Autumn is virtually here

Well, there is a real nip in the air – but performance life has and is continuing virtually. Aside from whizzing around the country to listen to poets far and wide, and throwing in the odd poem to the open mic slots, via the ether I have also been dabbling with radio and working remotely in care homes.

The latter project was with Creative Paths and I have to confess I think I found the tech more challenging than the people living with dementia on the other side of the screen! They thought nothing of singing, chatting an creating poems with the person in the ipad. I find it really interesting how different people react to new technologies. For example small children are learning all the time and just figure out how to work things, and my recent workshop participants weren’t in the least bit phased with the use of the new technology. It’s just those of us somewhere in the middle that remember enough to have forgotten how to learn new things that have any issues!

October is always a busy month supporting We Shall Overcome to raise funds for those facing homelessness, especially as the weather draws in. This year the circumstances are different, but the need for support is ever greater so we are having a virtual event on Saturday 10th October – including the best raffle I have ever put together! There are commissions to be won – locally based, though nationally renown songwriters, musicians and poets are offering bespoke songs / poems / performances to the lucky raffle winners – and the tickets are only £1! You could also win a pair of tickets to Deerstock Festival for 2021. Make sure you log into the facebook group to join in the fun and get all the details. Get your tickets here. Be quick, the draw is Sunday 11th Oct at 6.30pm. Funds raised go to Emmanuel House in Nottingham.

So, wrap up cosily as I think this will be a bit of a one this year, remember to check in with your friends on the phone if not in person, and settle in with a good book. I can recommend some poetry…

Bloody Amazing by Dragon Yaffle press

The World Outside by Nottingham Writers Studio

Purl by Jo Dixon

The Pretty Boys of Gangster Town by Martin Grey

Get Over Yourself by Leanne Moden

Loves Burn by Kevin Queaver Jackson

That is your Rule of Six for now – plenty more when you are ready to swap bubbles….

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.