2017 Readings/Residencies

These are updated as more events come in and are confirmed, so please do check back again soon.

Friday, January 6 – Sarah will be one of the poets reading at the Albion Beatnik bookshop as part of the Longest Night, Shortest Day Arachne Press poetry and fiction anthology tour. The events starts at 7.30pm.

Monday, February 13 – guest poet slot at Licensed to Rhyme at Bromsgrove Artrix on Monday, February 13. The event, which also features an open mic and headliner Matt Windle, is from 7.30pm-9.30pm. Doors open at 7pm. Admission is free for under 18s and £5 for everyone else. Email maggiedoylepoet@gmail.com to book an open mic slot.

small-books-leafletSaturday, March 11 – Leicester launch of Kaleidoscope
Launch of Sarah’s novella, Kaleidoscope, at 1pm at the States of Independence independent presses day at De Montfort University (Clephan Building, Oxford Street – entrance on Bonners Lane), Leicester LE1 5XY.

From the back cover:
“Claire relives her past but her memories are fragmented, shattered like the remains of a toy kaleidoscope.
A troubled childhood, the loss of her baby, and the end of her marriage are seen through a distorting lens, twisted and unclear.
What really happened? And can Claire find a way through the mirror maze of memories to discover the truth?
Kaleidoscope is a compelling and disturbing tale of a disintegrating life.”

Thursday, March 16 – Coventry Launch of Disappear Here poetryfilms

Launch of the Disappear Here Coventry ringroad inspired collaborative poetryfilms, including the three commissioned from myself and film-maker Ben Cook. This free event is from 19:00 – 22:00 at The Box – Fargo Village, Coventry, CV1 5ED. More information and tickets here.

Thursday, April 6 – The Hive, Worcester

Sarah will be reading with Melissa Lee Houghton in this FREE University of Worcester event in the Studio at The Hive (Worcester’s combined university and public library) The Butts, Worcester WR1 3PD. The evening starts at 7.30pm and will feature poems of love, lust and depression, as Sarah reads from her Madame-Bovary inspired collection The Magnetic Diaries. There will also be a short Q and A afterwards for anyone wanting to ask the poets questions about their work, inspiration or writing life.

adopt-a-poet-leominsterThursday, May 18 – Leominster Library – ‘Adopt a Poet’ Reading

Reading with David Clarke at Leominster Library from 7pm-8pm as part of the Adopt a Poet project from Nine Arches. The event will include book signings. The event is ticketed but free and tickets will be available 6 weeks before the gig from Leominster Library, The Buttercross, Leominster HR6 8BN (phone:01432 383290).

Wednesday, May 24 – Brownhills Library – ‘Adopt a Poet’ poet in residence

As part of exciting Arts Council England funded ‘Adopt a Poet’ scheme organised by Nine Arches Press and West Midlands Readers’ Network, Sarah will be poet in residence for the day at Brownhills Library.

Sarah will at hand to answer questions about her writing life, her Nine Arches Press’ collection ‘plenty-fish’ and take requests for new poems from library users, staff and people waiting at the GP surgery near the library at Park View Centre.

Throughout the day, Sarah will also be tweeting about her poetry adventures there, including highlights and snippets from some of these new poems.

Brownhills Library is open from 9am-6pm and based at Park View Centre, Chester Road North, Brownhills, WS8 7JB.

Wednesday, May 24 – Brownhills Library – ‘Adopt a Poet’ Reading

Sarah will be reading from ‘plenty-fish’ and fellow prize-winning Nine Arches Press poet David Clarke from his collection ‘Arc’ in a free event at Brownhills Library from 4-5pm.

This also includes the chance for book signing and for people to ask Sarah and David their reading, writing and poetry questions.

Brownhills Library is based at Park View Centre, Chester Road North, Brownhills, WS8 7JB.

Sunday, July 9 – Enemies collaborative performance at Ledbury Poetry Festival

Sarah will be taking part in this collaborative event at Ledbury Poetry Festival on Sunday, July 9 from 6.15pm-7.15pm. I’m delighted to have been invited to be part of the ENEMIES project. Sadly, the poet that Sarah was originally due to collaborate with has had to drop out. But she can’t wait to find out who she will be paired with instead!

Tuesday, July 11 – Brum Poetry Stanza, V. Press publishing/editing Q&A and reading

Sarah and V. Press designer Ruth Stacey have been invited to join Brum Poetry Stanza at Birmingham Waterstones (24-26 High Street, Birmingham, B4 7SL) on Tuesday, July 11 to talk about our work with V. Press and also share some of our own poetry. There should be plenty of time to put questions to us too, so if you’re in the area and love poetry/flash fiction, do join us there at 7pm.

Saturday, September 30, FREE VERSE, LONDON

This year’s Poetry Book Fair takes place on Saturday, September 30 at Conway Hall in London and I will again be taking V. Press.

I will also be reading for Arachne Press at 4.30pm at the Garden Café in Red Lion Square.

The fair itself is free to enter and is open to the public from 11am – 6pm, with an Evening Do from 7pm onwards, at Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL).

Thursday 5th October – An Unconventional History of Maidenhood, Mothering and Mistresses
Waterstones, Birmingham – Thursday 5th October 19:30 – 21:00

Katy Wareham Morris will be performing poetry from her collaborative pamphlet with Ruth Stacey, Inheritance. Ruth Stacey will be sharing poems from her collaborative pamphlet with Katy Wareham Morris, Inheritance, and her collection, Queen, Jewel, Mistress. And Sarah James (aka Sarah Leavesley) will be reading from her poetry collection, Plenty-Fish, and from her brand new novella, Kaleidoscope.

There will also be a book signing. The Waterstones event page here.Waterstones address: 24-26 High St, Birmingham B4 7SL

Saturday, 4th November – Poetry Cafe, London – Launch of Against the Grain Press & Anna Kisby’s All the Naked Daughters

Sarah will be reading Anna Kisby, Jane Lovell and Sean Magnus Martin for the press launch and launch of Anna Kisby’s papmhlet All the Naked Daughters. 6pm at Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX.

