Oh my goodness - it was so much fun! I always really enjoy working with school groups, especially teenagers, just because it's great to watch them warm to the subject matter and come out of their shells over the course of a two hour session.

I had nine people in the group (plus Mrs Poole, the teacher) and we did some speed poetry, looked at similes, messed about with rhyme, and had a go at describing ourselves entirely through metaphor.

I also introduced them to the Oulipo Poets and we had a lot of fun creating new poems from found writing using the N+7 technique. I was really impressed with their enthusiasm, talent and skill, and I'm fairly certain that one or two of them will be published writers at some point in the future!

It was a fantastic afternoon's work, and I only wish I could do workshops like these more often!

Finally this week, the podcast we made with Lunar Poetry has just been published!

This is what the moon looks like
Elaine Ewart, Poppy Kleiser and I were interviewed by David Turner from Lunar Poetry about the poetry scene in the Fens.

Recording the podcast was a lot of fun, and it was great to be able to chat about our work and also to be challenged to think about our future plans.

The podcast was recorded in my living room and our next door neighbour's dog tries to interrupt at one point, but he doesn't derail the debate, not for one second!

Please do have a listen and let me know what you think!

Lunar Poetry Podcast Number 5 - Fenland Poetry

Phew! What a week!