HEADSTAND RADIO: COSTA PRIZE WINNING POET JONATHAN EDWARDS INTERVIEWED BY PATRICK WIDDESS

Poetry collection My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards won the 2014 Costa Poetry Prize.

Thrust into the limelight by the success of his first collection after years of writing, he explains to Patrick how lucky he feels and gives insight into how he approaches writing. Also a schoolteacher, he tries to close the gap between the grand mystique the idea of poetry often conjures up and the real life experience of his students.

Jonathan delivers a few of his poems during the chat, Patrick reads his own piece inspired by ‘Japan’ (the prompt for poetry offered by previous guest Mab Jones) and I had the unexpected pleasure of hearing my response to ‘Japan’  being read out by Jonathan 🙂

I’m sorry Takeshi Kitano, please don’t hurt me (I promise that will make sense if you listen 🙂 )

Looking forward to more Headstand Podcasts in the not too distant future, and if you enjoy hearing this one, why not check out the archive. Not that I’m a past guest or anything, Ahem…

Anyway, listen to the new show, then off you go to the archive and immerse yourself in Mab Jones, Julie Pritchard, a poem by Fran Smith and check out more of the Headstand Radio past then keep going back for more for as long as Patrick keeps doing his podcasting thang!

If you want it electric, keep it eclectic, with Headstand Radio

My own website

Busy and Breathless Times continue…take 2

My second attempt at The Lost Blog referred to in my last blog…

Whether new to wordsmithery or a more experienced hand (ooer) it is always a sweet feeling to be featured in a publication and many writers from Cardiff, Newport and other places (including Swindon) have felt the sweetness in the last couple of weeks…

September 8th, Rhyme and Real Ale. Julie Pritchard’s second Monday of every month free to all open mic night launched a first volume of diverse musings from the diverse minds diving through the doors of RARA during a first very successful year. Words to reach out to your heart and mind and every now and again, to tickle your funny bone.

This compact compendium of compositions was constructed for Julie and the rest of us nestling between the covers by the awesome Nick Lovell, Swindon based and therefore the RARA regular with the most miles on the clock! The above and below pics taken by Nick of his handiwork feature a front cover image by Bex Marriot and a back cover ‘optical illusion’ I came up with from two photos from previous RARA nights taken by Dave Daggers. Scroll to the end of this blog to see where to come to share your words and lend your ears!

The evening at RARA was kicked off by the launch of the second Anthology of work by members of the very welcoming Roath Writers group

(cover image by Simon L Read)

Hosted with smiles of humble pride by Roath Writers founder (and editor of the anthology) Christina Thatcher, the first half of the RARA night featured confident readings from some but not all those listed below

After the hosting mic was handed back to Julie for the second section of the night  many  (but not all, sadly) RARA anthology contributors shared their words

And there was still time to squeeze in some open mic performances on a night when the already popular event heard from many readers for the first time. More please!

Speaking of more…

In this blog  I linked to my contribution to the Letter to an Unknown Soldier project that attracted over twenty thousand contributions. A lovely email from the project folk told me that around 150 of the letters are going to be published as a book in November by a historical imprint of Harper Collins! The typos in my original online submission will not feature in the book 🙂

 

During the Bristol Poetry Festival I will be among many others reading some words at The Hydrazine Launch. The event will take place from 7pm at the Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market Street, Bristol, September 29th. The Hydrazine is published by Hesterglock Press and features work by readers at Matt Duggan’s regular event An Evening of Spoken Indulgence, including one by me. There will also be some poetic films, including one I directed for DOJO that just about qualifies, if we can sort out the file in time…

MEGAVERSE was the name I came up with for the spoken word event  I curated for the 2014 HUB festival in Cardiff. Overwhelmingly a music based festival it might have been but performers including some from Roath Writers and Rhyme and Real Ale and readers from as far afield as Laugharne and Camarthen brought a multitude of perspectives on the world and life, giving poetry sparky and spunky attitudes many people would never expect and others would call ‘not poetry’ but stuff the stuffy, it was a spoken form long before books were invented and the tradition lives on!

Before I mention the next MEGAVERSE related event I must thank Mab Jones for suggesting me as organiser/host for spoken word to Owen Bowley, organiser of HUB. She was asked if she would take on the task, but she was unable to due to being in Edinburgh with her poetic partner Johnny Giles doing (I think) 35 shows in total, including supporting Phil Jupitus (in his guise as Porky the Poet). She was also promoting her then forthcoming and now published book…see promo details below

 

MEGAVERSE will be back at the 

Running from 11-14 October 2014, this festival will be helping to promote various kinds of artistic expression, including poetry and spoken word from the over thirty readers name checked here We will be performing at the Cardiff Millennium Centre where you will find us by the Dylan Thomas Travelling Writing Shed during the day of Sunday October 12th 2014. Megaverse alone will be providing two 90 minutes slots of local and not so local poets and spoken word performers!