Against the Grain

2016 Readings

These are updated as more events come in and are confirmed, so please do check back again soon.

Saturday, January 16 – Sarah will be special guest at the first in a series of planned Guest Readings at Walsall Arboretum Café. The evening also features folk band The Flaky Tarts, and guest readers Bert Flitcroft and Roy McFarlane. The event starts at 7.30pm and will include the chance for audience members to put questions to Sarah in a short relaxed question and answer/discussion session.

Tuesday, March 15 – Launch of Sarah’s pamphlet ‘Lampshades & Glass Rivers’: WINNER of the 2015 Overton Poetry Prize. The pamphlet will be launched at Loughborough University, Evernden Studio on Tuesday, March 15 from 7pm -8.30pm. Free entry.

Lampshades Launch

Sunday, April 24 at 11am Sarah will be on the panel for this month’s Brum Radio Poets, along with poets Helen Calcutt and Jacqui Row. The topic for discussion is inequality in publishing, particularly poetry. Are women published less than men? Do women publish other women enough? Tweet your thoughts @HelenCalcutt or @BrumRadio for a chance to have your responses included in the broadcast, scheduled for April 24th at 11am (length: 45 minutes).

Tuesday, May 10 – ‘Reflections’: Sarah will be reading with David Clarke as part of Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2016. Time: 6:30-7:30 at Smokey Joe’s, Cheltenham.
“Two poets illustrate Shelley’s comment “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”

Join us for a reading by two poets renowned for the beauty of their language, and the exciting and uncompromising subject matter they explore. Sarah James’s innovative and adventurous poems are inspired by the intimate joys and sadness of family life and the body’s frailties. David Clarke’s debut collection Arc blends politics, current events and has been described as “explosive in imagery and theme” by Rachel Boast.

Tickets:
£7 or £5 concessions–under 18s; full-time students under 25; registered disabled or unemployed.”

Saturday, May 21 – ‘Poetry Extravaganza’, 7pm at Park’s Café, Victoria Square, Droitwich. Sarah will be joining other local poets for this Droitwich Arts Network ‘Arts Week’ event, MCed by Fergus McGonigal.

Thursday, July 7 – Private Moments at Birmingham Waterstones from 7-9pm.

Sarah will be joining a fabulous group of Birmingham and Worcester poets to share her poetry (and a flash fiction) that takes its inspiration from behind the toilet doors…

Tuesday, September 13 – Sarah will be reading at ‘City Voices’, Lych Gate tavern, Queen Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1TX, 8-9.30pm. Tickets are £3/ £1 (under 16s). Now in its 15 year, ‘City Voices’ is organised by Simon Fletcher who formerly worked as literature development officer for the council and is now manager of Offa’s Press.

Tuesday, September 27 – guest poet slot at Poetry Bites, 7.30pm, Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Kings Heath Birmingham. Hosted by Jacqui Rowe, the night also features open mic spots.

Readings and Events 2015

Monday, February 23 – Sarah will be reading in a Worcestershire poetry showcase event at The Hive on Monday, February 23 at 7.30pm with Tood Swift, Ruth Stacey and Ben Parker. Tickets available from The Hive.

Wednesday, February 25 – Tickets are now available too for Sarah’s FREE Off the Page reading and Q and A at Birmingham Library on Wednesday, February 25 at 6pm. The evening will be a chance to hear some of her prize-winning poems from last year, as well as poems from her forthcoming collection, The Magnetic Diaries.

Saturday, April 11 In Time – The launch of Sarah’s The Magnetic Diaries, a narrative in poems published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press at Park’s Café, Victoria Square, Droitwich from 7pm-9pm. Also poetry on a theme of time from Worcestershire poets Jenny Hope, Ruth Stacey, Nina Lewis, Worcestershire Poet Laureate Ferguus McGonigal and Worcestershire Poet Emeritus Maggie Doyle. Open to the public and free entry. Food will be available to order from 7-8pm. This event is also a Droitwich Arts Network literary/social event.

Sunday, April 26Hearth, the collaborative pamphlet between Sarah James and Angela Topping, will be launched at Cheltenham Poetry Festival in a Mother’s Milk Books reading and panel Q and A on collaboration on Sunday, April 26, from 11am-12pm in the Playhouse Theatre Lounge. Tickets are £6/4. Bookings through Cheltenham Town Hall in person, online at www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk or call 0844 576 2210 from mid-March.
Festival brochure (page 4) and Cheltenham Poetry Festival website.

Tuesday, May 5 – Sarah will be a guest poet at the The Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room in Ludlow. This open mic night takes place in The Sitting Room at 3 Upper Galdeford (above Thai Box), SY8 1QD, Ludlow at 7.30pm.

Monday, May 11 – Saturday, May 17 With You In Mind online project in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015, culminating in an online anthology. Sarah will be giving her blog over to other poets’ poems on the mind, mental illness and mindfulness (this year’s MHAW theme). Poems from Deb Alma (the Emergency Poet), Markie Burnhope, Dan Haynes, Jenny Hope, Sammy Hunt, Helen Ivory, Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Fergus McGonigal, Abegail Morley, Alec Newman, David O’Hanlon, Antony Owen, Andrew Rudd, John Siddique, Catherine Smith, Dan Sluman, Ruth Stacey and Sarah Wardle.

Thursday, May 14 – Sarah and Angela Topping will be joint headliners at Worcester SpeakEasy, sharing work from their collaborative pamphlet, Hearth. This spoken word night also features 6-minute advance booked slots and 2-min open mic slots. It takes place at The Old Rectifying House in Worcester at 7.30pm. NEW VENUE: MAY’S SPEAKEASY NOW at DRUMMONDS 28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP

Tuesday, June 16 – 7pm Viva Café, 57 Witton Street, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 5DW
Northwich Literary Festival evening of songs and poetry. Sarah and Angela Topping read from their collaborative pamphlet Hearth. Sarah will also be headlining with poems from her new solo collections. Also featuring Edwin Stockdale, Alisa and John Booth and some one-poem floor spots.

