Gig dates 2020

Not many dates so far. Arts Council bid pending and then I can plot further.

26th January 2020   Imbolc story Walk                  1pm             Railway, Marsden
21st March 2020     These are the hands launch     No audience Society of Apothecaries, London
28th March 2020       Green Fields launch              6pm             Small Seeds, Huddersfield

Most term time Mondays     Marsden Words          1-3pm    £5   Month of Sundaes, Marsden

The Poem Place – Episode 3

Hi All,

I am delighted to feature in this podcast hosted by Matt Chamberlain along with Bethany Goodwill and David Dykes.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/680696/2790415?fbclid=IwAR3GbjcIjhMOYK9OE7JEJkwy_QqEQcJBZSBVlkEoSTjOgk2OJRH7UqHE29E

My poems from the podcast are below:

I could talk of childhood beaches

of the rock-pools at RhosColyn,

saltwater rashes

and the eel that brushed passed our legs,

eliciting squeals and a swift, slippery exit

across weed-draped rocks.

 

But then I wouldn’t be here in Broadstairs,

one-fifth of a mile from Dicken’s holiday home

but only caring for the lap of brine,

to lean into the waves, to lie back and be uplifted,

to be pulled and pushed

to be part of the tide.

 

I could talk of a Maryport sea-wall

in October,

the wind from the North

almost blowing us over.

 

But then I wouldn’t be here in Margate

swimming with friends I made half an hour ago

and drinking a Margate mule.

 

I could talk of childhood beaches

but I am always a child when by the sea.

315 fine line horizons.

Two dozen seaside sunsets.

11 actual swims in the oceans

unable to touch the bottom.

Properly deep.

 

I could talk of childhood beaches

but in shell years, in sea-glass time

I am not yet even one.

(First published on Thanet Writers, 2019)

Sold out, closed down

You can buy a table lamp for £39.95

but you cannot afford to light it.

Instead, you spend hours gazing

at a stained-glass glow

you can never own.

 

A haircut at the barbers is a fiver

but you and your money are turned away

because you are a woman

requesting a crop cut.

Your cut should take longer,

be coloured and curled

and be more costly to maintain.

You resort to hacking your hair with scissors.

Buy an over-priced pint with the note.

 

They close

Abdul’s corner shop,

the libraries

the smaller schools.

Then the good old standards go:

Marks, Debenhams, Peacocks.

Those who complain

only ever buy online.

It is cheaper and delivery is free

if you keep spending.

 

The NHS

is dismantling itself

one over-worked nurse

or PA at a  time.

 

Community disintegrates

as the lonely find a self-serve checkout ,

a machine for train tickets,

an instruction to disembark

at the centre of the bus.

The smiles and civilities have been sold

to the same place the grit is

and tarmac for potholes.

 

I am reminded of the time Kwik Save closed for good.

We ripped out the shelves with youthful relish

unplugged the freezers.

Glad we wouldn’t be going back.

 

But now when places close

the shelves and freezers stay in place.

No new buyers

to make these air hangars better, brighter, vital .

These high street windows

are dead-eyed and down-cast.

 

The heat chokes us.

The rain soaks us.

There is no comfort

 in this summer.

We are all red-eyed and irritated.

We itch for a revolution.

 

We are hungry for it,

but we are tired

our cores are built from broken promises

and specks of guttering hope.

These used to be what made our eyes shine

they are now lit, sometimes,  by wine or whisky.

Soon to be dead and dull

for good.

 

For all the good will have drained

from even the most optimistic minds.

Optimism thrives

when possibilities are many

as each runway, PROW or freedom

is grown over, boarded up or denied

our hopes are put out

with the small metal hat

that used to countdown to Christmas

but instead of building excitement

this time

each extinguishing hurts

and is permanent.

 

We seek relief in the cloak of songs

from when we were fourteen.

We watch superhero films

to convince ourselves

it will all be okay.

