Category: Work

National Poetry Day UK 2018 (by )

Today is National Poetry Day - so I shall be spending the day on various social media sites and blogs sharing all the stuff from the archives - namely the writing exercises and write ups on interesting writers.

Where you can find me:

Saffy
TheMonsterBlogs
Sarah Snell-Pym Writer and Artist
Pinterest Wopo Inspired
Google+

Where you can read my poetry:

Turquoise Monster
Snell-Pym Poetry
Orange Monster
Magenta Monster

Where you can find writing exercises:

World Poetry Writing Month
Magenta Monster

Poetry is a pretty big thing for me - I never thought it was going to be, I kind of thought the whole thing wasn't for me. I like what I like and that has little to do with the academic studies of the poetic form. I like poems in different styles from different times and cultures and so on. I find people being elitist and pretentious about it all... annoying and ignorant.

That is one of the reasons that I have backed the local poetry festivals the way I have - they offered spaces for voices that were rarely heard and the internet also helped.

This month I am lucky in that I am hosting events at the Gloucester Poetry Society and I am taking part in a Slam over in Cheltenham (still not sure about the competition part of the slam culture but I like the events over all and the people I see there - they are fun and diverse).

I've been going through my poetry and trying to decide how best to move forward with it all - I have singularly failed to actually submit work once again but thanks to people chasing me I am in a couple of pamphlets which are to be release later this month I believe.

I have several collections that were stalled with head injury and what not which I should really revisit and sort out and I have a few more zines that are pretty much ready to go!

But I also want to produce more books with other people - I liked WigglyPet Press's involvement with last years poetry anthology but it has now been out for a year so I feel that it is time for me to publish something new!

At the moment I am thinking of something themed around space, the cosmos, exploration and the unknown but I have not decided on the format yet!

October Events and Stuff! (by )

Lace Skull candle

September was frantic and wonderful - the Gloucester History Festival was amazing and has started me down the paths of several new and exciting things for the future! And I have a lot of events photos and sketchtember pictures to share with you all.

But for now it is October the 1st 2018 and this new month hold even more in it that September did! Namely The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Gloucester Poetry Festival and Frightmare Halloween Festival! I am involved in parts of all three of these over lapping festivals - wish me luck!

And then as my fun/de-stress there is Inktober - a drawing challenge that was one of the major factors in me actually producing the art work for Love: A Stranger Dream.

And then there is GothNoWriMo which is a writing challenge and shall see me writing yet more of the Punk Universe (which I will be releasing parts of properly next year!).

So here are the current confirmed dates!

Sat 6th Oct 7 pm Frightmare Preview Night at Overfarm Gloucester - ticketed event (prices vary)

Tues 9th Oct 7pm Operation Beehive in Swindon part of the Gloucester Poetry Festival and a Gloucester take over of the regular Ooh Beehive Night

Thurs 11th Oct 7:30 pm - Hammer and Tongues All Star Poetry Slam in Cheltenham, part of the Cheltenham Literary Festival at The Bottle of Sauce tickets are free and can be booked here

Fri 12th - Sat 13th Oct Young Gods showcase at Elmbridge Primary School 6:30 pm Jean and Mary's Drama group

Young Gods Showcase

Fri 12th - Sat 13th Oct Frightmare Scare Attraction Over Farm Gloucester from 7 pm

Sun 14th Oct 2-4 pm Poetry hosted by Sarah at the Gloucester Waterstones part of the Gloucester Poetry Festival - free event including goody bags as part of Books Are My Bag

Poetry in Waterstones Gloucester

Tues 16th Oct 2-4 Book Wyrms at Gloucester Library a poetry event with guest poets hosted by Sarah - part of the Gloucester Poetry Society and free event

Book Worms Gloucester Library

Fri 19th - Sat 21st Oct Frightmare

Sun 21st 2-4 pm Poetry at Gloucester Waterstones as part of the Gloucester Poetry Society hosted by Sarah

Wed 24th Oct 2-4pm Book Wyrms free poetry event at Gloucester Library part of the Gloucester Poetry Festival hosted by Sarah

Wed 24th - Sat 31st Oct Frightmare Halloween Festival at OverFarm Gloucester

A Canal Walk and Whole Ears (by )

Yesterday me and Jean went to get her ears pierced at a friends house - I don't have pierced ears - family members range from multiple piercings dripping silver and charms to no body ornamentation what so ever. Jean has been nagging me since she was 7 but I wanted her to be been grown up enough that I felt she could make an informed decision on the subject. She saved her money and it was time.

