Tah Dah! At last the Blog for 'Scribbling Voices' joint literary event!
Wednesday 23rd October 2019 marked another ‘first’ for City Voices Creative Writers Group. A joint literary event! CV joined with Stone Scribblers Writers Group, who meet in Stone Library on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Your editor is an active member of the group, which was founded by Lisa Culligan. The group has grown amazingly well in a relatively short time and this must be down to Lisa’s enthusiasm and let’s face it charm! In 2015 Lisa began her BA in Creative Writing with Open University. She loved the writing process but felt isolated. She volunteered with Staffordshire Libraries and in April 2018 Stone Scribblers was born. Lisa is thrilled and amazed at the level of talent the group attracts, particularly the mix of the young and not so young that support the group.
The joint event was hosted by published writer and Flash Fiction fanatic Debbi Voisey, the City Voices Chair. Debbi took the Chair in January 2018 after the resignation of Alan Barnett who left after 11 years at the helm. Debbi works so hard, has done a great job, is always full of new ideas for the group and runs Fiction workshops on the afternoons that CV are not meeting. The Rock of City Voices. Since 2018 then the Committee has had several changes, and now consists of five members, whom Debbi introduced at the event as The Spice Girls! Debbi was Baby Spice in tribute to her soft, white-blonde hair, I was Ginger (for obvious reasons), Bev was Posh (she is a bit!), Adam was Scary Spice (you should read his stories) and Heath was Sporty Spice, so he has a lot to live up to in the next London Marathon.
Both groups cover a wide range of writing genres. Fiction in the form of novels, short stories, history and children's stories; Flash Fiction (very short stories), poetry and memoirs. Poetry and Flash Fiction were popular with performers due to time constraints, there were books for sale, free wine and nibbles and even time for a short open mic session.
The event was a great success and everyone enjoyed the night. Thanks to all who read their work, all who came along simply to enjoy the writers and performers, the open mic volunteers and once again to Hanley Library for their support, publicity and providing such a great space for us.
City Voices Creative Writers Group and Stone Scribblers have become creative cohorts to bring a Joint Literary Festival to City Central Library in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The event takes place at 6.30pm – 8.30pm on Wednesday 23rd October 2019 in the JRR Tolkien Suite.
City Voices were founded in 2006 by Paul Williamson, who will be reading on the night. CV are a friendly community group of all ages, backgrounds and writing experience. Stone Scribblers were founded in April 2018 by Lisa Culligan, now has over 20 talented members and the group is flourishing.
The groups’ members include published authors, poets and writers and some very talented people who write just for fun. A total of 18 readers will read their own poetry, flash fiction or maybe an excerpt from their novel.
There should be an open mic opportunity at the end so please bring a short (2 minute) poem or micro story.
There are books for sale, free wine and nibbles plus tea, coffee and soft drinks. Best of all entry is FREE!
Come along for an eclectic night of readings, chat, and meet the writers. Book your free ticket via City Central Library, Bethesda St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3RS. Call in or phone 01782 238455
We look forward to meeting you!
A fantastic free event and great opportunity to hear passionate performance poems and readings. Always a brilliant way to spend part of your Saturday - listen and be entertained and inspired, and support your local library.
Today, 31st August, City Voices went into the community as they so often have before. Many thanks to Hanley Indoor Market in the Potteries Shopping Centre for providing us with a great space to perform in, chairs, a table and a PA kit and mic. Special thanks to Steve Parkin the Market Manager. It was great that so many CV members turned out to promote the group and our writing. We stuck to poetry today but there are many writing genres within the group. We had some interest from the market shoppers, and we are discussing a similar day at another public venue. Thank you all who turned out today, to read or to support.
WELL DONE CITY VOICES STOKE – THE CREATIVE WRITERS AT THE HEART OF THE POTTERIES
City Voices are at Hanley Indoor Market on 31st August 2019 between 11.30am - 2.30pm, as part of the market’s Fun Day. There will be poems and stories about the Potteries and Staffordshire and other subjects to reflect the past and present, and the changing landscape of the county. There will be books for sale, maybe a bit of silliness and dressing up too! Plus a chance to hear about City Voices Creative Writers Group and what we do – we write of course, but there is so much more to us; a sense of community and friendship, our fab writing workshops with guest writers, poets and speakers, and our literary events with City Central Library in Hanley. City Voices are the friendly and inclusive group in the Heart of the Potteries.
I am thrilled to announce that Staffordshire Poet Laureate Emily-Rose Galvin will be at City Voices on Saturday 17th August. Emily will be reading a selection of her poetry and also running a poetry workshop for us. Emily is soon coming to end of her tenure as Laureate - she has been a wonderful and hard-working representative of our county.
