@lagannavigator – 2019/20 #WaterwaysStorymakingFestival #Free #CreativeWritingWorkshops #Waterstones #Belfast #Lisburn #EastsideVisitorCentre #IamWriting

Following two incredibly successful editions, the Waterways Storymaking Festival No. 3 is in full flow and receiving submissions. If you’d like a little prompt for your inspiration why not avail of three FREE public workshops.

  1. Waterways Storymaking Festival Free Creative Workshop, 10 October, 2-3.30pm, Waterstone’s Belfast, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast with fab facilitator Lynda Tavakoli. Register to attend register to attend by contacting heather@thewaterwayscommunity.org or calling 028 9266 3232.
  2. Waterways Storymaking Festival Free Creative Workshop, 17 October, 2-3.30pm, Waterstone’s, 30 Bow Street, Lisburn  with fab facilitator Lynda Tavakoli. Register to attend register to attend by contacting heather@thewaterwayscommunity.org or calling 028 9266 3232.
  3. Waterways Storymaking Festival Free Creative Workshop, 23 October, 6.30-8.30pm, Eastside Visitor Centre, 402 Newtownards Road, Belfast with me, facilitator Olive Broderick . Register to attend register to attend by contacting heather@thewaterwayscommunity.org or calling 028 9266 3232.

Hope to see you!

WATERWAYS STORYMAKING FESTIVAL 2019/2020 Submission Guidance

Fabulous and growing response to this now annual homage to people’s connection with waterways. Here are the details of this year’s call.

Do you have a story, memory or link with the River Lagan?

The Waterways Community is inviting people who are interested in the rich heritage of rivers, canals and waterways and we aim to encourage people to record their memories and to create new stories and visual memories of their waterway.

With a theme this year of ‘Altogether Now’ we hope to inspire people to reminisce and record their memories of a waterway that is special to them. We aim to connect people through sharing their stories and memories of the waterways.

Calling out to individuals, community groups and schools to take part in the Festival. Categories are entered on a competitive basis and are designed to be accessible to everyone irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity or ability. Specialist facilitators encourage and develop skills and capture memories, this makes our Festival exciting, it allows everyone to express their creativity celebrating waterways past and present.

Workshops will run from August 2019 to end October 2019. Open session workshops will be held at Waterstones in Lisburn and Belfast (see above)

All stories and poems submitted will be collected and published in an anthology of works following the festival. Prizes will be awarded at our awards event in Craigavon Civic Centre on Saturday 1st October 2020.

The categories for the competition are:

  • Age 11 and Under

  • Age 12-17

  • Age 18 and Over

Stories should be no more than 500 words and poems should be no more than 30 lines.

Deadline for submission is Thursday 31st October 2019 at 5pm.

Submissions should be emailed to storymaking@thewaterwayscommunity.org

Submissions By Post
If you are unable to submit a piece of creative writing as part of the Waterways Storymaking Festival online via email, we are happy to accept hand delivered or postal entries to 148 Hillsborough Road, Lisburn, BT27 5QY.
Entries must have contact details and age category.

SOME ONLINE INSPIRATION?

A small number of readings and resources to spark your imagination.

Jo Bell ‘Lighter’ – commissioned for the 250th Anniversary of the Lagan Navigation.

‘The Lagan Canal’ by Harry O’Rawe – we follow in the footsteps of May Blair and her work of gathering stories collected in her publication ‘Once Upon a Lagan’. How important it is to record the communities connections – Lagan and Linen – before they slip away out of current memory.

Find out more about the Lagan Navigation on the Lagan Navigation Trust’s website.

@lagannavigator – 2019/20 #Waterways Storymaking Festival: Invitation to Groups

Following two incredibly successful editions, the Waterways Storymaking Festival is a firm fixture on the annual calendar – and working towards season no. 3!

If you haven’t already gotten a copy ‘Reflections 2’ – a collection of all of the stories and poems from the Waterways Storymaking Festival 2018/19 – it is now available at £5.00 each from Lagan Navigation Trust. Some of the first ‘Where my River Flows’ anthology may also be available for purchase if you are interested. Contact heather@thewaterwayscommunity.org for more information.

WATERWAYS STORYMAKING FESTIVAL No. 3

In anticipation of its third festival, Lagan Navigation Trust are now welcoming contact from groups – creative writing groups or community groups of any kind  – who would like the opportunity of having a facilitated workshop with the river as a theme. Easy-going and interesting, the two-hour sessions also provide inspiration and the chance to draft work to submit to next year’s anthology should participants choose. There are prizes in all categories of submission – poem, short story and age category. Primary and Secondary school teachers, does this sound like something that might interest your students?  Contact heather@thewaterwayscommunity.org for more information and to request a workshop for your group or school.

