July has almost flown and August looms with the hope of some dedicated writing time. It’s been a very busy and exciting period with projects in schools and setting up the new Best Words project, which is coming together very well – details to follow. I’ve had some lovely gigs and the book is starting to land out there in the world. It will be available from Amazon shortly and full details will be posted. Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy and for your feedback.
My fabulous summer hat.
If you would like a copy of Poems from the Swamp, simply order direct from me and I’ll send out to you. They’re £7.50 and you can pay by PayPal.
Lots of info coming very soon about new work and projects. Enjoy the sunshine, and wear a nice hat.
Email email@example.com to order Poems from the Swamp (£7.50 inc. p&p)
Over the past 18 months I’ve been working on a new collection of poems and I am delighted to announce that Poems from the Swamp is now available to pre-order for just £7.50. Orders received before midnight on June 30th will include an additional free signed copy as a thank you and in the hope that those purchasing will give the second book away to a friend or loved one.
Working with a Framing Device
This collection is unusual in that it has an experimental framing device. The poems belong to a fictional world in which a cast of characters find their way through their own swamps. Some of these characters are poets and in this collection, the poems have been assigned to them. To know more, buy the book and enter the world.
The Nature of Swamps
The word swamp can be seen as pejorative. Indeed, my swamp can be a dark and often unloving and unforgiving place. However, the swamp is also a place of genesis and renewal; it is the place where unconscious impulses exert their great influence. My swamp is geographical and psychological, emotional and material.
These poems take me deeper into the themes and ideas that fascinate me the most; myth, psychology, the esoteric, liminality, worlds within worlds. However, the Zeitgeist is also present and the dark forces of the real world are explored: mobbing, violence and terror.
Buy the Book
You can pre-order Poems from the Swamp from me via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and pay via PayPal. Or leave a request here on the blog.
For the forgotten people of the swamp
For those forced to wear the scarlet ribbon
I am delighted to announce that thanks to a substantial grant from Arts Council England, La Luna will be offering an extensive programme of events from the autumn of 2018 and into 2019. The Best Words programme will be announced in full shortly but here is a taster of what’s on offer.
The Poetry Cafe
Our poetry cafe will continue to take place at Riverhead Coffee, Victoria Street. Dates and times are subject to confirmation but we will continue to run the events on Thursday afternoons. We will be offering workshops and performances from special guests, all of which will be announced over the coming weeks.
Helen Mort at the Poetry Cafe
Guests at the Poetry Cafe
Poetry at Riverhead Coffee
Following the success of our Young Voices project in 2017 we are delighted that we will be offering up to ten young writers aged 18-25 a chance to work with editors, writers and personal productivity specialists to develop their writing for a publication in 2019. They will also be given performance opportunities. We will be inviting potential candidates to apply in July and a small bursary will be available for successful applicants.
Front cover of the Young Voices 2017 publication In Case of An Emergency. Available from Amazon.
Great Grimsby Community Choir
We are particularly thrilled that funding is available to write and perform new music with the Great Grimsby Community Choir. Professional musicians, writers and arrangers will work with the choir to produce two new suites of music, one to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One and another for Christmas. Concerts with special guests are currently being planned for the autumn and winter. There will also be a CD available in time for Christmas!
Poetry Thursdays at The Albert Room
In addition to this exciting programme of events La Luna is delighted to be working in partnership with Lincs Inspire to bring a year-long programme of poetry to The Albert Room in Cleethorpes Library. We are currently planning workshops and performances with writers from the local and national scenes and will announce the full programme soon. This programme will launch on National Poetry Day, October 4th.
Full details of all our events will be published shortly and updates will appear on the website as events are confirmed.
Thanks to everyone who continues to support La Luna activities.
May is my favourite month of the year. Lengthening days, blossom and the trees exploding into full life make me feel peaceful. The Ash Tree in the garden has burst into life. I was keeping an eye on it, wanting to see the exact moment it got its leaves. But of course I missed that.
May began with a fabulous gig over in Hull with the Women of Words Collective at Kardomah 94. I was delighted to be their May out of town guest and enjoyed performing enormously. I also enjoyed the rich variety of performances from the other women writers there too. The event provides a welcoming and supportive space for women writers to meet, read and listen and to really appreciate each other. I loved Michelle Dee’s Blue Dress especially. A brave and touching piece that has stayed with me since the event.
Poetry continued to be at the fore as May flowered with a lovely Poetry Cafe meeting at Riverhead Coffee on Thursday afternoon where writers gathered to read, talk and listen to each others’ wonderful words. The cafe is a small, perfectly formed thing of beauty and I could not be more delighted with how it has developed over the past year.
The celebration of words continued into the weekend with Poetry and Poppadoms at St Mark’s church, the first of what I hope will be a series of events in partnership with Ruchita Green of Masala Masters. Divine food and best words from our guest poets who all excelled. Special mention for Eve Darwood, an exceptional poet who had never read her work aloud before and Alex Murphy who similarly was a novice to reading her work for an audience. Two very different takes on the world but both wonderful. However, it was Ruchita who made me cry when she read a piece celebrating her beloved grandmother who lives in India and at seventy-five sounds as if she is the very heart of her family.
This week the workaday world has taken over somewhat with a mixture of schools work, bid writing, event and publication planning but May still has many treats in store. On Thursday 17th La Luna celebrates the launch of Calling to the Moon, Maria Garner and Vivienne May’s beautiful collection of moon poetry accompanied by stunning art work and photographs. The book will be released on Amazon a few days after the launch so look out for notice of that. The event is at St James’ Hotel, Grimsby at 6.00 pm. There will be music and readings from both authors.
