Josie Moon

Poet, Musician and Educator

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National Poetry Day with Ralph Dartford

 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. Recovery Songs Cropped Image

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In Case of an Emergency

In Case of an Emergency: Book Launch. November 30th @ Moon on the Water

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La Luna presents: In Case of an Emergency

Book Launch with Franklin College Young Voices

Free Entry

La Luna Publishing is delighted to announce the publication of its first anthology of ambitious new writing In Case of an Emergency.  The book is the result of a project delivered by La Luna for the Franklin College Young Voices, emerging writers keen to develop their skills in both writing and performance.  The book also features photography and original illustrations.

To launch the book La Luna is hosting an event at Moon on the Water in Cleethorpes on Thursday 30th November where the participants will perform some of their work. The event begins at 7.30 pm and entry is free. Copies of the book will be available to purchase for £6.00

The anthology has been produced with support from Arts Council England.  The funding has meant that the young writers have had the invaluable opportunity to receive critical editorial feedback on their work from professional writers and editors Josie Moon and Nick Triplow.  They have also benefited from workshops with professional poets Antony Dunn and Helen Mort.

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It would be wonderful to have a great audience at the event to show support for these talented young people and the work they have done.

 

 

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National Poetry Day

 

Pop Up Live Poetry on National Poetry Day

Local poets will be popping up in the four Lincs Inspire Libraries and giving live readings of their work on Thursday 28th September. The Libraries are Grimsby Central, Cleethorpes, Immingham and Waltham and the live readings are our contribution to National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is a British campaign to promote poetry including public performances. National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart and takes place annually in the UK and Ireland on a Thursday in late September/early October. Since its inception, it has engaged millions of people across the country with live events, classroom activities and broadcasts. National Poetry Day is coordinated by the charity Forward Arts Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience

The pop up readings will be programmed by La Luna, an independent publishing company specialising in poetry projects and publications working in partnership with Lincs Inspire to offer a range of readings from popular Lincolnshire based poets in NE Lincs libraries on National Poetry Day, September 28th.  The full schedule is as follows

Schedule: 1.00 -3.00 pm

Grimsby Central Library: McCarthy and Moon, Poetry and Jazz

Waltham Library: Maria Garner

Cleethorpes Library: Rob Etty

Immingham Library: Caroline Burton and Margaret Griffiths

4.00 pm

As an additional event in partnership with Riverhead Coffee the Franklin Young Voices and guests will be reading at Riverhead Coffee, Grimsby from 4.00 pm.  Entry is free and proprietor Nic Till is offering  coffee and a bagel or coffee and cake for the special price of £3.50.  This event is part of a series of Young Voices events planned for the autumn and an opportunity to hear work from exciting, emerging poets.

Josie Moon, director at La Luna and poet says, ‘it’s important to participate in National Poetry Day to raise the profile of poetry and to give opportunities for poets to share their work with an audience.’

David Power, senior arts development officer for NE Lincs says, ‘working with Josie at La Luna and supporting the on-going development of poetry in the region is an important and exciting aspect of sustainable arts development. It is important to us that we nurture young writers while also supporting more established voices.’

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Great Grimsby Community Choir, Singing For Life

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The happy choir!

 

It’s a delight to announce the new beginning for the Great Grimsby Community Choir. We will be Singing for Life every Monday evening in our new base, St Mark’s Church, Laceby Road and we are already preparing for our first public performance of this exciting and busy term.

Our inclusive choir is open to anyone over the age of 14 regardless of singing ability or experience. We believe that every unique voice has a place in the choir and that everyone can develop their singing and gain enormous pleasure and satisfaction from the experience.  We love singing together and we are constantly adding to our repertoire and trying out new material.

We operate a flexible membership as we understand that people are busy and have many commitments in their lives. Our members come when they can and commit to what they can manage. The weekly fee is just £4 and we also run a raffle and refreshments to add to our resources.

Everyone is welcome to come along and join us and we hope to see lots of new faces this term alongside our fabulous regular members.

Best regards

Josie Moon

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A Fish Tale- For Juniors

This week sees the official release of A Fish Tale – A Story and Song for Children.  This is the little sister project to the major A Fish Tale  Jazz and Poetry tour.  This work has been undertaken in partnership with Gill Wilde at Grimsby Jazz and Sue Baker at the NEL Music Hub.  This Spring the creative team has delivered sixteen workshops for primary school children in NE Lincs.

Today we came together with 700 children, a fabulous band and conductor and performed the story and music live to an audience of rapt parents, grandparents and guests. What a joy.  All of this work was made possible thanks to an Arts Council grant and has been money well spent on a worthwhile and hugely enjoyable piece of work.

We now have a wonderful book for sale; a photocopiable resource including the whole story, the songs, lyrics and music and a CD to accompany.  This is available to order directly from me by emailing msjosiemoon@gmail.com  

Josie and book

The book is £20 plus £1.50 p&p.  This is a resource that can be used by children’s groups, schools, community groups, libraries and choirs and incorporates local history and myth as well as having fantastically singable songs.

I have to say a big thank you to my partner and co-writer in this project, Pat McCarthy who is a consummate composer and sympathetic arranger for voices. You can catch us out on tour with Alan Barnes and the orchestra across the country and also look out for McCarthy  and Moon gigs coming very soon.

