Freeverse Poetry Festival


Orators and their Opinions open mic and Walsall Poetry Society are proud to announce that this summer they are getting together to bring you Freeverse, a free poetry festival featuring poets from Walsall, the West Midlands and Beyond.

Freeverse will take place on Saturday 6th July at Brownhills Community Centre
starting at midday and the best thing is it’s all free to attend, here’s the line up for the day.

Willis the Poet aka Rik Sanders

““Willis the Poet is without a doubt one of the funniest poets it has been my pleasure to hear perform. His easy yet intensely witty interaction with his audience makes every performance a time of laughter, hilarity and sheer out and out fun!”

Rik will not only be performing but also hosting a comedy poetry open mic – sign up on the day – welcoming all poets new and old to step up and make people laugh

Holly Daffurn

“Holly Daffurn’s work rages from the political to the confessional, flitting from witty anecdotes to stark cutting observations. Featuring a combination of rhythmical and fast-paced poems mixed in with carefully crafted passages that shrug off any expectation of rhyme, the uniting feature in all of her work is a distinct and brazen honesty.”

Holly will be headlining one of the three open mics that will take place at the festival.

Samantha Roden, R M Francis and Paul McDonald

Also three Original Plus poets from the region will read from their recently published chapbooks. Paul McDonald is a Walsall based award winning poet, novelists, flash fiction writer and academic. His work has been widely published, including Tindal Street Press, Indigo Dreams, Cinnamon Press, V.Press and Original Plus. He’s Course Leader for Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton, author of three novels five poetry collections and a recently published flash fiction collection. Samantha Roden grew up in Birmingham, and now resides in Wolverhampton. She is a poet, academic and educational author and was named one of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets, 2017 . Her first Pamphlet, Catch Ourselves in Glass, was published in June 2017 by Original Plus Books. R . M Francis is a writer from Dudley, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, and author of four poetry chapbooks, placed with the Black Light Engine Room, Lapwing Publishing and Original Plus his first full collection with Smokestack Books and his debut novel with Wild Pressed Books are due out in 2020.

Headlining our third and final open mic will be two local poets Gerald Kells and Paul Elwell, then finishing the day we will have our main event.

Steve Pottinger, Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse aka Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists.

“Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists are a collective of Black Country poets who believe in changing the world one poem at a time. They’re funny, serious, and thoughtful by turns. Above all, they’re very entertaining.”

As if that wasn’t enough local poet Scarlett Ward will be running a poetry workshop during the day as well.

Scarlett Ward

Find Your Voice.

FYV is a workshop that will be ran by Midlands poet Scarlett Ward and special guest poet Sallyanne Rock. We will be looking at examples of Poets that use their accents, colloquialisms and tone of voice to strengthen the sense of identity within their poetry, and looking how we can use them as inspiration when we come to writing our own work. Hints, prompts, games and tips- all in a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. Free entry, 3.30pm, 20 spaces available, 45 mins duration. Dow be nervous mucka, we’m here to have a laff.

Scarlett Ward is a 26 year old Wiccan Poet working from Cannock, Staffordshire. She came 3rd place in the WoLf poetry competition as judged by Roy McFarlane in January 2019, and her debut collection ‘ache’ is to be released this summer with Verve Poetry Press.

Sallyanne Rock is a poet and writer living in Worcestershire. Her work appears in various journals online and in print, and she has performed her poetry across the Midlands region.She is currently working with Writing West Midlands as an Assistant Writer, running a series of creative writing workshops for young people.

So here’s the running schedule for the day.

Midday – doors open

12:15 Introduction and welcome

12:30 WIllis the Poet set plus poetry open mic with a comedy theme – sign up on the day.

13:20 break

13:40 Open mic headlined by Holly Daffurn – sign up on the day.

14:30 Break

14:50 R M Francis, Paul McDoanld and Samantha Roden

15:40 Break

16:10 Open mic headlined by Greald Kells and Paul Elwell – sign up on the day

17:20 Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists.

Please note the venue provides free parking and provides refreshments plus drinks – alcoholic and non alcoholic. Entry to the event is free if you do like the acts you see and wish to support them then the performers will be operating a contribute what you want system by passing the hat round.

Freeverse is supported and sponsored by Creative Black Country and supported by the University of Wolverhampton.

For queries and questions or more information please email WalsallPoetrySociety@gmail.com

A big thanks you to everyone involved with supporting this festival, thanks to all our guest poets for agreeing to perform, thanks to Brownhills Community Centre for letting us use their space and a big thank you to Matthew Cash of Burdizzo Banners who came up with the festival logo.

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My new poetry book “A Pigeon Among the Cats” is now available


After a lot of hard work my new poetry collection “A Pigeon Among the Cats,” is now finished and out in the world, flying free. Published by Pretty Tattered Soul Press run by the fantastic Paul B Morris the book can be found on Amazon right now.

The UK version can be found here, paperback or Kindle

The US version can be found here, paperback or Kindle

Here’s the title poem from the book….

Some days I feel like a neurotic pigeon,
pecking out a meagre existence,
surviving on my dumb luck alone
in a world full of cats.
I constantly walk on eggshells,
while all around me the
sleek fat chic pad confidently by,
their lips curled in sneers or snarls.

I’m an endangered species
with no defence except
my novelty value.
Which is no real protection for a neurotic pigeon
whose dumb luck could run out at any time,
constantly scrabbling to exist
in a world full of cats.
A pigeon who realises that his problem is
he’s that bloody stupid he’s forgotten he’s got wings.