A bit about Emily - Emily Rose, current and first female Staffordshire Poet Laureate, has been writing for both page and performance since joining a local poetry group in Lichfield in 2014. With a raw and emotive style, Emily is known to focus on intimate experience to create raw and passionate writing from the heart of human emotion, frequently tackling resonant subjects such as mental health, personal growth and the complications of human relationships.
As well as running workshops and poetry classes within schools and poetry groups (including the Stoke Poet's Corner project within Stoke Sixth Form College), Emily performs regularly across the county and the UK, from local Spoken Word evenings and festivals to supporting best-selling Canadian poet Sabrina Benaim in Nottingham in 2017 and guest features on BBC Radio Stoke, Derby and West Midlands. Her debut poetry book 'Anna' was released by Fishbowl Publishing in 2017 - an independent group set up to promote the work of unknown and upcoming poets, of which Emily is co-founder and editor.
In the last year, Emily has co-organised the successful WordCraft poetry evenings at BottleCraft in Hanley, and has had the honour of curating poetry showcases for Lichfield's Fuse Festival in both 2018 and 2019. Most recently, she has formed music and poetry collaboration project Rose&Cloud, who, on the back of successful performances in Newcastle, Leek, and Stockport, have just released their first EP 'It's Only Thursday'.
A silent-screen ocean,
sand gritty as grave-yard gravel.
A bitter monochrome day to wait,
to watch aimless black-backed gulls
sweeping the upper air.
Moon dust dunes wax and wane,
shape-shifting the scoured landscape
where marram grass, colour-leached
and sharp as glass,
flows like beds of eels across the blown-out beach
reaching out to where the salt steel sea
closes in on treacherous sands.
I sight a riderless horse, still and pale,
below a sky
wide and white as an empty sail.
This poem has undergone many edits, several title changes and indeed this is an edited version of the entry, after advice from the esteemed Bert Flitcroft.
Commendations were 'Dandelion' by Andy Wooton and 'Amy' by Heath Ackley.
City Voices Creative Writers will be announcing the winners of the second annual Poetry Competition, at the meeting 6th July. All welcome to come along and listen and meet our judge… who this year is Bert Flitcroft, Staffordshire Poet Laureate 2015-17. For a number of years, Bert ran week-long residential poetry-writing courses for sixth-formers in Staffordshire, working alongside guest poets in residence such as Carol Ann Duffy, Adrian Henry, Linda France and others. Over the years, Bert has been Poet in Residence at The Southwell Poetry Festival, The Wedgwood Museum, and The Brampton Museum. He has performed at a number of national Festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe (twice!) Bert is essentially at home in any place where people are interested in poetry. He has two published collections of poems ‘Thought Apples’ and ‘Singing Puccini at the Kitchen Sink’ available from Offas Press offaspress.co.uk/shop/ or the contacts page on Bert’s website. www.bert-flitcroft-poetry.com/contact.htm
What they say about Bert –
‘Bert is a joy to listen to. His sonnet to a bacon sandwich is a wry, insightful comment on the dynamics of a relationship. Like all Bert’s work, it’s delivered with a twinkle in his eye. A master of his craft’ Steve Pottinger : Writeoutloud
‘Bert Flitcroft is an honest, genuine writer - his poems are accessible without being simplistic, honed and well crafted without being clever, eschewing obscurity in favour of direct and clear human speech which has the ring of true poetry, much in the manner of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost.’ David Calcutt - poet and novelist
In 2017, working with Staffs County Council, Bert curated The Staffordshire Poetry Collection which is now available on-line at Poetry Collectionstaffordshirepoetlaureate.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/the-staffordshire-poetry-collection/
Needless to say City Voices are thrilled to have Bert as our competition judge and he will announce the winner and the two commended places. I cannot thank him enough for stepping in so graciously at the 11th hour and I felt very cheeky for asking him! After the read-around of poems Bert will lead an inter-active critique for those who wish to join in -
The meetings will be at the usual venue at City Central Library Hanley, in room 1 (J R R Tolkien suite) 11.40 - 13.40
Image courtesy of Dawn Jutton
City Voices Creative Writers welcome new member Roy Jones. We are delighted to have fiction writer Roy with us, and having heard an extract of Roy's book 'A New Me' it sounds like it's well worth a read, and has a very contemporary theme. Available in paperback www.amazon.co.uk/New-Me-Edwin-Roy-Jones/dp/1912457172
We hope that Roy is enjoying our friendly group!
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.