A rundown of what’s been happening in the past month with some of our 12NOW showcased writers.
“I am currently contact local mental health charities (which I’ve attended in the past), or other day centres, about reading poems (e.g. about mental illness) and getting a discussion going (on a voluntary basis). I’m turning 60 in December, and feel I could make something of this late poetic revival.”
Olive was one of 17 artists to receive an Arts Council NI ACES award for her forthcoming project ‘Knowing the Dance’, an exploration of the meeting place between poetry and dance/movement, announced earlier this month
“I am bringing a major contract to its 5 year conclusion with onward discussions, so it is all super, super busy. Another 2 or 3 weeks and I’ll be able to do something with my poetic and other scribblings. This month, I made it to the Crescent for the Poetry NI Open Mic, have a poem in my head about hats, and will go to the masterclass for the upcoming Community Arts Partnership submission call.”
“I’ve just started working on a short novel that will probably take a long time. I can’t say much about it at the moment other than it’s about dead people and caravans, and it’s already pretty strange.”
Paula will be directing this year’s Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Five core arts events in May 2017 will challenge stigma and make connections between a diverse range people. The festival aims to challenge stigma and mental health inequalities, and upport recovery and wellbeing and reduce self-stigma through participation in the creative process by those who have experienced mental health issues.
“I’m flying to Glasgow on the 25th of this month to do a reading alongside Scottish poets Magi Gibson, Ross Wilson and Stephen Watt, at The Hidden Lane Gallery, hosted by the stand-up and fantastic comic novelist Ian Macpherson. I’ve a poem in the new ‘Mercury Red‘ issue of Abridged, and poems in the upcoming December 2016 issue of The Asheville Poetry Review (North Carolina). I have also penned an article on Seamus Heaney HomePlace for The Monthly, part of the relaunched Community Arts Partnership website.
Other than this, I’ve been offered a free weekend stay in a luxury refurbished cottage, that originates from the 1870s, on the North Coast on the first weekend in December, in exchange for a poem about the cottage and the area…! What a wonderfully strange ride the poetry journey is!”
Claire has an update about the progress of her children’s book up on her blog: “In the days leading up to the reveal of my first-draft book cover, I’ll admit, I was starting to worry a little about what would happen if I didn’t like what was proffered. Of course, I’d just feed that back to the designer and get him to come up with something else, but if he didn’t quite ‘get’ what I wanted from the start, then it had the potential to be a tricky sort of a business…” Find out more at clairesavagewriting.wordpress.com
Ross was part of The Squat Pen‘s ‘CS Lewis and the Imagination’ event at Eastside Arts’ CS Lewis Festival. Ross chose Robert Frost’s ‘After Apple Picking‘ for their Desert Island Poems feature.