Roundabout Nights returned with aplomb to POP gallery last night. We were treated to performances from:
Malek Montag; Barry Fentiman-Hall; Sam Rapp; Chris Van Beck; Lisa Vigour; Neill ‘Razz’ Saunders; Philip Kane and Dylan Oscar Rowe.
The background exhibition is called ‘The POP gallery LabRat Conspiracy’ featuring photograms by a group of artists including some of those performing last night, Barry, Chris and Philip. Official opening night is 28 Feb, and it runs for a week afterwards.
Thanks to Bill Gooch of Man in the Attic Photography for the pics below. Check out the album on Facebook, if you want to see the full set.
Thanks to Marta and POP for the use of the space.
We came, we read, we listened, we acted, we applauded. The first night of Roundabout Nights at the Alex in Chatham was a sample of the type of events we will be hosting as part of this regular Monday night of literary delights.
You heard: Barry Fentiman-Hall reading poems from City without a head and various other poems. Deborah Klayman performing her monologue about a stalker ‘Lock up your sons’. Dylan Oscar Rowe reading poems and a short story. Ali Kemp and Deborah performing an extract from Sam Fentiman-Hall’s play ‘Randomly Accessed Memories’. Sophie Williams performing her poems. Deborah, Ali and Georgina Panton peforming Whoop’n’Wail’s short play ‘My Bloody Laundrette’. And Phil Kane performing poetry and storytelling.
Come and join us on Monday 4 August – where it’ll be the turn of She Writes.
In case you haven’t played Poetrymon before – here is some info about it. Poetrymon was invented for National Poetry Day 2011 by Sam Hall. It is an interactive treasure hunt game played around Medway, where the prizes are unique handmade poem cards.
The cards will be hidden by ME4Writers in a variety of places in Medway and we will post clues on this website and also Tweet and put them on Facebook (join ME4Writers group to follow on FB). The clues will be live from 12 o’clock lunchtime on 3 October.
This will be the third time we have played Poetrymon and we are happy to be playing it as a part of the Rochester Lit Fest (RLF). Which opens on the same day! (More info here.)
So, we have made the cards and now we are gathering together poems from our local poet friends and associates. The theme this year for National Poetry Day is water – so we’ve tried to keep to a watery theme (though sometimes this is quite loosely applied!)
On National Poetry Day (Thursday 3 October) you will be able to follow the clues to find our unique poetry cards. The clues will only be online from 12 o’clock lunchtime on that day on a tab of this site called Poetrymon13. You can also follow clues on Twitter if you follow @the7thtraveller, or on Facebook if you join our group (ME4Writers).
We have a system of initials for identifying the author of your poem. If you would like to hear/see more work by the writers below – they are also taking part in some ME4Writers’ events for the RLF (see links for more).
The key to the poets and a brief bio are below:
MD: Maggie Drury is an unrelenting writer. Her play NOT KNOWING WHO WE ARE was performed at the Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell in 2007. She is currently working on a novel and a full-length play.
BF: Barry Fentiman is a Medway-based poet and mythogeographer who performs around the South East. His writing has been published in The Medway Broadside, The Irish Post, Stories from songs, The Seed Catalogue and City without a head. Barry is also involved in running ME4’s other literary projects for the RLF. He will beco-running the Write Around Town workshop (10 October), and co-hosting the launch of City without a head (8 October).
SH: Sam Hall founded ME4Writers in 2009. She is a playwright whose plays have been performed internationally, and her writing has been published in The Irish Post, The Lock, Theatre and Performance, WOWKent, Stories from songs, and many online magazines. She is the editor of City without a head, ME4Writers’ book being launched on 8 October. She also runs 17Percent, an organisation to promote equality in theatre writing, through which she is producing a show She Writes: What’s through the door? for the Rochester Literature Festival, as part of ‘A night at the theatre’. (5 October.)
HS: Sarah Hehir teaches English, Drama and Creative Writing in schools and prisons. She was shortlisted for The Nick Darke award 2012 is the winner of The 2013 Writer’s Prize sponsored by the BBC Writersroom. Her play BANG UP was broadcast on Radio Four on 8 August 2013. Sarah’s play THE FOURTH CIRCLE forms part of She Writes ‘A night at the theatre’ and also her radio play will be read as part of the evening on 5 October.
SMJ: SM Jenkin is former chair of the Medway Mermaids, and has had work published in several anthologies including The Mermaid, Medway Festival Fringe, the Medway Messenger, and in publications including Touchstone, Blithe Spirit, and City without a head. SM’s short plays have been performed at She Writes, and the Lounge on the Farm festival 2012.
AMJ: Anne-Marie Jordan is the former treasurer of the Medway Mermaids, she has had work published in several anthologies including The Mermaid, Sea Shanties and Siren Songs, Hauntings, and collections including Did I Tell You? 131 poems for Children in Need, The Seed Catalogue, City without a head and Not Only The Dark.
PK: Philip Kane is an award-winning writer, storyteller and artist. He is a native of the Medway Towns and the area provides a setting for much of his work. A founding member of the London Surrealist Group, over the past 30 years he has built up an international reputation, publishing and exhibiting in a number of countries including Spain and the USA. We are delighted to be using some of Phil’s poems from his collection Unauthorised Person published by Cultured LLama.
LSM: Sarah March was born in Chatham and now resides in Rochester with her three sons and guinea pig. In between she has lived in Italy and France,
and the past, which is a foreign country.
TM: Tara Moyle teaches college writing courses at William Paterson University and is currently working on a book of personal essays. She has published poems, art reviews and a blog, Bright Purple Rain Boots, about her expat time in Medway. Publishing credits include AGNI journal, diode, Armchair Shotgun, Yemassee, Brilliant Corners, Nidus, City without a head and online magazines including The Medway Broadside. She lives outside New York with her husband and two tabbies, Lucy and Toby. Tara will be joining us at the launch of City without a head by the magic of technology! (8 October, Ye Arrow. City without a head is published by Wordsmithery Books.)
RS: Roy Smith lives in the Medway Towns, where he works with young people and spends a lot of time writing nonsense. Most of his writing happens at night and other inconvenient moments, when he is regularly interrupted by the desire to play old video games. He also enjoys playing with audio, sound, podcasting and occasionally music, as well as getting himself involved in interesting things. Roy is also producing an interactive adventure for the Rochester Literature Festival – The Skywatcher Investigation. (Info here.)
We launched Letters Homeat 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.
from the people formerly known as ME4Writers. Head over to www.wordsmithery.info for the most up-to-date stuff!