So we dropped Mary off at another friends for an adventure day and walked with my shonky old phone deciding to be flakey were the navigation tools were concerned. We got there only half an hour late and mainly that was due to me stopping to take photos. We were passing a building site - and couldn't resist the rubble - sadly there were some shots I just couldn't get due to some pesky fencing.

We walked via the docks around to the canal by the building works and then back via the canal.

The Bones of the City

the cities bones jut

The bones of the city just through to a skyline grizzling with an autumn struggling to be born.

A remnant ghost of structure

Remnants of structures long abandoned and decaying in misuse give up their ghosts to the wind and rain.

Opened

Buildings from an age lost a century or more ago are slit open for us to fest upon the hidden spaces that crept from them in the twisted shadows of the city crawling towards progress.

chimney Gloucester

Lost last ones of this time, hover on the horizon watching as a new land and time arises around them.

what's beneath next to

Preparations are made to hide new sentinels within to keep us healthy to keep us safe from drowning within our own wastes and needs.

Work site

Cages and guards await next to the monsters that will make their new homes... beneath and beyond the sight so that they are not ugly, as if utility is something to be ashamed of.

Insectile machinery

Like megalithic bugs all legs and spindles of sensors they wait, dormant and filled with the potential to create or destroy, the construction of... something.

green tanks waiting

Waiting in the colours of the sea, waiting alien and surreal on a rubble field that no war has produced but the minds of those striving for a place to be, to grow.

tanks waiting to go into the ground

The inflows and outflows of change and all the could bes and should bes and moments when all hangs in the balance.

tap or valve opening

Waiting for that perfect fit.

Not a tank

Dormant sleep - this land is cocooned waiting.

Tower of an older age

Memories of what it had been when it had thrived with boats and industry and polluted skies and people becoming and learning and striving. Things were learned and some of the learning is forgotten but much is not and so the land remoulds itself at the hands of these apes that tell stories of their own existence.

Over seeing the rubble

Beyond the tower and scars of industry lays a hill side that is older than the city and the roads and the chained and kept waters of the canal and it reminds of natures way and of how time will claim all things... grinding us all back to... star dust.

The Ear Piercing

Jean's comments on me taking the photos and discussing with her the poem I was going to weave and create out of them: "it's the first thing about me people find out - I have a weird mother, sometimes it's a good thing and its good weird, sometimes its funny and everyone laughs and sometimes its narghahahahahah - so embarassing there aren't even any words for it."

Also she had some frustration that I was making us late but the truth is that I just can't walk very fast and taking photos helps me walk further as I rest a little whilst I am stationary.

We had tea and chat and stroking of cats and hugging of babies and looking at Warhammer and lego awesomeness and then it was ear piercing time. I held her hands but she didn't even wince!

short hair and ears pierced

pierced ears

We then walked into town taking vids for our summer vlog though Jean reckons no one is interested in me rabbiting on about various insects - other than people like me and there aren't many of them apparently!

We ate food and felt sorry for our serving staff who were having one hell of a day with dealing with complete SHITS of customers - starting with a vicious old lady and ending with the family who were insisting on free refills in new glasses aggressively after only taking a few sips from it >:(

Then it was on to the accessory shops to pick up the fluid for cleaning the piercings to reduce the chances of infection and a look in various gaming shops etc... I may have bought rainbow ear rings for both of us (mine are clip ons hers are spiked) and some Lord of the Rings colouring books that were reduced to two quid.

Then it was bubble shake and tea stop before the final push through to walk home - sadly I have to have regular long sit downs like this if I am going to do the walking but was desperate for an explore and outing. Jean drew an unflattering picture of me with facial hair and looking old, I drew her - she said its not fair because I made her look nice and we were supposed to be doing charactures. I think she looks scary grown up now and that she has stolen part of my teen age wardrobe in the form of my plaid shirts.

I will put the second part of the canal walk into a different post as it will be another Poetry Walk entry and likely be a little long!

So just to end with - I think it was a good outing - Jean says it was a father/mother-son/daughter outing.

p.s. the land around the canals that appeared to be wilderness like when we first moved here were actually brown sites - ie they had been built on in the past and were laying derelict - they had once been a thriving part of Englands transport network with goods yards and workers housing. So though I like the wilderness I will always be happy with brown sites being built on rather than green belt or agricultural land. The waterways have been being heavily restored and are a wonderful walk now in a way that really was just not possible before - and they are providing lots of bits for wildlife - I was however sad to see the amount of bottles and things thrown into the canal but that is part of an on going litter and refuse collection issue the city has rather than anything else - I think my one remaining concern is that the housing is all being built on areas which really are very likely to flood.

