Sarah James

the possibilities of poetry…

Browsing Posts tagged Ledbury Poetry Festival

One thing – besides the poetry itself – that has struck me most about both Ledbury Poetry Festival and my own collection launch at Droitwich Music and Arts Festival on Saturday is the friendliness and generosity of poets. (Or the ones I’ve met recently, at least!)
I was lucky enough to be taken into the Ledbury festival inner sanctum (the common room for performers and sponsors) by Angela France last week.  She also introduced me to Penny Shuttle was wonderfully welcoming and inclusive, given my smallness compared to her greatness in the poetry world.
When she found I was launching Into the Yell, poet and Bugged editor/organiser (as well as National Poetry Day organiser) Jo Bell also kindly offered to pass on details to the Bugged audience. In fact, it was in this way that I met local poet Maggie Doyle, who came to Saturday’s launch.
It was also lovely to meet another local poet, who I had been in communication with via email some months ago as she had hoped to join the stanza (poetry group) I run. Unfortunately, she’s been unable to make any of the meetings but on Saturday I got to meet her in person for the first time, which was great.
And, of course, it was unbelievably fantastic to share what was such an important day for me with both my family and my so many wonderful friends. So a big thank you to you all.
🙂

At last I am now Into the Yell! Yes, the poetry collection is now officially published and launched!

Luck was definitely on my side on Saturday as we had some gorgeously sunny weather for the start of  Droitwich Music and Arts Festival. The music at the opening celebrations was fantastic and the haiku\short poem collaborative display project I ran also proved to be both colourful and popular. All in all it was a great day, thanks to my family, friends new and old and all the people who turned up to take part and support me.

What with some great events and catching up with some lovely poets at Ledbury Poetry Festival too, it has definitely been a wonderful fun-packed week. I also finished the ‘mini anthology’ of work by children on my series of poetry workshops and had a second piece chosen for publication on Jo Bell and David’ Calcutt’s Bugged blog (http://www.bugged.org.uk ) on July 4.

Launch over, I’ve no time to relax – not yet, at any rate. I’m busy judging a poetry competition at the moment,  recording some poems tomorrow for a fantastic Kidderminster Arts Festival installation organised by Sarah Tamar, shall be writer in residence at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop as part of Oxfam Bookfest on Thursday and I am going to be talking to a local writer’s group at Droitwich Library on Friday. Oh, and I’m hoping to squeeze some breathing in somewhere along the line!

With just eight days to go to the launch of Into the Yell at Droitwich Music and Arts Festival, it has been a busy but phonically fun week.

Yesterday was a double whammy of listening and being listened to. Firstly, it was D-day for the Bugged writing project by Jo Bell and David Calcutt (http://buggedblog.wordpress.com/). Never one to fail to rise to the challenge – and glad of any excuse for taking an interest in life around me! – I spent much of the day eavesdropping. Or at least attempting to. Pickings were sparse but I made do, with the result that my first submission 7am Rising was one of six chosen for today’s Best of the Bugged on the blog. And I’ve still got two more ‘Bugged’ poems in the draft process!

Having worked my ears, it was my turn to make some noise in the evening, when I read from Into the Yell as well as some new and some old poems for the opening night of the Social Ritual art exhibition at Kidderminster Library (part of the town’s arts festival 2010).

Sarah reading at Social Ritual. Picture by Jackson Bollock.

Sarah reading at Social Ritual. Picture by Jackson Bollock.

Poets Jenny Hope, Sarah James, Jodie Lea Ford and Sophia Dimmock. Picture by Jackson Bollock.

Poets Jenny Hope, Sarah James, Jodie Lea Ford and Sophia Dimmock. Picture by Jackson Bollock.

Listening is definitely the theme to the coming few days, as I head off to Ledbury Poetry Festival tomorrow to see Jane Weir, Pascale Petit and Billy Collins. I can’t wait!

Then on Monday, I shall have the strange sensation of hearing my own voice on radio as some of my readings of poems from Into the Yell are to be broadcast on www.radiowildfire.com. I am so excited! 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. Happy listening everyone – wherever you are, whatever you’re doing!

It’s been a fantastically busy but productive week on the poetry front.

The Into the Yell display is  sorted, ready for the collection launch at Droitwich Arts and Music Festival of July 10. The collaborative haiku project I’m organizing for the festival on July 10 is also well in hand. And my Window on the Arts poetry, photography and art display is now finalised for July 19 to August 2 in Salters Shopping Centre, Droitwich.

Into the Yell has also received its first post-printing review this week – and a fantastic one too! – from Magdalena Ball at Compulsive Reader: http://www.compulsivereader.com/html/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2521 .

I had a great time reading from Into the Yell and other poems at The Phonic Room at Boston Tea Party in Worcester on Thursday night. (It’s a great venue!) And the same day I also found out that my poem Preparing had been chosen as Ledbury Poetry Festival’s winning May theme poem for the festival blog at http://alwaysbeapoet.blogspot.com/!

All this – with a children’s party also organised for tomorrow – and I still managed to squeeze in a leisurely breakfast on the decking in the sunshine this morning, complete with Derek Walcott’s White Egrets, which I’m still dipping into. Of course, the same time tomorrow morning and I may not be feeling quite so relaxed… 😉

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