2017 has really hit the ground running!
So many things going on this month that is hard to keep up. January Blues? Not a chance…
The time to send the new book out into the big wide world has finally arrived! On January 26th we will be launching ‘My bottom did a burp in class…and other poems’ at Ramsbottom Library. The book, which is a collection of poems for children has been written during my time working with primary schools and has been illustrated by none other than the renowned artist (in our house anyway) Thomas Jenkins.
Thomas, who has now reached the grand old age of nine worked with me over the space of two months, sometimes reading the poems I had written and then doing his thing with his felt tips, sometimes the other way round. It was a fantastic way to spend time together, doing something we both love and proving that work/life balance can be possible!
The only tricky part has been about negotiating royalties. It seems my offer of paying him in biscuits was not acceptable… 😉
The book is available on Amazon and of course will be available in ebook format from our own shop very soon. Can we beat the top 5 ranking for ‘Poems from Villagetown?’. Watch this space…
Lots of live events this last month – I’ve ventured into Manchester for gigs at Manchester library and then at a brilliant night called ‘Speak!’ which was held at a very cool bar called ‘Jimmy’s’ just off off of Piccadilly gardens. Great atmosphere and a chance to meet some wonderful wordsmiths, including a brilliant emerging poet by the name of Zach Slater who organised the evening. I would advise keeping an eye out for him. He’s definitely one to watch…
Poetry locally is alive and well too and I had a brilliant time last month at the ‘Just Speak’ event at Bury’s oldest pub, The Two Tubs. There’s nothing nicer than trying out new material amongst friends and everyone there has been fantastically supportive in the run up to the new book. The February instalment where I will again be doing one of the open mic slots is being headlined by Christopher Bainbridge who is known locally as ‘The Bard of Bury’ so should be another cracker!
Alongside the book, I have also been able to finally get round to developing the Youtube channel showcasing my poems this month. This has been a lot of fun to do and has meant that Christopher, my older son has been able to get on with developing one of his passions too, by making short films.
We’ve done some filming and editing around the house, but we’ve also been out on the road at one of our local primary schools and even filming in the library. Our next aim will be to record one of the poems outside in the park, which is presenting its own challenges for him as a director. It’s Britain – he can’t get a break in the weather!
A Cartoon History of Here
I had the absolute honour of working with poet and Radio 3 broadcaster Ian Mcmillan on a project with the National Literacy Trust last year and in our downtime, we got to chatting (as arty wordy type people do). Ian mentioned that he had a two man show with the amazing award winning cartoonist that was touring the country and wouldn’t it be a great idea if we were able to arrange bringing it over to Ramsbottom for a night.
After a lot of organisation and a fair bit of plugging away at the public to sell the tickets, we are finally doing the show this Friday night, 27th Jan. The show is an improvised romp using Ian’s wordplay and Tony’s awesome artistry and should be a great evening. I’ve been given the fantastic opportunity to support the show with half an hour of my own material, so it really is a chance to stretch my legs on stage developing my show too.
The best bit about the night is that all the profits are going back into the community, raising money for the Ramsbottom Community Hub, so every penny made will go towards developing projects that will help bring the community together. It’s going to be a cracking night. I’ll give you a full report next month!
Got to go – we’ve a book to launch!