Thursday, 26 May 2011

University of Chester anthology

I was pleased to have two poems published in the University of Chester's 'Still Life' anthology.

I receive my complementary copy from the Sheriff
I attended the launch event last week and was among those who gave a reading. It was great to hear some of the other entries to the University's bi-annual poetry competition and to see new and familiar faces. I had a good chat over a pint with one of the poets and his wife in the Bear and Billet afterwards.

You can find out more about the anthology and the prize-winning poems here.

I didn't win a prize, but hey, one of my entries is mentioned on the blurb on the back-cover and snippets were read at the prize-giving ceremony last year. Next year in Jerusalem eh?

Some of the poets
You can order copies from the University's website but as one of the contributing authors, I can get them at a discount. Let me know if you'd like one.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

It's about time ...

It's about time I started blogging again. The last time was back in March - and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. There was my Gran's funeral, for instance - bless her. She was 96 but it was still a shock.

Since the last time I posted I've taken a half-day creative writing workshop at a theological college - bunging in some material from the Psalms, hymns and bits of liturgy - a GCSE English lesson at a secondary school in Crewe (on the basis that I've met Gillian Clarke several times and heard Seamus Heaney read). I led a four-week Lent Study Group on poetry and spirituality (or 'spiridewealidy' as it'd be pronounced in California).

I also took over as 'mine host' at the bi-monthly Poems & Pints session at The Bear Town Tap in Congleton. We raised over £50 for Animals Asia's Moon Bear Rescue Project.

Now that's an applicable charity for the Tap. For those of you who aren't 'local', Congleton's known as Bear Town on account of its citizenry using money set aside to buy a new Bible to purchase a new bear instead. This was back in the early 17th century and the town bear was used for baiting, of course. The good people of Congleton have been baited with the following rhyme ever since:

Congleton rare, Congleton rare
Sold the town Bible to buy a new bear.

Of course, they didn't actually sell the Bible, but they did us the money set aside for that purpose.

Fittingly, the town has adopted the Moon Bear Rescue project as its charity for this year. Representatives came into Astbury primary school, where my wife's now teaching, and explained all about it. The poor bears are farmed for their bile to provide a completely superfluous ingredient for Chinese traditional medicine. I won't horrify you with the details, but it is truly appalling. Thank goodness someone is doing something about it and freeing the bears to enjoy some kind of quality of life in a special sanctuary.

That's outside of work - on the self-employed side of things I've also done some interim account handling for a design company and completed several market research projects.

But it's time to get back blogging.

I've not been to the Poetry Society's Stoke Stanza at The Leopard in Burslem for a wee while, but I noticed that a newcomer has mentioned it on their blog

It captures the atmosphere pretty well, I thought. I must get there next time.