Big thanks to Olive Broderick, Down Arts Centre for inviting me to read at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Narnia Festival. It was a highly enjoyable "high octane" reading as part of Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, on tour in Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor. Lots of fun sharing poems and hearing samples of local talent. And an extra big thanks to Marion Clarke for volunteering to help me read ”Dialogue for D-Day" by Joy Davidman, wife of CS Lewis.
Age UK in Gloucestershire are having a Christmas service at Gloucester Cathedral, and have asked to read my NHS70 poem at the event, which will be read out by an NHS nurse in uniform.
I hope people will find this image and the poem effective. I am incredibly moved by this request, thank you to NICON for facilitating this and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Here's a few more photos Including one of me apparently doing the ol' jazz hands) from the reading of the poem at the recent World Health Organization Healthy Cities conference in Belfast, written to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service and to pay homage to the ideal of universal health coverage.
Photo credit: WHO Regional Office for Europe
My poem 'A Change in the Weather' has been shortlisted to be performed at Arachne Press's 2018 Solstice Shorts Festival in London. Final list of stories and poems announced soon.
The new edition of The Honest Ulsterman is out today!
I've interviewed two amazing Irish women writers for this issue: Jess Traynor, about her new collection The Quick from Dedalus Press; and Niamh Boyce, about her new poetry book, Inside The Wolf.
The ever-considerate and supportive Rob McLennan has interviewed me for his 20 questions series, about my book 'the x of y' and my writing.
There are 19 questions here, the 20th is an unwritten mystery.
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.
William Styron - The Long March