CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: POETRY GROUPS

All courses and workshops at the Bristol Folk House are cancelled from Wednesday 18th March. This means that the Friday poetry groups run by the Leaping Word will not be taking place, although we hope to continue them in some form or other via email and the Facebook group.

We shall resume groups as soon as the Folk House reopens.

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: SILVER STREET POETRY

Sadly, but entirely sensibly, our lovely venue, Hours Space, is closed for the time being. Silver Street Poetry will be back on the first Friday of each month once it is safe for it to reopen. If you have friends who come and who aren’t on social media or are unlikely to see this, please let them know.

Many thanks and see you soon!

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Silver Street Poetry takes place on the first Friday of each month (bar August) in Hours Space, which is situated in Colston Yard, off Colston Street. Doors open at midday, and entry is £4. Please arrive as promptly as possible, as the space is only booked until 1.30pm.

The room we use is on the ground floor and is fully accessible, as is the WC. Although there isn’t a cafe on site, there are plenty in the vicinity, so if you are likely to need refreshments, please bring them with you.

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Hours Space

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The entrance to Colston Yard

If you are driving to Silver Street Poetry, the postcode for Hours is Bristol BS1 5BD and the nearest affordable car parks are at Trenchard Street (0.2 miles) and the Galleries in Broadmead (0.5 miles). It is 0.4 miles from the bus station.

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: LAUNCH OF ‘THE SHADOW FACTORY’

Unfortunately we have had to cancel the launch of Deborah’s new poetry collection, The Shadow Factory, which was due to be held on April 24th at Hours Space, with guest reader Dominic Weston. We’ll reschedule it as soon as it’s safe to do so.

THE SHADOW FACTORY

We’re very pleased to announce the publication of Deborah’s fourth poetry collection, The Shadow Factory. Like its predecessors, it is available to buy from the Indigo Dreams website, or from Deb herself, price £10.

‘As a child, Deborah Harvey was fascinated by the rollsign of the 98 bus that gave its destination as The Shadow Factory, but as her stop came before the terminus, she never reached it, and an intimation of disappointment prevented her from asking what was made there. As a result, The Shadow Factory became a warehouse of wishes and unrealised dreams, a metaphor for life and death, and eventually this collection of poems that explore childhood, memory and the twilight of those household gods we call parents.’

Praise for the poem ‘Oystercatchers’ from The Shadow Factory:

Every word is weighted. Although nothing is explicit, something important is being enacted, and the epigraph by Camus adds an anchor, so that we guess his are the words being taken to the sea and released from the heart. I kept coming back to this and getting more from it.’   Pascale Petit

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Deborah has a busy schedule of readings from The Shadow Factory lined up over the coming months.

 

THE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE DEAD

We’re delighted that the first collection of poems by Leaping Word poetry group member Dominic Fisher has now been published by The Blue Nib, price £10.

Dominic will be giving readings from The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead around the country over the coming months.

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PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

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So pleased here at the Leaping Word that ‘Oystercatchers’, a poem by our very own Deborah Harvey, has just come home with a shiny penny in its pocket, having been awarded first prize in the 2018 Plough Prize Short Poem Competition.

Of the competition, Judge Pascale Petit says: ‘I love short poems, but I know how hard they are to write, so it was with trepidation that I read this longlist. I need not have worried – the under-ten-liner is in good health. The challenge is to go as far as in a long poem, without the length! It’s all about compression and impact, making words as elastic as possible.

‘Oystercatchers’ does just that – every word is weighted. In ten short lines I see a figure like Leonora Carrington’s ‘The Giantess’, a powerful and spare enigma of a woman, oystercatchers, (with their red bills and legs), and blood cells. Although nothing is explicit, something important is being enacted, and the epigraph by Camus adds an anchor, so that we guess his are the words being taken to the sea and released from the heart. I kept coming back to this and getting more from it.’

The Leaping Word would like to extend its congratulations to the other winners in both categories of the 2018 competition, the Open and the Short Poem, and to all the short- and long-listed poets. 

‘Oystercatchers’ will be included in Deborah’s forthcoming collection, The Shadow Factory, to be published by Indigo Dreams Publishing later this summer.

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And to prove we like to practise what we preach at the Leaping Word, here’s Colin with his certificate for winning the individual prize in the City of Bristol College Creative Writing Competition, with a poetic-prose piece called MIAOWWW!

Colin says: ‘Black cats evoke magic, mystery, music, night-time and a cool lyric! I played around with these elements and Miaowww! gradually appeared… magical realism, Filton style.’

 

PUBLISHING NEWS

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We’re delighted to announce that Leaping Word poetry group member Dominic Fisher has followed his success in the 2018 Bristol Poetry Prize by securing a publishing contract with The Blue Nib for his forthcoming collection, The Ladies and Gentleman of the Dead. Well done, Dominic!

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Good poets reinvent the language, taking the given of ordinary speech and pushing it beyond itself, making in effect a translation from one sense of reality to another.

Jay Parini