Sarah James

the possibilities of poetry…

Browsing Posts tagged open mic

I’ve small stones in my stomach today – looking forward to this evening’s guest poet slot at The Fizz in Polesworth!

If you’re in the Staffordshire area, the evening, which includes an open mic, kicks off at 7.30pm in Polesworth Abbey Refectory. I hope to read a few of my small stones, as well some poems from my collection Into the Yell.

Meanwhile, here’s small stone day 18:

the red wheelbarrow of water ripples
breaks my reflection into patterns of light
stray grass sticks to the side

Polesworth Abbey

Polesworth  Poets Trail Sculpture

It’s been a wonderful week enjoying poetry, the sunshine – and some natural beauty.

I was delighted to hear on Friday that some of my Christmas photos had proved the inspiration for this wonderful poem by Claire Knight. (You can check it out at: )

A walk out on the Clent Hills in today’s sunshine also proved inspirational for me, on both the writing and photography front, as did last week’s excellent Parole Parlate at Little Venice in Worcester.

The next date for this Worcester Literary Festival and Apples and Snakes spoken word evening is Thursday, February 3. Meanwhile, I can’t wait for their next Learn:Eat:Perform workshop and open mic with Francesca Beard at Worcester Arts Workshop on Sunday (January 16). (More details at: and

Following on from reading at Parole Parlate, I’m also looking forward to my guest poet slot at Polesworth’s The Fizz on January 18. The publicity details for the event, which also includes an open mic, are below.

Have a good week everyone!

“The Fizz number 5 will take place on Tuesday 18th January at Polesworth Abbey Refectory

We are pleased to welcome the Worcestershire based poet Sarah James to read from her first collection “Into the Yell” which was published in 2010 by the Circaidy Gregory Press.

Sarah’s imaginative narrative delivered in her distinct poetic voice explores the world from familiar to the fantastic. Her confidently crafted poems excite and engage the reader into her descriptions of the world, often bright, sometimes dark, but always inviting us to examine the theatrical complexity of our daily lives.

Copies of Into the Yell will be available for sale at the Fizz.

Admission is FREE and soft drinks will be available for a small charge.”


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me behind
the stand

in front of
the mic

those faces

I’ve been re-reading some Ezra Pound and William Charles Williams this week – a week that rather suits the sparseness of the snippet above for more than just this reason.

Although, it’s been busy, it’s been one of those weeks where very little I’ve done particularly stands out. In fact, I’ve mostly been indoors, working for my MA and looking after an ill child. So it was great to get out today for a performance poetry workshop in Worcester run by Niall O’Sullivan. The new monthly event organised by Worcestershire Literature Festival ( Apples and Snakes ( was followed by an open mic – a great chance to try out the new pieces I wrote for the Tiger, Tiger campaign, which were published on the website this week ( ).

There is also a new open mic evening Parole Parlate: The Spoken Word ( in Worcester on Tuesday evening, which I’m looking forward to. And this time, much though I enjoy reading, I am looking forward to just listening and being one of those faces in front of the mic, for once!

Having spent much of the week indoors nursing a cold of the virus kind, it was great to get out on Saturday night to enjoy a different ‘chill’.

Yes, it being Halloween weekend, it was the shivers of spooky tales and poetry – along with some more generally themed pieces for the less ghoulish – at Worcester Arts Workshop’s Word and Sound that helped put me in better ‘spirits’. As well as enjoying a wide range of others’ music and poetry, I also read some of my own gravely and not-so-gravely themed pieces.

Of course, despite dressing for the occasion, my costume didn’t even come close to some of those celebrating Halloween this year!

But Halloween ghouls, beasts, witches and black cats aside, I’ve also been focussing this week on a more important kind of wild animal: the tiger. This big cat is in severe danger of extinction and Tiger Tiger ( is trying to put creativity to good use by asking writers to put their talents to good use by writing about tigers to raise awareness and funds for the World Wildlife Fund Save the Tiger Campaign. This week’s poem by Ruth Stacey ( is well worth reading. And submissions are still open for those who’ve not yet submitted themselves.

And if you need some more writing inspiration, check out my fansite blog post prompt or my train journey people-watching/eavesdropping article in Friday’s Worcester News (

Small Thinking

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With the Birmingham launch on Thursday, I’m thinking ‘bugged’ for this week’s prompt.  Not in terms of overhearings but of things you can hold on your palm: insects.

Now, you don’t have to actually physically catch one in your hand but if you can find a live one to watch all well and good. If not, choose a bug-size insect and see what pictures or video you can find on the internet. If you have time, do a little research. Does it have any interesting or unusual habits? Is there anything that interests or intrigues you? Either in terms of the animal itself or as a symbol or part of something else…

If all else fails, with Halloween coming up, why not try placing your creepy-crawlies into a spooky setting and see where that takes you. But watch out for things that go bump in the dark!

I’m still buzzing today after a great Worcester Festival charity reading last night with fellow poet Jenny Hope.

Not only was it an enjoyable evening but we had some great poets and music in the open mic section of the night and managed to tot up £133.62 for the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign. Hurrah! A big thank you to all those who organised, helped, supported, performed, attended…

I’m also looking forward to reading in the Worcester Festival Phonic Room event at the Boston Tea Party, Worcester, tomorrow night from 7pm.

Then I’m going to treat myself to a few days off – maybe enjoy a week with my camera searching trees for shadows and leaves – before gearing up for my guest poet slot at Burton’s Spoken Worlds when it relaunches next month.

The evening at Rangemore House on Friday, September 17 will also be a trip down memory lane for me as it’s nearly ten years since I stopped working for the Burton Mail.

The evening kicks off at 7.30pm and will also feature an open mic of poetry, prose and sketches. Organised by Gary Carr ( ), Spoken Worlds is on the third Friday of every month. Entry is £2 and other guests lined up include Rachel Pantechnicon on October 15 and James Nash on November 19.

Despite the fact that my life sometime has tendency to demonstrate chaos theory all on its own, I do believe in a universal sense of balance.

Nature’s/God’s /life’s (select according to your own personal beliefs!)system of ‘give and take’  has rarely felt more evident to me than in my email inbox this week!

A message arrived on Wednesday with the disappointing news that my planned National Poetry Day (Thursday, October 7) workshops, pencilled into the diary two months ago, would not unfortunately be able to go ahead after all. Then on Friday, I received an email with the great news that one of my poems on the national poetry day theme of ‘home’ has been chosen by Jane Yeh for September’s Poetry News, hurrah!

Of course, this all helps to remind me that the best way of dealing with bad news is just to get on with things while you wait for the good news, which always arrives eventually!

On the topic of waiting, I can’t wait to see the ‘Waiting Room’ installation which has just gone in today at Kidderminster’s Swan Centre  as part of the town’s two week arts festival. The project organised by Sarah Tamar and Natasha Roberts includes recordings of two of my poems on the theme of waiting. (There is a taster trailer on You Tube at: .) I can’t wait to check the whole thing out on Monday!

I also can’t wait for the charity reading I’m doing with fellow Worcestershire poet Jenny Hope at the Farrier’s Arms, Worcester, on Wednesday night. The event, which will also include an open mic, is in aid of the Worcestershire Cancer Unit Campaign and should be a fantastic evening, as well a great fundraiser for a very worthy cause.

It’s going to be a busy but fun week!

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