Sunday, 17 June 2018

Poetry New Year’s Resolutions Update

Damn! I can’t believe it’s mid-June already! Summer’s just around the corner and I’ve had an incredibly hectic first half of 2018!

But the internet only cares about GOALS – especially during World Cup season – so you’ll be wanting to know how I’m getting on with my New Year’s Resolutions, won’t you?

This is a football, right?

As I mentioned before, I am notoriously bad at keeping New Year's Resolutions. So, I just make LOADS of them in the hope that, if I make enough, I might accidentally achieve some of them, simply by living my life. It sort of works, and ‘sort of’ is better than not at all, right?

So, here are my 2018 Resolutions:

1. Read at least twenty poetry collections or anthologies
2. Do at least ten more creative writing workshops
3. Go to at least thirty new (to me) poetry nights
4. Compete in at least five poetry slams
5. Put at least ten new poetry videos up on my youtube channel

Let’s start with the good news: I’ve already competed in two poetry slams this year: The Milk Poetry Slam in Bristol (which I won – hooray!) and The Hammer & Tongue National Finals in London (which I didn’t win – nm!)

Cheesy photo from the Milk Poetry Slam

I’m still scoping out slams for later in the year, so if you know a good one, let me know and I’ll do my best to get down to it.

I’ve also been trying super hard to get to poetry nights that I’ve never been to before, and so far, twenty-five out of the thirty-one shows I’ve been to have been completely new to me. This is a good average – 80% new gigs, fact fans – but I feel like I’ve been neglecting the local shows that I love in favour of national (and in some cases international) poetry gallivanting!

Exhibit A...

So, for the next half of the year, I’m going to try to get to more shows in the East Midlands, particularly the events in Nottingham that I love. Watch out Notts!

I’ve also been really busy with workshopping this year, with poetry projects with Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Poetry Festival, as well as an upcoming writer-in-residency gig with the lovely folks at the National Justice Museum. I’ve already facilitated seven workshops this year, with three more booked in, and lots of room for more later in the year (wink wink).

Seriously though, if you’d like me to come do a writing workshop for you – just ask! You can contact me here.

In terms of my youtube channel, it’s coming along slowly, but I have managed to post two new videos since the start of the year. My latest vid has been watched over 100 times already (which is a lot for someone as obscure as me) so that’s really spurred me on to get more videos up on the site soon!

Angry video stills

Still, I’ll need to get cracking if I want to get to ten by the end of the year!

The bad news is I’ve been very lax with reading new poetry collections so far, and I’ve only managed to finish five since January. I’ve got a few good mates who have started lending me their favourite poetry collections though, so hopefully that’ll help!

It’s so important to read and absorb other people’s work, especially if you want to learn new techniques and ways of writing. I need to get better at making time for reading poetry, so I’m thinking about joining a local poetry reading group. Watch this space, I guess!

However, one of the exciting things I have done recently is put together my first ever Arts Council bid for my own writing project! OooooOoOoOoo, it’s so scary! But it’s good, because it means I might finally get to focus on that elusive poetry show that I’m always banging on about!

I’ve lined up some incredible poets and theatre-makers to support me, so fingers cross we can get a grant to pursue it. I’ll find out in about a month, and I have already bitten my nails down to stubs with all that nervous energy!

Hello, cheerful yellow logo! Don't let me down, will you?

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a busy and creative six months ahead!