The sky is cracked – poetry pamphlet out now!!!

Hello All! My first ever poetry pamphlet is now available.

Themes include: break-up, music, pubs, friendship, longing, love, connection, adventures and moving on. 

Cost is £6 in person. Or £7.25 (incl UK P&P) either by cheque in advance, through PayPal or directly to my bank account. 

Dates I will be places

5th-8th October 2017 Poetry Swindon Festival Richard Jeffries Museum

21st October 2017 Sunderland Libraries Literature Festival

24th November 2017 Pamphlet Launch ‘The Sky is Cracked’
Word Club, The Chemic Tavern, Leeds

27th January 2018 Story Walk for Imbolc Marsden

4th February 2018 Pub Poets – guest spot – Blackpool

9th February 2018 Half Moon Books – support for Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists – Leeds

19th February 2018 QueeniesHuddersfield

25th February 2018 -Sunday Sessions – Slawit Gallery, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield

7th March 2017 Verse Matters – guest spot – Sheffield

11th April 2018 Speaker’s Corner – guest spot – York

20th April 2018 Manky Poets – guest spot – Chorlton Library

11th June 2018 WordPlay – guest spot – Square Chapel, Halifax

12th July 2018 Albert Poets – guest spot – Huddersfield Library

More dates TBC




Sarah Dixon writes so knowingly and with unerring lightness of touch. She knows about breaking and aching and treads nimbly between mythic, modern, and the sweet specificity of the mundane. She knows too of resilience and fragility and conjures with honesty and humour the strangeness and intensity of loss, and the wonder of finding. Best of all is when she touches upon longing, and so lightly, but, oh my, has it been touched – as we have, unforgettably.
Matt Harvey

These are beautifully crafted poems which will speak to everyone. Telling the story of the loss of love – and a return to life –  “The Sky is Cracked” is as beautiful as it is sad, as delicate as it is plainspoken. Sarah Dixon’s poetry holds the reader close, and then offers up its rich layers of meaning. Like good whisky, I could taste this short collection long after I’d read it – and I wanted more.  
Clare Shaw

This is poetry that “shimmies along the dado rail” to speak memorably of “the grumble of gravel under trainers.” Rich in imagery and with a wealth of truths, we’d be poorer without these poems.
Tony Walsh

Please let me know at thequietcomperemcr@gmail.com or on Twitter @quietcomperemcr if you would like a copy and I will send this out signed for £7.25 (including P&P)

The Quiet Compere and Sunderland Libraries Festival 2017

The Peacock, 287 High Street West, SR! 3ES, City of Sunderland.

2-4pm Saturday 21st October 2017. £3 entrance.

Full Festival outline here:

http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=19273&p=0&fsize=2Mb&ftype=Sunderland%20Libraries%20Literature%20Festival%20Programme.PDF/


Sundered
(For The Quiet Compere Sunderland leg)

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 has been published by The Interpreter’s House, Poets Republic, Ofipress, Rebel Poetry and many others. He performs nationwide and his new book, “Northern Lights” is out in September, from Stairwell Books.


Photo by Kev Howard

Bob Beagrie lives in Middlesbrough and is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University as well as being a co-director of Ek Zuban Press & Literature Development. He has published eight collections of poetry to date and his work has been translated into French, Estonian, Spanish, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and Urdu.


Pippa Little is Scots but settled in Northumberland. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University. Her second full collection Twist came out in March this year from Arc.


Mandy Maxwell is a poet from Northumberland. In 2009 Mandy completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle Uni. Mandy has performed in venues across the UK and has been published in pamphlets, zines, anthologies and online. In 2015 Mandy began running The Stanza poetry and spoken word events to bring new and established writers with their words and voices to the stage in the North East.


Judi Sutherland is a poet who lives in Barnard Castle, County Durham. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and in a chapbook which she shares with Lancashire poet, Jim Burns; ‘Dark Matter VI’ from Black Light Engine Room Press. She is the proprietor of The Stare’s Nest poetry webzine and she is working on her first pamphlet for publication early in 2018.


The Quiet Compere

Sarah L Dixon runs regular events in Manchester/Huddersfield. She hosted a medical-themed poetry event at Cheltenham Poetry Festival in 2014. Sarah has toured as The Quiet Compere since 2014 and received Arts Council funding for 24 events in 2014 and 2015. Quiet Compere events enlist established poets and emerging voices.

The Quiet Compere introduces them with little fanfare, so the poems (and not the poet’s track record) tell you all you need to know.

