Wednesday, 10 February 2016

WEDNESDAY NIGHT NEWS – 28 Sonnets Later, the Poetry Library and Thursday Night Lates

Last week was so busy! And I was all ready to do this super-long blog all about it, but then I got floored by a virus. I'm only just starting to feel human again! But anyway, there was some good stuff going on last week:

28 Sonnets Later 2016 has finally started, and the first weeks' worth of poems are now up on the website!

This year, Andy, Adam, Russell and I are doing Ekphrastic sonnets – that is, poems based on pictures. We’ve each chosen some of our favourite pieces of art, and we’ll take it in turns to write a sonnet a day about the pieces.

So far, I’ve had a gorgeous image from Cindy Sherman, and a great classical painting by Jacques Louis David. Some of the other sonneteers have already written about great works of architecture, installations and even a grotty single bed!

In case you’re finding it hard to keep track, here’s some links to each of the sonnets from the first week:
#1 – Hitchcock Blonde by Leanne Moden
#2 – Outside by Adam Warne
#3 – My Bed: Tracy Emin, 1998 by Andy Bennett
#4 – The Outrun by Russell J Turner
#5 – War is Hell by Leanne Moden
#6 – The Scream by Adam Warne
#7 – Finis by Andy Bennett

Then, last Thursday night, I trundled up the M6 to Manchester for the Quiet Compère event at the Whitworth Gallery on the University of Manchester campus. The event was organised by Sarah L Dixon, a local poet and events coordinator, who has been putting on National poetry tours for the past three years. She’d called the Quiet Compère because she likes the poetry to speak for itself. This is a brilliant ethos because it means that her line-ups are always filled with an incredibly wide variety of people and styles.

The Whitworth

And so it was on Thursday night, when ten fantastic poets filled the main hall at the Whitworth to share their poetry. The event was really well attended, and I really enjoyed it. (Even though I did lower the tone somewhat with one or two of my poems!)

I’m hoping to get back up to Manchester for more poetry in the future, so if you know of any good open mic nights, let me know!

Also this week, I got an email from James at Stewed Rhubarb Press. (The people who published my pamphlet last year.) Turns out that the Southbank Centre have asked for copies of the entire Stewed Rhubarb back catalogue - including Liaisons - for filing in their Poetry Library.

Needless to say, I was unnecessarily excited about this, not least because it all feels really blumming professional! I know it’s unlikely that many people will see my pamphlet in the library, or ask for it or anything like that, but just knowing that it’s there makes me feel all tingly inside!

Finally this week, I’ve been chatting to the people from the Malt Cross about another Crosswords poetry night in their caves, and we’ve agreed to hold another one on Wednesday 9th March. I’m really excited about it, and I’ve already booked an awesome headline act! Entry is £2 each, and all the details are over on the facebook events page. Hope to see some of you there!

Next week, I’ll be doing some poems as part of the DIY Poets event at the Maze on Mansfield Road. They’ll be performances from loads of other DIY poets, and a special musical guest as well, so it’s shaping up to be a pretty awesome night. Tickets are £3 each and the show starts at 8pm.

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