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Jascribble’s Autumnal Flourish November 2, 2007

Posted by jasmingle in Poetry, Literature, and Performance.
1 comment so far

 

Well! A lot has been going on. I’m changing the format of this blog to a monthly catchup and then add anything interesting inbetween on a weekly basis. Think of this as the November Edition of the Jascribble Journey. So what’s going on?

WRITING

FLIGHT, the mentorship that I am on, run by Spread The Word (www.spreadtheword.com) is halfway through it’s course. My mentor, Saradha Soobrayen, and I, have met a few times and had an online session to review my progress in poetry and to approach the ironing out of a variety of creases. Later on in November, all of FLIGHT’s mentees will be spending a week at Arvon, a writers’ retreat in Devon. It will be a great opportunity to really concentrate on my (and our) writing without the extraneous distractions that are continually thrown at us by the tedium of every day life. How I managed to wangle that week off work without a major hissyfit from management I don’t know, except that arse kissing was required, and arse kissing I did. Spread the Word have also been running a series of events and workshops concerning writing and literature, some of which featured FLIGHT mentees reading their creative work. The ten young writers (bracket-18-24) involved are working towards separate goals but with the common eventuality of publication in an anthology in which we all get A WHOLE CHAPTER! My God! We shall see where the journey takes us….

SPOKELAB

SpokeLab is a small group of writers facilitated by Roger Robinson

http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth519CDC8B0eb2d18F4BYmL186BFCA

and Dawn Reid www.liftfest.org.uk/newparliament/seekers/dawn_reid/ , working on developing poetic writing into performance pieces that challenge that line between spoken word and theatrical performance. The first of these sessions, held at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, http://www.stratfordeast.com has already passed, but the next is at the beginning of November. Over the course of a three-four hour session, we play with pieces that we have written to develop the characters’ voices within the writing and extract the elements of engagable drama that can be used to maximum advantage by the performer for the audience. It’s made me think a lot about the kind of dramatic writing I used to do with Theatre Royal Haymarket, and the writing I did during my Drama degree. I tend to get into genres of writing one at a time and abandon one in favour of one which I decide is more suited to me, but SpokeLab looks like it’s going to blur the lines between poetry and drama. I’m looking forward to exploring where it goes.

 THE VINEYARD 

I was invited to join online writers’ forum The Vineyard by Jacob Sam-La Rose www.jsamlarose.com  a while back and have been contributing fairly regularly on the website. The Vineyard is a feedback forum alongside discussions surrounding literature, performance, writing and any other related conversations the members feel relevant to each other, or indeed in any way interesting. I’ve been finding The Vineyard a really exciting space to develop my poetry because you have access to the perception and objective analysis of a) other writers and b) people who, while they may also be your friends, are able to comment constructively. I also feel lucky that much more experienced writers are taking the time to look through my work and offer help- it’s a very supportive environment. There are some plans for a publication of Vineyard contributors’ work, which is very exciting. If that goes ahead, I’ll be looking at potentially having work published sooner than I thought. Hooray!

  

PERFORMANCE

I’ve had a really encouraging month in terms of Performances and Gigs. After winning the Farrago Autumn Slam in September, I did a slot at their next slam, and then gigs at various events, including Poetry and Poppadoms, Brighton Freshmeat Festival and Life is Music, the launch of the chapbook of fellow writer and blogger Naomi Woddis. I also did a forty minute radio interview on TalentMix at Colourful Radio, (http://www.colourfulradio.com/talentmix) which was a lot of fun. I feel like I am growing in confidence rapidly and accepting the different reactions to my work- some of which have been mildly confrontational and some deeply moved. It’s good to stay aware of the potential effect writing can have on audiences because it reminds you of one of the reasons why you do it in the first place- why you ever show your work to anyone else. I feel as if I am finding my place in the scheme of things, whether or not that is always changing.

  

DEVELOPMENT

ENVISION

Since September I have been working with an organisation called Envision, a voluntary organisation that recruit facilitators for socio-environmental based issues in schools and colleges across the UK. My role is to meet with a group of college students once a week to help them organise a project that will have a positive impact on their local environment and community. I am working with another volunteer and a co-ordinator to guide the students and allow them to work out what they wish to pursue rather than choosing something for them. You can look at the kind of projects that Envision have created at http://www.envision.org.uk.

 

Currently, the group that we have at St Charles RC Sixth Form College is enthusiastic but nervous. We have been drawing the group into focusing on one issue and working out what to do about it. The most passion, anger and opinions has arisen from the issue of parents who are also smokers, but the group also expresses interest in environmental issues and creating awareness about them. The main challenge at the moment is getting the group to pinpoint a project that they really care about rather than one that they think they should care about. Stay tuned for developments!

FLOETICS

Floetics is the night that I co-run with my friend Luska Mengham (insert myspace).

It is a monthly poetry, spoken word, drama, storytelling and performance night at the Redroaster Coffee House in Brighton, where I used to live. Floetics aims to combine more experienced writers and performers with a relaxed open mic to promote confidence in creativity and a feeling of achievement regardless of experience. Currently, Floetics is surfing a steady wave of consistently packed out nights, and as the student term gets under way, we’ll be able to create a stable event that writers and performers can rely on to enter and be themselves. I host the night every month and am thinking of inviting a London-based performer to come down with me every other month just to stir it up a bit. Myspace for Floetics coming very soon!

The Next FLOETICS is next week: Wednesday 7th November, Doors 8pm, 8.30 start, The Redroaster Coffee House, St James’ St, Brighton.

  Reading/ Already Devoured: 

Female Chauvinist Pigs: The Rise of Raunch Culture; Ariel Levy

On Beauty: Zadie Smith

The Caged Virgin: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

 Watching/ Already Slurped: 

Vincent River by Philip Ridley


 
Coming Up: 

Freedom and Culture at The Southbank

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/festivals-series/freedom-and-culture-weekend

Stark at Tall Lighthouse

http://www.tall-lighthouse.co.uk/events.html

Tate Take Over at the Tate Modern

http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/rawcanvas/9984.htm

Flight Final Meetup