National Poetry Day

Tomorrow, Thursday 6th October 2016, is National Poetry Day, and this time Hull based company A Car Load of Poets are getting involved.

Vicky Foster and Ian Winter, the brains behind A Car Load of Poets, continue to work extremely hard to bring, and produce, quality poetry in the next UK City of Culture.

Seven months ago they started Women of Words, a monthly gathering on the first Wednesday afternoon of the month at Kardomah 94 on Alfred Gelder Street.

While that continues to blossom, judging by the proven, and fresh, talent I’ve seen there, and it’s growing audience, our two heroes continue to reach out to the poetry world, and tomorrow is no different.

I spoke to both of them this afternoon at Kardomah 94, Ian Winter said: “Fortunately we’ve got Kardomah 94, and we’ve got Central Library, which are really open to ideas, which has helped get it off the ground.

“I think we’ve got 20 groups taking part, there’s not many I can think of what aren’t involved.

“We’ve got two stages, one at Central Library from 1pm til 4pm, which I’ll man, one at Kardomah 94 from 10am to 10pm, Vicky Foster will be opening that.

“The night time is a top performance poetry night, we’ve got Toria Garbutt, Louise Fazackerley and Stan Skinny and a special surprise comedy act is coming.

“We’ve got local poets Mike Watts, Peter Knaggs Lucy Clarke and Josh Overton on. There’s Open Mic and we’ll be doing a few poems as well.”

Newish group The Artful Codgers came into the convesation next: “The Artful Codgers were set up by Terry and Sue Ireland, Dave Osgerby, I think Richard Harris is in it, they just kicked off, I think the more groups we get involved, the more the merrier.”

The idea behind A Car Load of Poets came from a desire to promote talented poetry in Hull.

“Hull has some outstanding poets, who deserve to be on stage with the very best.

Malcolm Scott has also been a driving force behind tomorrow, with his well known enthusiasm for the artistic scene in Hull.

“Malcolm Scott has always been very encouraging, he’s like a breath of fresh air, because without Malcolm Scott in the town, there’d be a lot of writers, playwrights like myself either wrapped up, or just continue taking work out of town.

“Tomorrow will hopefully become a regular event, the groups here will hopefully take them out to the community and schools.

“This is just the foundation for it, to be a bigger and better event. Hats off to all the groups, there’s been no thinking about it, it’s been yeah I’m on board, I’m on board, which is fantastic.”

“There’s another creative outlet coming from this dynamic duo as well: “We’ve got a new thing starting in the new year called The Word Hull.

“That’s going to include spoken word, comedy and music, that’s probably going to be on at Kardomah 94, one evening a month, and that will be like a collaborative event.

“Most of the stuff I do is collaborations, Monologues Slam is done with Andy Wilson and Lucy Thurlow, so that’s 20/20 Theatre with Penny Duck Theatre and Scarlet Lights.

“I’ve got Vicky Foster involved with A Car Load of Poets, I always try to involve other people with stuff like A Car Load of Poets.

“You go to Manchester, you go to York, you go to Sheffield, and they all reach out, Joe Hakim and Mike Watts a few years ago were trying to do that for Hull.

“I’m just picking up from where they stopped really.”

Chatting to Vicky after Women of Words, she said: “National Poetry day happens right across the country every year.

“What we decided to do was try and bring local groups together, so we spoke to the libraries and the James Reckitt Trust, and they kindly funded the day and the night.

“So basically we’re going to be having a stage that runs here at Kardomah 94 from 10 in the morning, until 10 at night.

“That’s going to be in two sections, the first will be from 10 til six, there’ll be about 20 different local poetry groups, they’re all going to pick 20 minute spots, and in between those spots, we’ve got open mic available.

“In the evening we’ve got performance poets, we’ve got Toria Garbutt, Louise Ferzackally and Stan Skinny.

“Also, in addition to that, we’ve got a stage running at Central Library from one til four tomorrow afternoon and you’ll see some of the local poetry groups performing there, and there’s open mic spots available there too.”

The attraction of National Poetry day, it seems, is just a natural progression for our talented twosome, who spend a lot of time travelling around on our behalf.

Vicky continues: “We travel around a lot, listening to, and performing poetry and we’re aware that there are a lot of different groups in Hull doing poetry.

“We just wanted to bring those groups together so people can collaborate.