But it isn’t.

And it won’t be.

There will be good moments.

Blissful weeks away from reality.

 

The world is dying.

There are no buyers.

We are the dinosaurs  this time

hoping for a meteor

before bland-faced, blond-mopped stupidity

ends us instead.

(First Published by International Times, 2019)

 

Adding wax patterns to Wednesday launch – 30th November 2018 – Three Drops Press


Launch at The Lloyds, Chorlton, Manchester Friday 30th November 7.30-9.30pm

Special guests: Simon Howarth. Chris Woods and Kate Garrett.

FREE ENTRY

‘Here dance the figures of anger, frustration, resentment and desire, following the skewed steps of Surrealist spells and charms for coping. Dixon’s pithy and often unsettling poems are populated by creatures and people on the threshold of metamorphoses, having been pushed to the limits of themselves and in doing so reach for revelations that lie beneath the rational order of things.’

Bob Beagrie

A cabinet of curiosities, Dixon casts her spell in spilled wax and wash days, roses pegged to washing lines and days that start without knickers. These poems search for alchemy within the domestic, they dig through the ash to find stars.  Angela Readman

Sarah Dixon’s second book is one of dizzying, dream like fantasy, edged with vulnerability. These strange, often humorous, often moving poems swim like goldfish in a pond, rising to the surface to greet the reader in flashes of light and love. This is a collection of sharp surprises and tongue in cheek observations of life and love, where one is never quite sure what is real and what is not. A perfectly lovely collection of Monty pythonesque poems. Wendy Pratt

Electric rain sparks off Wedgwood carpets as the everyday is made strange and startling. These poems nestle together in a mosaic of dedication as tributes to transformation, and the testing (and shattering) of boundaries.   Steve Nash

Gig Dates 2018







28th Jan 2018 Story Walk – guest – featured poet    Marsden, Hudd

4th Feb 2018    Pub Poets – guest spot Blackpool

9th Feb 2018    Poets and pandemonialists support Leeds

19th Feb 2018 Queenies Cafe Night – Guest    Huddersfield

25th Feb 2018 Slawit Gallery – Guest    Slawit, Hudd

7th March 2018    Verse Matters Sheffield

11th April 2018 Speaker’s Corner   York

20th April 2018 Manky Poets Chorlton, Mcr.

11th June 2018 Wordplay – guest spot   Halifax

30th June 2018 Leadboilers festival – 20mins   Linthwaite, Hudd
4th July 2018 Women of Words  2-4pm Hull
12th July 2018   Albert Poets – guest spot 7pm Huddersfield

4-8th October 2018    Poetry Swindon volunteer and reading    Swindon

8th October 2018   In The Pink – guest spot – Pembroke College Oxford

21st October 2018 Prole day (workshops and) open mic at Lloyds   Chorlton, Manchester 

25th October 2018 Finding the Words   6.45pm York


Updated 14th June 2018

Finding Huddersfield Blog 1

The Finding Huddersfield Blog part 1 – Huddersfield Sounds

One of my poetry/art friends (Hannah Boyd) challenged me to be part of a project where you wrote your aims for the next year on a plate and I am reporting back on the plate I wrote on this time last year.

My aim was to make Huddersfield our new home.

Spoken Word?

I have enjoyed nights at The Sair, Albert Poets, Queenies and Slawit Gallery. I am guest at Albert Poets in July and looking forward to going back. It was lovely to see friends Winston Plowes, Gaia Holmes and Ian Harker read there.  I have shown Louise Fazackerley and Harry Gallagher some of the local places I love. I have still not made it to Marsden Write out Loud yet. But I have set up a new writing session at The New Inn in Marsden (which usually runs on term time Mondays) £5 a head (£2.50 for your first session).

Marsden Poetry Village: I was poet in residence for National Poetry Day and I read some poems and encouraged people to write poems incorporating a few words. I was one of the guest readers, along with Hannah Stone and Jo Haslam at the opening of Marsden Poetry Village soon after moving here. 

