Summer is unveiling

Summer is unveiling.

Ta-da! I have a poem on stone. I guess that makes me a rock poet now – well I do have a geologically based poem or two. The poem was commissioned by Nottingham City Homes to commemorate the Lenton Green estate that has replaced the 5 multi-storey blocks that were demolished behind the Savoy Cinema in Nottingham. It has been transformed into family homes and bungalows, plus a really swish supported living block, where everyone has their own balcony, their own piece of the sky. Thanks to Keith Turner for the photo.

I really enjoyed the commission; the research, chatting to residents and hanging out by the bee hotel to get a sense of the place. If anyone else is would like to commission a bespoke poem, please do get in touch.

So, what else as been happening in the past three months?

Multiple Shenanigans continues to go from strength to strength. We were delighted to be the featured podcast by the Culture, Health and Wellbeing organisation and have a guest blog on their website which they promoted on World MS Awareness day for us, which amazing. We continue to get positive feedback and more importantly we both enjoy making them. Still learning as we go. We’ve another guest with us toward the end of June, so look out for that episode too. If anyone fancies joining us and discussing the humorous side of life living with MS or other conditions, please contact me and we can have a chat.

I haven’t been very active on the poetry stages for a few months as I had a prolonged episode of Trigeminal neuralgia which made speaking extremely difficult for a while, but I am luckily much improved now. I have kept myself busy with some other activities, including Lite Bites, but the project with Sue Allen I mentioned last time had to be poetponed. Oh, I think I inadvertently created a new word there. I quite like it! We will be back, soonish.

The big news for the forthcoming year is that I have been successful in receiving a DYCP grant from the Arts Council to work on some training and with a mentor on a new (to me) style project. So, I shall be doing lots of learning and hopefully will have something to show you all at the end of it.

Still a couple of events coming up – check out the Events listings for details.

Think that’s it for now – even though I didn’t mention swimming in the sea. Did I ever mention I love the sea?

Lytisha

Spring is creeping up on us

I definitely feel that spring tingle, do you? I have embarked on some new activities, new working partnerships and new courses. Where to begin?

The podcast I co-produce with Comedian Jeanette Bird-Bradley, Multiple Shenanigans, is improving each time. We even had our first guest, Jess, for the Creamy-White Improv episode aired in March. The whole process is learning curve for both Jeanette and I, with the filming, editing, sharing, media, all being new to both of us. You imagine how seamlessly the organisation goes with two foggy brains to coordinate! It is fun, we learn from each other and our guests. It also feels very liberating to openly discuss the affects of Multiple Sclerosis on my life, not something I do often in public. We have had quite a lot of good feedback from viewers, both living with MS and without. Check us out fortnightly here: If you like it, and subscribe, we’ll soon have a comprehensible channel name!

The first set of Lytisha’s Lunchtime Lite Bites are just over the halfway point, and the sessions are going really well. I’ve been so impressed with the outcomes during the sessions, especially as we have just an hour which literally whizzes by in a flurry of words and ideas. The experience level of the group are mixed with some completely new to creative writing and others a little more familiar. In fact I have just opened up Lytisha’s Teatime Lite Bites – so grab yourself a spot swiftly. Booking now for: Wednesdays at 7 – 8pm, fortnightly from 14th April 2021 – 16th June 2021. Cost: 6 sessions for £40. Book here:

I am also working on an innovative project with poet Sue Allen, more details to follow.

Just to keep you in suspense a little longer – artist Emma Wass and I have something up our sleeves too. I’d love to tell you now, but my tummy is rumbling so loudly it is drowning out the plaintive mews of the half starved DixiecatNottm who hasn’t eaten for literally hours. Fear not, I will be – er – back!

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!