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

Saturday 2 March 2019

Young Identity at Big Words, Chorlton


 I was invited as a member of Young Identity to perform at spoken word night Big Words at Vinyl Fiction in Chorlton. 

 I hadn't been to Chorlton in five years, and had a mini-adventure hopping on a tram and heading off into the sunset. It was a relief to see the familiar shape of the big Morrisons, as well as some blossomy trees and Brewski, where I stopped to enjoy a halloumi burger and sticky toffee pudding.

 I arrived at Vinyl Fiction and settled in for a really nice night. I heard some amazing work, both from my Young Identity friends, and from writers who were new to me, and who I am happy to have discovered. 

 I shared my "Blood ghazal" from the anthology GASP, as well as some of my newer poems, to a great reception - the audience was attentive and warm, and having my friends there, smiling at me and finger-clicking at their favourite lines, was extra-lovely.

 With enthusiastic hosts, a game of Vinyl Fictionary (nothing at all like Pictionary...) in which I correctly guessed an answer (Van Morrison), and little touches such as our names being written up nicely on a board behind us, it was fun, and cosy, and I will definitely be attending Big Words again.

 Thanks for reading,

 Liz x

One Mic Stand - February 2019


Photo by Alex Morgan

 Having been a regular member of Young Identity for around six months now (having previously attended on and off as university life allowed), I was overjoyed to be able to take part in my first One Mic Stand, the collective's showcase poetry slam at Band on the Wall.

 I was one of ten poets competing for a prize of £50, although winning was far from my mind as I performed - just standing on the stage and sharing my poem, "Campfire", which is quite personal and very close to my heart, was an empowering and memorable experience.

 I scored 51/60 overall, including a 10/10 from one judge for my content, which was wonderful. The winner was Saf, whose performance was intense and powerful. I loved hearing all of my friends from Young Identity sharing their work, and overall it was an amazing night.

 Thank you to Young Identity and Shirley May for making this happen, to Nicole May and Reece Williams for hosting, and to the lovely, supportive audience.

 Liz x

Now Then - Word Life 62


 Issue 62 of Now Then Manchester's Word Life was fun to curate as it  was all about "Magic". I hope you enjoy this selection of creative writing, whose authors interpreted the theme in many ways, from fantastical to humorous to poignant. 

 We have work from Kersten Christianson, Joan McNerney, Linda Imbler, Joyce Graham, Ann Christine Tabaka, Sarah Hulme, Roy Moller, Kayleigh Jayshree Hicks and Ken Allan Dronsfield. There are also the usual listings for literary events in and around Manchester.

 I hope you enjoy Word Life 62.

 Liz x

Hedgehog Poetry Press - The Tree Poets Competition


 I am delighted to have been chosen as a winner of Hedgehog Poetry Press' Tree Poets Competition!I will be one of three poets to have their work showcased in the pamphlet Tree Poets: Flames of Ice

 I am very happy that I will be sharing this space with the lovely Kate Garrett, who I met at a Stirred night and whose writing I deeply admire. The third poet, Kay Channon, I have chatted to on Twitter, and I am really looking forward to getting to know her work.

 My set of poems is from my time living in the south of France, and includes imagery connected to travel, nature, the body and mind, and memory. 

 The Tree Poets: Flames of Ice is due out in spring/summer 2019, and there will be a launch at which I hope to perform - watch this space!

 Liz x