 

National Poetry Day is tomorrow, here’s all you need to know


It’s National Poetry Day tomorrow and if you’re a poet or interested in taking part it’s very easy to join in.

Each National Poetry Day has a theme and this years is change. So why not share a poem you’ve written on the theme or write a brand new one, even if you don’t fancy putting pen to paper you can still share a poem on change from your favourite poet.

Where can you do the sharing? Well if you have a blog you could use that, National Poetry Day are on Twitter and Facebook, so if you share there be sure to tag them in and use the hashtag #nationalpoetryday.

If you want to know more why not check out the National Poetry Day website here, its packed full of resources and ideas.

 

Persona Non Grata charity collection


I’m very pleased to announce I have a poem in the forthcoming charity anthology “Persona Non Grata” published by Fly on the Wall Poetry and edited by Isabelle Kenyon.

Copies of the book can be pre-ordered here and money raised goes to support Shelter and Crisis Aid UK

Further Within Darkness and Light


I’m very pleased to have three poems in the charity poetry collection Further Within Darkness and Light, compiled by Walsall poet and author Paul B Morris. Sales of the book go to benefit the charity Mind and you can get a copy via the link below

Click here to buy a copy.

Call for Poetry Submissions from Fly on the Wall Poetry Press


Fly on the Wall Poetry Press:
For charitable anthologies

Submissions are now open!
June 10th – September 10th 2018

Theme: ‘Outsiders’

Guidelines: I am looking for poems which respond to this theme in any way which you see fit. I am expecting there to be a wide range of interpretations – that’s exactly what I want!
For example – you may interpret ‘outsiders’ as the homeless, the lonely elderly, sexual abuse survivors, ‘the undesirables’, the uneducated, the bullied – you name it, if you can make it fit, I want to read it.
You may like to think about a cause you would like to fundraise for as you write. This anthology will be much more fluid in that I want the charity (or charities) we raise money for, to be inspired by YOUR ideas. This means that you are in the driving seat.
If you feel passionate about something in society which makes you, or others, ‘Outsiders’, I want you to write about it.

How To Submit: Go to http://www.flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk and follow the below!

• You can submit an unlimited number of poems, credited where previously published. However, please do just submit once.
• There is a £2.00 fee to submit to Fly on the Wall Poetry Press – this is so that I can give my contributors a free copy of the book only. The paypal button below will take you to pay – if you don’t have paypal please email isabellekenyon@hotmail.co.uk
• Send your poems in a word doc – one poem on each page, to isabellekenyon@hotmail.co.uk with the subject as follows: ‘Your Name/Submission’. Please enclose a short biography also of your writing credits. Past experience will not sway my decision but is useful to add context to your work.
• If your paypal email is different to the email you use to submit to me, please state this in your email.

Cockatiels and Bold Women


I’m very pleased to have had two poems accepted into Cockatiels and Bold Women, a poetry anthology being sold to raise money for St GIles Hospice. Compiled by Staffordshire Poet Laureate Emily Rose Galvin the collection is intriguingly split up into five sections based on prompts from Hospice residents and all the poets in the book have risen to the challenge of producing great poems based on these.

Buy the book by just clicking on the link here.

 

The fantastic Lost Haiku project, poetry in the wild


A good friend and talented writer and poet James Josiah has started a wonderful project on Facebook and Twitter called lost haiku. The premise is simple, members of the group write haiku, James prints them off and leaves them on his travels for people to find and enjoy.

Here’s James description of the project

I’ve written a load of haiku this year, like 50+ so far and I couldn’t really figure out what to do with them and I’m not really into the whole publishing my work thing any more (long story) So what I’m doing is printing them off, laminating them and then leaving them out in the wild for folks to find and… I dunno maybe share them or hide them elsewhere?
Now I don’t go very far so if you would like to help me disperse them that would be great. If you’d like to contribute a haiku or four that would be tremendous.
I’m on twitter as @losthaiku and will be using the hashtag #losthaiku as well (I’ve also written this info on the back of the ones I’ve left out thus far)

I’m a member and big fan of the project and I’m proud to say one of my haiku was recently released into the wilds of Manchester, where hopefully someone will find and enjoy it.

If this project seems like fun to you it’s easy to get involved, click here to follow lost haiku on twitter here

Or ask to join the Facebook group by clicking here

 

 

Diverse Verse 3 is launched, Yes We Cant and Poetry Bites


So finally the poetry anthology I compiled for charity is out there and ready to buy. Diverse Verse 3 features poets from round the corner and round the world and money raised from sales goes to support Cancer Research UK.

Click here to buy a copy.

On top of that I’m appearing as a guest poet at a couple of events round the West Midlands.

Firstly I’m the half ender at Yes We Cant on Sunday 6th May at the Pretty Bricks in Walsall, starts at 7pm.

Later on in the month I’m one of the guest poets at Poetry Bites on Tuesday 22nd May at the Kitchen Garden Café in Birmingham.

Diverse Verse 3 cover reveal


As we move closer to the launch of the Diverse Verse 3 charity collection I curate I thought you might enjoy seeing the cover of the book revealed in all its glory.

The photo was taken by talented local photographer Andy Simon who runs Darkslide Photography and features model Billie-Jo Cox, it was shot at Southcart Books.

I’d like to thank everyone who was involved with the cover. I’m sure you’ll agree its a stunning piece of work and will certainly help the book sell well at its launch and beyond.

More details of the launch of Diverse verse 3 at Southcart books can be found here.