Tag Archives: poems

The unusual questions

5 Oct

Poetry Swindon Festival opened at Artsite*, in Swindon’s artistic centre which in the almost-city’s inimitable fashion consists of a tiny theatre, a large theatre, a computer museum, the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, a couple of kebabs shops and a nail bar.

From the outside, Poems Aloud set off like a religious gathering**, passersby looking in, wondering what was this self-assuming event and if they should investigate or pass on by the other side.

The usual questions were posed from paper, book and phone. Was/is Philip Larkin misogynistic? The dilemma when you’re asked to write an ecological-biased poem about bees and it ends up as a bee dress. (There were two bee poems, though the bee in the second one had a sad ending, for the bee anyway). Is it ok for shops to begin ‘celebrating’ Christmas in October? How to deal with office romances? Whether good melancholy is a substitute for a happiness? And is a love poem for Swindon possible? (yes)

Outside was the Poetry Pram, inviting cooing adults to adore the poems within. And there were hats.

*A little birdy told me why it wasn’t at the usual venue of Central Library––’they wanted to charge us! For doing the Council’s job of providing free culture!’

**Thanks to Robert Stredder for this observation.

Written by Louisa Davison

Poems Aloud took place at Artsite, Swindon, 5 October 2017, as part of Poetry Swindon Festival

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Spoke and word

18 May

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Part of the attentive Poetry Swindon audience at The Sun Inn, Coate.

 

Swindon Literary Festival this is not, this is Swindon Festival of Literature.

As Matt Holland made clear in the inaugural Kaye Franklin Memorial Lecture, Literary Festivals are all about books; a Literature Festival is about writing, good writing.

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Youth Slam!

7 May

Chronicler Milo (9) reports from Swindon’s teenage poetry competition, Youth Slam.

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Imagine the audience are all wearing Primark – Chris Tutton at the Swindon Festival of Literature

9 May
Chris Tutton

Chris Tutton

This was Chris Tutton’s second visit to Swindon. Six years ago he led a session in the Museum and Art Gallery.

Today [Friday 8 May 2015] he read from his new collection, Angles of Repose, and then offered up the stage to the audience to read their poems. Chris gave performance tips and advice.

‘Just let me know when I’ve read for 40 minutes’, he asked and began with talking muscles, dreams of the sea, off-the-cuff remarks, grown-up regrets, and magpie memories. His asides and introductions to the poems were funny and dry, I was never quite sure why he was telling us this stuff, then I’d find myself laughing. Continue reading

Carol Ann Duffy, Marlborough Literature festival

30 Sep
Carol Ann Duffy by Ben Phillips

Carol Ann Duffy by Ben Phillips

So, that Carol Ann Duffy.

Poet Laureate for a few years (no it’s not Andrew Motion anymore. Or John Betjemen). Looks like a Serious Proper poet in the photos. In real life (and in her poetry) a wry humour and, although her words can be ‘deep’, she quite enjoys a frivolous heckle.

Her event was the finale of the fourth Marlborough Lit Fest last night, as she performed with John A Sampson – a musician who shares that wry humour with a huge streak of silliness. Continue reading

Exciting poetry coming down a slip road – Swindon Festival of Poetry launch

5 Sep

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The great thing about being a chronicler is that on the one hand I can write whatever I like (as long as it isn’t defamatory and all the words are wrote proper) but on the other I feel part of the team.

So going to the Swindon Festival of Poetry launch today at Swindon Arts Centre was a chance to catch up with wordsmithing friends. Continue reading

Swindon Festival of Poetry – Being Human

11 Oct

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Having the same title as one of my favourite TV shows was a big point in favour of Tuesday night’s Swindon Festival of Poetry Finale.

Okay so Being Human didn’t have werewolves, ghosts and vampires in it, but both are about the stuff of life – life stages, its ordinariness, the rubbish things that can happen, the amazing things and how we each deal with all of it.

Taken from the Bloodaxe Books anthology of the same name, Being Human is a dramatisation of thirty-four poems from different writers performed by three fantastic actors, Benedict Hastings, Elinore Middleton and Barrett Robertson. Continue reading