Who knows where the time goes July 2015
It seemed a long full dreary wet winter which went on forever. My creative juices were at a low ebb throughout with little new work. Most of my energy seemed spent on running an enterprise and business planning course spread across Bolton and Salford. With learners attending from ten different countries it was more than interesting and getting them to the point of completion and achievement by March was satisfying. In parallel the Live from Worktown team was engaging with the Arts Council In an attempt to get funding for a 2015 festival. 2015 seemed an appropriate time for a poetry celebration being 50 years since the famous 1965 Poetry International at the Royal Albert Hall and closer to home, ten years since the death of Hovis Presley (Richard McFarlane). I had been talking to a number of people since October 14 and worked with Paul Neads of Flapjack Press to create a new edition of “Poetic off Licence”. The last was sold out ages ago and is washing up on ebay at a silly prices. Thanks to Paul and the McFarlane family it came off the press in April.
At one point we had an impressive line-up but no budget. By March we had a budget and quickly had to confirm a programme to start at the end of April. The results can be seen on www.livefromworktown.org.
Over 1000 people attended over 25 events over an eight week period. There were many highlights and very favourable audience and participant feedback. I think I came out of it feeling “never again”. My personal contributions other than admin and book balancing gave an opportunity to dust off old favourite “Hovis in Wonderland” which was performed to a full house at the Little Theatre’s Forge Studio and which was sampled at the launch of the new edition of Poetic off Licence at the Socialist Club.
Other than a couple of short stories I’ve written little (other than funding bids). On the plus side I put some time into developing my Chinese Journey talk and workshop which was delivered in the Central Library in Adult Learners week, and which will merit some more effort. As a result I met Jen from Beijing and there is scope for collaboration over the coming months.
Poetic highlights over the winter must include the heats and finals of Kieren King and Ella Gainsborough’s Word War One Slam knockout at the Three Minute Theatre and Lamp Oil in Salford, plus occasional forays to Gordon Zola’s Cuckoo Calling, Liverpool’s Dead Good Poets Society, John Togher’s events in Wigan(shock horror when the Tudor House closed) , Scott Devon’s George’s, and Jefferama’s Write out Loud nights. With many new nights and new voices appearing constantly the North West Poetry World seems in rude good health. It’s just impossible to follow them all.