Saturday, June 27, Live Lit for Droitwich Summer Festival
Sarah will be one of the guest poets for this night of bite-size poetry and prose from Droitwich Arts Network. The evening start at 7pm at Parks Cafe, Victoria Square, Droitwich. This a free event.

    Saturday, July 4

– Sarah’s one-act poetry play version of The Magnetic Diaries is on stage as part of the Write On Fest at Hereford’s The Courtyard (in the studio at 7pm).

Première of Sarah James’s one-act poetry-play The Magnetic Diaries, starring Vey Straker and directed by Tiffany Hosking.

The Courtyard theatre studio, Edgar Street, Hereford HR4 9JR

Tickets £6. Bookings from The Courtyard on 01432 340555 or online.

Sarah James’s one-act poetry play version of The Magnetic Diaries is on stage as part of the Write On Fest. The Magnetic Diaries re-envisages the characters and storyline of Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary in a modern twenty-first century English setting. The contemporary heroine, Emma Bailey, battles with romantic idealism, illusions about love, a stifling middle-class lifestyle, boredom and depression. Moving lyrical fragments and crafted poems reconstructed by fictional researchers from Emma’s diary and treatment notes are set alongside the voices of her doctors and emails from her husband Carl. But will modern medicine save Emma and her marriage in the wake of two affairs?

40. Poetry and Cider with Ruth Stacey,
Lesley Ingram and Sarah James
7.45pm–8.45pm | Burgage Hall | £9
(to include a glass of cider)
Three poets based in the West Midlands celebrate
the launch of their new collections. Ruth Stacey’s
Queen, Jewel, Mistress gives voice to every
English/British queen from Anglo-Saxon times
to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Lesley Ingram’s
Scumbled is ‘A haunting collection (which)
explores the brackishness of human relations,
the kinship we crave with the non-human, and
our desire to trade flesh for something less
encumbering’ (Damian Walford-Davies). Sarah
James’s The Magnetic Diaries takes the form
of a narrative in poems, loosely based on the
characters and storyline of Gustave Flaubert’s
Madame Bovary. Sarah James also has a
collection plenty-fish with Nine Arches Press

Saturday, July 18 – Sarah will be leading a poetry workshop for Worcester Cathedral Poets from 9.30am to 1pm. This a Worcester Cathedral Poets group activity. If anyone is interested in joining the group, please contact Sarah (email address to the right-hand side of this page) so that she can pass your details on to the group’s organiser.

Tuesday, September 8 – Sarah and Angela Topping will be guest poets, reading from their pamphlet Hearth, at Mouth and Music, Kidderminster, at the Boar’s Head Pub.

Saturday, September 12 Poetry Half-Hour
Saltbarrow Way, Droitwich, 3.15pm-4pm
Sarah is organising and Mcing Poetry Half-Hour Saltfest. Three Worcestershire poets share their poems of myth, history and endurance. Claire Walker reads from her pamphlet The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile. Ruth Stacey shares the lives and intrigue of England’s queens in Queen, Jewel, Mistress, while Sarah James marks the endurance of nature, landscapes and people in her collection plenty-fish. There will also be a book-signing.

Saturday, September 12 Endurance – The launch of Sarah’s Nine Arches Press poetry collection plenty-fishat Park’s Café, Victoria Square, Droitwich from 7pm-9pm as part of this year’s Salt Fest. Also poetry on a theme of endurance from Worcestershire Poet Emeritus Maggie Doyle, Fergus McGonigal, Kathy Gee, Ian Glass and Mike Alma. Free entry. Food will be available to order from 7-8pm. This event is also a Droitwich Arts Network literary/social event and a Facebook page can be found here.

Friday, September 18 Nine Arches/Birmingham launch of plenty-fish. Sarah will be reading from plenty-fish as part of the Nine Arches Press event also launching books by David Clarke, Myra Connell and David Hart in the Pinsent room at the MAC Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, West Midlands B12 9QH from 7-9pm. The event is free but tickets should be booked here.

Monday, September 21 – Sarah will be a guest poet, reading from her Nine Arches collection plenty-fish at Leicester Shindig at The Western Pub, 70, Western Road, LE3 0GA.

Saturday, September 26 Sarah will be reading at London’s Poetry Book Fair at 2.30pm at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL.

14.30
V. Press & Mother’s Milk
Found: Two Women, Two Presses, Two Voices
Sarah James shares poems from the Mother’s Milk Books’ pamphlet Hearth, written with Angela Topping and inspired by objects found around home’s hearth, while, in contrast, Jacqui Rowe reads from her V. Press pamphlet, Ransom Notes, which crafts found texts and poem drafts into poetry fictions that are simultaneously very serendipitous and very idiosyncratic.

Tuesday, October 6 Sarah will be headline poet with Paul Francis at Poetry Alight, Lichfield, which takes place at the Kings Head PH ,21 Bird St, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6PW in the upstairs function room. A 7.30pm prompt start, for a 9.30pmish finish. Free Entry.

Sunday, October 11 – Sarah will be reading on the Birmingham Literature Festival ‘Ode Trip: Black Country Bus Tour’, which is from 12 noon to 4pm. More details here.

November 2014 headlining

Sarah will headlining at Worcester SpeakEasy in November. This takes place upstairs at The Old Rectifying House in Worcester (WR1 3NN) on Thursday, November 13 from 7.30pm.

May Gigs

On Friday, May 9, I will be a guest poet with Ruth Stacey, who has a new pamphlet coming out with The Dancing Girl Press, at The Hive in Worcester for a Ledbury Poetry Festival, Worcestershire Literary Festival and Worcester University spoken word event. (More details to come soon).

Then on May 12, I will be reading as part of the Carol Ann Duffy and Friends series at Manchester’s The Exchange theatre.

The event on Monday 12th May 2014 features Julia Copus as special guest, which I’m particularly delighted about as I haven’t seen her since she was kind enough to ‘highly commend’ one of my poems and ‘mention’ (shortlist) another in the Northampton Literature Groups open poetry competition in June 2009.

