From January 23rd, I’ll be hosting a five-week fortnightly course, Letting Your Avant-Garde Down, at Hours here in Bristol.
I’m delighted to be working with The Poetry School, who are a great force for making poetry happen, and bringing people together to discover and delight in the process.
There’s an interview with me here about the course – do come along and we’ll explore together what ‘the avant-garde’ (if there is such a thing) can do for your writing, and what you can bring to the newest, yet-to-be-imagined avant-gardes, too…
Fortuitously, the film Manifesto, starring a chameleonic Cate Blanchett, is out at the moment – I’ll be going to see it next week. Might be a rather marvellous way of introducing oneself to the Ghost of Avant-Gardes Past.
Here’s the trailer:
Earlier in September, I was invited by Knowle West Media Centre to write a ‘bedtime story for an artists’ at their Artist Hotel sleepover.
I borrowed guided relaxation techniques from solution-focused hypnotherapy (thanks, Emma Edwards / Shine for tips on doing so safely), animal creation myths, and lovely rhyming bedtime stories: a bit of A A Milne lyricism, a splash of Dr Seuss sass, with some Channel 4 reality formats thrown in…
The story used the animal characters and dreamy rhyme to invite the artists present (and now you) to become relaxed, and explore ideas of home, hospitality – to picture a scenario where we invite everyone in, to a perfect home, for a perfect soiree.
So I recorded the script as I read it, here – so find yourself somewhere comfy for a sit down and to relax with it – ideally before bed. And especially if you’re hosting, or going to be hosting, any kind of soiree, workshop, or event.
I hope that the story generates some interesting images in your unconscious of perfect hospitality – and feel free to comment below with any experiences and reflections about these themes.
Hopefully living on Mars wouldn’t be much like The Expanse…
Next week, I’ll be compering an event as part of at-Bristol’s ‘Festival of What If…’ – this one being around the question ‘what if we lived on Mars?’ There are details about the event here.
I might add in some specks of Martian poetry, references to Ray Bradbury’s ‘Martian Chronicles’, possible allusions to The Expanse, or even some Vogon Poetry…and I’ll be crowd-sourcing a recipe for living well on Mars (though it might not be quite what you expect…).
See you there!
A room with twelve skeletons; skulls all facing the same way. A bony choir: but what songs will they sing us? Songs from long ago – and songs of struggle, murder and conflict. Through poetry, flash fiction and discussion we’ll be inspired by craniums, tibias and mandibles, exploring what we feel in our bones. All skeletons have a tale to tell – what’s yours?I’m running a young people’s workshop for young people aged 14-17 years at M Shed Bristol on 2nd August, exploring their Skeletons: Our Buried Bones exhibition…
It’ll be a rich & strange day, where I’ll be inviting the group to really get to know the bones on display and what they might think about all this, as well as thinking about our very own skeletons – we’ve all got one. Details above: please pass them on…
I’ve just finished facilitating four sessions, working with Wyldwood Arts – a group of 18-25 year olds from the Bristol Old Vic young producers worked with residents of Monica Wills House writing around the themes of Earth, Water, Fire and Air.
There was a lot of laughter and some really beautiful, playful and moving pieces of writing – and Wyldwood have made a wonderful short film which captures some of this. Here it is!
In February 2017, I’ll be running a seven-week creative writing course at M Shed Museum, Bristol harbourside.
Here’s a little film I made to tell you more about it:
And if you’d like to book, go to the WEA website here.
There’s info about the M Shed on its website here too.
See you there!
The next WRITE OFF sessions start Tuesday June 7th at Beatroots Cafe, Lower Park Row, 17.00 – 18.30, for six weeks.
The young people who attend the group rephave been really enjoying the mix of reading and writing for wellbeing and fun.
We try out new activities, experiments and styles – working with words in the very broadest way! We’ve done everything from experimental sound poems to third-person stories about our morning routines, to ‘story hot house’ verbal storytelling, and ‘subvertising’.
I plan sessions based on what the group members would like to do (or try, or re-try). And for anyone anxious about reading together in this kind of group: we don’t schoolsplain (a word I’ve picked up through it) and you never have to read anything aloud you don’t want to.
All are welcome, from aged 16 – 25. If you can email ahead, I’ll make sure there is enough cake – but no problem if you can’t.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Well then: I’ve written something based on Drag Queen Bingo on Saturday night.
But I’ve decided it’s probably too offensive to put on here (such is the joy of Drag humour).
The poem takes the form of a Bingo Card, of course – with some very interesting rhymes (some adapted from the calls, some entirely new). I might spruce it up to submit it, should the right publication arise…
The numbers on the card were as follows – so I set you the challenge of coming up with your own risque rhyming number-call for each:
A quick note to say my Write Off sessions will be starting again on Tuesday 1st March.
The sessions are open to all young people from 15 – 25 years old. As in the last sessions (where we tried everything from haiku to surrealism and concrete poetry) we’ll be exploring different creative reading and writing approaches for fun, confidence-building, self-expression and reflection.
April is also National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) – so we’ll be delving into the prompts and resources on offer to see how they might inspire our own writing experiments!
A quick note to say that my young people’s writing group Write Off is carrying on, on Tuesdays 17.00 – 18.30 at Beatroot Cafe on Lower Park Row.
The group is for anyone aged 16-25 who feels their writing, wellbeing and creativity would benefit from taking part. It’s a small and friendly group, in a cosy setting (with great tea and cakes).
We’ve been exploring a wide range of approaches to writing and reading; different ways to stimulate our creativity, reflection and play.
If you or someone you know would like to join – then see you there! My Off The Record email is on the poster above, so get in touch with any queries…