Posts Tagged ‘nottingham poetry society’

I'm going to see the sheep!

I’m going to see the sheep!

I’m going to make some resolutions for my holiday:

  • I will spend at least two days without connecting to the internet (if you see me on Facebook on Thursday or Friday, slap me).
  • I will get into the habit of writing every day (need to establish the habit).
  • I will not worry about how overweight and unfit I am until I get home (want to fully enjoy Mum’s wonderful cooking).
  • I will not spend more than an hour a day working (I’d like to not work at all, but that’s not going to happen).

I never thought I’d end up being a workaholic. But then I was never passionate about my work when I was in IT.


This is what I’ve been doing over the last few days.


The Bookcase, LowdhamWorking on a new website for The Bookcase in Lowdham. I’m very excited about this project – Jane Streeter wants to make a website that reflects the shop itself, including aspects of the service they give in person and giving a feel for the atmosphere of this perfect example of what an independent bookshop should be.


Draft programme for the Nottingham Festival of WordsSorting out the programme for the Nottingham Festival of Words. It’s going to be amazing, awesome, fantastic, brilliant… I know I keep banging on about this, but honestly, it is going to be EPIC. I’m a bit worried that I’m going to mess it up, but I honestly think we’ve got so many top-quality events that even I can’t blow it!


Nottingham and Leicester Poetry Society members at the Huw Watkins memorial eventAttending and reading at a special Nottingham Poetry Society meeting to commemorate the life and work of Huw Watkins, who died earlier this year. I never knew Huw, but I know by reading his poetry that I would have liked him. David Duncombe asked me to read Huw’s poem ‘Heifers’ – having spent much of my childhood years living right next to a field that was always full of cows, I can testify that Huw totally understood the beasts. We had a great audience and heard many beautiful poems.


The Heroes anthologyToday the proof arrived of an anthology I’ve typeset for the Nottingham Writers’ Studio’s ‘Heroes’ project. Richard Goodson and Natasha Picot worked with groups of young people from diverse backgrounds, which resulted in some amazing poetry and stories, not to mention colourful and inspiring pictures. It was a pleasure to design the anthology and help put it together, and I’m very pleased with the result.


Let the Blood RunOver the weekend I worked on a script for a graphic story that Emily Cooper is going to illustrate – we’ve submitted the proposal to Brick’s new project, which is called ‘Drawing from Distress to Recovery’ – an anthology of graphic stories about mental health problems. I hope our proposal (gorily entitled ‘Let the Blood Run’) is accepted, because I’m looking forward to working with Emily. She’s so talented…


… and lots of other stuff too. I love my life. Just got to find a way to work some more writing time into it!

Oh, and I somehow ended up watching the Olympic opening ceremony. I loved the cauldron, and the bouncing punks. I wanna be a bouncing punk.

Bouncing Punks

How could you NOT want to be a bouncing punk?

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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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