Event details are:

Start time: 7.00pm (music), 7.30pm (readings)

Venue: The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH

Tickets: £12 (£10 concession); price includes £1 book token for use at a special Blackwell’s bookstall on the night – and there’ll be an opportunity to get copies signed in the interval, and at the end of the evening.

The university website advises that these events sell out fast!

March Gigs

Tickets and the full line-up for The Quiet Compere Tour, where I will be reading at the MAC in Birmingham on Friday, March 21 are now available here.

I’m also looking forward to my slot as a guest poet, alongside talented poet Helen Calcutt, at Poetry Bites, run by Jacqui Rowe at the Kitchen Garden Café, 17 York Road, Kings Heath. This night also includes floorspots, but arrive early to book them. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm and tickets cost £5 (£4 concessions).

2014 Readings

Sarah will be reading alongside some amazing West Midlands poets as part of Sarah Dixon’s The Quiet Compere Arts Council-funded national tour.This will be at the Hexagon, mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH on Friday, 21 March 2014. Tickets will be £3 and can be purchased on the door, as well as advance purchase from late December. Other poets included in the line-up are: Ddotti Bluebell, Charlie Jordan, Jenny Hope, Gary Longden, Bobby Parker, Ruth Stacey, Matt Windle, Laura Yates.

Poetry Bites – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – 7.30, Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Kings Heath Birmingham. Sarah will be a guest poet, along with the talented Helen Calcutt, at this regular night hosted by Jacqui Rowe. It also features open mic spots.

Poetry Alight, Lichfield – Tuesday, May 6, 2014 – Spark’s Café Bar, 19 Tamworth Street, Lichfield WS13 6JP. Sarah will be reading as one of the guest headline poets at Poetry Alight. The evening also features some open mic spots (3 mins). (These may be booked in advance, a very few may be made available on the night, e-mail: Lichfield.Poets@hotmail.co.uk. However the advance slots are always over-subscribed, all requests may not be successful.)
This is free entry but arrive early for a 7.30pm prompt start -10pm.

Be[yond] Launch Events and Readings

Droitwich Launch – Saturday, September 14 – Park’s Café, 4 Victoria Square, Droitwich, WR9 8DS

Sarah will be launching Be[yond] (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press) at Park’s Café, Droitwich, on Saturday, September 14, as part of this year’s SaltFest celebrations.

The evening, from 7pm – 9pm, will feature an hour of poetry, including readings from Sarah, as well as short slots from guest poets: Claire Walker, Andrew Smardon, Heather Wastie, Maggie Doyle, Polly Robinson, Jenny Hope and Gary Longden. *

The event is free and open to the public as well as invited guests. Park’s will be open for food as well as drink. But for those who’d like to make more of a social night of it, the plan is to go on for a curry at the Dilshad, Droitwich, afterwards. (Numbers for this needed in advance.)

Leicester Shindig – Monday, September 16, 2013 – The Western Pub, 70, Western Road, LE3 0GA

Sarah will be one of the featured writers at this Crystal Clear Creators- Nine Arches Press event, which runs from 7.30pm to about 10pm and also includes a great open mic section.

Liverpool Launch – Saturday, September 21, 2013 – Mello Mello Café, 40-42 Slater Street,
Liverpool L1 LBX (Entrance on Parr Street)

Sarah will be reading from Be[yond] as part of this Knives, Forks and Spoons book launch, also featuring readings from Robert Sheppard (The Given and The Only Life) and Peter Hughes (Snowclone Detritus).

Free entry. Doors open at 1pm for a 2pm start.

Poetry Alight, Lichfield – Tuesday, May 6, 2014 – Spark’s Café Bar, 19 Tamworth Street, Lichfield WS13 6JP.

Sarah will be reading as one of the guest headline poets at Poetry Alight. The evening also features some open mic spots (3 mins). (These may be booked in advance, a very few may be made available on the night, e-mail: Lichfield.Poets@hotmail.co.uk. However the advance slots are always over-subscribed, all requests may not be successful.)

This free entry but arrive early for a 7.30pm prompt start -10pm.

* About Beyond and the launch guest poets:

Sarah’s second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] is published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, July 2013.

Love & lust, betrayal & endurance, disturbance & peace, life & loss, nature & modern society, language & what lies in the shadows between lines delight and tantalise in Sarah’s latest work.

Following on from her prize-winning first collection, Be[yond] combines Sarah’s characteristic crafting and eye for detail, imagery and metaphor with a new, more probing, approach to language and poetics.

The three sections of this collection – Against Air and Water, Through the Ether and From Earth and Fire – guide readers past the beaches of Birmingham, through meditations on water, a dreamworld strangeness, mezzanine memories of France, de-familiarised cityscapes and gorse wildlands to the edges of everyday life, love and language.

In the words of other poets:

“Moving on from her very successful first collection, Sarah James shows that she is not afraid to take risks. Experimenting almost scientifically with form and language, ‘Be [yond]’ is innovative and adventurous and at the same time accessible and enjoyable.” – Jacqui Rowe

“An inventive voice emerging out of the entwined interstices of the domestic and the relational: precisely observed, embodied, thick with language.” – Scott Thurston

“Sarah James’s background in Linguistics makes for exceptional poetry. The rhythm is beautifully handled at a phonological level, and the imagery is striking. Here, though, the imagery is not just an adornment, it is drawn from various semiotic systems to convey hidden meaning, as if each poem were a text version on Sir Thomas Tresham’s Triangular Lodge.” – Alec Newman, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press editor

Claire Walker’s work has appeared in print and online publications including Ink Sweat and Tears, Hearing Voices, Be: Magazine, PIYE and the poetry trail at Avoncroft Museum.

Andrew Smardon is a talented, published Oxfordshire poet.

Heather Wastie is a multi-talented poet and musician based in Kidderminster. She is Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet and her work is witty, often funny and poignant.

Maggie Doyle was Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2012-2013. She is on the Worcestershire Literary Festival committee and is the festival’s Poet Emeritus.

Polly Robinson published her own collection of poetry last year. She has also been published in various anthologies and magazines in print and online.

