At our meeting on 25th June, City Voices were delighted to welcome Staffordshire’s Young Poet Laureate.
Matilda, the county's youngest ever Young Poet Laureate, is just 14-years-old and is studying for her GCSEs at Endon High School. She has been writing poetry and stories for as long as she can remember, and delighted the group with her mixture of poetry and chat. Matilda’s poetry has a maturity that defies her youth, and she engaged the group both young and old, and all in between, answering a variety of questions about her work and her role. Matilda says that one of her favourite poets is Sylvia Plath, who was of course married to one-time Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. One of our members noticed that some of the cadences in Matilda’s poetry were reminiscent of Ted! Thanks to Matilda (and her family) for taking time to be our guest speaker. We all wish Matilda the very best whatever she decides to do in the future, but for sure it will involve writing in some form.
Debbi Voisey (right) and I (that's me! ) were both chosen to read our six minute piece of fiction at the 6 x 6 Reading Cafe. Debbi, the winner of this year's Sentinel "Too Write" short story competition with "The Dark Green Gate", read "Butter" a heart-warming short story. I took a deep breath and read "Finding Frank" which may one day be part of the opening sequence to a dark novella. The event was well attended, and as an added bonus, I sold a copy of my book of poetry, "The last Pictish man" As ever thanks must go to Hanley Library. The next 6 x 6 will be in September and I am going for the hat-trick!
Our newly-elected member of the Committee and Vice Chair Debbi Voisey has had publishing and award success which she heard about whilst she was away on holiday in Croatia. Debbi has won first prize in The Sentinel's "Too Write" short story competition, which is supported by the Stoke Literary Festival. Her story "The Dark Green Gate" is one of revenge best eaten.......sorry, no spoliers! Debbi's parents collected her prize at the festival as the author was still sitting in the sun and sipping Prosecco. Debbi has also had a Flash Fiction piece accepted for the National Flash Fiction Day 2016 anthology “A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed” Debbi’s story is called “Cippers” and was chosen as one of fifty stories out of 500 entries. A big WELL DONE! to Debbi.
Today I found out about a podcast "Scribble Radio" thanks to City Voices member Jason Nicholas Smith who is a regular contributor to the programme "that brings to life the world of #Poetry and #Creative #Writing." 365 Scribble. Believe it or not this is a daily show! I listened to this on line and loved Jason' s poem "Mental Health" The guys hosting the show rightly said that Jason is far too modest about his talent. For anyone interested, here are the links. If you are a poet or writer drop them a line and leave your work on their FB page at www.facebook.com/365scribble.Or on the submission page
On Google plus
Poets Dream- Post here with their collaboration partner
Scribble Radio Poetry Submission community.
On Sound Cloud
This programme is available as download from AudioBoom, Soundcloud and iTunes Podcast.
Scribble say "Get involved and share your work with the world, it is your platform so please submit work and get involved."
There has been a good deal in the media recently about old and young people coming together to help and support each other. For instance “The Hairy Bikers go Old School on BBC2” as part of the BBC's Do Something Great Campaign. (The Bikers take on the challenge of bringing together pensioners and troubled teens.) Never to be out-done, on 26th May our Chair Alan Barnett and Secretary Anita Oxford joined the New Victoria theatre for an intergenerational event organised by Beanstalk and Burslem Bookroom, which clearly demonstrated that the building is not just a theatre, and this became more evident as the afternoon progressed. The day was led by Jill Rezzano, who is the Head of Education at the theatre. Also present were the group “Ages and Stages” an older persons group who are involved in all kinds of theatre related activities. That day was an intergenerational theatre workshop, where the pupils from St. Peter's Academy Cobridge acted out scenes with the Ages and Stages group. Anita also got involved (see pics) All in all a great example of how a great age span need not be a problem, as the two groups worked well together and everyone really enjoyed the day. Alan and Anita also enjoyed a backstage tour which included the props store, scenery building workshop and the costume department. City Voices love to be represented on this type of occasion, and there will be more of this in the future and opportunities for other members of CV to join in.
Pictures L to R
Anita standing by while Jill Rezzano explains all to the children
Anita doing goodness knows what with some of the groups
The pupils with the Ages and Stages group
Anita with Jill Rezzano (left) and Emily Adams from Burslem Bookroom