Covid- 19 Part 2. The ‘new normal’

25th April to 1st June – 36 days in which time:

I’ve given five public performances – virtually – collaborating with five event hosts. This includes being the first artist ever to perform at two consecutive Kimberley Sessions, and Dixie being the first feline to star at any of the Kimberley Sessions!

I have now uploaded my performances to my YouTube page. I plan to be more proactive with it, so if you could give it a follow – that’d be most marvellous.

Delivered poetry workshops, and collaborated with Heart Art in Buxton.  There are more workshops coming up with Nottingham Writers Studio in July and September.

Remember Where’s Wally? Well I ran 10 rounds of Spot Dixie on my facebook page, which proved very popular. But that’s cat’s for you.

Finally sorted my Author Central page on Amazon. This one I could do with your help. If you have read any of my books and would like to leave a review – that would be marvellous.

I’ve been working with Ellis Guidford School and the University of Nottingham MEITS project to produce resources for EAL pupils, which is very exciting. I can’t wait to see the work they produce as a result of it.

Very excitingly, the results of the collaboration with Nottingham Trent University Graphic Design students and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature are here to see. I, alongside the fine poets:  Di Slaney, Greg Woods, Sue Dymoke, Hazel Warren and Trevor Wright shared poems with first year graphic design students.

They had a fairly open brief and this work was done during lockdown, when students had no access to the university facilities. I submitted a collection of Bloody Poems looking at perimenopause and the students did the rest. I am so impressed. Please do take a look around this site. You can look by poet name, or pupil via the home pages. There is a lot of amazing work to see.https://poetryofpublishing.cargo.site/LytishaTunbridge

Things I’ve been working on, to be shared in the future.

  • A major DIY Poets project which is still in the pipeline
  • Two anthologies – details to follow soon
  • A short collection of writings inspired by both a clearing-out find and the international Crossed Lines – Telepoetics Symposium hosted by Dr Sarah Jackson. https://crossedlines.co.uk/about/
  • Collaborations with other artists…

During this period I’ve also changed internet provider, got a new battery for my car, appreciated my neighbours for their friendship, jumps starts, back alley chats, clearance skills, and banana cake delivery. Also very grateful for plants, internet / film editing and boiler issue resolutions to friends.

And I’ve discovered that the clematis that never flowered, turns out to be a honeysuckle that is finally quietly blooming in the yard.

I am hoping the relaxation of lockdown will be effected wisely and that I might get a rest in the next month – this staying home is exhausting!

https://poetryofpublishing.cargo.site/LytishaTunbridge

 

2020: Part 1 Pre C-19

This was not the blog I thought I’d be writing. To be honest, I’ve put off updating you because I felt in a kind of suspended animation. But there have been so many good events I’ve been involved with this year it doesn’t feel fair to let the current situation to take anything away from them. So, here’s a round up of January to mid-March 2020.
So, the year began cheerfully enough on 8th January with a gig at The People’s Museum, Manchester. I read some poems at Meet We Shall Overcome event organised by Matt Hill, featuring the WSO work of Pauline Townsend, and celebrating all the WSO volunteers around the country.
Saturday 11th January saw poets from World Jam reading from their anthology at Five Leaves Bookshop. We had poems shared in several languages, and Sherry performed some verses from Rumi, the Persian poet.
January 31st Refugee Roots Take Over at Sobar. This great event featured the ever fabulous, and talented Jude Winwood playing her kora, soothing, energising and relaxing all in one set. This was followed by Two Seda performing a great set, if I do say so myself. The evening was rounded off by the enigmatic Obi Rudo who had us up on our feet dancing. Check out his music page, or you might catch him busking near the Market Square if you are lucky.
22nd Feb was a house gig collecting donations of food and clothing for WSO where we heard from Joe Solo, the motivating heart of WSO, Pixie Styx, Paul Carbuncle, and many others, including myself. Several boxes of goods and a wedge of money donated to local causes.
Then came scary Thursday! I joined Leanne Moden on the sofa at Ey Up Notts! Live magazine programme on Notts TV. It was my tv debut! Well, apart from crowd scenes and vox pops… Oh and that film.. Anyhow, we were there promoting Women Say Stuff 5, which was organised by some of the women of DIY Poets. The event itself, on International Women’s Day was fabulous. Three hours of women saying their stuff in poetic or short story format. Always great to hear new voices, and familiar ones. The featured acts were Maresa MacKeith, Sara Awayes, and myself.
I also attended and performed at two book launches, Genevieve Carver’s at Scarthins Bookshop and Kevin Jackson’s Loves Burn launch at City Arts. Both great books that I highly recommend.
From mid March my diary changed to a series of crossings out, cancelled events, and life became very home-based. Some of that has changed now with On-line events and festivals – lots of exciting news about them to come in the next blog. For upcoming events, don’t forget to check out my gig listings.

