Tag Archives: Medway writers

Heretics 2015 launch event

Some images from the launch event of our lit-art exhibition. More to follow soon. Thanks to Marilyn Simpson and David Bahia for these. The exhibition is on at Rochester Library until the end of September, and there is a booklet of all the writing which can be read in the library alongside the artworks. You can also order a limited edition catalogue-anthology of the project from www.wordsmithery.info

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Heretics assembling for the sequel

Poster for exhibition
Lit-art exhibition in Medway, September 2015

‘The Road Not Taken’; Medway writers and artists reveal their text-art collaborations at Rochester Library for a second year

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics is a large scale collaborative project from Medway-based literary art organisation Wordsmithery (the people who bring you ME4Writers), fusing words and images from writers and artists from Medway and beyond. Lat year in our inaugural year, as part of the Rochester Literature Festival, we teamed up 22 writers with 20 artists. This year the exhibition has grown by a third, as 32 writers will have their work interpreted by at least 27 artists!

We asked writers to write a piece inspired by Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’, then we gave these writings anonymously to artists who interpreted them without knowing who the authors are.

The collaborations are revealed in our exhibition which runs until from 1-30 September 2015 at Rochester Library, then for a fortnight at Lordswood Library (timings tbc).

Artwork by long-standing and established Medway writers and artists sits alongside the work of new talent in this stunning exhibition. Some of the writers whose work features are Bill Lewis, Maria C McCarthy, Sarah Hehir, Sam Fentiman-Hall, Philip Kane, and some of the artists include: Peter Reeds (whose art features as the illustration for the exhibition poster), Heather Haythornthwaite, Chris Van Beck, Dianne Reeves and Maggie Drury.

Artists have interpreted the texts in a variety of media – including, photograms, oil paintings, photographs, textiles, collage, linoprints and sculpture.

The texts which inspired the artwork will be revealed in full at an event on 3 September 2015, where the writers will read their work, and leave a booklet of the stories and poems for visitors to read. The event, which is free to attend, takes place at Rochester Library.

Barry Fentiman-Hall of Wordsmithery, who curated the exhibition said: “This is collaborative art at its best. A simple idea passes through many hands and emerges in a way that is completely unpredictable. It is still recognisable in some vague way, like a distant relative, but it has evolved into a different thing, and it is beautiful.”

Wordsmithery are also planning to publish a limited edition catalogue of the exhibition for £15, which will be available to pre-order from the Wordsmithery website, and at the launch event.

Exhibition details:
An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics: ‘The Road Not Taken’
Exhibition: 1-30 September 2015
Rochester Library, Community Hub Rochester

Launch Event:
Live readings from the exhibition: 3 September, 7.30pm, Rochester Library.

Photos from ‘A strange melange of good and evil’

Here are a selection of readers reading at the event we hosted as part of the ‘An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics’ exhibition. Thanks to Chris Tong (B+W) and Marilyn Simpson (colour) for the pictures.

You can see the pictures inspired by the words, and read the words too, at Rochester Library, until 25 October.

Comments from the event:
‘Felt very welcome: nice relaxed atmosphere.’ ‘Fantastic – how lucky we are to have a library like this and so many talented poets. More of this please: lots of poets reading a single poem. Loved the artwork also.’ ‘Very enjoyable and entertaining. More poetry reading events please.’ ‘Excellent content.’ ‘More of the same please.’

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The Seed Catalogue – launching at the FUSE festival

Picture of booklets
The Seed Catalogue

We are delighted to be able to launch our new collaborative booklet of prose and poetry ‘The Seed Catalogue’ from tomorrow at the FUSE Medway Festival.

The booklet has been put together from contributions to our wordshops over the past month, and showcases writing from 24 local writers, some of whom had not written before, some of whom are already writing.

The booklet has a range of writing inspired by the topics of Medway and Festival, and it was a delight to read the varied contributions and put the booklet together.

You can come along and do some writing too, in the Shed during the Festival, where you can find us in Gillingham on the High Street on Friday, at Chatham near H Samuels on Saturday and at Rochester Castle Gardens for the Big Picnic on Sunday. Bring a rug, and a picnic and you can listen to us read from the new booklet.

We will be typing up as many of the contributions from the weekend as we can and adding them to our online version of the publication – ‘The Seed Compendium’.  We will also be tweeting live poems from the Festival, follow us on @WordShed.

The whole project has been made possible with a Spark commission from the FUSE Medway Festival.

Feedback

If you come to The Word Shed over the weekend, and would like to give us any feedback, to help us develop future live literature events, please fill in our quick online survey.

News from the ‘Letters Home’ launch

Barry reading a letter
Barry reading a letter

We launched Letters Home at Rochester Library on 10 November 2012 in a 2-hour event with readings, and songs, in several languages!

Sam and Barry  hosted the event which was attended by an enthusiastic and full audience. And Roy recorded the event and made a podcast from it.

Sam and Barry read letters from some of the letter writers who couldn’t attend – ably assisted by Steph Anderson, who read former Medway resident, Tara Moyle’s ‘A Letter Home’ in a faultless Southern accent.

‘Letters Home’ is a project from ME4Writers, which invited Medway residents to write a letter to the place they think of as home. The exhibition is being displayed by Medway Libraries in Rochester and Walderslade Village.

As well as letters, photographs from Medway photographer Nikki Price feature in the exhibition, alongside Medway artist Heather Haythornthwaite’s atmospheric local street scenes.

The idea for the exhibition grew as sometimes there’s a feeling that people just find themselves here. Kent has always been a place that displaced peoples end up in, and that has often been seen as a negative thing, but this exhibition celebrates Medway’s diverse population – as well as letters from writers who are born and bred in Kent, we have had letters from members of the other communities, who have all made their homes here.

Some of our lovely readers read their own letters. Amongst the bi-lingual highlights were Irina Fridman reading her letter in Russian, Sarah Jenkin and Sean Meaney reading poems and a letter in Gaelic and Sam reading the English translation to some letters from children learning Bulgarian. Other readers who read their letters were Sarah March D’angelo, Roy Smith, Jaye Nolan, Nigel Cuming, and Phil Kane, whose new collection of poetry about the Medway ‘Unauthorised Person’ is available to buy now from Cultured Llama.

We have had a brilliant local response to the project – which has included letters from children at the Bulgarian School of the Association of the Bulgarian Community in Rochester, and we are still receiving letters which will be added to our Letters Home blog, at the end of the exhibition.

Sam also ran a creative writing workshop for adults (and one will be run for children on 21 November,) and the responses received from the attendees were very moving. This seems to be a project which has really touched people deeply.

Thanks to those at Rochester library for letting us display our exhibition and hold the launch there! Also thanks to those at Walderslade Village, where our smaller satellite exhibition is running. Thanks also to Carlito Juanito whose houses feature on the bunting and postboxes.

Nikki has taken some photos from the event which will be posted soon.

Letters home – update

Picture of the cover of Letters Home
Letters Home

The ‘Letters Home’ project is nearly finished and it’s looking really lovely.

‘Letters Home’ was an open submission project, asking local residents to write a letter home to the place/person/thing they consider home.

Medway residents responded and we have collected their letters to the place they call home in a booklet – containing some poetry; some prose; some which are real; some which are fictional. All heartfelt.

We are just finalising the booklet, and looking for a venue to hold an exhibition of the letters and home based photos by local photographer Nikki Price. We will give an update as soon as details are arranged.