Gathering in the Harvest
30th August-1st September
It’s been a busy time preparing for the new season/term. It has felt as though I’ve been gathering in the harvest in terms of projects & plans coming to fruition.
But at the same time I’ve been wringing the last few drops of summer as the holidays come to an end. The sizeable lady hasn’t sung yet!
Saturday I held an Awen Summer Gathering around my place. Awen authors and kindred spirits convered in my garden to discuss ideas and plans for the small press. Jay Ramsay talked about his inspiring initiative Angels of Fire, and Peter Please (Away Publications), Skip Palmer (Tuff Talk Press) and David Lassman (Bath Writers Workshop, Jane Austen Centre) shared their experience and expertise. Loads of great ideas were shared – and with such talented people to collaborate with, anything is possible!
Sunday I performed in a Cascade of Words and Music at Prior Park – an event organised by local Poetry Society co-ordinator Nikki Bennet-Willis, to celebrate its centenary. Featured poets included the ever fabulous Rose Flint and Crysse Morrison, plus storytellers Anthony Nanson and Peter Please. It was a little drizzly and overcast but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the connosieurs of verse gathered – the venue couldn’t be more conducive to romantic musings (the Palladian Bridge was used in the film of Pride and Prejudice; and Henry Fielding lived on the edge of the estate, inspired in part by Ralph Allen in his writing of Tom Jones). I tried out some new poems and the response was very positive. It was nice to have a drink afterwards with Anthony, Svanur and Ola – the latter a wordsmith from Bonn, Germany, but able to converse with my Icelandic friend in his native tongue. Talented polyglots!
Monday I took a day off from it all and went on a blat to Stoney Littleton long barrow and the white horse of Westbury – after it stopped raining – enjoying a ride out on my wheels, a year on from when I first purchased her in Plymouth, thanks to my friends Nigel & Jenny.
Tuesday I set up an exhibition of Awen titles in Bath Central Library (with help from the industrious Mr Lassman), to kick-start Awen Autumn – a whole season of events connected to my small press: book launches, talks, workshops, performances… More than you can shake a spear at! The best thing is to go to the website to check out the brimming diary:www.awenpublications.co.uk
That evening Fire Springs gathered around the Cauldron to record a sampler CD to send to potential venues. No rest for the bardic!
Wednesday, Bath Writers’ Workshop restarted with my session at the New Inn, workshopping poetry, prose fiction and creative non-fiction. We had 8 – regulars and new faces. David and I have co-ordinated a whole programme of creative writing events for the coming months: surgeries, seminars, courses and guest writers. David has prepared a snazzy newsletter, called ‘Follow Your Bliss’ after Joseph Campbell’s famous dictum, and I have built our website: http://www.bathwritersworkshop.co.uk
Tomorrow off to Great Yarmouth to give a talk at a conference on The Sea in Legend and Tradition about my book Lost Islands…before then I’ve prepared another title for publication – The Angel in the Forest, Niamh Clune (published October 16th in Vancouver Island)…Before then have Mary’s posthumous launch on Tuesday (8th Sep) at Waterstones, Bath, with readings from family and friends (proceeds to Dorothy House Hospice) and mine, for the third Windsmith novel, The Well Under the Sea, on a boat, the Pulteney Princess, Sept 22nd – book your space today!
Now, I better get some sleep before the long ride ahead!