For National Poetry Day, we put out a 24-hour writing challenge on Poetry NI: to write a poem on the theme of 'change'. Poets had precisely 24 hours to respond to the challenge, write a new poem, and send it in to us.
We're delighted with the results and that so many decided to take up the task. The result is this free e-pamphlet, Changing Verses in Midstream. Within, you'll find poems from Órla Fay. Trudie Gorman, David Braziel, Glen Wilson, Siobhan Elvis Atkins, Peter Adair, Jane Robinson, Jessamine O Connor, Geraldine O'Kane, K. S. Moore, Trish Bennett, Andrew Roycroft, Rosie Burrows and myself
Special thanks also to the Year 10 pupils from The Archer Academy in East Finchley, North London, who held a special writing special in school, in answer to our challenge. Well done all of them!
Happy reading, and happy National Poetry Day!
Amazed to say I've been invited to read my NHS poem at the World Health Organization 2018 International Healthy Cities Conference in Belfast in October. 500 international delegates will be there, including the UK's Chief Medical Officers and the WHO European Director. It's possibly the most prestigious audience I'll have ever addressed! (Although of course every and any audience is important.)
Many thanks to NI Confederation for Health and Social Care and Arts Council of Northern Ireland for their continued support with this.
The Experimental Processes exhibition opening at Duncairn Cultural Arts Centre tonight, with wonderful print work by Lucy Turner, incorporating poems from the Words for Castle Ward Writing group.
Over the past few months, Lucy has been working with the group, explaining different methods of print-making, and allowing us to understand the process involved. My own poem was two haibun, focusing on the manual labour involved in the repeated dipping and twisting of fabrics. The resulting exhibition is an immersive and mesmerising experience, which compliments the pieces of writing perfectly.
The installation on for the next two weeks, before heading to the Sunburst Gallery in Ards Arts Centre, from 4th to 27th October.
Geraldine O'Kane and myself will be facilitating a poetry workshop at Bray Literary Festival on Saturday 29th September 2018.
Designed to encourage and celebrate creativity, the workshop will provide the opportunity to experiment with writing in a supportive and constructive atmosphere, and is suitable for those already writing, or those who have a desire to write. Together, we will explore ideas and themes to draft and take home, as well as tips for honing your craft and creative process.
The workshop costs only €10. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place on the class, pay on the day. Big thanks to Tanya Farrelly and David Butler for inviting us to be a part of the festival.
"...a strong and deep collection which demonstrates Dardis’s skill and ability to tackle almost any subject and write about it sensitively, and with passion."
Many thanks to Ink Pantry Publishing and Claire Faulkner for this review of my poetry collection 'the x of y'.
I've be heading for the high seas and reading some maritime poetry at Titanic Belfast's August Arts and Animation Festival, from 1.30-2.30pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th August, alongside Amy Wyatt Rafferty, Geraldine O'Kane, Ross Thompson (Saturday only), and Mark Cooper (Sunday only).
PLUS we've have OPEN MIC slots for anyone wanting to share a sea shanty or set sail on a sonnet! Just bring a poem with you on the day, come along and join in.
World Poetry Movement is organising a worldwide poetry action called Return to the People, in defence of poetry and culture assaulted by unjust and exclusive systems, protecting free speech, and speaking out against regimes who oppress artists and writers.
Belfast Book Festival and Poetry NI are running a Belfast event for WPM on Friday 24th August, 7.30pm at Crescent Arts Centre, hosting a great line-up of poets reading work in unity of this movement, including Nathan Armstrong, Mark Madden, Geraldine O'Kane, Willetta Fleming, Patricia Devlin-Hill, David Braziel, and myself.
EastSide Learning are running a Family Fun Literacy Day at C.S. Lewis Square on Friday 17th August, a free event "full of activities to help keep reading fun and engaging for all the family".
As part of the event, I will be running some family friendly poetry workshops at Hollywood Arches Library, for young ones to try out some fun activities and exercises exploring poetry, enabling you to create your very own haiku, a short Japanese form of poetry.
The sessions are:
10:45-11:30, 11:45-12:30, 12:45-1:30, 1:45-2:30.
To book a place, contact email@example.com or send a direct message via the EastSide Learning Facebook page.
Older people's charity Link Age Southwark is celebrating its 25th birthday by running a creative writing competition. I'm honoured to be helping judge the poetry section of the competition, alongside Kevin Higgins, Alan McGeachie and Corina Moscovich.
Link Age Southwark has been building friendships between older people and volunteers in order to end feelings of loneliness and isolation in their local community. The competition is open to all UK and Ireland residents, both adults and children. Entries may take the form of either a short story or poem, based on the theme of friendship and/or generations.
The deadline is 31st August, and entries are £5 each.
The organiser, Becky Danks, has done a short interview with me, in which I talk about my poetry and my reasons for volunteering to judge the competition.
Fellow Eyewear poet Leah Umansky is over from the States, currently doing a UK and Ireland book tour to support her collection, The Barbarous Century. We had the great pleasure of reading together in Waterstones Belfast on Thursday, 19th July. Many thanks to Michael from Waterstones for helping arrange the reading and hosting on the night, and to all who came and supported us. It was great to have an opportunity to read some anti-Trump poets to Leah's American family and friends, who thankfully applauded the sentiments!
Michael Frank - The Mighty Franks