Archive for May 2010




Snow week for writing!

It’s been officially proven this weekend: firstly, that snow is too cold for comfort and, secondly, I am not a natural skier – more a face flat in the snow non-skier!

Temperature and broken back (only kidding!) aside, we had some family fun at Tamworth Snowdome over the bank holiday and I definitely prefer snow to rain! Talking of which, inside has definitely been the place to be with much of this week, which has been a busy one – though more with organising writing than actually creating any.

Thanks to my brilliant sister’s excellent work, my new website is now nearly finished, just final bits of info to do. I’ve been working on some workshop exercises for a poetry workshop at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre, Gloucestershire, in July that I’m doing in combination with fellow poet Jenny Hope. We’ve also been kicking loads of ideas around for the new literary festival planned for Worcester next year.

It’s all exciting stuff – and keeping me nicely distracted  from the excitement of my imminently approaching collection publication. I’m hoping to have my copies of Into the Yell from the publisher the week after half-term, reading to gear up for the launch on July 10!

Happy Bank Holiday everyone!

Add comment May 31, 2010

Sunshine!

What with the sunshine and all the exciting projects on the go at the moment, both the laptop and I have been close to melting this weekend!

In between enjoying the gorgeous weather while catching up with some reading on the swinging hammock and playing in the garden with the boys, I have also been busy planning.

I popped into my local Waterstones branch on Monday to start the process of getting them to stock my poetry collection Into the Yell. Fingers crossed it’s not too lengthy a process, as the apparently the printer is booked for tomorrow! Fortunately, the collection is already listed for pre-order on Amazon and Foyles, hurrah!

To distract me from the nervous last-minute proof reading and volley of emails between me and my publisher, I have also been busy booking tickets for this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, which kicks off the week before Into the Yell’s launch on July 10. As well as other poetry workshops/events, I’ve managed to get tickets for readings by Billy Collins, Fleur Adcock, Pascale Petit and Jane Weir. I can’t wait! (I’m still gutted that I missed out last year, thinking I couldn’t get there what with the kids and everything, when it’s only 35 mins away on the train!)

Less good news is that my Window on the Arts poetry, photography and painting display in Droitwich town centre, which was due to run for two weeks from the end of this coming week, has had to be postponed. Unfortunately, organisers couldn’t get the shop. However, fingers crossed, it is now going to take place in July – tying in nicely with my poetry launch!

In fact, this has only been a very small white cloud. The same day I also had an email with some good news to more than make up for the minor disappointment of this postponement. I’ve been invited to read at an event in Birmingham in September as one of three up-and-coming women poets, hurrah! More details on that nearer the date, as everything is finalised. Here’s hoping both the poetry and meteorological sunshine lasts – and that everyone else is enjoying it too!

Add comment May 23, 2010

Windows of Opportunity!

There’s an art to being busy for me at the moment as I’m busy planning a poetry/photography arts display for the centre of my local town.
I found out on Thursday that I’m due to have a two-week shop window display in Droitwich next month as part of a Window on the Arts scheme using empty shops to promote local artists and community groups. The timing is perfect for the launch of Into the Yell, as Circaidy Gregory will be accepting pre-publication orders of the collection next month.
Meanwhile, I will be doing my last proof-read of the final pdf next week and I’ve been putting my artistic side to further good use in preparation for my role as writer in residence for the day at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop as part of Oxfam Bookfest in July. As well as reading from Into the Yell, I will also be doing some toddlers story telling sessions, so have been busy writing a children’s story for the event, complete with my own ‘illustrations’!

Anyway, still plenty of work to do on that, so I will leave you with a list of some of the events I’m involved in shortly, if you’re in the area. 

Sarah James – Into the Yell, poetry collection, Circaidy Gregory Press

Events for June/July/August 2010

Friday, May 28 to Monday, June 14 – Sarah James will be staging a Window on the Arts shop window poetry and art mixed media display in Droitwich Salters shopping centre (in the shop between Bargain Foods and the cancer charity shop).

June 2010 – Sarah James will be launching her revamped website at http://www.sarah-james.co.uk ahead of the launch of her poetry collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press – http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk ).

Saturday, July 10 – Sarah James will be launching her poetry collection Into the Yell at Droitwich Music and Arts Festival. As well as staging an art and poetry mixed media display in the town centre from 10am to 5pm, Sarah will also be doing a reading/readings from her collection and signing books. Specific venues and times to be confirmed nearer the event (on her website at: http://www.sarah-james.co.uk ).

Thursday, July 15 – Sarah James will be Writer in Residence for the day at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop as part of Oxfam’s Bookfest. From 10am to 12 noon she will be holding storytelling sessions for toddlers. From 2pm to 4pm, she will be discussing poetry, reading from and signing her new collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk ). A one pound donation from each book sold on the day will go to Oxfam.

Wednesday, August 18 – Sarah James will be joining fellow poet Jenny Hope in a Worcester Festival charity reading from their collections Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk ) and Petrolhead (Oversteps Books http://www.overstepsbooks.com). The charity reading and open mic in aid of the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign will be held at the Farrier’s Arms in Fish Street, Worcester, from 7.30pm. They will be donating £1 from the sale of each book sold on the night to the campaign.

Add comment May 16, 2010

A fruitful weekend!

Only a day since the Full Bloom orchard renga finished (www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/renga/ ) and already I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms!

Still, I’ve been keeping myself busy playing squash and trying out skiing at Tamworth Snowdome. I’m not entirely convinced but it was better fun than I expected!

Over the weekend, I’ve also been creating an Into the Yell collection trailer video and video versions of some of my poems (combining my art and photography with audio recordings of my reading). And yes, I admit it, I had quite a lot of technical help from my husband! Now, I can’t wait to share them with the world later this month!

While we’re talking art and poetry, copies of two fantastic pictures by an artist I met at a Stourport poetry evening last month arrived this week. One of the pieces by Lucy Rendle (the top picture in my photo) was inspired by Sylvia Plath’s ‘Mirror. (A copy of the poem can be found online at:  http://vmlinux.org/ilse/lit/plath.htm .)

Hope everyone else has had a good weekend. 🙂

2 comments May 9, 2010

Addicted – again!

It’s been a while since my last blog for a number of reasons, not least my latest addiction – renga. I’m not going to even attempt to sum up the form here but I have been taking part in the Full Bloom Renga online project at: http://www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/renga/ to create a collaborative poem to celebrate our orchard heritage and the unfurling of blossom across the country. The challenge consists of writing alternative two-line (11 syllables) and three-line (15 syllables) verses on a daily given theme. All the verses submitted are displayed and each day one is chosen for the main renga. It’s great fun and I’m finding it’s highly addictive.

Renga-ing aside, I’ve had a busy but good week, with all the endorsements in for my poetry collection Into the Yell . Poets/publishers/editors Catherine Smith, Angela France, Jacqui Rowe and Andrea Meredith have all been very generous and I can’t wait now to see how Kay at Circaidy Gregory incorporates it and finishes the collection back cover.

I now have a collection reading booked, with Oversteps poet Jenny Hope (‘Petrol Head’), for Worcester Festival on Wednesday, August 18  as well as launching the collection with a reading at Droitwich Music and Arts Festival on July 10. The poetry scene really seems to be buzzing generally  in Worcestershire at the moment with another new open mic poetry and acoustic music event at Worcester Arts Workshop on June 11 and poetry evenings at the Stay Free Gallery in Stourport. So if you’re in the area and you love poetry, why not mark these dates and venues on your diary!

Add comment May 2, 2010

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