Not in a group? Why not join an open workshop? Storymaking workshops will be running in late Summer through Autumn and will include a number of Open Workshops where everybody is invited to get together and talk, dream and write about waterways including Lagan Navigation. Further details will be available in late Summer.

WANT TO GET INSPIRED EARLY?

A small number of readings and resources to spark your imagination.

Jo Bell ‘Lighter’ – commissioned for the 250th Anniversary of the Lagan Navigation.

‘The Lagan Canal’ by Harry O’Rawe – we follow in the footsteps of May Blair and her work of gathering stories collected in her publication ‘Once Upon a Lagan’. How important it is to record the communities connections – Lagan and Linen – before they slip away out of current memory.

Find out more about the Lagan Navigation on the Lagan Navigation Trust’s website.

Touch, don’t observe – #worldbrailleday @LabelLib @acniwriting #tbt

Today (4 Jan 2019) is World Braille Day and I have just taken up the RNIB’s offer to have a visual representation of my name in braille to raise awareness of braille (RNIB Connect Podcast) and happily remembering getting a better sense of braille last year.

2018-04-25 13.26.26

Label lit/Poetry Day 2018 ‘Poetry Surprises’

I loved being part of this initiative for National Poetry Day ’18 – taking to Downpatrick with a handful of labels to be found in places where poetry would not be normally found.

The individual micro-poems/labels were drawn from a deconstructed poem (reconstructed below) that I had written for a curating poetry course.

The poem’s curation element was born out of my frustration at the behind-glass at-a-distance visual presentation of art, particularly constructed or 3D artforms, where individual pieces seemed to silently scream from behind the glass, or whatever out-of-reach space, about how the best part of their innate artistic communiation was in the form of physical interaction which was prohibited.  I was also, in my own writing practice, experimenting with the sense of touch – that self-same physical interaction (skin-to-skin contact being the most profoundly inspirational but in my workshop experiments it was objects which were called upon to share their inspirational qualities through the medium of the fingers, the palms, the skin).

Working with the PageTurners – a creative writing group drawn from the RNIB NI membership – the idea of creating labels with a braille element presented itself to me. I am still so grateful to the RNIB braille team for responding to my strange request and so quickly. They said two things which I have filed away for future use. One is that braille isn’t as commonly known as it was by virtue of the advance in technology and the other is that I could, if I was a bit more organised, have organised actual brailled labels. This might have been a better awareness raising and access strategy – but my curation of braille ‘elements’ was also to invoke the language of touch, raising broader awareness of the predominance of the visual in our lives – and perhaps to create a bridge between the two.

The braille version of poem came back to me in one piece without line-breaks, so in order to create the elements I had to work out the system. I have always loved the feel of braille – words I can touch – but, up to this I hadn’t any idea how to transform the dots and indentations into communication. I am no expert now but I have a better understanding of it and even more respect for it than I had before.

Some more information about Label Lit 2018 by Arts Council NI here (video)

To Have & To Hold: A Curator’s Proposal

Let’s leave the world of the glass display case
Find a way back to our own space
Create a touch tank of the place we inhabit.

Touch       don’t observe

Impressions left on the spoon-bowl palm
Of the hand – a sustaining pleasure
Of weight and size and texture.

Touch       but with care

There are boundaries here to consider
How best to hold what’s fixed, passing through
All that contains you?

Touch      these four walls

Doors   windows   keep vigilant
For anywhere that feels like confinement
Ask yourself is this what home is?

What
Holds you
Here.

@lagannavigator – 2018/19 Storymaking Festival. Theme: Linen On The Lagan

LinenontheLagan

Following their incredibly successful first annual Storymaking Festival last year, Lagan Navigation Trust are inviting people who have a connection to the Lagan Navigation and River Lagan to get involved in their Storymaking Festival this year, with prizes for the best pieces. If you would like a copy of ‘Where my River Flows’ – an anthology arising from last year’s Storymaking Festival, contact admin@lagannavigationtrust.org to purchase.

The theme this year (2018), in celebration of Northern Ireland’s first Linen Biennale, is ‘Linen on the Lagan’. Everyone is invited to submit a story (up to 500 words) or a poem (no more than 30 lines). Work can be submitted via the Lagan Navigation Trust’s website HERE. (see t&c’s there also). The deadline is 4pm, Friday 26 October 2018.

The categories for the competition:

  • Age 11 and under
  • Age 17 and under
  • Adult

Every good wish to all submitting. The festival will be celebtated at an Awards Event in the Odyssey, Belfast on Friday, 1 Feburary 2019 as part of National Storymaking Week.

NEED SOME INSPIRATION

Why not join an open workshop? Storymaking workshops are running up to the end of October 2018, supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council Northern Ireland, and facilitated by myself and Martelle McPartland.