The Sky is Cracked – my first pamphlet is out with Half Moon Books in October 2017

A link for the pamphlet soon, but for now some responses to the poems and the pamphlet:

Sarah Dixon writes so knowingly and with unerring lightness of touch. She knows about breaking and aching and treads nimbly between mythic, modern, and the sweet specificity of the mundane. She knows too of resilience and fragility and conjures with honesty and humour the strangeness and intensity of loss, and the wonder of finding. Best of all is when she touches upon longing, and so lightly, but, oh my, has it been touched – as we have, unforgettably.
Matt Harvey

These are beautifully crafted poems which will speak to everyone. Telling the story of the loss of love – and a return to life –  “The Sky is Cracked” is as beautiful as it is sad, as delicate as it is plainspoken. Sarah Dixon’s poetry holds the reader close, and then offers up its rich layers of meaning. Like good whisky, I could taste this short collection long after I’d read it – and I wanted more.  
Clare Shaw

This is poetry that “shimmies along the dado rail” to speak memorably of “the grumble of gravel under trainers.” Rich in imagery and with a wealth of truths, we’d be poorer without these poems.
Tony Walsh

New spoken word night at The Sair with Linfit ales (Linthwaite), Huddersfield



Join us for a new spoken word event at the legendary Sair Inn, Linthwaite, HD7 5SG. Perform your own creative writing, a favourite piece of published work, or come along simply to enjoy. Performance slots will be a maximum of 4 minutes. This is a free event, but we do ask that you buy a drink from the bar – a selection of fine cask ales, soft drinks and coffee will be available.
If you would like to book a performance slot in advance, please contact Deira.

March 14th 2017 – The Final Quiet quiet LOUD! with Mark Pajak, Becky Cherriman and Nina Lewis

Quiet quiet LOUD! The final event has three extra special guests:

Nina Lewis                        Becky Cherriman                        & Mark Pajak
    
      

with The Quiet Compere:


Mark Pajak was born in Merseyside. His work has been published in Magma, The North and The Rialto (among others), been highly commended in the Cheltenham Poetry Competition and National Poetry Competition and won first place in the 2016 Bridport Prize. He has received a Northern Writer’s Award from New Writing North and was 2016’s Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival. His first pamphlet, Spitting Distance, was selected as a Laureate’s Choice and is published with smith|doorstop.

Becky Cherriman is a writer, workshop leader and performer based in Leeds. Published by Mslexia, New Walk, Envoi, Mother’s Milk, Bloodaxe, Well Versed and in Poets For Corbyn, she was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013 and lead artist for Altofts Festival In A Day 2016. Becky is a co-writer and performer of Haunt, a site-specific theatre commission for Imove, a project about homelessness. She is currently working on her one woman show with voices, Corseted. Her first poetry pamphlet Echolocation and first collection Empires of Clay were published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk and Cinnamon Press respectively.
www.beckycherriman.com

Nina Lewis is widely published in poetry journals and anthologies, including Abridged, Fat Damsel, Take Ten, Hark, Here Comes Everyone (HCE), I am Not a Silent Poet, New Ulster Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets, Under the Radar and Visual Verse. Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition 2015/2016 runner-up, Nina often performs at spoken word events and literary festivals. She was commissioned to write and perform poetry on ‘ecology and the city’ at the Birmingham Literature Festival in 2014. Her haiku have appeared in an art installation at the Midlands Art Centre, on the Poetry Fence at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm and in Municipal Bank Vaults for an International Dance Festival. Nina’s work also formed part of the poetry trail for Wenlock Poetry Festival 2014. Fragile Houses, published by V. Press autumn 2016, is her first pamphlet.

3 minute spots available (10) at this final one as I expect there might be quite a lot of interest and want to get as many people on as possible. Please contact me to reserve one. First come first served basis. thequietcomperemcr@gmail.com

Open mic

David Byrne
John Calvert
Sarah-Clare Conlon
Christopher Bainbridge
Ken Evans
Elise Hadgraft
Martin Jones
Cheryl Pearson

£3 OTD to be split between the poets and organiser in an equal share.







Wolverhampton Blog or the first WOLF, Black Country instruments and echoes

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On arrival in Wolverhampton I was directed to a pub where I could have a pint at eat my own food. Genius. I had made a big chicken pasta salad for train but had felt too early to eat it. Took my cheap Tupperware into the Lych Gate Tavern.

I went to The Slade Rooms to see Bob Beagrie and his team perform Leasungspell.

I loved it. They were all so accomplished and the event was like nothing I have ever seen before. Check Bob and Leasungspell  out further here: http://www.leasungspell.com/leaacutesungspell.html

I then sneaked my way into the dressing room to tell Jonn Penney I wished I could stay but was hosting at another venue. The tracks of my being fourteen played in the background as I grudgingly packed my stuff away. I am going to send him a beer mat with my A Bit Like Falling in Love poem.

beermat

Wolverhampton Art Gallery:

 

The staff were helpful and the venue was beautiful both visually and acoustically with an arched windowed high roof. There was plenty of space for books to be spread out and the space was almost full by the time we launched the event. My only complaint would be that we were not given advanced warning that the bar would be closed before half time break and I think a large number of the audience would have bought more beverages at the beginning had they known that.

 

Polly Stretton

I loved the fact Polly and Heather brought instruments along with them. The acoustics of the room were stunning. Lines that stood out were ‘Her body is an echo box. She does not own defeat.’ Loved the description of the mother ‘lips tight at some imagined slight’ and tree-climbing was ‘strictly forbidden in her straight back.’

https://blackpear.net/authors-and-books/polly-stretton/

 

Holly Magill

Holly asked us Do you think David Bowie would like my trousers?. Then she introduced a contrast at the food-bank where ‘the edge of the desk bites hard into my soft belly.’  No link available.