Jenny Hope is a woman with a tree-thing. Her poetry collection Petrolhead was published by Oversteps Books in 2010 and she is involved in a range of poetry projects and workshop facilitating.

Gary Longden is a multi-talented performance poet and poetry promoter. His many, many arts roles include running the fantastic Poetry Alight nights in Lichfield.

Coventry-Cork Poets Exchange

Sarah has been invited to take part in this year’s Coventry-Cork O’Bheal poets exchange at the end of July.

The scheme, originally set up by the sadly no more Heaventree Press and continued by Antony Owen at Coventry open mic Nightblue Fruits , involves a four-day trip to Cork, with paid reading.

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Reading with Bernard O’Donoghue – April 2013

Sarah will be reading at my Cheltenham Poetry Festival reading on Saturday, April 27, alongside Cork-born poet Bernard O’Donoghue.

The event is at Copa (66 Regent St Cheltenham GL50 1HA) from 3.30pm to 4.30pm and you can book tickets here.

Jubilee June, Exhibition, Workshop and Readings

June 1 – June 8 Diamonds for Droitwich – as part of this Droitwich Arts Network 60 artworks in shops project, Sarah will have a jubilee poem canvas on display in the wedding shop in Droitwich High Street.

June 6 – June 27 An Eyeful of Words – Sarah’s poetry-art exhibition runs at Droitwich Library Gallery, normal library opening hours. Some poems and pix are also available to download to android phones. More info here.

Wed, June 20 – Stanza members will be going to The Vaginellas Worcestershire Literary Festival gig and open mic at the Boar’s Head Gallery, Kidderminster, at 7.30pm. Join us for a laugh and to have some fun with form. More details on Facebook or on the blog.

Sat, June 23 An Eyeful of Words – free drop-in art/haiku inspired poetry workshop led by Sarah at Droitwich Library Gallery from 11-1pm.

Sat, June 30 Lung Jazzers for Oxfam – fundraising reading by three Worcestershire poets included in this year’s Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam – Sarah James, Bobby Parker and former Worcestershire stanza member Ben Parker. 7-9pm, Oxfam Bookshop, Worcester.

Autumn Celebrations: Salt Day Poet in Residence and 100,000 Poets for Change

Sarah had an amazing day as Salt Day poet in residence at an art exhibition in Droitwich in September.

She took on the role as Droitwich Art Network held its public launch with an art, photography, poetry and quilting exhibition at St Andrew’s Church, Droitwich during the town’s annual Salt Day celebrations.

As part of this, one of her poetryfilms was played on continuous loop on a big flatscreen and she also tweeted poems throughout the day and gave people a piece of their mind in poetry.

For ‘The piece of my mind challenge’, visitors to the exhibition (which included poems from her collection Into the Yell) were invited to challenge her to a short poem or rhyme using something such as their name or a member of their family.

Sarah has also been busy this September with the 100,000 Poets for Change global event, running a Facebook web events page with Birmingham organiser poet Helen Calcutt so people could post poems for change online.

She will be reading some of her own ‘poems for change’ at a special National Poetry Day week Autumn Celebration: Poems for Change at Bloxwich Library Theatre on Saturday, October 8, starting at 8pm. The line-up includes top poets from Birmingham and the Black Country including Brum poet laureate Roy McFarlane. More details can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=142188389210836.

MORE BREAKING NEWS:

Sarah is set to be poet in residence at the Droitwich Art Network exhibition for the town’s annual Salt Day celebrations on Saturday, September 10, 2011.

Droitwich Art Network is launching publicly on this day with an art, photography, poetry and quilting exhibition at St Andrew’s Church in the town centre.

As part of this, Sarah will be running one of her poetryfilms on continuous loop on a big flatscreen and she is also set to give people a piece of their mind in poetry.

For ‘The piece of my mind challenge’, visitors to the exhibition are invited to challenge her to a short poem or rhyme using something they suggest, such as their name or for a member of their family.

Sarah will also be writing short poems throughout the day featuring pictures in the exhibition, feedback and comments on her poetryfilm and the general atmosphere. She will be tweeting shorter poems to her twitter account during the day (using the tag #saltday) and plans to upload longer poems to Droitwich Art Network’s Facebook page after the exhibition. (This can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/208713719174369/ .)

Her‘Poetry and Popcorn’ part of the event will feature an 8-minute poetryfilm inspired by the Worcestershire landscape, which will play on a continuous loop. (The screening has been made possible thanks to the generous help and support of Droitwich business Brown and Fincher which will be loaning audio-visual equipment for the day.)

She will also have a poetry and photography display at the church, including poems and illustrations based on her poetry collection Into the Yell and my From the Tow Path display, which was part of this year’s Droitwich Water Festival and Canal Opening celebrations.

As the poetry display and poetryfilm will hopefully form part of one my her projects, She is planning to offer free popcorn to those who leave feedback on the event. She will also be at the church for people to chat to about poetry, film and writing. So if you can make it, please do go over and say hello.

PRIZE-WINNING

Sarah is delighted to be celebrating the anniversary of Into the Yell’s publication with news that it has won THIRD PRIZE in the INTERNATIONAL RUBERY BOOK AWARD.

The letter from the panel of judges comments: “Our judges and readers enjoyed your poetry. It is well crafted and original with some beautiful images. We felt Into the Yell deserved to be recognised.”

Sarah is delighted to have Into the Yell reviewed in Iota.

From an ‘Iota 89’ Review of ‘Into the Yell’ by Lucy Tyler

“‘No Referral’ is one of many poems here which make ‘Into the Yell’ an assured debut,”

“The poetry then, like a person becomes cavernous; it contains an origami of imagistic amalgamations, linguistic experimentation and anecdotes shaded by absurd humour:”

“The journey each poem takes is far reaching, the points of reference extreme. We move from fairytale to pop-culture, to medieval historical, medical, toward the personal, relic object and precious memory. Indeed, the title, ‘Into the Yell’, is to do with discursiveness, the extremes and hallucinogenic excess of linguistic expression, but ultimately these poems still manage to be comprehensible and accessible despite their intriguing use of the surreal:”

“These poems are brave.”