As part of the ‘Linen on the Lagan’ workshop series, I am running a number of open workshops which are free to attend and all welcome. But these do need to be booked in advance.

Wednesday 26th September 2018 – 10am – 12pm
Creative Writing Facilitated by Olive Broderick

Waterstones, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast
Book via admin@lagannavigationtrust.org t: 028 92 663232

Wed 3rd October 2018 – 10am – 12noon
Creative Writing facilitated by Olive Broderick
Waterstones, 30 Bow Street, Lisburn
Book via admin@lagannavigationtrust.org t: 028 92 663232

Sat 13th October 2018 2pm – 4pm
Creative Writing facilitated by Olive Broderick
Lurgan Library, 1 Carnegie Street, Lurgan
Book via Deirdre Breen at lurgan.library@librariesni.org.uk T: 028 3832 3912

Find the full list of workshops HERE some of the others are also accepting bookings to join their current groups.

CAN’T GET TO A WORKSHOP?

A small number of readings and resources to spark your imagination.

Jo Bell ‘Lighter’ – commissioned for the 250th Anniversary of the Lagan Navigation.

‘The Lagan Canal’ by Harry O’Rawe – we follow in the footsteps of May Blair and her work of gathering stories collected in her publication ‘Once Upon a Lagan’. How important it is to record the communities connections – Lagan and Linen – before they slip away out of current memory.

Find out more about the Lagan Navigation on the Lagan Navigation Trust’s website.

‘Linen on the Lagan Valley’ – a resource from Lagan Valley Regional Park

Check out the Linen Centre in Lisburn, and, of course, the Linen Biennale programme for loads of places where you can find out more about Irish Linen – past, present and what it might be like in the future.

FINALLY A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE…

(Lighter – Oxford Island)2018-08-27 12.15.22

 

 

 

 

Walking by Water WIP – #knowingthedance #knowingfromwithin @ACNIwriting

cropped-a8fbfebe-04a3-4337-a6e5-d9e051ef26c8.jpeg

My erstwhile blog has been true living up to its reputation that past month or so. I’ll be playing catch up in the next little while.

First on the catch up list is an acknowledgement of SIAP funding 17/18 for the Arts Council NI to do some further development work on the sequence of poems which emerged from the ‘Knowing the Dance‘ work of last year.

This collection incorporates the poem elements of the dance~poems (published in HU) created with dancer Paula Guzzanti and musician Martin Devek, some reworked elements of my three-line meditations on movement in words and poetry from April 2017 (National Poetry Month initiative).

For this development phase I am looking reworking ‘The Clock Repairer’s Companion, and then, particularly, at two other sequences of poems which emerged while doing this work. The first has the working title of ‘Walking by Water’ and the second is as yet untitled, though the work has coming together nicely.

I’m prepped and ready to do a bit of work on this during July – and the plan is to get a bit of mentoring support on the overall piece following that. Very appreciative of the support from the Arts Council NI for supporting me to do both.

It is worth acknowledging, as I am here, a professional membership bursary for the Irish Writers’ Centre which I very much value. My ‘income-generation strategy’, if I may call it that, sometimes means it’s difficult to be physically present at writer development opportunities, but I really value being part of these networks.

Image: Strangford Yacht Club, Castle Ward, June 2018.

 

Arts Council NI – ACES Award 16/17: #knowingthedance

Who can know the dancer from the dance? – Yeats

Thrilled and very appreciative to be one of the 17 artists who have received an ACES Award 16/17 from the Arts Council NI and very excited to begin work on #KnowingtheDance which is looking at the places where poetry and dance/movement meet.

Full details of all the ACES awardees can be found on the Arts Council NI’s website HERE.

My work programme for the coming year (hardly feels like work) is roughly like this:

(1) Research phase – finding places where dance & poetry currently meet and seeking out innovative approaches

(2) Masterclass with a choreographer/maker who is doing really interesting work bridging the gap between dance/movement and other artforms

(3) A new ‘body’ of work exploring the concepts behind ‘Knowing the Dance’ – I’ll be looking at some technical things here as well around how we write ‘the body electric’ – as it were – via rhythm, use of language and grammar etc

(4) Performance piece in collaboration with a wonderful dancer/choreographer

(5) Creative Writing Workshop based on the above for sharing with the groups that I work with

(5) Launch of my collection with Templar Poetry, Spring 2017

(6) General writing development in tandem with the above. I’ve been very impressed by developments by previous ACES recipients and hoping to add to that.

I’ll be sharing and documenting #knowingthedance through this blog through the year.

Thanks to Down Recorder for a profile this week (16 November) on my writing, ACES and the Lagan Online/Reading Room initiative ’12NOW’.  Great to be doing this in Downpatrick and working on the ACES project with Down Arts Centre.