Tag Archives: Poetrymon

Thanks for a fantastic Rochester Literature Festival!

Photo of the Poetrymon card
Photo by coFWD

What a busy 10 days we had at the start of October, when ME4Writers were happy to be part of the first Rochester Literature Festival.

We started the week on 3 October (National Poetry Day) with Poetrymon – our poetry treasure hunt game. (Picture shows one poem, found in coFWD.) We hid unique, original poem cards around Medway and left cryptic clues online for readers to follow. What we love about Poetrymon is the fact that most of the time we don’t know who finds the cards, (and in fact, sometimes we hope they will be a bit baffled,) but our main hope is that they enjoy the poetry! You can see more about the poets on our Poetrymon page.

Photo of actors dressed as aliens
Aliens, a bull and a bear and a red herring sandwich…

On 5 October, Sam produced a theatre show as part of ‘A night at the theatre’. She Writes: What’s through the door? was a performance of 17Percent’s 4-star rated set of short plays based on a story by HG Wells. The plays, written by Whoop’n’wail, Sam Hall and Sarah Hehir, all have a sci-fi/surreal bent to them and invite the audience to explore other worlds – which fitted in fantastically with the festival’s theme.

“Three plays in one, each delightful and mysterious. The pieces are beautifully and intelligently connected by an overarching narrative.” **** Everything Theatre

“Both performances were astounding, so well written, produced & directed. It felt like a London quality night out in Rochester, I was totally in the world of all the stories.”

Photo of Barry Fentiman reading at the launch
Barry reading at the launch

Our next event was the launch of our book on 8 October – City Without a Head – an anthology of poetry, prose and found literature, initially published over two years as a free fanzine. The collection refined, added and developed the ideas in our initial City Project (aka Encyclopaedia Citaecephale), and is published in a limited edition of 200 with gorgeous illustrations by award-winning artist Victoria Wainwright,(available from www.wordsmithery.info).

We played readings bingo, randomly generated readings chosen by the audience, ate sweets and listened to music with a city theme by the brilliant 3D.

“an exceptionally refreshing and eloquent anthology… wonderfully enthralling and the passion that oozes from each page is unquestionable.” **** Femalearts.com

Our final event of the Festival was our walking/writing tour of Rochester on 10 October – Write Around Town. Through a series of locally themed writing exercises, we asked writers to do the thing that ME4Writers seem to be obsessed by: looking at our locality from a different angle.

“Stimulating exchange of ideas and writing exercises to take away and work on.”

“I now view Rochester through different eyes.”

Thanks to Rochester Literature Festival for a fantastic first festival.


ME4 go mad for literary fun this October with the Roch Lit Fest!

We are really happy to be involved with the inaugural Rochester Literature Festival (RLF), and Sam is producing several live lit events for it. The RLF is a great idea, there are a lot of festivals that go on in Medway, but none that really focus on literature. (Of course, you can say but what about the Dickens Festival?, but that doesn’t deal in living authors and new work, and also doesn’t have much of a participatory element, unless you like dressing up…)

For the RLF, ME4 are producing three literature events (and also a theatre show, as part of Sam’s other lit dev project, 17Percent). The events are varied, and range from a walking/writing tour of Rochester, to the launch of our very first proper full-length book, with a healthy dose of our yearly poetry treasure hunt Poetrymon, and a night of new plays by women thrown in for good measure.

We kick off with Poetrymon – our yearly poetry treasure hunt around Medway. This year, the poems will have a watery theme. The poems are unique, so follow the clues and find yourself an individual piece of poem-art. (3 October)

On 5 October, see some new writing by women, in ‘A night at the theatre’, where you will have a chance afterwards to ask some of the writers, cast and director about the process of making theatre.

We launch, hot off the press, our new book, City without a head. You might have been lucky enough to pick up one of the original zines the publication grew from (the Encyclopaedia Citaecephale), but it’s grown up a lot since then. (8 October)

After the fantastic response to The Word Shed earlier in the year, we thought it was really important to have some participatory writing fun, so have come up with ‘Write around town’ an opportunity to write about the myth and reality of Rochester and also to invent some myths of your own. (10 October)

You can find out more about our events on the ME4 at RLF2013 page.

Or by going to the Rochester Literature Festival website, where you can find out about all of the events scheduled for the 10-day festival, including ME4 regular Roy Smith’s ‘The Skywatcher investigation’, an interactive story game.

2012 – our highlights in words and pictures

It’s been a really full and fun year for ME4Writers, after a short break at the beginning of last year, we were highly commended in Medway’s Culture and Design awards. Here are some of the highlights….

