Beneath The Boughs: let the poetry begin!

Beneath The Boughs, Lowther Castle & Gardens, Cumbria

Beneath The Boughs: photo by Katie Johnston

It’s official: Beneath The Boughs is up and running!

…though during the set-up, we were under the sweltering sun as often as beneath the boughs. Now that the weather seems to have cooled off a little, though, the time couldn’t be more perfect for visiting Lowther Castle & Gardens and seeing the project for yourself.

Poets whose work is featured in the installation come from as near as Bampton, and as far as Singapore. The poetry is displayed on a washing line, on pebbles, hanging from the trees, and in a whole host of other ways and places. There are also poems produced in workshops by students at Shap Primary School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.

At the entrance to the Gardens, you will be given a map that pinpoints the various parts of the installation, and after that, you’re free to wander at your leisure, discovering great poems as you go.

Beneath The Boughs poetry installation, Lowther Castle, Cumbria

Beneath The Boughs: photo by Katie Johnston

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World Book Night Party

An enormous thank you to everyone who came along to our World Book Night Party on Tuesday. It was a great success. We gave away copies of Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road, Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? and Sophie Hannah’s Little Face. There was also some great poetry read by our guest poets, and equally good stuff at the open mic session that followed.

A huge thank you to everyone who came along and supported us. We hope you had as much fun as we did!

(If you weren’t there, then stay in touch with what’s going on in the future by ‘following’ us – use the button on the right hand side of the page.)

World Book Night Party: BE THERE!

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Poets by the Lake

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Poets being shown around the plant room, Theatre by the Lake

Tuesday March 26th saw the beginning of an exciting project at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, Cumbria.

Seven emerging poets spent a fascinating afternoon exploring the theatre and speaking to people who worked there, in many of its different departments. The tour led us from centre-stage surrounded by the set of the current production (Rogue Herries), to the plant room hidden away at the back of the building. From the very public, to the very private – the afternoon was eye-opening and intriguing.

Equally interesting were the stories of the theatre’s various employees, which were as different as the jobs they perform, many of which caught the imagination of at least a couple of the poets.

The day ended for some with a great spread of ‘nibbles’ (a description which rather undervalued the amount of food present), put on by Bob and his catering team. Then four of the poets stayed on to watch that evening’s performance of Rogue Herries.

It was a fascinating day, and I’m sure will provide plenty of inspiration for all the poets involved.

The project will culminate in a showcase on September 7th 2013, with poems read by the theatre’s summer season actors.

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A good end to a fascinating day – Theatre by the Lake

Announcing…

ANNOUNCING OUR LATEST PROJECT: POETS IN RESIDENCE AT THEATRE BY THE LAKE!

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From Easter to September 2013, a small group of emerging poets will be spending time at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, Cumbria, observing the various and varied aspects of the theatre.

The project will culminate in a reading at the start of September (time and date TBC).

We’d love to see as many of you there as possible, so don’t forget to stay tuned for more information! Follow us on facebook or twitter, and sign up to our mailing list (by clicking the ‘Follow’ button on the right) to stay in the loop.

And don’t forget to keep checking back on the event page for any updates.

More information on the project and its participants coming very soon!

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Oh, and there’s still that teaser hanging in the air…

But surely, you cry, that was a teaser for this project? That was leading up to the announcement of the Poets in Residence project?

Perhaps it was. But on the other hand – does this photo look as though it was taken in a theatre…? Stay tuned, folks, and all will be revealed!

Snow-writing, January 2013

Cafe Poetry goes live!

It’s official – our cafe poetry project has gone live!

Cafe Poetry, Bibi’s Cafe, St Andrews – October 2012

After a mad day of reading poems, curling ribbons, and frantically trying to scrub the labels off jam jars, our Cafe Poetry project is ready, and looking extremely beautiful – though we do say so ourselves. There is a fantastic array of poetry to be read at Bibi’s Cafe, written by emerging poets from all over the country. Definitely worth checking out.

So if you’re in the area, head on down to Bibi’s Cafe (North Street, St Andrews, Fife), to peruse some of our beautiful poems (and you might as well have some cake while you’re at it).

For those of you who can’t make the trip to St Andrews to see the poems for yourself (and they do look beautiful), never fear. A selection of the cafe poems will be up on our site shortly. (Though you’ll have to make your own cake, I’m afraid.)

A big thank you to everyone who provided me with their old jam jars, and of course to everyone who submitted. Those who were successful will be informed later today, but if your poetry wasn’t chosen this time, then don’t be downhearted. There was a fantastic number of entries, and we simply couldn’t include everything. Please keep an eye on what we’re up to, and we’d love you to submit again in the future!

