Sarah James

the possibilities of poetry…

Browsing Posts tagged radio wildfire

Question: What do Maid Marion, a River of Stones, tigers and International’s Women’s Day have in common? Answer: Nothing much except me. This said, even as I type, I realise that as a writer with a love of analogy, metaphors and circles, there are probably a 101 other ways of linking them!

But not today. Today is my day of rest after a wonderful, busy week of books and poetry…oh, and dressing up!

I had a fantastic afternoon as Maid Marion sharing books and poetry with some year 3 pupils (age 7-8) at a local first school. As well as talking to them, some of the youngsters from my creative writing workshops shared their poems and stories aloud. I was so proud of them!


I was also proud myself to take part in the Tiger, Tiger launch at Bookmark Bloxwich on World Book Night last night. It was great to listen to a whole pride of talented writers read their tiger-inspired poems, including Born Free poet in residence, Richard Bonfield, and help raise awareness and funds to help protect this endangered species.

The picture below of me and fellow Tiger poets Jenny Hope and Ruth Stacey, also feature a slide of some of the wonderful art that has been produced as part of the project. (So artists and writers interested in supporting this project, check out the website link above!)

Organiser Helen Calcutt is going to be talking about the project in a live transmission on internet spoken word radio site tomorrow night (Monday, March 7 from 8-10pm). They also have pre-recorded versions of me reading my two Tiger, Tiger poems.

Pay attention: a river of stones,in which I have a very small poem/poetry snippet, was also launched this week and is available as a download, paperback or hardback. Meanwhile, I’m also looking forward to reading at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop on Tuesday evening as part of A Bit of A Do to celebrate International Women’s Day.

And now I’ve rounded off the circle of words from the start of my blog, I’ll end with an unanswered question about word association. What is it about mentioning my MA essay in a few of many blog posts that I now keep receiving loads of spam comments trying to advertise websites that will write essays for one? No answers on a postcard, please! 😉

Home Stretch

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National Poetry Day may be over but I’ve been making the theme stretch by enjoying a part-relaxing, part-heavily-MA-laden week at home.

It’s back on the road next week though with a reading at Inkberrow near Redditch on Tuesday lunchtime to prove that this area really is full of talent and variety.

Then on Thursday evening it’s the Birmingham launch of the Bugged anthology at the Ikon Gallery as part of the Birmingham Book Festival. I won’t be reading person this time but the launch will feature other live readings and my poem video version of 7am rising, which is my poem in the anthology.

Meanwhile, if you’re at home, the new Birmingham Book Festival The Loop is now playing on and includes my Helen Bamber Foundation National Poetry Day poem Silent Traffic, as well as lots of other spoken word gems!

Breaking boundaries has been the theme of the week for me, not least because I’ve been reading and re-reading Frost’s ‘Mending Wall’ as part of my MA!

However, Frost aside, Tuesday saw me crank up my voice for reading at Jacqui Rowe’s Poetry Bites in Birmingham, as guest poet alongside the great Fatima Al Matar and Adele Falconer. I have to say that the evening was inspiring. They are both stunning performance poets. Fatima also has a collection The Heart and the Subsidiary, and I can’t wait to see more of Adele’s work.

It was poetry too in the Thomas Oken Tea Rooms on Friday as part of the Warwick Words festival. Not only was this a lovely relaxed atmosphere to read in – and with an encouragingly large audience – but it was wonderful to spend several hours listening to a wide range of fantastic work by some great poets, including Poetry Bites organiser and recently Poetry Bites/Facebook-crowned Poetry Queen Jacqui Rowe.

Both events are firm proof that poetry written, read and performed is very much alive in the UK regions at the moment! As is the line-up for National Poetry Day (NPD) on Thursday. Details of many of these events can be found on the NPD website at: and I am looking forward myself to going into a local first school in the morning, then sharing poetry and art at the Kate Modern art gallery in stoke Prior in the evening (more details can be found on my news page at ).

The theme for this year’s NPD is ‘home’ and some of my poems exploring different aspects of this ‘spur’ word are set to be broadcast on internet radio station tomorrow night from 8pm to 10pm. The show also includes work from fellow Worcestershire stanza member Jenny Hope and regional Apples and Snakes coordinator Bohdan Piasecki.

Meanwhile, over in my blog on the fansite section of my website, I have been breaking my boundaries by experimenting with something new and will be encouraging other writers to try stepping out of their usual comfort zones and see if they can feel at home somewhere new!

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 ( 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 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!

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