This month, there’s quite a lot for the poets: there’s news of an exciting poetry collaboration leading to a Radio Devon broadcast; and a new poetry course being run by Literature Works at the Custom House in Exeter. Plus stories for children on YouTube, and the latest news from Exeter Literary Festival.
Band of Bards
A couple of weeks back we brought you news of a new poetry initiative fronted by Grand Bard of Exeter, Kimwei McCarthy. Band of Bards is a monthly workshop taking place online where Kimwei and a guest co-host will run a series of creative writing exercises. Participants have the opportunity to contribute some words towards Kimwei’s BBC Radio Devon spoken word piece, which will be broadcast on Sarah Gosling’s Arts and Culture show later that week.
The first workshop took place on 25th May, was co-hosted by performance poet and CWC member, Jackie Juno, and took as its theme: where we are from. Two of the twelve participants were CWC members Elizabeth Ducie and Ammaprema Grace. “I’m no poet,” Elizabeth said “and the whole thing was way outside my comfort zone. But Kimwei and Jackie took us gently through a series of exercises and everyone in the group was so supportive, I even found the courage to read some of my work out loud.”
After the workshop, participants sent Kimwei their contributions and he wove them together into a beautiful piece called Devon-folk Origins which Sarah Gosling broadcast the following evening. If you fancy having a go at this fascinating collaboration, the next one will be held on Tuesday 22nd June. Fulls details from Kimwei McCarthy.
Quay Words – The Trance of Nature
Literature Works has announced their next short course, to be held at the Custom House on Exeter Quay from Saturday 10th July. On this course spread over five weeks, you will embark on outer and inner journeys, finding fresh ways to write about the places and themes that haunt your imagination. Course tutor, Pascale Petit will bring binoculars, magnifying glasses, animal myths, and field-guides. Using exercises and games, she will show how poems can arrive from reading other poems, looking at the natural world, art, myth or from playing with images and language. At least one session will be outdoor. Bring a passion for nature and a love of poetry. By the end of the course, you will have created a personal menagerie, written during fieldwork, workshops, and with the aid of inspiring wildlife poems. Members of Literature Works are being offered priority booking at the moment. Membership of Literature Works is free.
Maureen Reads A Story
CWC member Maureen Boon has set up her own YouTube channel and will be gradually adding recordings of her children’s stories. You can hear the first part of Bearly Believable by clicking here.
Exeter Literary Festival
The programme for November’s ExeLitFest is due to be published in the next couple of days. You will be able to find the details on the festival website. It’s not completely clear yet what the situation will be like in November; and although the organisers all hope we’re back to normal by then, there’s no guarantee. Members of the ExeLitFest Friends Group will get a priority booking period, which will be very beneficial if places are limited for some of the events.The priority booking for members of the Friends Group will open on Wednesday 1st September; and the ticket office will be open for the general public from Wednesday 15th September.
The festival’s annual short story competition has been growing in popularity and they’re doing it all over again this year. Once again, there will be just one category, for entrants of 16 years and over. The task is to write a short story on any subject or theme, apart from children’s stories. The maximum word count is 750 words; there is no minimum word count. There will be three cash prizes: £200, £100, and £50. The competition is now open and closes at midnight on 31st July 2021. Get all the details here.