“Also it just gives people a chance to hear a lot of different voices, which is what poetry is about really.” This statement draws a little giggle from this thoroughly engaging lady.

There’s plenty of attraction for her to this event: “I’m really looking forward to all of it, particularly tomorrow night.

“Some of the performance poets who are coming tomorrow night, I really, really like, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.

“There’s a guy who plays the guitar, from the open mic circuit, and I know he’s been writing a bit of poetry, and he’s coming tomorrow morning to perform some poetry for the first time.

The final question is, If people feel like just doing a bit of poetry, they should just come along to this? She replies instantly: “Yes, that’s right.”

I would readily suggest, please go and support this event, it’s bound to be an absolute triumph, I’ll see you there.

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Photo L to R: Vicky Foster, Hannah Davies and Audrey Dunne

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How To Be Brave Book Launch

Debut novelist Louise Beech has launched her first book How To Be Brave at Hull Central Library last night.

The delightful new girl on the potential best-seller block was supported by several friends and family, including her daughter who provided the inspiration behind the novel, and her husband as well as publisher Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books.

The book, which has been greeted with critical acclaim, tells the true story of the authors grandfather’s survival in a lifeboat drifting at sea for 50 incredible days, which saw 12 of the 14 occupants who clambered into it not make it home in 1943.

This book though offers up a second true story, based around her own struggle to get her daughter to take her life-saving diabetic medication, by promising her a story before she would take it.

Add into the mix a story of a book bringing family members back together after decades apart and you have a true fairy-tale like story of epic proportions which must see this book gain the success it surely deserves.

Speaking personally I must say I’ve known Louise for some years now through her involvement with Hull Truck Theatre and the fact that, like me, she is also a playwright, and you can trust me when I say that nobody deserves the success she is enjoying now more than her.

With her effervescent personality, her winning smile and her magnificent writing she has a definite star quality about her that just exudes lovability and star quality.

When she was asked where she saw this leading in a year from now our delightfully bubbly center of earned attention joked about going to Hollywood, but it did leave me wondering if that might be the next stop for the girl from the next UK City of Culture, let’s see what happens next!!

Louise Beech Book Signing

Photos kindly supplied by Jerome Whittingham at Photomoments

Twitter: @photomoments

Q and A With Dave Windass About Heads Up Festival

IPJ. You said in a recent interview “We’re developing a bad habit of shunning conventional theatre spaces” will this continue?

  1. I would like to think we’ll continue to explore other spaces in the future, it keeps you on your toes but is very expensive, it is very fashionable to do work in these site specific spaces but also it does restrict audience numbers sometimes.

IPJ. How important are places like Hull Truck to Ensemble 52 and Heads Up Festival?

  1. Hull Truck is a partner this year because Battersea Arts Centre approached them 2 years ago so they’re very important.

IPJ. Do you personally have any out of the ordinary spaces that you would like to take Heads Up Festival to in future?

  1. I would like to use the Lord Line Building, the Rank Hovis Building and the swing bridge in the old town but that’s not to say that we would create work specifically for those spaces it would still be a case of ‘Where would this piece of work fit?’

IPJ. Will Heads Up Festival ever venture outside Hull to places like maybe Beverley or Cottingham?

  1. No because of the partnership with Battersea Arts Centre we have to keep it inside Hull but we’ll try and take it as far and wide as possible from one end of Hull to the other, we’d like to reach out to disengaged audiences.

IPJ. Do any of the upcoming events particularly stand out to you personally?

  1. I’m excited about The Adventure which is an immersive story for kids that’s showing at Central Library, I would love to go and see that, Lorraine and Alan and also Gloriator, which is a female version of Gladiator also look very good.

IPJ. What about Penny Duck Theatre?

  1. We’ve worked many time with Andy Wilson who is one of the founder members of Penny Duck, they’re doing a double bill so people are getting two for the price of one, one is called Hair of the Dog and the other is Deja Shoe and knowing them as well as we do we know laughs will be guaranteed.

IPJ. What is happening with Ensemble 52 about 2017 now?

  1. We want Heads Up to be sustainable by 2017 because the agreement with Battersea Arts Centre comes to a close in 2016 so if it is we’ll hopefully attract some international acts then.

IPJ. Were you happy with how the production of Yalda went this week?

DW. Yes, Yalda is a piece in development, we know it requires further work, it gave us opportunity to see if we want to continue with it, the next version will have more action, more movement, more dance and a bit more physicality.