At our next meeting, on Monday, 5th June, we have the great pleasure of welcoming Rosie Jackson once again. King’s Head, Wells High Street, 7pm in the upper room. Rosie will be reading from her recently published collection Love Leans Over the Table. ‘She is a rare poet of transcendence who expresses the inexplicable with grace.’ – Bel Mooney.
‘The Boisterous Sobbings of Margery Kempe’ (included in this collection) has been commended in the 2022 National Poetry Competition. An amazing accolade given that there were 17,000 entries.
From the judges: “A striking evocation of the mind of a medieval mystic, a kind of apologia full of passion and compassion, culminating in the revelation that ‘God is not a noun, but a verb…’”
Moniza Alvi says of her work: ‘These are rare, nourishing poems, open and vulnerable, spiritually aware and with an acute sense of beauty and struggle.’
Kim Moore writes: ‘There is a restless energy and a searching intelligence at work here – creating startling, moving poems that explore the porous, shifting boundary between the historical and the contemporary.’
ROSIE JACKSON is a poet and creative writing tutor recently moved to Devon after many years in Somerset. She is on the team of Poetry Teignmouth and runs many workshops in UK and in Cortijo Romero, Spain. A passionate believer in the power of the creative arts to heal and transform, Rosie has worked in many community and health contexts. She enjoys collaborating with other writers, artists, film-makers and photographers. Michelle and I recently had the privilege of collaborating with her in a memorable performance at Teignmouth Poetry Festival.
At our last meeting on May 1st every chair was occupied; we had a record number in the audience for Rachael Clyne’s well-presented reading from her new collection. There were some strong contributions too in the open mic sessions. Ian McMillan was unfortunately not among the audience, but he tweeted, “I like this title poem by Rachael Clyne from her powerful new @SerenBooks collection. The whole book is well worth reading. Here is the unique self, examined and celebrated.”
A new Stanza group is forming in Midsomer Norton. If you are interested, please ask me for Nick’s contact details.
STORYTELLING AT THE BISHOP’S PALACE, WELLS
May Half-Term – Family Storytelling: 30th May 2023, 11am & 12.30pm .
Join master storyteller (and Fountain Poet) Beth Webb this May half-term, as she captivates your imagination with her enchanting tales that the whole family will love!
Be inspired by Beth’s unique illustrations and try your hand at creating your own captivating stories. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to embark on a magical journey of storytelling and creativity with your family.
Family Storytelling is included with any standard admission ticket.
CLEVEDON LITERARY FESTIVAL
Clevedon Literary Festival takes place between 31st May and 11th June, in venues all over the town. Amongst over 50 events, this year’s headliners include fantasy/sci-fi author Ben Aaronovitch, Radio 4’s Anita Sethi and Noreen Masud, BBC journalist Stephen Moss, scriptwriter Ray Brooking, cartoonist Kev Sutherland, Mel Simpson’s ever popular Write Dance and Draw, both live and online, children’s author Tracey Corderoy, the launch of our inaugural short story and poetry competitions, walks and talks, music and visual arts, theatre, ‘Celebration of the Book’ – a market place for book arts and small presses. 39% of our artists and writers are from global majority backgrounds, including disability champions, climate activists, the Radical History group.
Poetry highlights include headliners Matt Harvey and Jo Bell, supported by local talent. There’s also workshops, open mics, ‘Life’s a Beach’ – our eco themed poetry slam, in association with Rhyme Against the Tide, Weston, The whole programme is on the website. Many events are free and all the rest affordable.
WELLS FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE’S INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk email: email@example.com
Open 1st April – 30th June 2023
Open Poetry: Entry fee, £6. Prizes: 1st £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250, Local £100. Any subject, no more than 35 lines.
Judge, William Sieghart, founder of National Poetry Day.
Short Story: Entry fee, £6. Prizes: 1st £750, 2nd £300, 3rd £200, Local £100. Any subject, 1,000 to 2,000 words. Judge, Claire Fuller.
A Book for Children: Entry fee, £6. Prizes: 1st £750, 2nd £300, 3rd £200, Local £100. Any subject. First two chapters or first twenty pages, whichever is the shortest, plus the synopsis. Judge, Rachel Hamilton. The competition is writing for children, age 7 and up. This includes writing for young adults.
Young Poets: Entry fee, £3. Prizes: £150, £75, £50 plus a year’s membership of The Poetry Society. Any subject, no more than 35 lines. Age range 16 to 22.
Judge, Deanna Rodger.
The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival on the Isle of Arran. With eight prizes including a first prize of £1,000; second prize of £300; third prize of £100 and 5 commended poem prizes of £25 each, the McLellan Poetry Competition provides a major opportunity for aspiring poets to gain recognition.
This year’s judge, Joelle Taylor (TS Eliot Prize winner) will present the prizes in person at a special festival event on Saturday 26th August 2023 on the Isle of Arran, to which all prize winners will be invited to read. Full details and entry forms can be found here.
Entries close at midnight on Monday 10th July 2023.
Ted Hughes said that all great poems come from a wound. I don’t know what he meant by great, but I think a worthwhile piece of art has to move us and what moves us most is the brokenness of things. There’s so much that’s broken, so little time for reparation. This is built into the system. It’s why so many artists find it hard to survive, because survival is a constant act of reparation. – James Roberts
Posted by Ama Bolton on 23rd May 2023