Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Round Up

Life has had the happy momentum of being incredibly busy of late, but I thought it was about time I collated some of my news into an easy to digest blog post. Like any concise news bulletin, here are some of the highlights of what has been going on:

Recently I performed at the weird and wonderful Macmillian fundraising event, Cogmachine, organized by some very special people in Derby. The event raised and impressive £422.11 and hosted such amazing artists, musicians and spoken word performers as Jo Lewis, The Super Normals, Mo Pickering, Simon Heywood and the utterly unique and mesmerizing Thomas Truax. For more information on the event please see Ms Mischeif’s blog, here.

I have had stories and poems published here, here and here.

I volunteered at Derby’s very own festival for alternative fiction, Alt. Fiction.
Focusing on Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction, Alt. fiction was a fantastically organized event hosting many eminent writers, publishers and agents of the varied and popular genres. With an array of entertaining and informative panels, films, workshops and discussions for participants of all levels, the event was a true treasure trove of literary delights. Here I had the honor of seeing Robert Shearman perform on of his stories from his fabulous collection ‘Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical’. He was a fantastic reader, performing a lengthy and captivating story from memory, enchanting the audience and earning a place as one of my favorite writers.

I strongly recommend anyone who is interested in literature and wants to get more involved to either attend or volunteer at such events. There is so much information to be gleaned, contacts and new friends to be made and it is very interesting to experience the other side to how a literary event is run. Much like performing in a play, you form a bond with your fellow volunteers, and feel a certain sense of loss when the event is over. Volunteering is a great way to channel your passion and interest in literature and to become further involved in the industry, and you might even be privileged to participate in some of the event for free!

During the weekend of Alt. Fiction, a very different, but no less important literature event, the Lyric Lounge was also taking place in Derby. I attended the Sunday event at Deda and was delighted to see the venue transformed into a very well attended friendly and accessible participation space for spoken word, poetry and music. The day also featured Polarbear’s new innovative spoken word film/show ‘Return’, performers such as Sureshot and Mellow Baku, and the specially commissioned and very moving new showcase ‘Between the Laughter and the Tears’ by Joe Coghlan and Jo ‘Spice’ Blackwood, directed by Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze. An amazing event, and perfect end to what was a weekend filled with wonderful words.

And last but not least I was recently interviewed on the first of a new radio show for all literature lovers, The Reading Room. The show was aired on Sunday morning, for which I was privileged to be featured as a special guest, and I was able to promote the wonderful spoken word, music and writing collective, Hello Hubmarine, which I am involved in and very passionate about. I read a short spoken word piece which I performed with Hello Hub last year as part of our set at the Phrased and Confused tent at Summer Sundae and also discuss the upcoming Hello Hubmarine website. I’ll post the podcast of the show up here as soon as it is available.

Exciting times indeed, just watch this space!