First Slot 12.15-1.45

Second slot 2.30-4.00

With additional feature performers (including Rufus Mufasa and Ffion Wyn) delivering their words between and after the Megaverse slots, much to hear, and

I’ll thank Mab again, because organising and hosting the first Megaverse led to me being asked to organise and host some Megaverse Poetry Sessions for this festival. And the momentum has also led to me being asked to organise and host a comedy event for

This annual and growing Cardiff Arts Festival will feature practically any art form you can name, including stand up comedy in the form of  GUFFAWESOME at A Shot in the Dark in Roath Saturday 7.30-10.30pm, Saturday October 18th. There will be stand up comedians from Cardiff and Bridgend (and elsewhere). The evening will include an open mic section for anyone who wants to make others laugh with stand up, verse, or song and try to anger the featured performers by being funnier than them 😉 Still in the planning stages right now, but I will be hosting and throwing some comic verse at you during the night. more details coming soon…

That’s still not all, folks…

September 24th at the North Star Restaurant/Bar Making Minds, Giving Voices will be presenting their second evening of verse and song and more, exploring mental health related issues. Sounds like serious stuff but there will be fun among the provocation of thought. I will be opening the open mic section (after having been a featured reader at the first one of these events  on September 6th) and the featured readers for the 24th will include Sophie Chei. But why am I telling you that when you can click the links and find out for yourself, eh? 😉 (Update, one of the feature performers had to cancel, so I was drafted in and in addition to serious minded pieces, opted to get shouty a little on the night in the quite talky pub, so included 73.836776% Bullshit and The Booty Song)

Almost finally, National Theatre Wales Team Word4Word will be heading for Pontypridd, Saturday October 4th at the social club just minutes from the train station. Patrick Jones is the headline poet and I will be among those competing for two prizes, one to be decided by NTW TEAM, the other to be voted for by the audience. So if you are nearby, why not come? 7-ish pm is what is in my mind but will be more precise on a day when I haven’t been doing a long blog for the second time and my mind is less mashed. Meanwhile here is a link to some photos from the previous Word4Word that took place at the Porters bar in Cardiff.

Finally, here are some more photos… 

(above pic by Bridget Leggy Tanner)

(below pic by some poor soul minding their own business in Cardiff pub The George suddenly being asked to take a pic, on the night of the delivery of the Anthology to Roath Writers by Christina Thatcher, one week before the RARA night readings).

Where’s Will(y)? Reverse photobomber, right there at the back 😉

 

Yet Another Busy Bleary Eyed Blog…

Bit bleary eyed after bringing spoken word/comic verse/rap parody type stuff to The Coach, a Bridgend pub with an open mic night, last Thursday of each month. Since it was mostly music I think people were a bit bemused at first but then they got into it, joining in with the Amen! part of Priestly Boys and the chorus of The Booty Song.

Yesterday morning, barely awake, got a text from Mab Jones asking if I would join her to go on Radio Cardiff to talk of performance poetry and spoken word, in general terms and in terms of upcoming events.Here’s a photo from the studio, featuring a big smile from Mab and me at my most alert…

My first time on the radio ever, recited some rhymes as did Mab and we talked of performance poetry and upcoming events as well as Mab plugging the Letter to an Unknown Soldier project. I had intended to submit a letter anyway, but have to make sure I do after saying I will during this hour that gave me a small amount of respect for presenters (keeping talking to avoid dead air is harder than it seems and I don’t claim to have knocked it out of the park)

And now, a list of upcoming events:

Photo: And this is what the poster looks like with the correct relevant information on it....

Click!!!

August 11th from about 7.30pm RHYME AND REAL ALE Julie Pritchard’s come one, come all, no favouritism free open mic event at The Mackintosh Sports Club, Keppoch Street Cardiff reaches it’s first anniversary. An anthology of RARA poets work will be launched and will be for sale. First priority for proceeds is for RARA to have it’s own PA equipment to ease the pressure on poor Dave Daggers (who doesn’t know at this point the booklet has a  cover image, by me using two photos Dave took at diffrerent RARA nights. The other cover image was supplied by Bex Marriott. RARA is held second Monday of every month

August 14th WORD4WORD a National Theatre Wales TEAM event of verse and spoken word hosted by Frank Thomas. Not open mic but much variety of wordiness will be on show, including mine. Prizes are up for grabs for the performers, one to be decided by the organisers, the other, the audience prize, well come and vote for whoever best floats your boat!

August 23-25 HUB FESTIVAL An annual fixture in Cardiiff, featuring a shedload of thingsto see and b at, including MEGAVERSE,a spoken word event I am curating and hosting and currently putting together a performer list for. August 24, Cardiff Fashion Quarter 6-8pm, be there or be elsewhere!

August 29th last Friday of the Month means another Evening of Spoken Indulgence at the Hydra Bookshop in Bristol. Host Matt Duggan presents a variety of literary and literally spoken word. Then Sept 19th during the Bristol Poetry Festival a special event at the Hydra will see the launch of HYDRAZINE, an anthology of material by those who have read at Matt’s events, including some words from me

September 8th at RHYME and REAL ALE the Roath Writers group will be launching their second anthology of work by group members, edited by Cardiff writing mover and shaker Christina Thatcher, who will be first half guest host at RARA to give regular RARA ears and any other that come along a treat. Christina will introduce contributors to the Roath Writers group anthology, who will share their words, and I and you can then buy the anthology 🙂 Then Julie Pritchard will host the second half to complete the evening with a variety of styles of open mic performance.

Now I have to rush off to a voluntary work meeting. Laters, taters!