Nina Lewis

Nina posted a detailed blog within twelve hours of the event including photos.  Wow! The idea of going away together to say Goodbye when a relationship ends and when ‘the Lake evaporated, just like us.’ Arthur Rackham. I just rediscovered an Oliver Twist book last week with his plates in and love our family edition of Christmas Carol with his illustrations in it, so particularly enjoyed this one for personal reason too. ‘The King of mischief wears no hat as they beat their feet against ground, change the earth’s vibrations.’

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/quiet-compere-wolverhampton-literature-festival/

Leanne Bridgewater

Leanne handed out fruit to anyone who had heard of Veganuary. The second part of Leanne’s set was observations of a cyclist such as the woman here: ‘she always waits on the same bench, in the same coat the colour of beetroot.’ and ‘walk tremendously in the tracks of the bracken.’ Both these lines are from here debut poetry collection a 200+ page epic poem on cycling around Coventry, Confessions of a Cyclist.

http://leannebridgewater.co.uk/jut.html

Tom McColl

Tom talks of resignation as ‘holding the clock’s hour hand in my fist like a knife.’ and told us a story about Uncle Phil ‘he wasn’t really my uncle, but then he wasn’t really a dartboard either.’ And then his poem The Evil Eye: ‘You wouldn’t expect a key/to leave its shadow behind/when picked up off a table/ but that is happening now to you online.’ Find the entire poem The Evil Eye here: http://internationaltimes.it/the-evil-eye/  Find Tom’s Website here: https://thomasmccoll.wordpress.com/

Heather Wastie

Heather tells us she ‘was soap sud soup with beer bottle croutons’ and plays the accordion song Vacuum cleaner tuner as she attempts to tune the gallery carpet while you were there, as she says, this ‘is not a common art’.

http://www.wastiesspace.co.uk/Wasties_Space/HOME.html

Gerry Potter

Gerry’s Bling Trilogy is always a pleasure. From Tiffany Bling ‘boys screaming and falling apart. Doesn’t know much about art, but knows she doesn’t like it.’ and Jimmy Bling ‘ Pure as lust and distant as love,. Gloves off and furious.’ Grandma Bling ‘everyone shady is laughing, everyone’s baby is laughing. And she prays her lungs can make it.’  

https://www.youtube.com/user/Gerrypotterpoet

Jess May Davies

Jess, so many of her lines grab me so I will just share a few from Sleepless in Newcastle: ‘the fragile faces of fear covered for just a few seconds longer’ ‘our bodies stop screaming for the touch of something comforting.’ And from Fifteen – ‘already able to contain the history of earth in his guts.’ ‘consumed the world and pumped out the shame.’

http://jessmaydavies.tumblr.com/

Kathy Gee

Both the lines that held me most strongly in Kathy’s work were from here first collection, Book of Bones: ‘Visit me on Mondays, hear my echo/write to me from time to time.’  ‘There must be blood in a house this old’. ‘no sign recalls the distant killing/ brought to her front door/ by men in hats.’

http://vpresspoetry.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-of-bones.html

Steve Pottinger

In The Black Country Resistance poem ‘the dead, dragging hours are forgotten.’ and ‘feasts and grows fat, as best they can, on the memory and the taste of the promise of dreams.’ And from his new poem that had a title so long he couldn’t remember it:   ‘looks the wrong way at the right moment.’ And drunk people are described as ‘spectacularly spangled.’

http://stevepottinger.co.uk/

Crowd-funders

I owe the crowd-funders another massive Thanks for making this event happen and those who took part in throwing words at me for the poem-a-thons when Wolverhampton art Gallery lost the funds ear-marked to pay performers fees for Wolverhampton Quiet Compere.

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I shared an ale with Gerry and Emma at The Posada after the event. It is always good to have poets to share the post gig buzz with, especially when I returned home and it took me an hour to remove my second contact lens. I could watch cross-eyed as Facebook continued the giddy buzz as performers from the event sent each other love and compliments on sets and made new friends.

On the Saturday morning I asked directions to ‘Wightwick Gardens’ and the locals looked amused – I had pronounced it whitewick. After I read through a leaflet about the property I realised the knowing look was “Ah! Not a local!” humouring. The place was ‘Wittick Manor’. I met the same lady who had given me directions on a bus back in to town two hours later and smile and said ‘I know how to pronounce it now.’ So many friendly, chatty people on the buses.

Other highlights of the festival.

Meeting Emma Wright of Emma Press.

Win Saha and Bert Flitcroft – poetry with tea and cake.

R.M. Francis, Paul McDonald, Louise Palfreyman and Kerry Hadley-Pryce discussion about uncanny and murky underbelly of the Black Country.

Black Country Voices: The Nailmaker’s Daughters and Dave Reeves and his harmonica – here the performers were all a joy as was the venue.

Before I left on Sunday morning I was treated to Seven Wonders by Laura Liptrot, a retelling on Henry VIII and his six wives with props from the modern world and humour. A most enjoyable end to the weekend. I felt all the events I went to were a huge success and wish the WOLF luck in accessing funding to ensure an event happens in 2018.

http://wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk/home/

http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/