Poetry on the Shakespeare Line

You might remember, a little while ago, I posted about an exciting project I was invited to be a part of. ‘Poetry on the Shakespeare Line’ paired a poet with each station from Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon, a train line named after the region’s most famous resident. I was paired with the idyllic, rural stop of Danzey. The resulting poem, titled ‘A Light’, was a joy to work on and create, and is now live for people to enjoy. Audio of me reading the poem can be downloaded on the Overhear app when travelling on the Line, and the text will feature on posters on platforms in the near future.

When I feel comfortable and have reason to travel on the Shakespeare Line once again, I will take some photos of this lovely station, and post about the inspiration behind my poem and process of writing it. But until then, here’s the press release, which explains the outcome and response to this project.

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underGROWTH: Doctrine of Signatures

A wonderful milestone was reached in my residency for the underGROWTH project. The zine I have been creating has been sent to the printers, the proof has been approved, and soon I will be receiving a small print run through the post! I’ve enjoyed every moment as this project has come together: from the research, to painting the illustrations and having conversations, to writing the small number of new poems which will appear in the zine. This last aspect will be focus of today’s blog post.

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underGROWTH: Creating a Zine

I’ve had a busy few weeks, but my project for underGROWTH is coming along apace! In my last post, I wrote about the research process: reading, amongst other things, Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Gathering Moss, and learning to see through ‘moss coloured glasses’. In this post, I’m going to focus on the content creation for the zine: taking photographs, making illustrations, and conducting interviews.

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A Platform for Poetry

I am delighted to share that I am going to be a part of an exciting new poetry project. ‘People’s Poetry on the Shakespeare Line’ is organised by Black Country collective Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists, in partnership with West Midlands Railway. Eighteen poets, including myself, have been commissioned to write poems for each of the stations between Birmingham Moor Street and Stratford-upon-Avon Stations – a route known as the Shakespeare Line.

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underGROWTH: ‘Moss Coloured Glasses’

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I am currently taking part in an eco-art residency with the underGROWTH project in Coventry. Over the next couple of months, I will be exploring the environment through an artistic lens, and creating work inspired by ecology. My portfolio will be focused on those beautiful, intricate organisms I have been so enthralled by recently: mosses and lichens.

My residency will conclude with the production of a final product – a booklet, exploring mosses and lichens through a variety of art forms and perspectives. As the booklet is brought to life, I thought it would be interesting to map my journey here, through a number of blog posts.

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New Role at Mookychick!

I am so delighted to announce that I am now an Assistant Poetry Editor for the online magazine Mookychick! The magazine centres around themes of womanhood and feminism, literature and art, lifestyle, well-being, and magic, and publishes a variety of things from artwork to reviews, articles to tutorials.

Mookychick is run by a wonderful collective of womxn, and I am so happy to be joining the team. While I work on balancing my own writing alongside my work and studies, I really wanted something to help me feel a little more connected to the poetry world, and put my experience of editing to good use. This new role is precisely what I was seeking, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

Throwback: Shakespiration

To those that have read the previous ‘throwback’ posts, and followed me on my journey of recounting my poetry journey – thank you! This will be the final post under this thread, and will bring everything up to the modern day, and where I’m at now. In this final chapter, I’ll be focusing on my life in Stratford-upon-Avon: from reading my poetry on the RSC stage, to studying and working in the hometown of the Bard.

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Throwback: Page to Stage, and Screen

Through these ‘throwback’ posts, I have sought to tell the story of poetry journey, recounting instances beginning with my first ever foray into the form, all the way up to the present day. However, as these posts move into 2018 and 2019, they begin to cover moments that are expressed more thoroughly elsewhere on this site. The full story of Bella can be read on the dedicated page; today’s post will only be short, giving moments of personal insight into my post-publication adventures!

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Throwback: Passing the Spark

As I mentioned in an earlier throwback post, to tie in with my Black Country poems going on exhibition at Dudley Museum, I spoke at a panel discussion about my writing process, the poems, and what interested me as a writer. I was met with such a positive response, that I felt a spark was lit within me for discussing and sharing my passion with others. This set me on a new path within my poetry career: one of teaching writing classes, running workshops, and mentoring poets.

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Throwback: Poet of June

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.

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