My first book was also taken up by Yorkshire Half Moon Press after I moved across the Pennines. This was launched in November 2017 and I have read poems from it in Leeds, York, Sheffield, Slawit, Marsden, Huddersfield, Linthwaite, Haworth, Wakefield and many places outside Yorkshire. My next guest spot in Yorkshire will be 11th June at The Square Chapel, Halifax.

https://thepoetryvillage.com/2018/03/22/sarah-dixon/

Tramping feet and The Colne River?

I have been loving the different moods of a valley. Been enjoying the mist, the snow, the sun and the fact the towpath and river are only a ten minute walk from our house.

In the first few months of being here I was determined to find out what was over every hill. I lot of locals said I have been to places they have never visited. Highlights are Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, Golcar Lily Day, Longwood View, Castle Hill, Imbolc Festival, Cuckoo Festival and lots of traipses down the towpath and getting lost. I also learnt I can’t rely on a wifi map signal to help me find the way back in time for school run so a few panicked scrambles back to the school gate but not actually been too late (yet).


Local Trains? 

Definitely. Trains pass through the valley and we can see them from our kitchen window, my bedroom window seat and the attic velux. I don’t catch them to local areas very often as the bus stop is opposite out house and is direct to Huddersfield and Marsden every 20 minutes. We can catch the slow bus to Manchester which takes 93 minutes on a good day. This takes us through Slaithwaite and Marsden, across the moors and to Diggle, Uppermill, Oldham and eventually Manchester. The views are spectacular and it only costs a five for a day ticket. This is if you don’t mind bum ache and you are setting back from Manchester by 17.20 (last bus home).

Unexpected sounds

I made new friends after volunteering to steward the Christmas light switch-on. Pretty sure they waited another ten seconds before turning on the section I had helped replace the bulbs in to wind me up. We went to The Railway for some drinks after the switch on event was completed. I learnt you do not have one pint with morris-dancers and you better know the time of your last bus home!

I wrote a poem on demand for the Thieving Magpie and Oakenhoof Troupes. This poem was added to a Marsden Poetry Trail here:

https://halfwayhike.com/marsden-poetry-trail/

I read some poems on the Imbolc Story walk and enjoyed the story-telling magpies.  At Cuckoo Day I also met the Frumptarn Guggenband who were a lot of fun. The Imbolc Fire Festival in Marsden is in the top ten fire festivals in the world and was spectacular.



What’s next?

Next local events are:

Wordplay – Halifax Square Chapel: Monday 11th June 2018 7.45-10pm – £5 on the door.

Albert Poets – The Albert, Huddersfield – Thursday 12th July 2018 8-10.30pm – Free entry.

Next local festival is The Leadboilers Festival up on the green near The Sair, Linthwaite:


Quiet Compere Sundered Land (part of Sunderland Libraries’ Festival 2017)

The Quiet Compere Sunderland at Sunderland Libraries’ Festival
(16th October – 4th November 2017)

http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=10823

Thanks firstly to the festival staff for looking after us so well and for getting a brilliant venue for the event and finding some funding so I could pay performers a fee. 

Sundered

We champions of Pallion,

we builders of ships,

we pipework wranglers.

 

We sons of Hendon

and Roker daughters

caught by the nets

of a slaughter trawler

 

who stripped our streets,

shutdown our shops,

took food from the mouths

of the bairns of the town.

 

We stand sundered

but unbowed,

made from the stuff

the south cannot dream of.

 

The tide is ours

and it is due in.

by Harry Gallagher

 
Harry Gallagher:
Harry told us ‘the sun is a ghost’ and ‘Miss Cassidy chuckled at the softest of heroes ‘. Then, Harry  ‘puts an arm around midnight’ and ‘the dark is reclaimed by frosted foxes.’ Harry’s poem ‘Sundered’ above was written in response to a prompt to write a piece about the local area and he was so quick of the mark with it that is was used in the promotional material for the festival too.  