Cafe Poetry – DEADLINE EXTENDED

Dear lovely poets.

Thank you to everyone who has already submitted for our cafe poetry project.

Owing to unforseen circumstances (the fact that we won’t be reading through the poems until tomorrow anyway), we have decided to extend our deadline to MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!

That’s until MIDNIGHT, SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER to get your poems to us!

See here for how to submit:

https://guerrillapoem.wordpress.com/goings-on/on-now/cafe-poetry/

Call for Submissions

Well hello there poets!

Exciting news for you: [insert text here] have just got the go-ahead for a new venture!

(Yes, we know the image is a little bit ‘back to basics’, but that’s because we’re putting all our energy into the actual poetry.)

We’re looking for poems to place on the tables in Bibi’s Cafe (on North St, St Andrews, Fife). But it doesn’t matter if you’re not from St Andrews, because we’re accepting open submissions.

This is a particularly exciting venture for us, for a number of reasons. Not only is Cafe Poetry our first (though hopefully not last) event north of the border, but it is also giving emerging poets (that’s you!) the opportunity to have their work seen by potentially hundreds of people. The poems will stay on the tables at Bibi’s for up to 2 weeks, meaning that any selected poems will be seen by a wide variety of coffee-shop-goers.

The project goes live in a couple of weeks, so you have until Friday 19th October to get your poetry in.

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A few notes on submitting:

  • The poem(s) must be your own. Sounds obvious, we know, but thought it would be better to remind you. (Court over copyright are expensive, and we don’t have that kind of budget.)
  • Poems must not be longer than 30 lines (including spaces and title). This is so that when we print them, they fit comfortably on the page. So no epics please. (Though if you have written an epic poem, we admire your dedication!)
  • No rude words please! We don’t like to control what people write, so if you have a particular penchant for swearing in poems, that’s fine. But, since this particular project is a very public one, in which we have no control over our audience, we can’t accept any poems that contain swear words, or anything that seeks to be deliberately offensive. Sorry.
  • Please include:
    1. Your poem(s). Obviously.
    2. Your name – unless you specifically wish to remain anonymous. In which case, make sure you make that explicit when sending in your poems.
    3. Brief bio, maximum of 50 words, just saying a bit about yourself and your writing. If you’re not sure what to say, try looking at our Contributor Bios for ideas. (If you wish your poem to be anonymous for whatever reason, then the bio is obviously not necessary.)
    4. A photo of yourself (optional). If your poem is selected, we may wish to put it on our website, along with a photo of the amazing poet his/herself.
    5. Please say whether we also have your permission to publish any selected poem(s) on our site. We like to reach as wide an audience as possible, so we may well also put some (or all) of the selected Cafe Poems up in the Poetry section of our website.
    6. Please say whether we have your permission to use any selected poem(s) in future [insert text here] projects. We will always contact you to let you know if we intend to do this. The copyright will remain with you, the author.

    You can submit your poem in one of two ways: either by sending an email to manage.noordinaryblog@gmail.com (preferred), or via the Submit section of the site. (If submitting via the site, please send your photo separately by email.)

    Remember, the (very strict) deadline for this project is Friday 19th October. Enjoy writing – and good luck!

‘Poets are always taking the weather so personally.’

Poster by Evan Robertson.

View more of Robertson’s literary quotation posters here: http://www.flavorwire.com/308256/pithy-literary-posters-perfect-for-writers-salons?all=1

Poetry Prompts Galore!

Fingertips itching to type? Got a bottle of ink just waiting to ooze words onto the page?

Well, this could be exactly what you’ve been waiting for – because we can point you in the direction of not one, but TWO sets of poetry exercises. That’s right: two!

Number One:

The first is organised by the Young Poets’ Network, with the exercises themselves set by the recent Eric Gregory Award winner, Jon Stone. They’re appearing every other day throughout August, and you’re welcome to post your results in the comment boxes for people to peruse.

There are five challenges up already, so plenty to get your teeth stuck into.

The link to the first challenge is here: http://www.youngpoetsnetwork.org.uk/2012/08/01/august-writing-challenge-1-book-shelf-poem/

Number Two:

The second set of challenges comes from quite frankly awesome poet Jacob Sam-La Rose, and is found on tumblr site, probable causes.

There’s a ‘submit’ button here, too (on the left hand side – it’s the little envelope symbol), so you can send in your efforts.

Personally, we’d like to recommend today’s exercise (the one headed by the Mark Doty quotation: http://probablecauses.tumblr.com/). Since it’s a beautiful day, head out into the open air, enjoy the sunshine, and write a poem about wherever you end up.

Now excuse me, I’m off to pack my picnic…