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A Coalition of Dignity

When John Lennon wrote Imagine in 1971 he presented a universal prayer that envisioned a fairer, saner and more peaceful world for everyone, free of oppressive forces, violence and prejudice. Unsurprisingly it remains one of the most popular and widely performed songs of the 20th century and it never dates because the issues it addresses have not changed.

Lennon was a courageous visionary who was unafraid to use his power and influence to speak out. He was a great artist and thinker and with Yoko Ono he explored his existence and interrogated the world in order to come to  an understanding of himself and his personhood.

Each and every person walking on the planet today has a right to understand their being, the very nature of their existence and what life means for them. Every human being is a wonder and a source of exciting possibility and potential.

And yet.

The world is a place riven by war, greed, violence, intolerance and prejudice. We have created dominant narratives that enframe our lives placing limitation in the way of potential. We have enabled a culture of fear and suspicion that obscures our ability to see clearly and directly causes us to view many of our fellow human beings as ‘other’, as ‘not like us’ and therefore outside of the tribes to which we adhere.

The result of ‘othering’ people is always awful. In the UK homosexuality was once a crime and individuals were persecuted, criminalised and dehumanised for their sexual orientation.  That has changed in the UK which is now a much more tolerant and open society but the othering of gay people continues unabated in other parts of the world. The othering of homosexuals in Chechnya has resulted in concentration camps where gay men are being tortured and executed daily as a homophobic narrative runs rampant across the culture.

However othering is not always so extreme and overtly violent. It is often so subtle that we barely notice it and accept it without challenge. Take as an example the attitude in the UK to care of the elderly. Health and social care policy has effectively othered elderly people in need of care and defined them as a problem to be managed. When this kind of managerialism takes over the human is essentially lost. We now accept as standard practice that vulnerable elderly people can have their needs met by 4 care visits a day to the home, lasting approximately 15 minutes. There are no guarantees of consistency as carers come and go, unsurprisingly as they are often on terrible pay under zero hours contracts. Between visits we seem to have accepted that the vulnerable elderly can be left to their own devices allowing efficiency to be served with minimum consideration for the needs of the cared for or the carer. Step back from the unexamined acceptance of this and the inhumanity at work is stark indeed.

We could go on, examining countless examples of the prizing of efficiency and meeting of targets over the needs of humans. It’s not just happening in social care, but in education, the health service and in businesses where humans are simply resources to be managed and organised and often exploited. This might explain the recourse to othering,  which defines humans as problems to be solved, dehumanising people and removing them from our sphere of personal responsibility.

So what do we do? Firstly we think about it. From thinking comes action and action can take many forms but it all comes down to resistance and making a stand in the name of what feels right; imagining a better world and fighting for it.

James Baldwin, the American writer, public thinker and activist has much to say on how oppression works and how it can be resisted. Baldwin talks about a ‘ coalition of dignity’, the idea that humans agree on the sanctity of human dignity and put aside separatist concerns to create the possibility of a better world that serves the best interests of every human regardless of race, gender, sexual identity or political sensibility. It seems an incontestable principle that human dignity should be at the absolute heart of how we live and how we treat each other. Imagine a world in which people are put first, in which at the centre of all decision making is placed the dignity of the human. Such a world is possible, first we imagine, then we act.

First published in The Cleethorpes Chronicle, May 2017

 

 

 

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A Junior Fish Tale

This week I’ve been working in local primary schools giving workshops in readiness for the MAPAS (music and performing arts service) Key Stage 2 Singing Festival in July.  As part of our Arts Council funded jazz and poetry project we’ve written a junior version of A Fish Tale. It features a narrative set across three time zones and eight original songs telling stories about Grimsby’s fishing heritage.

Pat McCarthy and I wrote the songs together using different genres to make the piece as varied and dynamic for the children as possible and to introduce them to styles they might not have come across before. We’ve got rock and reggae, folk, gospel, a sea shanty, a lullaby, a nursery rhyme and a hymn. This week we’ve delivered 9 workshops in 8 schools working with about 30 children at a time and next week we have a further 7 workshops in 7 schools.

Working with children in this way is exhausting and exciting in equal measure. All schools are different in terms of atmosphere and of course all children are different because they’re all unique little humans. We’ve heard some gorgeous singing this week and seen such enthusiasm for the songs and the story. It’s been a lovely experience.

Music education is vital to children’s artistic and emotional growth. I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying it, singing is a birthright and we each carry our own unique instrument, our voice with us. Singing with children is uplifting and energising. Watching them grow in joy and confidence over these two-hour workshops has been extraordinary; gratifying and moving.

The cuts to arts education have been devastating over recent years and are set to continue if a Tory majority is returned on June 8th. It really isn’t party political to fear the impact of further cuts in arts education, simply realistic; fewer music teachers, less music in school, fewer musicians for the future. Ultimately, fewer projects like these that inspire children not just to learn about music but also about history, stories and superstitions. The kids have loved hearing about witches stealing egg shells to sail away in and cause havoc in the Arctic.

There have been many moments of joy and fun this week – kids say lovely things that charm, disarm and frankly stun you sometimes. We’ve had all of that this week. For me, a truly profound moment was reading the school creed for Western Primary School, shared here with kind permission of the head and staff. What a beautiful, inclusive and humane message the creed conveys. I stood and read it over and over before the children arrived to do the workshop and I thought, yes, if we all took this on and applied it to our communities, we’d change the world beyond recognition.