Calder Valley writers come together in aid of flood fund
Award-winning and acclaimed poets such as Carola Luther, Char March and Winston Plowes have kindly agreed to participate in a fundraiser for the Upper Valley Flood Fund. Speech Bubble, is to be held at the Hole In The Wall in Hebden Bridge on January 24 at 7:30pm. It will feature some work specially written in response to the floods, which hit the region in the summer of 2012.
I also asked my creative friends: Ian Humphreys and Graham Alexander, with whom I attended a WEA writing course taught by Anna Turner, to read their work. While on the course, listening to their homework was the hight light of the sessions for me. Ian writes witty prose with lively characterisations and fresh twists, whereas Graham’s work can be atmospherically surreal or fiercely political, depending on his mood.
When I was part of The Artist’s Way group in Hebden Bridge, I fell in love with the dry Northern humour of Jim Donaghy’s poems. Jim recently charmed the audience at the Open Mic at Mill Pond Studios in Hebden Bridge.
This is an excerpt from Press Release kindly written by Ian
“Acclaimed poet Carola Luther will read a selection of poems exploring themes of water, climate change or drought. Award-winning poet Char March will read her prose piece entitled “Flood the First” inspired by the June and July floods. Winston Plowes will present his verbal and visual poetry created as a reaction to the floods in Hebden Bridge.
Ian Humphreys’ contribution will be his wry short story “Labels”, Graham Alexander will read a selection of insightful verse and flash fiction, and Jim Donaghy will entertain with his lively rhymed poems.
Oxana will introduce her collection of poems “Sherlock Suite” inspired by the BBC’s “Sherlock” drama series. An original musical score composed by her brother, Alexander Poberezhny, will accompany the work.
Date: Thursday, January 24th at 7:30pm.
Venue: The Hole in the Wall, Hebden Bridge
Entry: £4 on the night. All entrance fees will be donated to the Upper Valley Flood Fund.
More info on the performers
No stranger to the stage, Graham is a well-known local compère and former stand-up comedian. A dab hand at various literary forms, he explores topics close to his heart. Graham recently ‘gave up the day job’ to follow his true passion – writing. Graham will be reading two or three of his insightful pieces of flash fiction and poetry. You can follow his exploits at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/coldbather
Luddendenfoot poet, Jim, writes poems brimming with wit and humour. He will be sharing a smattering of his rhyming creations at Speech Bubble.
An advertising copywriter by trade, Ian writes fiction and dabbles in poetry. He was shortlisted for The Bridport Prize in 2012, and his work has been published in The Guardian. He is currently wrestling with his first novel. Ian will be reading “Labels” – a wry tale contrasting the lives of Britain’s aristocracy with London’s homeless. This short, short story received a special mention in Flash 500.
Carola grew up in South Africa and moved to England in 1981. She works in Leeds and lives in the Yorkshire Pennines. Her first Carcanet collection “Walking the Animals” was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2004. Carola has just completed her position as poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust in the Lake District. Carola will choose from work she has written that explores climate change, drought and water, and from a newly published set of poems written in the Lake District.
“Carola’s poems rarely stay still… invigorating and quietly disturbing.” Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement
Char March is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright and fiction writer. Her latest poetry collections are ‘The Thousand Natural Shocks’ and ‘The Cloud Appreciation Society’s Day Out’, both of which have lots of poems in celebration – and despair of – our local weather! She is currently writer-in-residence for the NHS in the North West, and she’s also been writer-in-residence for the Pennine Watershed Initiative, Leeds Hospitals Trust, Ty Newydd (the National Writing Centre in Wales), and Hull University Business School. Char will read her prose piece entitled “Flood the First” inspired by the summer floods in Hebden Bridge.
“Char is a highly entertaining and genuinely original voice – her carefully-crafted poetry patterns together to produce salt, lemon and tequila. Cheers!”
Ian Duhig (twice winner of The National Poetry Prize)
Winston lives with his two cats on a narrowboat on The Rochdale Canal. His compositions, which have been widely published, aim to make people pause and ponder the magical details of life. Winston will be reading some of the work commissioned by the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival to raise awareness of the plight of homes and businesses in Calderdale, some of which are still struggling after the floods. More details of his work can be found at: http://www.winstonplowes.co.uk
“You are a one-man festival… brilliant.”
Helen Meller, Co-ordinator, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2012-13
Order of appearance
There is a facebook event for Speech Bubble