I am also very pleased that on May 19th I’ll be working with Jo Townell and Nic Reed at The Great Big Sing, a sparkling fizz-ball of a singing workshop we’ve put together to encourage singers to come along and have a go – particularly if you haven’t sung before or think you can’t. This event is at Signhills School in Cleethorpes, registration at 9.30, workshop starts at 10.00. £10 including refreshments and resources. You can book by leaving a message on the site or on the GGCC Facebook page or on any of my pages.
I hope your May is blooming and full of light.
Calling to the Moon, Maria Garner and Vivienne May
Exhibition at Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre
28 Plough Hill, Caistor, Lincolnshire, LN7 6LZ
Open now until May 2nd
Monday – Saturday, 09.00 – 16.00
Sunday and Bank Holidays, 10.00 – 16.00
Maria and Vivienne have worked together to produce an exhibition that is sublimely beautiful, esoteric and involving. Words and images hang together on the walls of a well laid out and well lit space and draw the viewer into the mystical world of lunar magic and imagery that the two artists have co-created.
Both artists have contributed words and images and although both have unique voices and styles together they create a cogent whole. Works speak to and complement each other.
The exhibition is part of a programme of work that Maria and Vivienne have created in what has proved to be an extraordinary partnership. This is the second exhibition of the work to have been staged and in May, La Luna publishes the book that has arisen from the collaboration. The book features art work and poetry from both artists and will be launched at a special event on May 17th at the St James’ Hotel, Grimsby.
Calling to The Moon is now available to pre-order. The book is £10 plus £2.50 p&p and can be ordered from this site by leaving a comment or message.
Calling to the Moon is supported by funding from Arts Council England.
Saturday 19th May
Signhills School, Hardy’s Road, Cleethorpes
10.00 – 1.00 workshop
£10 per person inc resources and refreshments. open to anyone aged over 16.
May is shaping up to be a busy month for La Luna and I’m very pleased to be co-running this workshop with Nic Reed and Jo Townell. If you’ve sung with us in GGCC then you know that I believe everyone has a voice and everyone can sing; perhaps not like Mariah Carey but probably like yourself, and that’s enough. With practice and good technique every voice can develop. This workshop is designed to inspire confidence in your own voice by singing material that is fun, accessible and with enough of a challenge to it that you will feel progress.
Singing together is proven to improve mood and a sense of well-being and in this inclusive, friendly workshop we aim to ensure everyone leaves smiling and uplifted.
If you would like a place, then please do book in advance. You can book here by leaving a comment and I’ll get back to you to confirm. We’ll look forward to singing with you.
Death, when it comes is shocking. We know that we will die, but we don’t know it at a deep level and so the fact of death can leave us reeling. Sudden and unexpected death is always harrowing. There is little comfort that can be given, few words that we can say that truly express the depth of feeling that accompanies death. Perhaps the best we can do is simply be there, be present in the face of death, acknowledge it and then stand with the living in honour of the lost one and those that loved them.
At the heart of all life is the certainty of death. Being human is to die. In the meantime. let’s live gently and well.
La Luna and Masala Masters are thrilled to be working together to bring what we hope will be the first of a series of events combining food and poetry.
Our first event is at St Mark’s Church, Laceby Road Grimsby on Saturday 5th May between 6.00 – 9.00 pm. Tickets are £10 per person and can be booked by emailing email@example.com. The ticket price included hot and soft drinks but if you want to accompany your meal with some wine or a beer, please do bring your own.
The evening will feature a delicious home cooked buffet featuring signature dishes from Masala Masters. Vegans and those with food allergies and intolerance will be well catered for.
What will make this a special event will be readings from poets and writers peppered throughout the evening.
Any writers who wish to book a slot should contact Josie Moon as slots will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
We look forward to this event and to a delicious partnership.
The spring equinox, the move to BST and the imminence of Easter have all made me feel that spring is finally springing, in spite of the insane and unpredictable weather. I have daffodils in the garden and I am sure if I were to give it a little time and tlc I’d unearth more hidden floral treasures. Unfortunately, gardening has become something of a low priority of late even though in the back of my mind its memory reminds me of how wonderful and therapeutic it is as a daily practice.
Camellias at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, March 2018.
Walking in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park yesterday, spring was making her presence felt everywhere, particularly in the warm current of air and the blue of the afternoon sky. Cooler air came off the water but it was fresh and welcome. The peace, beauty and delight of the place was a wonderful treat. It’s been a harsh winter, characterised by cold, illness and and a prevailing bleakness that has been interior as well as external. It felt yesterday as if that was lifting and I felt grateful for the shift.
On Saturday evening, we went to Lincoln Cathedral to hear Bach’s St Matthew Passion. While much of the music was compelling and many of the solos gripping and beautiful, the overall experience was disappointing. The music was muddy, as if lost in the vastness of the cathedral. As awe inspiring and marvellous as the cathedral is, it is cold and I am very tired of being cold.
On balance the cathedral of trees, sky and water, adorned with some truly sublime sculptural art proved more of a soulful and enriching experience yesterday. Walking with my best human, feeling nature wake up all around me was a sensory banquet. There are still shadows to conquer and dark corners which desperately need light. But the light is coming, little be little, day by day. And it is welcome indeed.
Tree and shadows
The shadows beneath