Sunday 17 March 2019

News - January and February 2019


 Since my last news update, Spring has been slowly making its way to Manchester. I am enjoying my job and flat, and exploring parts of the city I didn't really know as a student. I have been very busy, but have made time for hobbies such as baking and singing and, of course, my creative writing.

 I have been attending Young Identity regularly, and learning so much. It really is like a family, and one of the highlights of my week. Through Young Identity I took part in my first poetry slam, One Mic Stand, which was an important experience for me, and a quietly empowering one.

 I shared my poem "Campfire", about health and body image. Through it I discuss some painful moments, but the tone is of comfort and hope.

 I also represented Young Identity at Big Words, a cosy and fun spoken-word night in Chorlton. I read four poems, which all mentioned blood - it wasn't intentional but ended up being quite a nice link! You can read one of them, my "Blood ghazal", online in the Poetry School's anthology GASP.

 I took the train to Liverpool to attend the launch event for both Coast to Coast to Coast, and pamphlets by Jane Lovell and Rebecca Gethin - the latter of whom I have had the pleasure of publishing in Foxglove Journal.

 I heard some beautiful and unusual poetry, and watched the sun set over the docks. It was a memorable evening.

 I enjoyed a writing workshop by Malika Booker here in Manchester, with The Writing Squad. I learnt some new writing exercises and took fellow participant and poet Laura Potts on a magical mystery tour of Manchester in search of inspiration.

 We visited Emmeline Pankhurst and ended up in Chinatown. 

 We also wrote a poem about lemons. It was a strange and lovely day.

 I have been continuing my year as a Digital Reporter at HOME, learning new skills and polishing old ones. So far in 2019, we have had masterclasses in filming and editing video, and working with audio. I am really enjoying getting to know the group and creating little projects I can be proud of.

 Issue 62 of Now Then Manchester's Word Life had the theme of "Magic" and was a really nice one to curate - I hope you enjoy it. We have also had some powerful poetry and fiction in Foxglove Journal.

 I received an exciting piece of news: I have been announced as a winner of Hedgehog Poetry Press' Tree Poets Competition and will be published in the pamphlet Tree Poets: Flames of Ice later this year. There will hopefully be a launch event - watch this space! 

 I look forward to sharing this set of poems, which are inspired by my time living in France and explore nature, body and mind, and identity.

 Finally, my short story, "On earth, looking up" has been published by Visual Verse and is free to read online - I hope you enjoy this tale of fish, stargazing and wondering whether it is ever too late to take a chance.

 Thanks for taking the time to read my news and share my writing journey. You can also keep up with me on Twitter and Instagram.

 Have a lovely couple of months!

 Liz x

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