“The hodgepodge of real and un-real, responsibilities and desires, memory and fantastical escapisms do speak pertinently not just about women, but about the way we must live our lives, the way we do live them – through stories, through metaphors, through abstractions and wilful escapisms.”

Sarah has been shortlisted for Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2011/2012 (winner and runners-up to be announced at the Worcestershire Literary Festival opening ceremony at Worcestershire Cathedral on June 17).

Sarah Out and About in May, June, July 2011

Breaking News: Sarah has been celebrating this week after hearing herpoem Unrippled has been chosen for inclusion on the second phase of the Polesworth Poets’ Trail, in Warwickshire.  The town has a stunning history of links to poets like Drayton and Shakespeare and the new poems will be added to the trail along the canal and through the Pooley Countryside Park.

Sarah will be reading with other poets to be featured on the next phase of the trail at The Fizz 7 spoken word evening at Polesworth Abbey on Tuesday. The evening also features an open mic and runs from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. More details can be found here.

One of the poems already on the trail
in Polesworth Abbey grounds

Sarah will have a stand and be doing a Q and A style session and signing copies of her poetry collection Into the Yell as part of a Bromyard Spring Festival event at Falcon Hotel, Bromyard, on Saturday, May 28 from 11am.

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She will be leading two family-friendly poetry workshops at the Worcester Arts Workshop, in Sansome Street, Worcester, with fellow Worcestershire poet Jenny Hope as part of the Worcestershire Literary Festival in June.

The workshops are priced at just £3 (£2 concessions) each and will feature fun writing and illustrating a family inspired poem(s). Using different themes, both sessions will cater for the creative needs of both individual adults and families, while children can create a memorable present for Fathers Day (June 19).

The first workshop ‘When Daddy Fell Into the Pond’ is on Sunday, June 12 from 10am to 11.30am, while the second ‘In the Family Tree’ is on Saturday, June 18 from 2pm -3.30pm.

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As part of the festival line-up, Sarah will also be taking part in an evening of Poetry and Music, organised by poet Sophia Dimmock, at the Bishops Wood Centre, Crossway Green, Stourport. She has organised a stunning group of musicians and poets for the ‘poetry music infusion’ on Thursday, June 23 from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets are a bargain again at just £5 (£4 with concessions) for a en evening that promises three published poets, three super guitarists, one singing angel, a DJ and an injection of humour!

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Sarah’s An Eyeful of Words free exhibition was due to take place in the gallery at Droitwich Library, Worcestershire, UK, in July 2011 but has been cancelled because of a late-notice councils’ decision to close the library for refurbishment at this time.

Other alternatives for this date are being explored and it is also planned that it will be held in the Droitwich Library gallery at a similar time (June/July) in 2012.

Poetic Launch into Spring 2011

Sarah had a great time celebrating World Book Day in school, reading at the Tiger, Tiger launch and Worcester Oxfam Bookshop’s International Women’s Day 2011 celebrations.

She is now looking forward to reading at Poetry Bites at the Kitchen Garden Café in King’s Heath, Birmingham, on Tuesday, March 22 as part of the ‘Bugged’ evening featuring poetry from the ‘Bugged’ anthology edited by Jo Bell and David Calcutt. The evening starts at 7.30pm and there is also an open mic section.

Poetry Events for March 2011

Sarah is all ‘booked’ and ‘roaring’ to go for a range of poetry events this March.

The poet will be celebrating World Book Day (March 2) by joining youngsters at Droitwich’s St Peter’s First School for a Friday afternoon of books and writing workshops.

She will also be reading at Bloxwich Library Theatre, Walsall on Saturday, March 5 as part of the Tiger, Tiger arts and fundraising project to help save the tiger from extinction. The evening starts at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, March 8 is International Women’s Day and Sarah will be reading as part of A Bit of A Do at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop. The evening of pampering, poetry, music, stand-up, wine and nibbles starts at 7pm.

Sarah will also be reading at Poetry Bites at the Kitchen Garden Café in King’s Heath, Birmingham, on Tuesday, March 22 as part of the ‘Bugged’ evening featuring poetry from the ‘Bugged’ anthology edited by Jo Bell and David Calcutt. The evening starts at 7.30pm and there is also an open mic section.

Polesworth Poetry

Sarah had a wonderful time reading as guest poet and meeting other writers at The Fizz in the beautiful and historic Polesworth Abbey on January 18, 2011.

Sarah is fizzing into 2011, with a reading at Polesworth Abbey on January 18.

It’s been a special week of readings for Sarah as she appeared alongside no fewer than five past and present Birmingham poet laureates.

The poet was delighted to take part in Worcestershire Literature Festival ‘s inaugural event ‘Inkberrow Revisited’ on October 19, when she did a 15-minute reading celebrating the area’s natural and cultural richness. This included a small selection from her collection Into the Yell and other Worcestershire-inspired poems in a line-up of poets including former Birmingham poet laureate Giovanni (Spoz) Esposito and the city’s current laureate Roy McFarlane.

The poet also read her poem from the anthology ‘bugged’ (edited by Jo Bell and David Calcutt) as part of the book launch at Ikon Gallery in the closing event of this year’s Birmingham Book Festival on October 21.

The line-up of writers reading from their work within the anthology (which also includes a poem from Circaidy Gregory poet Marilyn Francis) included past Birmingham poet laureates Julie Boden, Roz Goddard and Charlie Jordan.

Sarah is due to take part in a series of Worcestershire-based readings between now and Christmas and will also be guest poet at The Fizz Poetry and Spoken Word Evening in Polesworth, near Tamworth, on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

National Poetry Day – Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sarah will be celebrating National Poetry Day with a morning of poetry at St Peter’s First School, Droitwich. She will be sharing poetry with youngsters in assembly and class, then running a year one workshop.


