In May I took part in my second film-making weekend in Sheffield with the Writing Squad, and this time I had a starring role! I hope you enjoy Five New Messages and my acting debut as Catherine, the hotel cleaner.
I received a free ticket to see Siri Hustvedt at Manchester Literature Festival, as a member of the Festival's YA Steering Group. On a gorgeous spring evening, I headed to Deansgate Waterstones to hear Siri read from her new book, Memories of the Future, and then discuss it with Katie Popperwell. Siri is clearly incredibly intelligent, with her own way of seeing the world and fascinating ideas about time and memory. It was a thought-provoking event.
I then attended the launch of Manchester Metropolitan University's journal aAh!, at which my friend Laura Potts performed her poetry. It was lovely to hear her, and we enjoyed a meal out afterwards.
I took part in two spoken-word nights in three days, with Verbose on Monday and Bad Language on Wednesday. It was intense, but fulfilling and fun. May's Verbose had the theme of Zodiac, and I shared my poem "Dogteeth", among others. My set at Bad Language included "Blood ghazal" and "Arrival". At both events I chatted to some new people and had a good time. I also discovered Levenshulme and its colourful bee!
I attended a Writing Squad workshop at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, at which we decided to start the International Foundation of Us. We reviewed books we love - guess which is mine! - catalogued our possessions and made podcasts in which we discussed our creative inspirations and work. We also ate a lot of chocolate and grapes. It was a gentle and memorable day.
The poem I wrote during the Writing Squad Lunch Poems workshop in Leeds earlier this year is also now online - I hope you enjoy "Sweet".
So, that was my spring, writing-wise. I'm hoping to keep the energy going for a positive, creative summer. I already have some new and exciting things lined up, from mentoring to festivals to radio to poetic film, so watch this space!
Thanks for reading.