The Solar System, by Vivienne May
I have made New Year Resolutions, and perhaps one of them should have been to write more frequent blogs and to keep people better informed as to the progress of projects and work. However, there are only so many hours in a day and it has been an intensely busy time in terms of simply getting work completed and projects up and running.
Let’s Go To Space!
The first big project of 2019 has -pardon the pun -now taken off. Let’s Go To Space is launched – you can see the theme here. The book, songs, Youtube channel, workshops are all ready and the La Luna/Grimsby Jazz Projects team will be in NEL primary schools from Monday 14th January with the story of Cosmo and Carrie and their exciting space adventure. With original artwork from Vivienne May and a range of fun props, sound effects and surprises, this project promises to be a magical treat for the area’s 6-7 year olds.
Poetry Cafes and Events
The La Luna Poetry Cafe plus the various open mic evenings, workshops and library events are underway and between now and April we have local, regional and national poets performing in Grimsby and Cleethorpes , thanks to grants from Arts Council England and The Society of Chief Librarians. All dates will shortly be visible on the calendar page of the website. I am particularly excited to be welcoming Andrew Graves, Antony Dunn and Patience Agbabi to Cleethorpes over the next three months and look forward to their performances. It’s a real privilege to be in a position to be able to bring such great talent to the area.
Antony Dunn on his last visit to Grimsby
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.