2021 – New Beginning

…although still all on-line for now. Unfortunately the pandemic is still with us and life continues virtually for now.

However, there are exciting events and courses on the horizon.

Lytisha is hosting a series of Lunchtime Lite Bites – hour long creative writing groups at, you’ve guessed it, lunchtimes. These are held fortnightly, in six week blocks for just £40. If you are interested then follow the link here for the Thursday sessions. Delivery is via zoom, so the advantage of this lockdown scenario is that you can attend from wherever you are.

10th February sees the next DIY Poets quarterly showcase, and 8th March brings us to the 5th annual Women Say Stuff event. More about all these events can be found in the Upcoming section.

Well that didn’t go to plan!

As 2020 draws to a close, I think we can all say that wasn’t quite how we envisaged it! The face to face activities in care homes, cafes, bars and theatres of this years first quarter all seem such distant memories. But looking back through this blog I am reminded of all the good things that did happen. World Jam had a reading at Five Leaves – still the top independent bookshop – of their anthology, Two Seda performed at Roots Takeover, I launched A Backpack on his Backpack along side Hazel Warren launching To See The Moon, Kevin Jackson launched his book Loves Burn, plus there were many ‘normal activities’. The recording of a series of poems with Nottingham Trent University alongside an esteemed set of poets was the very last live in-person activity I did before the pandemic hit and we in the UK went into our first National Lockdown. All in The Before Times.

Then things changed. Activities changed. I have learnt many new skills. I made a short film, worked on a ground-breaking zoom activities in care homes with Creative Paths, attended on-line events in places would struggle to access geographically in person, performed in front of crowds larger than ever. I hope many of the lessons learnt about accessibility will continue in The New Times ahead.

Excitingly since my last blog I have begun work on two new projects, with different artists. Both working in ways that are new to me. More skills to add to the quiver.

I have been reflecting on my MS during this period too. How it affects my life is not something I have spoken about much previously. Using this new (to me) technology has given me pause to consider how the ‘normal’ way of doing things affects me physically. Both positively and negatively.

This reflection was followed by an unexpected approach from a comedian I know to create a humorous podcast reflecting on our experiences of living with MS. Serendipity – it’s all in the timing!

So we have begun to share our fortnightly pilot episodes from 10th December. You can catch the trailer for Multiple Shenanigans below.

Meantime events with Poetry Aloud, DIY Poets, World Jam, & Social Model Writers all continue on-line and I hope to catch you at an event soon.

As they (almost) say on Strictly – Keep Writing!

Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Well, that was an experience! Performing as part of the DIY Poets collective in the show A DIY Poetry Fix at Banshee Labyrinth, at prime slot of 8.15pm between 10 – 16 August was exhilarating, exhausting, exciting and a first for me.

Having previously attended the festival, and flitted around trying to see as much as possible in a short space of time, I was aware how much there is to do and see during the festival season. Now, having now seen it from the other side, I see how much work it is for all involved; performers, promoters, flyerers, never stop. Kudos to those that survive a solo show!

My sets seemed to go down well, opening as I did with questions for the audience. ‘Will you dance with me? Will you swim with me? Will you hold me and laugh with me?’ it was encouraging to hear a YES! from the back row. I also had the privilege of compering the final performance to the packed crowd on the Friday night. Great fun.

I’ve posted a couple of photos from the performances on the images page. I also recommend checking out diypoets.com to see more about the Nottingham based collective.

DIY Poets have been instrumental in my poetry journey. They were the first to give me a platform to perform back in 2013, and I became a regular member later that year. A brilliant supportive group that arrange a variety of local events, and are thoroughly involved in the local literary scene. Not that we stop at the county lines! DIY Poets, as well as Edinburgh Festival, have performed at Buxton Fringe Festival, Off the Shelf festival in Sheffield and Splendour Festival, to name but a few.

Back to Edinburgh, what did I learn? 1) Don’t use Flybe if you need to be somewhere by a certain time. 2) Flyering is really important. Target your audiences and get your event details out there. 3) Teamwork is the key to success. Whether in terms of sharing the organising, of accommodation, publicity, knowledge, tips, or just mutual support for fellow artists. It’s a lot easier with a team. Thank you DIYers. Here’s to the next poetic adventure.

Edinburgh Bound!

Very excited to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the marvellous Nottingham based poetry collective DIY Poets. We have a weeks residency at the Banshee Labyrinth, a real hub of super Spoken Words events. Our show is called A DIY Poetry Fix and starts at 8.15 all week from 10/8/19 – to 16.8.19. Each night 5 poets are featured and the line up is different daily. I’ll be performing Wed 14th and Fri 16th August, with a whole bunch of talented poets. Can’t wait!

diy poets flyer  A DIY Poetry Fix
DIY Poets Edinburgh Fringe 2019 flyer