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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.