City Voices are delighted to be involved on an open day and fundraiser for Bethesda Chapel and Community Centre. The Friends of Bethesda have been tireless in their efforts to raise funds for this historic building, and make it a hub for the community. www.bethesda-stoke.info/
On 8th June 2019 City Voices members will be reading their poetry and prose, with musical interludes from local musician and friend of City Voices, Richard Faulkner. Our programme (starting at 12.30pm) will in great part be a tribute to the late Lily Meigh, a long standing and much-loved member of the group. There will be a special performance of Lily’s poem about the roast potato machine which used to stand in Hanley Market Square. We hope to see not only our current members and performers, but maybe some old friends and Lily’s family too. The tribute will, we hope, encourage the passing public to donate to the Friends of Bethesda fund, of which Lily was also an active member. Bethesda Chapel was dear to Lily’s heart, as she was dear to ours at City Voices.
City Voices’ workshops are my great escape, journeys without a roadmap, setting my creativity free to make connections, never quite knowing where it will lead! … like the ‘colours’ workshop that resulted in an acrostic poem in memory of my Grandmother, ‘Beryl’, or an origami inspired cinquain, ‘Creation’ . Or having fun with what the ugly sisters did after the ‘Happy ever After’! And from a recent workshop a ‘found’ poem, ‘Moving On’, patched together from the opening page of a favourite novel. So if you are reading this and thinking of joining City Voices, I’d say come along and see where the journey takes you!
Author Bev Adams
All Poetry is the copyright of Beverley Adams
Every time I hear
Barcarole, it brings to mind
Overtures of your memory.
No longer here to play,
Your music still resonates in every chord.
bird of paper,
shaped well by gentle hand,
fly free from folded form to soar
If only I had dainty feet,
I’d meet a wealthy fella.
And live a life of luxury
Like my sister, Cinderella.
But wait a sec…Oh what the heck!
I have a cunning plan,
to make a stash of lovely cash -
Who needs a flippin’ man!
A trendy shop, with lots of stock
for girls with great BIG tootsies.
Sequined shoes and kitten heels,
and thigh-high kinky bootsies!
An idiot watches,
eyes wide with febrile excitement
the confetti of Carnival;
spinning, sparkling, fairy-tales.
Dragons heads lolling on narrow necks
ride the tide of greasy scents
and trailing ribbons
to where I stand
beside a brown-eyed dog.
For he and I the world
returns a new, unstoppable lustre.
This is Jason. He’s a performance poet, and works with vulnerable people in Stoke-on-Trent in his role in the probation service. Jason is also a member of City Voices and a former prisoner, and was described at a recent poetry slam as 'the busiest man in poetry' The image is of Jason at the BBC, recording for National Prison Radio, a radio show broadcast throughout prisons within the UK, which airs a show called, 'Outside In.' This is a radio show that brings together people with lived experience of the criminal justice system, to talk about leaving prison – and the highs and lows, opportunities and frustrations associated. It’s produced monthly by BBC volunteers, although it goes out exclusively to people currently in prison. It’s an informal roundtable discussion with 3 guests and 2 presenters. Thursday 16th May sees Jason N Smith share his experience and how poetry has helped. Recording for the show will take place at BBC Broadcasting House London.
Jason has published a book of poetry, and is involved in numerous events across the UK. City Voices will be blogging more about Jason N Smith soon, if we can keep up with him!
City Voices are delighted to announce that this year’s annual poetry competition has been judged by the former Poet Laureate of Staffordshire Bert Flitcroft, who will announce the winners at our meeting on 6th July 2019.
This year will be different, as nobody, including committee members have any idea who the winners are until the big day. We are thrilled that Bert has agreed to judge the competition, and announce the winners who will receive cash prizes. In addition he will be leading a Poetry Masterclass after ALL the poets who entered the competition have had the opportunity to read their entries to the rest of the group. (This is not compulsory) The Masterclass will consist, for those who wish to take part, in a critique and analysis of all the poems. Bert will lead this, but would like all poets to join in discussing the poems and their content with a view to highlighting the parts and structures that really work, and also what can be improved or edited. I know it will be a really positive experience for those who wish to improve their poetry.
City Voices always welcome newcomers to the group – we are friendly and inclusive – so if you are a poet or writer of any genre you may find it interesting to drop into the group on 6th July and meet the gang, or come along to any of our fortnightly meetings. We have spaces available for new members and lots of exciting plans for the year. Don’t forget to bring some of your work along if you wish. We can be found on Facebook ‘City Voices Creative Writers Group’, or our website WWW.CITYVOICESSTOKE.ORG.UK There is also information at City Central Library in Hanley.