We catch up with some of our #12NOW writers to find out what’s been happening with them this month and what’s in store.
“The good news is that I have some time off work and am applying myself to getting some writing done. I’ve had a poem ‘The Dog and The Woman’ accepted for this year’s Community Arts Partnership / LaVA Poetry in Motion publication. In terms of other activities, I’m going to Conor Maguire’s Monologue class at the Crescent to improve my stage skills, and later this month, I will be heading to the writer’s space in Downhill Beach House.”
“I was glad to make it to the first Purely Poetry open mic of 2017. It always helps to chat with other poets and realise I’m not a complete freak for needing to tinker with words. My reading was recorded, and that of fellow 12NOW poets Matthew Rice and Tory Campbell. This was a novel experience! I await my recording contract.
“I’m also pleased to have poems accepted for the forthcoming CAP Anthology, and was grateful for the instructive CAP workshop hosted by Paul Maddern. And I’ve had three poems in Reuben Wooley’s ezine The Curly Mind.”
“I have a short story being published in The Ghastling – a journal based in Cardiff. It should be published this month. Other than that, I’m doing some readings in this year’s Women Aloud NI events (though details of these won’t be properly released until February), while I have news about my book over on my blog as usual. I’ve confirmed my first school visit to chat about Magical Masquerade – in February – so that will be my first public reading of it(!).”
“I was truly flattered to be asked to appear on this upcoming edition of The Arts Show on the BBC. The experience of recording was by turns exciting, nervy and surreal – it was fascinating to see the workings of how a television programme is put together, and at times I got lost in the buzz of that… then I would realise, “Oh, hold on a second… I’m here to read a poem on camera! What’s my first line again? What if I fluff it? What if I rush the lines? What if the audience stare, aghast and agog, and think, ‘Who is this joker?’? What if I fall off my stool and knock over that shelf of lovely bespoke ceramics? Aaargh.
“Mercifully, none of these things happened. I have to say that all of the production team were fantastic. They made all of the artists, each of whom were brilliant, feel welcome and at ease, and the recording ran smoothly. I won’t say too much about the show itself but it has a fun, positive and celebratory atmosphere. It was a delight to be involved.”
“Under a generous full moon – and with thanks to Down Arts Centre for a fabulous working space – this past few days have been, in a gentle, deep breathing kind of way, frankly amazing. I am trying to collect myself to go to the next phase of ‘Knowing the Dance’ my ACES project. It has been so wonderful to have had the chance to work with Sarah Warsop and to understand how her practice can work in the world of poetry; and with Paula Guzzanti – dancer / choreographer / researcher / poet / tai chi teacher extraordinaire. I’m also working on collaborative aspects. Sarah will be back to do an open session around September (date tbc) at the same time as our ‘Knowing the Dance’ performance launch, all happening at Down Arts Centre.”
Olive will also be reading along with her Words for Castle Ward group at ‘How Can Life Can Go?‘, a poetry and drama event for Holocaust Memorial Day. The event takes place on Saturday 28th January, 3.30pm at the Down Country Museum. The next ‘Words for Castle Ward’ group with be meeting on Saturday 11th February, which will be a session for new writing.
I’ll be reviewing poets Mike Garry, Lemn Sissay and a musical interpretation of ‘Death of a Naturalist’, all at The Black Box, for The Monthly. I also had a poem in The Stony Thursday Book, which was released this month by the Limerick Arts Office, and was interviewed for Poems In Profile, which included my poem ‘Lost’.