CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: POETRY GROUPS

We’re delighted to announce that our two poetry groups are to recommence in person at the Bristol Folk House, starting on 10th and 17th September. (Can’t wait to hit the Folk House cafe again!) We currently have one vacancy; if you think you might be interested, please contact admin@theleapingword.com for details.

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: SILVER STREET POETRY

Sadly, we don’t yet feel the time is right to recommence sessions at Hours, not least because of the intimate nature of the venue. If you have friends who come and who aren’t on social media or are unlikely to see this, please let them know.

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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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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