Link: https://harrygallagherpoet.wordpress.com/


Judi Sutherland:
Judi’s take of sundered land was a political piece that talked of  ‘the chasm running through us that is wider than a river.’ and ‘the toss of a coin that is double-sided’. In her  Jo Cox poem the line ‘ all your future selves collapse into a bullet-hole.’  stunned me.

Find more about Judi here: http://www.judisutherland.com/


Tony Gadd:
Tony’s poetry was largely about the fact he has had head and neck surgery and the value of having a voice.  Lines that particularly stood out for me were: ‘Still I’m honoured to keep my gift of a voice.’ and then about spoken words ‘My life, this voice, spoken words, I savour every one of them never knowing if it will be my last.’ I loved your line in the local industry poem about ‘bottle glass works offer gifts from the sea, of ultramarine amber and ruby gems.’

Tony’s page is here: http://tonygadd.com/about


Bob Beagrie:
I loved the refrain of a poem Bob co-wrote with children ‘We’ll send a ship across the sea from Sunderland’ and I particularly loved ‘a piece of sea-coal from Seaham sands.’ Bob’s poem about the National Day of Mourning in Estonia, Leinapaev  ‘the trees stand singing songs that run through their rings’. Oh, and the music in his words in other poems  ‘into each season’s amnesia ‘ and ‘murmurs the mottle logic of eggshells.’

Listen to Bob here with music by S J Forth: https://soundcloud.com/projectlono-1/leinapaev/


Juli Watson:
Juli stepped in 6 hours’ notice and so did not have a piece about the local area. Juli told us of her time spent working with adolescents in a secure forensic psychiatric unit ‘dress it with dignity, dress it as if it was your child.’

And she her talk of  ‘when we meet it , hot breath and cold glass – flashing your fishing-hook smile’ reminded me of a recent return to the world of ‘dating’ and the shock and melt of hot breath and contrast of fabric and skin. Then, Juli tells us of ‘spring amidst the grey winter of routine.’ A simple moment of pleasure when a patient who couldn’t communicate verbally seemed to ‘dance’ in her wheelchair.

Find Juli’s assemblage pieces here: https://juliwatson.weebly.com/poetry-assemblage.html

Poets who were  sadly missed due to lurgy and house moves were Pippa Little, Mandy Maxwell and Laura Lawson.

Thanks to Bob Beagrie, Tony Gadd and Juli Watson for stepping in at short notice. Thanks to Judi Sutherland (and Big Frank) for letting me stay and feeding me and Harry Gallagher for the pint on Newcastle Brown Ale.



The Quiet Compere and beyond Sunderland
I performed a short set too about belonging and movement. As I had never been to Sunderland before I wrote a poem about buses as I thought that was safe territory, rather than muddling up local myth and history and industries.  The bus poem is below.

What next for Quiet Compere? I have bids in to Huddersfield Litfest and am preparing one for Swanwick Writers School. I am a regular visitor at Marsden Poetry Village and hope more will happen in that direction over the next few months.

I have been quite tied up with moving area, house, job and Frank moving school and the pamphlet plans – launch is 24th November in Leeds.

Watch this space…

Park Lane Interchange

The classical music

and choreographed buses.

 

The mantras

that take

all the waiting home

or closer to that.

 

35A, Black Cats 2, 60 Drifter,

 

Stagecoach, Arriva, Go North East.

 

Silksworth, Marley Pots, Barnes.

 

Fred Stratton is missed

with his Marshall-bodied Dominators from Darlo,

Dennis Lancets from Blackpool

his Leyland Lynxes, Titans and Olympians.*

 

The classical music

and choreographed buses.

 

The mantras

that take

all the waiting home

or closer to that.

 

The movement

and the slow promise

of a destination.

 

*Redby of Sunderland Flickr