Posts Tagged ‘beeston poets’

Beeston Poets 2012 season flyer

I designed this over the weekend. Three things:

1. Tickets will be available very very soon. Probably tomorrow. Definitely by the end of the week. Buy them.

2. I’d love to hear what you think of the poster, design-wise. Any critiques gratefully received. Trying to get the hang of this graphic design lark.

3. This particular Beeston Poets elf is VERY VERY EXCITED about the whole project!

In other news…

Got lots of work on at the moment. Good job I can survive on 4 hours sleep for a couple of weeks. Caffeine addiction has firmly re-established itself.

Nottingham Festival of Words is taking shape, slowly but surely. I’ve volunteered to design the programme and they’ve accepted my offer. Whoop whoop! If you haven’t done so yet, sign up to the mailing list, like the FB page, and mark 9th-24th Feb 2013 in your diary. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the Festival launch, which will be at Antenna on September 12th, and is free.

And… tomorrow I’m off to prison.

Behind bars - and not the sort that sells beer



I’m going to a meeting to discuss a creative writing project at Sudbury Open Prison, where I’ll be shadowing someone and will have the chance to run a workshop with prisoners. What fun!

Lots of other stuff happening. But if I wrote about all of it you’d get bored and I’d get even less sleep.

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Beeston Poets logoIt’s official – Beeston Poets is back! We have a website and a logo and everything! (do you like the logo? I made it! (it was Cathy’s idea to make the stinger into a pen nib though.))

I’m so excited to be involved in this project… I can’t stop talking about it. I missed the first Beeston Poets series, which ran from 1983 for nearly 20 years and is still remembered fondly now by many Beeston and Nottingham poetry-lovers, so being a part of its resurrection feels like an incredible privilege.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of what it’s all about.


To bring the best in contemporary poetry to Beeston, of course!


At Beeston Library – the original venue for Beeston Poets – which is welcoming us back into its new upstairs space that might have been made especially for poetry readings.


This is the really exciting bit…

Jackie KayThe series will re-launch on Saturday 20 October with Jackie Kay, a favourite from past Beeston Poets readings. She is delighted to be asked to read for us at this event, and we’re pleased to have her. I’m particularly pleased, as I’ve wanted to meet her for AGES and what with one thing and another I haven’t managed it yet.

Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy, edited by Neil AstleyFollowing his adjudication of the Nottingham Open Poetry Competition on Saturday 24 November, Neil Astley will be reading for us from Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy, published by Bloodaxe this year. The Staying Alive anthologies introduced me to the breathtaking range of contemporary poetry, so I’m particularly looking forward to this.


1948, by Andy Croft and Martin RowsonOn Saturday 8 December we’ll be entertained and edified by Andy Croft, whose most recent book is 1948, illustrated by Martin Rowson and published by Five Leaves. It’s a comic novel, written entirely (and I mean entirely, including the foreword, contents and acknowledgements!) in Pushkin sonnets. Andy is a great performer, and this will be a highly entertaining evening.

What next?

We’re still considering plans for 2013… watch this space… or better still, subscribe to our email newsletter and we’ll keep you up to date with everything.

Whose fault is all this?

The partners in Beeston Poets are:

  • Nottingham Poetry Society (Jeremy Duffield, Cathy Grindrod, me)
  • Nottinghamshire Libraries (Sheelagh Gallagher, Gill Rockett)
  • Five Leaves (me, Ross Bradshaw)

… just so you know who to blame!

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I’m involved in a couple of exciting projects at the moment. Actually, I’m involved in a LOT of exciting projects (you know me, it’s what I do), but there are two I want to tell you about.

Beeston Poets

Some of you might remember a long-running series of poetry events at Beeston Library which started in 1983 and went on for over fifteen years. It’s before my time (i.e. when I was mired deep in the world of computers – poetry of a different kind) so I missed out on the opportunities to hear established and up-and-coming poets like Jackie Kay, Helen Dunmore, Roger McGough, Wendy Cope, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Longley, Liz Lochhead…

The Nottingham Poetry Society, in partnership with Nottinghamshire Libraries and Five Leaves Publications (who published the anthology Poems for the Beekeeper in 1997 to commemorate the fifteenth series of Beeston poetry readings) with support from Writing East Midlands, is now working on re-establishing the series in the wonderful new upstairs space at Beeston Library. We’ve got one event lined up already – Neil Astley will be reading on November 24th 2012 – and another is in the pipeline for October 2012.

I’m designing the logo for the website at the moment. And then I’ll build the website. It’s all very exciting!

Nottingham Festival of Words

Next February, there will be a literature festival in Nottingham! ‘About time too!’ I hear you cry. It will take place in various city centre venues on the weekend of February 15/16/17 2013, to coincide with Light Night on February 15.

This is a project initiated by Nottingham Writers’ Studio, who are organising the festival in partnership with Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University and Writing East Midlands. At the moment we’ve started work on the website, branding, organisation structure, and all that stuff… and we’ve issued a call for event proposals. Here’s an extract from the call:

The Nottingham Festival of Words will take place for the first time in the City next year. It will be a great celebratory event bringing together diverse forms of word-related cultures, and will include all forms of  literature, spoken word, theatre/film, and anything else connected with words. Nottingham Festival of Words is looking for event and activity proposals that will enable and encourage the public to engage with literary culture in all its forms. If you are an individual, group or organisation working with words we would love to work with you, so tell us about your event ideas.

Publicity will be created for the Festival as a whole, incorporating information about all of the events. A central venue will act as a hub, with a book market and a selection of spaces for events, while other venues throughout the city will also host events.

A dedicated team will manage the Festival, deciding on the programme, producing publicity, liaising with the central venue and facilitating events – for example by providing a Festival Box Office and helping organisers to find venues for their events. Individuals, groups and organisations are invited to propose events for inclusion within the programme.

The Festival will be themed around ‘Lace and Love’ in 2013. There is a city-wide ‘Lace Season’ taking place in the months leading up to and culminating with Light Night, and you’ll note that the dates are very close to St Valentine’s Day. Your event need not be directly related to the themes, but we hope that most events will have at least some connection.

I’ll post the website address here as soon as it’s live (real soon now!) but in the meantime if you would like to propose an event for inclusion – deadline is June 30th – email me or nottwords [at] gmail [dot] com and ask for a proposal form. It’s going to be HUGE! You really want to be involved!

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