Below the Surface (by )

Alaric discovered this amazing website Below the Surface. This is a fusion of maintaining environments, urban upkeep, archeology, social out reach and art!

Cataloguing all the finds from the river Amstel in Amsterdam during train line works they have built up an amazing image archive showing the depths and ages of the objects, you can explore this catalogue, find out things about the civil engineering around the project and create your own displays with the finds that catch your interest.

This is all free and on line - the internet is starting to have these little lovely treasure troves of sites. This was what I envisioned the Internet being used for. For me though this project is tinged with a "could have been" here in Gloucester something like this was created back in the early days of the Internet and had the scholars and volunteers and council members enthused and then... it basically got unplugged and lost (early days of the internet I did say - things were different in those call up days!).

Many museums and research institutes are also putting their photo archives on line - Below the Surface how ever is a lovely smooth and easily searchable interface which is slightly more unusual!

There are over 700, 000 finds and the time periods spanned is more than written history - it is an awesome resource!

Word Fest (by )

So Gloucester is about it have it's first ever Literature Festival in the form of Word Fest organised by the Cathedral. The line up looks amazing (I should probably say at the point that I am now involved with performance and stuff at the festival and I am notorious for getting excited and carried away with events! And am therefore not impartial! But seriously...).

I am hoping that my hospital appointment doesn't clash with a few things I want to go and see on Friday including a talk on Aethelflaed - hence me taking in Puppet Aethelflaed this weekend to tell people about poetry 🙂

Also I am continuing with my Aethelflaed Quest and Search for All Things Anglo-Saxon so really really hoping 🙂

There are lots of ways you can link history to literature - Anglo-Saxon monarchs are excessively easy to do this with as they were still running on the bardic tradition of getting epic poems about themselves published. And that's before you then have like a thousand years pulse of stories being written about them!

I like how you can follow the political trends of the day by how figures such as Judith from the bible is depicted in literature and art through out time. Aethelflaed is one of the Queens who was associated with this even more archaic symbol and Judith is very much a symbol - her name means lit. Jewish Lady O.o

I am running a little preview event this weekend at the Quays shopping centre to tell people about the festival, wax lyrical with poetry (and not just mine) and pester people with puppets! I will also have some writing workshop stuff with me and have the first proper outing for the Pandora Prose Story Cubes which I am very excited about and have been working on for months. I have been chugging away at the old WigglyPet Press 🙂

We will be by the Nike shop on Sat 30th of June 11 am to 2 pm and Sun 1st of July 11 am to 1:30 pm followed by the Gloucester Poetry Societies monthly session at the Waterstones in town. This is one of the regular poetry events that I host 🙂

The actual festival is the 6-8th of July - again we have the space in the Quays from 11 am - 2 pm, because bizarrely I am in more demand than I ever thought possible I am then wizzing over to Ledbury Poetry Festival which is also AWESOME and AMAZING and performing there. This means I am missing not only the Gloucester slam but, Poetry, Pie and Pint with one of the Stroud Poets I love - seriously Eley Furrell can send goose bumps down your arms with his word craft and performance. There are workshops and talks and Elvis... got to mention Elvis McGonagall - I have a claim to fame - he once said he liked my poem - can't remember which lit fest it was now or even which poem! (Ok so it's not a big claim to fame but still!).

Sunday I am hoping to get to a story telling workshop and take part in the Story Telling Slam - I love Chloe The Midnight Story Teller's work - when we first moved to the Cotswolds I was struggling to find creativity and inspiration that wasn't bloody water colours of landscapes or slightly more pagany hears :/ But we went to story telling night in the Village of Edge I think and there was Chloe and an American lady and they set my blood on fire again and I started writing again - this was at a point where I had been severely ill with Jean's pregnancy and moved away from all my friends and family - I needed that creativity - but more I needed the determinate fire and that is something Chloe is very good at giving to audiences. A few years later I met her again at a local poetry night in Cheltenham and she encouraged me to be getting up and performing and at that point I needed someone to say that to me.

Since then I have caught her story telling antics for both kids and adults when ever and where ever I can 🙂 Both the kids love her work and Jean even bought her audio book/CD with her own pocket money!

And lo! She is doing story telling for kids on the 7th - a free event so I know where my kids will be 😉 Nightshade's Tales of Tooth and Claw.

Then the Sunday - if I am not too worn out from Ledbury I plan to go to her Storytelling workshop - Hot off the Tongue and take part in the story telling slam.

Last I checked there is still space in both the poetry slam (sadly clashing with Ledbury) and the story telling slam - so knowing other performers and writers out there in the local environs - if you are interested you should email helen.jeffrey@gloucestercathedral.org.uk.

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