Polly

Writings and Witterings


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Siren – Kate Garrett

Take the time to look, really look, at this new(ish) poetry site. Wonderful poetry, every week.

Siren

(for Rachel Wall)

Tears in her voice skip
stones across the waves
from a schooner ripped
like a harpooned shark,
the sails limp fins,
this woman pale and screaming
begs: please help me stay afloat.
I’m all alone out here.

All alone. Poor thing,
she cries a prophecy
before you meet your end,
before her hidden men
scream scrambling over the railings
of your vessel—

They’re all dead,
dead, no survivors;
it’s nothing but a ghost ship now.

Rachel Wall was an American pirate active off the coast of Massachusetts at the end of the 18th century. She worked with her husband George Wall and their crew, pretending to be the sole survivor of a shipwreck, so that when other boats came to her aid, the Walls and their men would attack and kill the crew, taking the ship’s cargo for their own.

Kate Garrett’s poetry has…

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Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe: Our Final Few Hurrahs!

I shall add my personal thanks to all who came along and all who supported LitFest this year. A year to remember 🙂

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

The LitFest and Fringe team are nursing aches, pains, and smiling faces after a busy but wonderful festival week. Last Friday night saw us split between the Greek classicism of Natalie Haynes at The Hive and the Big Fat Quiz taking place at Titania, while Saturday morning calmed things down slightly with our children’s workshop at the wonderful St John’s library.

Things wouldn’t stay quiet for long, though! Saturday night, at Worcester Arts Workshop, LitFest and friends opened their arms to some top class London talent. We had an intimate evening of poetry and performance from Robert Cole, Math Jones, and Keleigh Wolf. A fabulous evening was had by all in attendance and we left on a grand high ready for the TWO slams that we had pencilled in for the following day.

Sunday evening saw us head back to Drummonds where we kicked the evening’s events off with a…

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World Refugee Day June 20th – Submit Poems

A good way to start a Poet Laureateship.

awritersfountain

June 20th is World Refugee Day an international observance dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

un-refugee-daystock photo david snyder

Stock Photo  © David Snyder

As Worcestershire Poet Laureate I invite you to write poems about the refugee crisis or indeed experience. Selected poems will be published here  https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/

Send your submissions to worcspl[at]gmail[dot]com by 9pm (GMT) on Tuesday 20th June.

Include a short bio (50 words), in addition, let us know where you live.

Please send poems in body of email or as attached Word doc.

Max. of 3 poems

Previously published work will be considered, you must retain the rights and include full acknowledgement of the publication.

world refugee UN

If you are unlikely to submit work please sign a petition http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/us/


To help (if you need it) I have gathered these websites and images on the webpages could be used as initial stimuli.

http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/20/world-refugee-day-which-images-make-you-stop-and-think/

http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-refugee-day

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Congratulations Nina Lewis Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017

The climax to the seventh Worcestershire Literary Festival was the crowning of our new Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis. The opening night was magical with readings from young writers, from the Flash Fiction winner Christine Griffin, plus an ultra-cool compere in Poet with Punch Matt Windle.

Nina

Nina Lewis

Laureate finalists Damon Lord and Louise Reeder wowed us with their words. Damon gave an impressive performance and Louise’s second poem was emotional, heartbreakingly beautiful.

Nina told the Worcester audience that as Laureate she would wish to build on the legacy of past Laureates. She has a passion for promoting poetry and experience in organising poetry events independently and for festivals, and she’d endeavour to raise awareness of  local talents while her overarching theme is to get people connecting with poetry.

Congratulations to Louise and Damon for their achievements. Mega-congratulations to Nina, Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017!

PL

Suz Winspear outgoing Worcestershire Poet Laureate hands over to Nina Lewis watched by the Chair of the judging panel, County Arts Officer Steve Wilson


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Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe: The Final Countdown!

The Antipoet: pure genius! Worcester SpeakEasy Fest Special: outstanding!

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

It’s been another wild couple of days for the Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe team! Wednesday night we welcomed The Anti Poet with open arms to appear at our Festival 42 Special. An evening devoted to gothic, horror, and sci-fi literature, a host of marvellous open mic performers were rolled out ahead of our headliners taking to the stage. The venue was packed and performance-ready from the off for this formidable pair of (anti) poets and by all accounts they did not disappoint! A stellar evening was had by all down at Drummonds and we’d like to thank everyone who attended, and everyone who performed, for making this such a crackin’ event in the LitFest calendar.

Last night saw the return of LitFest’s monthly open mic event, SpeakEasy, also celebrating its festival special and my, oh my, what a special it was! The outrageous Pete the Temp took to the stage…

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not sorry yet

Some of the children attending the Living Library at a local school asked me for my favourite poem. I asked ‘by another poet, or my own?’ They wanted to know about my own.
not sorry yet holds a special place in my heart, so I’m sharing it again today to celebrate children who not only ask interesting questions but read poetry as well as fiction. Also to thank Librarian Linda Bromyard for organising the event.
And, btw (thanks for asking!) my favourite poem by another poet is A Subaltern’s Love Song by John Betjeman 🙂

Meadow Run Away

four-year-old legs pumping running away
ma shouts after me ‘come back’ sister wails
ma is livid i pushed the bowl downstairs
this is how she sees it it is my fault
a tall ten-pint goldfish bowl three goldfish
i run down the meadow behind our house
it is hay-making time yellow grass scent
and dust tickle my nose and make me sneeze
sneeze stops me for long enough she catches
me i have glanced behind in my run and
seen her struggling with my little sister
but ma is grim-faced and determined that
i will be caught and punished it was an
accident i tripped knocked into the bowl
which bounced down each stair fish flying water
arcing the finest mirrored droplets splash
the sound of breaking glass tinkles downwards
she comes out of the kitchen babe on hip
and roars ‘nooooo’ i flee out the open door
my legs pump i feel my heart i hear my
breath coming jagged i smell the hay i
sneeze she catches me she screams thrashes me
and at each step thrashes me again all
up the meadow back into the house she
is crying hot angry tears me howling
mortified indignant rebellious
an accident i sob my jaw jutting
i am but four-years-old not sorry yet

Polly Stretton © 2012

not sorry yet was first published in my debut collection Girl’s Got Rhythm, available from Black Pear Press at £7.00 +P&P


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Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe: The Halfway Mark!

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

If you haven’t checked in with the Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe team yet this year then you really are missing out! We have been dotted at various venues around Worcester City Centre since last Friday, rolling out a stellar display of literary talent.

Our most recent events were Monday night’s Worcester Writers’ Circle and Friends’ evening, that took the form of Short Stories, Sketches, and Scurrilous Scribings. I am delighted to say that this evening was an absolute cracker of an event! We laughed, we emphasised, we shook our heads and groaned, and overall it was a marvellous evening with a supportive audience.

Last night saw something different brought to LitFest. The Hive, in partner with our fine selves, housed a theatrical work titled The Murderer – inspired by the Luke Kennard poem of the same name – performed by Clown Funeral. We didn’t know what to expect – although…

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