I am a firm believer that opportunity begets opportunity: if you seize the things that come your way, more exciting ventures will follow. Early in my poetry journey, I applied to a project that was passed along by the university, organised by the Birmingham-based arts charity Leaveners. They were curating a ‘Poets’ Corner’: a showcase of poets, all sharing small portfolios of their work. I was elected to be their Poet of June, 2015.Continue reading “Throwback: Poet of June”
FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.
When I stumbled across a copy of Charlotte Artese’s book while Christmas shopping in Bath, I was compelled to buy it as a gift to myself. In the title alone, my two favourite topics for research were brought together: Shakespeare and the Folktale.
I had, somewhat on the margins on my mind over the winter break, wondered what I should choose for my MA dissertation topic. I knew I wanted to build upon my undergraduate dissertation in some way; however, I was registered on the wrong course to write my dissertation as poetry. What Artese’s book showed me was that I could combine a study of Shakespeare with the themes I like to explore in my poetry: namely folklore.
As I mentioned in my last ‘throwback’ post, it was during my first university assignment, centred around ‘generations’, that I first began writing creatively about the Black Country. I had a fascination for the history and heritage of it all ‒ the factories, the workshops, the pits ‒ and the culture that has outlived it. Of course, I wasn’t alive during when the industry was at its peak, but I was nonetheless intrigued by the resonances it continues to have through dialect, art, and story.Continue reading “Throwback: Black Country Wench”
The third and final of my new threads is something I am calling ‘Folkdays’. A portmanteau of the words ‘Folklore Fridays’, these posts will explore a little element of folk culture: folktales, lore, or anything I find that fits in with my current research.
As well as researching folklore for my own poetry, I am also currently writing an MA thesis on the subject of Shakespeare and the folktale. ‘Folkdays’ posts will be anything I feel would be interesting to share, from either side of my research. If you’re interested in this topic, all ‘Folkdays’ posts (and other bits and pieces not worthy of a full post) will be archived on my ‘blog’ page.
As the name suggests, these posts will appear on Fridays, though not every week!
What better place to begin this thread of throwbacks than right at the beginning of my poetry journey? This post will look back to my time at the University of Birmingham, where I composed my first ever poem (and later, my first manuscript), on the English with Creative Writing course.Continue reading “Throwback: Back to School”
Though times are uncertain and events have been cancelled, I find myself with more time on my hands than usual. I want to dedicate some of this time to working on this website, to write more about what’s going on in my world poetry-wise, and to take you a little further into my creative practice.
I will be starting a few new ‘threads’, and one of these will be ‘throwbacks’: little glimpses back along my poetry journey thus far. This will hopefully fill out my story from what is currently on my website (which covers the publication of Bella onwards), and give me a chance to reflect on how far I’ve come, and where I might go next.
Throwbacks will be published every Thursday, starting this Thursday, at least for the next couple of months. The other threads will be announced soon!
From the 20th to the 23rd February, Verve Poetry and Spoken Word Festival returned for its fourth year, at its new venue of the Birmingham Hippodrome. Since its inaugural year back in 2017, Verve has gone from strength to strength, outgrowing its first home at Waterstones, while continuing to host an engaging programme of talks, workshops and performances.Continue reading “Goodbye Verve”
Back in February, I had my last shift as a guide in Shakespeare’s Birthplace. I’d been in this position for over a year, and while it was a wonderful experience that taught me so much, I felt it was time to move onto something new. It was time to hang up the Tudor dress, and move into a role that would become the start of a career in creative programming and event coordination.Continue reading “Onto Something New…”
On Sunday 24 November, I travelled to Shrewsbury to read at the Literature Festival, where Offa’s Press were the showcased indie press. I read alongside two of my Offa’s stablemates: Kuli Kohli and Emma Purshouse.Continue reading “Shrewsbury Literature Festival”
I am really pleased to have two poems included in the most recent anthology from Offa’s Press: The Poetry of Worcestershire. One is a poem from my pamphlet, Bella, also published by Offa’s, and the other is a previously unpublished piece.Continue reading “The Poetry of Worcestershire”