|Edinburgh Christmas Market|
So much has happened in the last couple of months - I started my new job and moved into my flat, which has been really exciting. Living in Manchester has allowed me to get to creative events here much more easily, and my life has been very full and fun.
I was so happy to be chosen by HOME to be a Digital Reporter, taking part in a year-long series of workshops and opportunities. So far we have studied blogging, photography and film, and I undertook my first assignment: to review John Walter's exhibition CAPSID
for HOME's website.
I have also had some poetry published: perhaps ironically, the month I moved back to Manchester, my poem "Leaving Manchester"
appeared in Visual Verse! Despite the title, however, the poem describes how I always do end up coming back. It was also a joy to see my poem "Oyster"
in beautiful print journal Confingo.
I was honoured to have two poems, "A cave" and "Finding the fish"
, in the last-ever issue of Far Off Places, and was invited to attend the launch
in Edinburgh. I enjoyed a very special and memorable trip, exploring, performing my work and getting to know some really nice people.
I also travelled to York, to read at the Northern Poetry Showcase and Roadshow
as a winner of the Northern Writers' Awards. Although I only got to spend one evening in the city, it was great to get a taster, and I would really like to return in the future.
Another performance highlight was the launch of Young Identity's anthology No Disclaimers
, in which I have two poems. The event was incredibly lovely, with a chance to share my work, hear my amazingly talented fellow YI members read their poems, and then chill, chat and celebrate.
I performed at two Mancunian spoken-word nights for the first time, sharing my poems at Flim Nite
(on the theme of one of my favourite films, Pan's Labyrinth
) and Speak
. They were very different experiences, and I learnt a lot from both.
Around Christmas I received the news that I had been long-listed in the Writers' HQ From LGBTQ+ With Love
flash fiction competition. It kind of caught me off-guard, and was just a really nice thing to happen.
I am still curating Word Life, and enjoying the huge range of poems and stories I am sent. November's issue had the theme of "Gifts"
, and December's was a Young Identity showcase
, which made it extra-special for me to edit.
I also had the chance to interview spoken-word stars Keisha Thompson
, Shirley May and Frankie Blaus
, and review Keisha's show Man on the Moon, for Now Then Manchester. I am still wrapping my head around Man on the Moon - Keisha moved and inspired me so much.
2018 was certainly the year I embraced my own passion for spoken-word poetry and found the courage to perform far more often - I shared my work at least seventeen times over the year, at launches, festivals, fundraisers and spoken-word nights.
Considering I performed maybe twice in 2017, this feels like a huge step forward for me. I am proud of myself, and thankful to those who have supported me - being part of Young Identity
and The Writing Squad
has certainly contributed towards my confidence.
Overall, I had a very busy end to the year - but a productive, enjoyable and empowering one. I resolved to write more poetry in the New Year, and so far have managed a little every day. Here's to a creative and hopeful 2019.
Thank you so much for following my writing adventures.