Like the autumn, the winter arrived more or less overnight. We felt it blow in off the North Sea and felt the chill settle on us. The autumn light has been very beautiful and our winter sky here on the east coast never fails to lift the spirit, even as darkness intensifies.
A highlight of the winter so far was the jazz and poetry gig with Dave Green and Pat McCarthy, just a couple of short weeks ago – time really has flown. Pat and I are doing a lot of work on our set and it’s coming together with great fluency and playing well with audiences.
The Concert for Commemoration was a night to remember as well, with the choir really giving their all and with beautiful accompaniment from all of the musicians. It was a special night, long to be remembered.
It has once again been a time of change, with much of the past now settled and in its place and the future looking exciting and full of challenges. With Pat and the La Luna team we are preparing for a busy spring in NE Lincs schools. Most exciting though is the forthcoming jazz and poetry Requiem, a collaboration between me, Pat and Alan Barnes with the support of Arts Council England and overseen by Gill Wilde. There will be more to report on that shortly.
It’s been a tense time but the ships have all come safely into port and I am immensely grateful for all the kindness and support I have received and for the affirmation of my work, which continues to be a source of joy to me.
Earlier this summer, La Luna secured a substantial Arts Council grant for the provision of a number of poetry and music projects for North East Lincolnshire. The Poetry Cafe is up and running under the leadership of poet and teacher Carolyn Doyley and the Emerging Voices project is now well underway with young writers engaged in a year-long project. Look out for their first event in December.
One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of the project was the commissioning of brand new music for the Great Grimsby Community Choir. The choir is constantly evolving and developing. It has great creative energy and enthusiasm and it was the choir’s willingness to try new things and be challenged that resulted in this project being possible.
The new music, which has been co-written with Pat McCarthy, Joanne Townell and myself is in rehearsal and will be performed at Grimsby Minster on November 17th. The music commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War and we hope it is a moving tribute to everyone who lost their lives in that terrible conflict.
Tickets for the concert are £8 full price, £6 students and unwaged. Accompanied children under 16 are welcome to attend free. Refreshments are available at the interval. Tickets can be purchased directly from me via email to email@example.com or from Cleethorpes Tourist Information office or the Grimsby Minster Coffee Shop. Doors open at 7.00 pm for a 7.30 start.
It’s the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and that point in the year of transition to the increasing dark. This morning the air was grey and thick and I felt strangely sad. I am currently waiting on decisions and changes that will shape the coming year and am experiencing a weird suspended animation that I hope resolves as autumn unfolds in all its golden glory.
The great joy of this summer has been the garden and my re-engagement with growing. For two years I found it impossible to find any pleasure in gardening and I did wonder if it was something consigned to the pot of losses. How glad am I that I was wrong and that this year I have created a riotous, rambunctious urban garden, bustling and bursting with colour and joy. What was a very old and tired space has been reinvigorated and will continue to grow and develop as I am inspired.
There is nothing like the consolation of soil, the sheer pleasure of that communion with the earth that yields the rewards of food and flowers. Tending my flowers and herbs – vegetables and fruit next year – I have found deep peace and time has slipped away without care.
Ralph Dartford – Recovery Songs
The Albert Room, Cleethorpes Library, 4th October, 7.30 pm.
Tickets £5 from Cleethorpes Library. 01472 323650
Advance Booking highly recommended.
This powerful show examines the personal journey through recovery and is an honest, painful and uplifting examination of the process.
It feels as if autumn is here. From that misty smell in the air to the webs hanging between shed, wall, bench and plant pot to the earlier dusk and later sunrise, the year has turned. What a summer it has been, with intense heat here in the east and days that seemed luxurious while they lasted. My garden has been a source of constant delight and distraction, evolving and changing over the months. It’s beginning to look a little weary and it is time for bulbs and autumn planting to take over from the summer blooms.
This can be a melancholy time, looking back over the adventures of the summer. I think of the lovely Verdi Cries by 10,000 Maniacs (give it a listen here if you don’t know it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1dQRgtUxu0 ) and the tender, sad words evoking a summer holiday and its end as well as something deeper and ineffable.
My summer has included some get-away time to beautiful places where the environments have been restorative and full of peace and wonder; from gardens full of statuary and majestic trees to canal walks and the signs of autumn in the hedgerows.
As the autumn settles in I am thinking about new work, poems, songs, gigs, partnerships and productions, much of which is underway. I am glad to have had such a fine summer in so many ways and glad to have been able to walk in the sunlit uplands with my best human.
Together in Grant Thorold Park for the East Marsh Community Day
We are pleased to announce our Autumn Tour for 2018 with a series of dates in North East Lincolnshire.
Friday 14th September
7.30 pm at The Globe in Cleethorpes. This lovely new coffee and book shop is an intimate venue with very welcoming hosts. Entry is free. Signed copies of Poems from the Swamp will be available to purchase At £7.50
Poems from the Swamp
Saturday 29th September
7.30 pm, The Steel Rooms, Brigg
Myths of Birds and Water: An evening of Poetry and Jazz featuring a spoken word performance from Steve Meek.
The theme of the evening is birds and water and the myths that surround both.
Saturday 27th October
7.30 pm, The Steel Rooms, Brigg
An evening of Poetry and Jazz featuring a spoken word performance from Steve Meek. With special guests David Power and Ken Marley.
Thursday 1st November
7.30 pm, The Albert Room Cleethorpes Library
£5.00 – Tickets available from Cleethorpes Library.
An evening of Poetry and Music featuring very special guest, internationally renowned bass player, Dave Green.
Internationally renowned bass player, Dave Green
Here is the link to our Autumn Brochure listing all our events for Autumn 2018. The programme is packed full of poetry, workshops, fine art. talks and music and is the result of a collaboration between La Luna, Lincs Inspire, Riverhead Coffee and others. There are paper copies available of the brochure and these can be found in libraries and other public spaces locally.
The Best Words project is now well underway and the Words and Pictures autumn season brochure is almost ready to be released. It’s packed full of poets and events programmed for several venues across the region. The web version will be posted here on the website shortly. Here’s a quick overview of what is happening:
One strand of best words is the Emerging Voices writing project for young writers aged 18-25. We have established our group and their autumn schedule is already looking busy with a series of workshops and events including visits from poets working on the national scene. Their first meeting was inspiring for all of us and we’re looking forward to a fine body of new work from them.
Emerging Voices at Riverhead Coffee
Emerging Voices at Riverhead Coffee
Poet and teacher Carolyn Doyley takes the helm of the Poetry Cafe in September when it reconvenes on the 3rd Thursday of the month at Riverhead Coffee. There will be a mixture of workshops, read-arounds and poetry suppers through the autumn with some very special guests.
Carolyn takes the helm of the Poetry Cafe
Great Grimsby Community Choir
Pat McCarthy and I have been writing music over the hottest summer I can remember – thankfully it’s cool and rainy today – music for centenary of the end of the First World War, and music for Christmas. It’s not easy to envisage the frozen landscape of midwinter, the short days and darkness when you feel like a basking lizard but we’ve done our best and Great Grimsby Community Choir will be rehearsing their new music from September.
McCarthy and Moon
We have three gigs booked for the autumn so far and we are looking to add dates. We are setting some of the poems from Poems from the Swamp and working on other material. We are particularly delighted that the incredible Dave Green is joining us in November at the Albert Room for some great improvisation and the warmest bass sound you can imagine.
Poems from the Swamp
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a workshop or a performance
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.