2020 – here we go!

I know it’s virtually February and I haven’t told you all about the marvellous things that occurred in the rest of December, but I’ve just got back from a week away in the sun, after the 5 week horrid cold & cough bug that left me voiceless for 17 days. I know! I bet you are speechless too.

So, January. Lots happened, happening, about to happen. I’ve updated my events page with all the future dates that are inked in, and there is much to look forward to. However, one of my resolutions was to spend more time crafting my poetry and less gadding about. So, if you see a bit less of me sharing my individual poems out there, it’s because I’m busy scribbling here. With #DixieCatNottm on my knee. Also, Mina and I will be looking to do more Two Seda gigs, so do look out for us, or better yet – book us!

So that’s the plan. Fewer gigs, less chocolate, more gigs, more excercise, and more writing. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh, and Two Seda will be at Sobar on Friar Lane this Friday, 31st Jan for the Refugee Roots take over. Good cake, good entertainments, good times, good excse to catch up. See you there before you go funking with Fat Digester?

Hockley Hustled!

Well! After Sunday I feel well and truly Hustled – in the best possible way. The 2019 Hockley Hustle in the Hockley district of Nottingham is an annual event involving over 350 artists on 30+ stages in and around the clubs, bars, streets and other ‘venues’ in Hockley. Artists, musicians, poets, dancers and stage promoters come together to create an event that raises funds for charities and organisations supporting Nottingham’s most vulnerable.

I was involved in a couple of ways this year. I was delighted to perform with Two Seda, a multi-lingual trio who perform original poetry in Farsi and English, accompanied by Portugeuse music. We have had a short break from performing since Easter, but we have been busy writing and it was great to perform our new pieces, along with a couple of older favourites on the beautifully decorated Acoustickle stage, managed by the multitalented Parisa East.

Then it was over to Emmanuel House were I was hosting the We Shall Overcome stage for the Hockley Hustle. It was a fabulous line-up with many lovely. supportive and talented people – if I do say so myself! We had, aside from four brave open micers, The Rise singers with songs from Iceland to Africa, via The Flying Pickets’ song, Only You. We had top poetry from Katy Gearing and myself. We had the constantly fabulous King of Rome, including their new song Blind Eye written especially for the volunteers that go out and support the street homeless in Nottingham on a Sunday. We had Pixie Styx joined by the Bluesberry Jammers, Blue Vulture doing an acoustic set, the incomparable Marc Block leading us all in singalongs. Northern Monkey trekking over from NE Derbyshire especially to perform for us and rounding the day off leading everyone arm in arm in a great rendition of We Shall Overcome. A fabulous day’s entertainment, and all raising money and supporting the amazing work Emmanuel House do to support people suffering the effects of austerity.

After all that I barely had the energy to manage the three hours of festivalising I managed – though mostly sat rather than dancing like a lune. Nottingham, you are so good at pulling together for those in need. It’s one of the reasons those of us passing through stay. Nice one.

November is a quieter one – just the two gigs from me on the horizon –

Though you are likely to find me at Poetry Cocktail on the 15th November hosted by Gail Webb as it’ll be a good one, featuring Leanne Moden and Sue Allen – two of my favourites.

I am featured poet at Poetry Undercover on Tuesday 19th November at Ludorati. There are still a few spaces available for this, I believe.

DIY Poets quarterly showcase is Thursday 14th November and features the fine poet Kevin Jackson, you’ll find me listening to all the great diy voices.

Then on Saturday 23rd November I will be one of the chapters of But I Know This City. Find me at Nonsuch 4 – 10pm.