It’s been wonderful working with Russell and Andy again, and equally wonderful getting to know Olly through his poems, and I’m really hoping that the four of us will get the chance to meet up in real life (Quelle horreur!) and maybe even perform some of this year’s sonnets in front of an audience!
|"Hi Shakespeare, how's it going?"|
I’ve really enjoyed the challenge this year too; we wanted to write 28 sonnets about the 28 members states of the EU, and it’s been a genuinely enlightening experience. I’ve learned that the Dutch are the tallest people in the world (on average) and that Skype was invented in Estonia. (Who knew?) I also found that some people think that Finland doesn't exist, and that the Swedish phrase for television static translates to ‘Ants War’ in English - which is one of my favourite facts I’ve probably ever ever learned!
I mean, it’s unlikely that any of this information will be ever be useful to me again, but in my opinion, there’s no such thing as useless knowledge!
Anyway, here are sonnets 13 through 28 for your reading pleasure:
#13 - Die Hermannsschlacht by Andy Bennett
#14 - An Emerald Heart by me
#15 NotwhatIthoughtyou'dsay by Olly Watson
#16 - All Saints' Day by Russell J Turner
#17 – Dynastic by Andy Bennett
#18 - Myrornas Krig by me
#19 – Cinderella Feet by Olly Watson
#20 – Southerscales by Russell J Turner
#21 - Navel Gazing by Andy Bennett
#22 – Imaginary by me
#23 - Wrapped in a White Sheet by Olly Watson
#24 – Christiania by Russell J Turner
#25 – Contramural by Andy Bennett
#26 - You Can't Possibly Rhyme Anything with Estonia, So Don't Even Try by me
#27 - And September Brings a Question by Olly Watson
#28 - 'the other' by Russell J Turner
You can check out the 28 Sonnets Later website to see all the poems in their natural habit, and you can follow us on Twitter for bonus sonnety goodness too!
I’m really going to miss the sonnet writing as February slides into March, but luckily, I’ve got some fun gigs coming up next month to ease the pain!
There’s no Crosswords in the caves in March (we’re taking a break so that I can celebrate mah birthday) so instead, I’ve managed to sneak my way into performing at three events that I’ve never been to before – happy birthday to me indeed!
The first one is the Against the Grain Poetry Slam, which is taking place on Tuesday 7th March at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre in Lincoln town. I’m really looking forward to this one, as I haven’t stretched my competitive poetry muscles for about two years now! I’ve never performed in Lincoln before so I’m really stoked to see what the scene is like in the city – and hopefully there’ll be one or two lovely poets who I can pop on my Crosswords Featured Poet Wishlist too. (Seriously that Wishlist is getting EPICALLY long – I’m like a spoiled child writing to Father Christmas!)
|Lincoln looks well nice! (Photo by Richard Croft)|
Then, on Tuesday 14th March, I’m popping down to Peterborough to take part in Write Club, which is a really cool new show created by the very wonderful ‘borough bards Mark Grist, Charley Genever, Lewis Tappenden and Keely Mills.
Four teams of poets compete on the night, and the aim of the game is for each team to write twenty minutes on a theme chosen by an audience member. On 14th March, the theme will be “How the fuck did I get this old?” – a serendipitously fitting topic, given my BIG BIRTHDAY this month. The teams are judged on the night by a friendly audience of rowdy poetry lovers, and the winners will be crowned kings and queens of Write Club!
|Pictured: some kings and queens of Write Club - probably...|
Should be a good laugh, I reckon!
Finally, I’m rounding off my month in Cambridge for Sunday Night Lives at La Raza, which is a venue that I’ve heard a lot of good things about, but have never actually managed to get to. I’ve been invited along by the very local poet Mark McGivern, who runs the events, and I can’t wait to be back in Cambridge, even if it is for a flying visit.
When I left the city two years’ ago, the poetry scene was bijou but thriving, and I’ve been delighted to watch from afar as new events have sprung up, and established events moved to very swanky new venues. Now, I’m really excited to be going back to check it out in person, and bother all my Cambridge friends into hanging out with me too!
|Cambridge looking very sunny indeed (Photo by Andrew Dunn)|
Then, we head into April – spring will hopefully have sprung, and I’ll be super busy with all the Nottingham Poetry Festival events that are happening! (Seriously - I've managed to weedle my way into about seven events across two weeks. If I die of poetry-exhaustion, at least I'll die happy!)
Keep your eyes peeled for more information on all those lovely events coming soon!
Also, before I forget, the lovely folk at Left Lion were kind enough to let me waffle on about the Nottingham Poetry scene in the latest edition of their very excellent magazine. You can pick up copies of the Left Lion in all the cool bars, cafes and other nice places around Nottingham, or check out the digital version of the publication on their website. Let me know what you think of my adorably bad journalistic skills!
|The offending article (with a marvellous head line pun!)|