Into the Yell Poetry and Art – a National Poetry Day talk and reading at Kate Modern art gallery, Stoke Prior


In the evening, Sarah will be reading from and talking about Into the Yell at Kate Modern art gallery in Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, where her collection will then go on sale.

As well as reading some poems reflecting on this year’s National Poetry Day theme of ‘home’, Sarah will talk about how art has influenced her poetry. She will also talk about how the book’s cover and illustration by artist Sam Hutchcocks came about. This will then be followed by Q and A session and signing. Some of the artwork featured in the collection will also be on temporary display.

The gallery in Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove, is open Tuesday to Saturday and can be contacted on 01527 579789. The website is at www.kate-modern.com .


DROITWICH SALT DAY – SEPTEMBER 11

Sarah is getting all ‘salted’ for a new collaborative poetry/art display at Droitwich’s annual Salt Day celebrations.

Following on from the success of her flower and leaves collaborative poetry/art project at the launch of Droitwich Music and Arts Festival in July the poet is organizing a similar writing/drawing event for the festivities on Saturday, September 11.

Sarah will be joined by fellow poet and Poetry Society Worcester and Droitwich stanza member Jodie Ford in running the free salt-themed drop-in workshop/display sessions in St Andrew’s Square, Droitwich.

Local artist Sarah Edwards will also be running art activities and helping to man the poetry/art display at the celebration, which runs from 10am to 5pm.

For the display, residents and visitors of all ages will be invited to have a go at composing their own three or four line poem on the themes of Droitwich, salt (reflecting the town’s brine/spa history and the day’s focus) or ‘home’, which is the theme of next month’s National Poetry Day on Thursday, October 7.

Participants will write (and illustrate, if they wish) their poem onto a cardboard salt cube which they can then place onto the display.

They will be able to choose whether they want to sprinkle their ‘salt day’ poem onto some chips or add their cube to a growing poetic pyramid of poured salt.

Alternatively, they may opt to see how tall they can build a poetic pillar of salt inspired by the biblical story of Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt.

Sarah will be on hand to help writers from 10am to 12.30pm.

ALSO DON’T FORGET:

Friday, September 17 – Sarah will be guest poet at the relaunch of Burton Spoken Worlds at its new venue. The open mic evening (for storytellers, poets and playwrights) will be in old registry office behind the town hall in Rangemore Street, Burton.

Thursday, September 23 – Sarah will be guest speaker at The All Welcome Drop In Club (for people aged 55+) at the Heriotts, Droitwich. As well as reading from her collection Into the Yell, Sarah will be sharing writing tips, offering a poetry Q & A and writing prompts on the National Poetry Day theme of ‘home’ and signing copies of her book. The hour-long event starts at 1pm.

Tuesday, September 28 – Sarah will be one of three guest poets in an up-and-coming women poets’ reading at Poetry Bites at the Kitchen Garden Café in Birmingham (17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA). As well as reading, she will also be signing copies of her new collectionInto the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press). The evening starts at 7.30pm. (Food from 6.30pm.) Poetry Bites also includes floor spots.  Please arrive early to book a spot. It costs £5 (£4 concessions). To reserve a place email jacquirowe@hotmail.co.uk or pay at the door.

Friday, October 1 – Sarah will be doing a 10-minute reading at 12.40pm, from her collection Into the Yell and other poems, at the Thomas Oken Tea Rooms in Warwick as part of the Warwick Words festival live poetry line-up.

EVENTS: A quick reminder of readings and workshops Sarah has coming up, including new events in Burton and Warwick.


Wednesday, August 18 Sarah James will be joining fellow poet Jenny Hope in a Worcester Festival charity reading from their collections Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press www.circaidygregory.co.uk ) and Petrolhead (Oversteps Books www.overstepsbooks.com). The charity reading and open mic in aid of the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign will be held at the Farrier’s Arms in Fish Street, Worcester, from 7.30pm. They will be donating £1 from the sale of each book sold on the night to the campaign.

Friday, August 20 – Sarah will be reading at The Phonic Room at Boston Tea Party in Broad Street, Worcester, as part of a Worcester Festival event starting at 7pm.

Friday, September 17 – Sarah will be guest poet at the relaunch of Burton Spoken Worlds at its new venue. The open mic evening (for storytellers, poets and playwrights) will be in old registry office behind the town hall in Rangemore Street, Burton.

Thursday, September 23 – Sarah will be guest speaker at The All Welcome Drop In Club (for people aged 55+) at the Heriotts, Droitwich. As well as reading from her collection Into the Yell, Sarah will be sharing writing tips, offering a poetry Q & A and writing prompts on the National Poetry Day theme of ‘home’ and signing copies of her book. The hour-long event starts at 1pm.

Tuesday, September 28 – Sarah will be one of three guest poets in an up-and-coming women poets’ reading at Poetry Bites at the Kitchen Garden Café in Birmingham (17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA). As well as reading, she will also be signing copies of her new collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press). The evening starts at 7.30pm. (Food from 6.30pm.) Poetry Bites also includes floor spots.  Please arrive early to book a spot. It costs £5 (£4 concessions). To reserve a place email jacquirowe@hotmail.co.uk or pay at the door.

Friday, October 1 – Sarah will be doing a 10-minute reading at 12.40pm, from her collection Into the Yell and other poems, at the Thomas Oken Tea Rooms in Warwick as part of the Warwick Words festival live poetry line-up.

RADIO WILDFIRE:  On Monday, July 5, 2010, you can hear Sarah readings some poems from Into the Yell on www.radiowildfire.com. The live show is from 8pm to 10pm and is also due to feature some previously unbroadcast recordings from last year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival.


FIRST REVIEW!

Into the Yell – poetry collection by Sarah James There’s a fantastic review of Into the Yell from Magdalena Ball at Compulsive Reader at http://www.compulsivereader.com/html/mod ules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2521 .

LAUNCH UPDATE:
Saturday, July 10 – Sarah James will be launching her poetry collection Into the Yell at Droitwich Music and Arts Festival.
As well as staging an art and poetry display in the town centre from 10am to 5pm, Sarah will be reading from her collection and signing books.
She will also be running a collaborative haiku display and drop-in haiku workshop, where adults and children can come along write their own haiku and help create a colourful display.
Specific venues and reading times to be confirmed nearer the event (on her website at: www.sarah-james.co.uk ).