  • In March 2012, as part of a working with schools ‘Royal Opera House Creative Connections‘ scheme, Sam worked with a class of 30 Essex schoolchildren to create an immersive magical experience for the whole school to experience. This took the form of a magical treasure hunt, culminating in the creation of a Wish Tree.
  • Throughout the year, Roy led a number of Rochester writing retreats at coFWD, and a Talking about sci-fi open discussion.
  • Barry (and others) have been walking the Medway, for his Meanderthal – a Medway Miscellany, and writing about it – and the project continues.
  • Our massive guerilla publishing project – The Encyclopaedia Citaecephale, the city without a head, has continued throughout the year, and we distributed the final issues of the fanzine around Medway and further afield. The next step is to edit it and collate it into a book.
  • Barry and Sam did some creative writing teaching for the Medway Archives in July, and discovered some fascinating Medway rumours, stories and facts, in a workshop about using history to inspire creativity.
  • We contributed to the RochLitFest’s Garden Party in July by setting up a vintage clothes stall, Poetic Vintage, that gave away free poems with every purchase.
  • We played our game of Poetrymon on National Poetry Day in October. We hid poems around the 5 Medway towns and left clues on social media to find them. http://poetrymon.wordpress.com/
  • Roy curated a series of open submission sci-fi short story podcasts, Short Encounters, and hosted an event at the Dot Cafe for Halloween.
  • Our exhibition of writing, photos of home by Nikki Price, and illustrations of Rochester streets by Heather Haythornthwaite, Letters Home, ran at Rochester and Walderslade Village libraries throughout November and into December. The exhibition was featured in the Irish Post. We hosted a launch event on 10 November. There is a dedicated blog to record the project http://me4lettershome.wordpress.com
  • Seeing what you say – photography students the University of East London chose Barry’s poem ‘Glow’ for the 2nd year running, for their photo project. Barry performed the poem at their event at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.
  • Finally, in December, Sam, Barry, Anne-Marie and Sarah J attended the Medway Culture and Design Awards 2012, where we were Highly Commended!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our events, projects and successes last year, especially the writers, photographers and artists. Keep your eyes peeled for further ME4Writers’ projects this year!

‘Poetrymon 2’

Poetrymon cards
Poetrymon cards 2011

“Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are*”

The 4 October is National Poetry Day, and this year we are going to play our treasure hunt game of ‘Poetrymon’ again!

The theme this year is ‘Stars’ and ME4 and some of our friends and collaborators have been writing poems on the theme.

“From our earliest days, the poetry of stars surrounds us. We look at the stars and see stories in the constellations, our scientific selves boggle at the concept of interstellar travel and we steal the stars’ metaphorical power to name our cultural heroes.  How to express this wonder, if not in poems?” (NPD website)

How does it work?
We will be producing one-off poetry cards which our team of hiders will distribute around Medway on National Poetry Day, 4 October. We will put clues as to the whereabouts of each card on Twitter, Facebook and this website. You can then follow the clue and find your own ME4 poem. If you enjoy your poem, please let us know by Twitter or email. The first 5 people to get in touch will receive an ME4Writers badge.

* You can watch a film about Poetrymon 2011, here.

 (First published as a poem by Jane Taylor in Rhymes for the Nursery in London in 1806)

National Poetry Day intervention

On 6 October, National Poetry Day, ME4 Writers played a game called Poetrymon.
After creating about 50 poetry postcards, using all our cutting, glittering and pasting skills, we set out with the intention of infusing Medway with poetry!

Barry Fentiman, Sam Hall, Roy Smith and Tara Moyle provided the poems. Sam, Barry, Tara and Gemma Quinnell provided the foot power.

We have done lots of live literature events and we wanted to get a bit more immersive. Poetrymon was our second game – previously we had made an Audio Walk (written by Roy Smith) as part of our ‘Seventh Traveller’  project – a series of writings and events inspired by a short story by Dickens.

Poetrymon is a treasure hunt game played around the Medway towns. The prizes are the poem cards themselves – which in themselves are works of art (we hope!) – though the first ten people to email us with a picture of themselves holding a card will also get an ME4 Writers badge.

Poetry postcard picture
Poetry postcard

Cryptic clues were placed on the website throughout the day as several of the writers hid the poems – some in plain sight! We also documented the day in a video film which you can see here.

We walked miles and our feet were aching the day after, but we hope our game made people smile and maybe inspired them to read a poem or even write some poetry for National Poetry Day! (We were very chuffed to receive a message from the Captain of LV21 who found our card! Ships ahoy!)