Sarah will be reading from her collection Into the Yell at The Phonic Room at Boston Tea Party, Broad Street, Worcester on June 24.

Sarah will be running a joint poetry workshop (with Oversteps poet Jenny Hope) on the theme of ‘Home – and Away’ at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre on Friday, July 23, 2010. More details about the course and how to book a place at: http://www.newent.gloucs.sch.uk/news/news.htm .

Sarah has a busy couple of months lined up with her poetry collection Into the Yell launching in July. Events so far include:

July 2010 – Sarah James will be staging a Window on the Arts shop window poetry and art mixed media display in Droitwich Salters shopping centre.

Saturday, July 10 – Sarah James will be launching her poetry collection Into the Yell at Droitwich Music and Arts Festival. As well as staging an art and poetry display in the town centre from 10am to 5pm, Sarah will be reading from her collection and signing books. Specific venues and times to be confirmed.

Thursday, July 15 – Sarah James will be Writer in Residence for the day at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop as part of Oxfam’s Bookfest. From 10am to noon, she will run story sessions for toddlers. From 2pm to 4pm, she will be discussing poetry, reading from and signing her new collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press www.circaidygregory.co.uk ). A one pound donation from each book sold on the day will go to Oxfam.

Wednesday, August 18 – Sarah James will be joining fellow poet Jenny Hope in a Worcester Festival charity reading from their collections Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press www.circaidygregory.co.uk ) and Petrolhead (Oversteps Books www.overstepsbooks.com). The charity reading and open mic in aid of the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign will be held at the Farrier’s Arms in Fish Street, Worcester, from 7.30pm. They will be donating £1 from the sale of each book sold on the night to the campaign.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 – Sarah will be one of three guest poets in an up-and-coming women poets’ reading at Poetry Bites at the Kitchen Garden Café  in Birmingham (17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA). As well as reading, she will also be signing copies of her new collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press). The evening starts at 7.30pm. (Food from 6.30pm.) Poetry Bites also includes floor spots.  Please arrive early to book a spot. It costs £5 (£4 concessions). To reserve a place email jacquirowe@hotmail.co.uk or pay at the door.

Sarah will be taking part in Droitwich Arts 4 All on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the Norbury Theatre in Droitwich from noon to 4pm. She will be doing a poetry reading and running a display stand featuring poetry and photography/art, as well as offering a preview of some of the work from her collection ‘Into the Yell’ to be published by Circaidy Gregory Press in July 2010. Entry to the event, which showcases a range of visual and performing arts groups, is free. It is aimed at all ages and includes music, theatre, arts, displays, performances, information and workshops.

Christmas is only six weeks away and Sarah will be running a festive storytelling session (with colouring/writing activities) at Santa’s Grotto next to Bargain Foods in Droitwich on Saturday, December 5 from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Sarah had a fantastic time as Poet in Residence for the day at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop on National Poetry Day,Thursday, October 8, 2009. It was great to meet some of the volunteers, chat about poetry and launch the shop’s poetry contests, with live broadcasts on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester’s breakfast and afternoon shows.

National Poetry Day at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop

Sarah is set to turn Robin Hood to celebrate National Poetry Day on Thursday, October 8, 2009 and launch a range of poetry competitions at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop.
She will be donning the costume in keeping with this year’s theme of Heroes and Heroines when she is poet in residence for the day at the shop in Worcester High Street. People will have the chance to pop in between 11am and 4pm to chat about poetry, share a favourite poem or bring their own work for some on the spot feedback.
There will be a range of inspirational exercises/ideas to share and a display of hero and heroine themed poems by members of the Poetry Society’s Worcester and Droitwich Stanza poetry group. She will help Worcester Oxfam Bookshop to launch its range of children’s colouring and drawing contests and a children and adults’ poetry competition on the theme of heroes and heroines, as well as using the day to write her own set of poems inspired by the National Poetry Day theme and her experiences as an Oxfam Bookshop poet in residence.
Oxfam Bookshop manager Amanda Bonnick, who is also a poet, said: “I am delighted to welcome Sarah James to the shop to celebrate National Poetry Day. As the selection of Carol Ann Duffy to Poet Laureate shows, poetry can be both popular and challenging, and we hope to inspire the people of Worcester to contribute their poetic offering. The theme of Heroes can inspire us all!” The colouring, drawing and poetry contests deadline is Saturday, October 17. More details about the competitions are available from Worcester Oxfam Bookshop or by calling Amanda Bonnick at the shop on 01905 26967.

Sarah will be running a series of children/family poetry and short story workshops at Droitwich’s annual Salt Day celebration on Saturday 12th September, 2009. The event runs from 11am – 5pm. For further information contact Janet Yates on 01386 565355 or email janet.yates@wychavon.gov.uk .

Getting Ready for Salt Day

It has been a productive and celebratory season this spring after Sarah’s poem Morning Collage won second prize in the writelink.co.uk Spring Fever poetry contest. She has also just finished putting together an anthology of work (entitled Poem Toys and Yummy Mummies) produced by schoolchildren (ages 5 -7) in her recent poetry workshops.

Poem Toys and Yummy Mummies

Sarah’s poems Geography, Year Two and Pissenlit:Preparing My Eulogy have both been awarded a Merit in the 2008 Nottingham Open Poetry Competition. She read her poems and was presented with her awards by adjudicator Julia Copus at an award ceremony on Nottingham on November 2.

Thank you to all those who turned up to hear Sarah read some of her poetry and the opening from her story Monday in Remarkable Everyday at Droitwich Spa’s annual Salt Day festival on Saturday, September 13, 2008. It was a great day. Hope everyone enjoyed it. Don’t forget to email her, if you’d like her to sign your copy of the anthology.

Legend Press officially launched the new edition of Remarkable Everyday , containing Sarah’s short story Monday, on August 30, 2008.