Tag Archives: George Helder

UoG students launch the 2018 Cheltenham Poetry Festival in style

21 Apr

Bar room bards 1Creative Writers at the University of Gloucestershire last week kicked off the 2018 Cheltenham Poetry Festival with two great events in Cheltenham bars. Scores of people attended Bar Room Bards at the Railway Inn, hearing performances of classic bar-themed poems, including readings from a disheveled Bukowski, an elegant Yeats, and a mustachioed Rudyard Kipling whose rendition of “Gentlemen Rankers” involved a mass sing along.

bar room bards 2There were several competitions on the night, and congratulations to the winners who have now been contacted by email. See the bottom of this post for the answers.

The evening also produced a poem, based on “things you only say or do after you’ve been drinking”:

 

I say I love you, I love you, I love you
I say let’s go to Cotswold Kebab
I say I’m totally straight
I say let’s make plans to do that thing
I chat breeze, flossin
I say let’s get cocktails
I fall over, like, 17 times
I talk to you about Dumbledore
And I am crying!
I’m doing the Lounge dance
I hug people
I say Tinos and don’t even know what it means
I say I’m totally straight
I say I want egg fried rice
I say Regina Spektor broke my foot
And I say I love you
I say I love you
I say let’s get cocktails
I say, I’ll message you in the morning

Oh, and there was this collectively written… poem:

One night I went to the Railway Inn
And I heard the most terrible din
It used to be a famous sausage kitchen
Alrig’ me loven!
You’ve got a lush ass, oh wow!
When I see it, my mind goes pow.
And stops, sees, minds – gazes
Gosh. I haven’t felt like this in ages
Felt as if my stomach imploded
My heart melting, or my intestines exploded
Hair is brown, eyes are blue,
I wonder how much of this is true?
Order me a Maker’s Mark and coke
Get over ‘ere cuz u is woke
One day I saw her clear as night
And stepped up close to hold her tight
She gave a laugh. She gave a cry.
She said, I’ll never say goodbye
But I knew that was a bluff
You know that fake beer? Duff
She said, Sometimes I follow through
If you get too near it’ll be on you
Then the barrel of Skinner’s gun kissed my cheek
And he told me my Duff was [illegible]
I said, “You really missed the meme there.”
And he: “Eh, what do I care?”
“I love democracy, I love the republic,” said I.
“Have you ever played Devil may cry?”
Cells dovetail in strange cravings,
And leave us cracked in love’s crazy pavings.

Hmmm.

story slam 3

story slam 1Then, on Thursday night, attention turned to the inaugural Cheltenham Story Slam (above), where a number of UoG stars competed for the prizes. It was a splendid evening, hosted excellently by performance poet Chloe Jacquet. We were well represented with Rod Griffiths, Hannah Stubbs, Elliot Dallow, Eleanor Winterbottom, Isabella Gartside, Asha Sutton, and Claire Harrison all performing superbly. Eleanor Winterbottom qualified for the final, and special congratulations to Isabella Gartside, who was overall runner up, and to Claire Harrison, who won the whole competition!

slam 2Thanks to everyone who attended and supported these events. There are still loads of great events to come at the Poetry Festival, so do check out the full programme. Two UoG lecturers are in action soon: Lania Knight will be reading at 7pm on Sunday 22nd, and Angela France presents her multimedia poetry show, The Hill, at 7pm on Wednesday 25th. Both events are at the Cheltenham Playhouse.

Here are the competition answers:

The correct last lines for Emily Dickinson’s “I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed” are:

To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – sun!

The correct last lines for James Thomson’s “The Wine of Love: are:

He reeleth with his own heart,
That great rich vine.

The missing words from William Aytoun’s “The Empty Bottle” were:

A: bottle
B: beer
C: gush
D: shell
E: temple

The missing words from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Tavern” were:

A: crest
B: chill
C: traveller
D: tend
E: good

Congratulations to all the prize winners who have been contacted by email this morning.

Advertisements

UoG Creative Writers’ Successful Autumn

1 Nov
Flash fiction literature Crawl

Bewigged students read flash fictions at Libertine’s Barbers Shop

It’s been a busy Autumn for the Creative Writing staff and students at UoG – go team! The new academic year started with the Cheltenham Literature Festival and for the second year in a row, students did an amazing job performing flash fictions as part of the LitCrawl. The quirky show involved visitors hearing private readings of micro-fiction from bewigged performers in a barbers shop. Different!

And our course’s involvement with the Festival was cemented by drama lecturer Miranda Walker who, as this year’s Writer in Residence, starred in a range of events, including a Writing Funny workshop at Parabola Arts Centre, the Young Writers Showcase, and the Famous Five Story Trail. She also wrote the brilliant Wishing Fish Clock picture book, which sold out at its launch! (It’s on general sale, available in Regent’s Arcade and Waterstone’s, from November 11th).

Wishing Fish clock book Miranda Walker

Cover for Miranda’s Wishing Fish Clock picture book

Speaking of dramatists, huge congratulations are also due to one of our alumni, Chloe Biggs, who recently won the BBC Essex Playwright of the Year Competition. Her winning play was broadcast on the radio – go Chloe!

The Hill by Angela France cover

Cover for Angela’s poetry collection, The Hill

The poets have been busy too. Lecturer Angela France won an Arts Council Grant to tour the UK with her new collection, The Hill, which was published by Nine Arches Press in July. The book has already garnered critical acclaim, with Sheenagh Pugh writing “Everyone knows somewhere like the Hill, though few could memorialise it with such verbal energy. Exuberant, controlled, angry, elegiac, this is a poetry of landscape, politics, witness.”

Congratulations are also due to recent graduate Charlotte Appleby and current student George Helder who both had poems published in Ink, Sweat and Tears this August. And huge congratulations to two of our new first year poets: Caroline Juskus and Callie Walsh have both published poems on I Am Not A Silent Poet. I’m sure there will be many more successes to come from this bright year group!

Speaking of bright, well done to 2nd-year student Carol Hilton who has won an Ede and Ravenscroft Scholarship in a university-wide competition recognizing outstanding academic achievement. And there is exciting news from one of our MA students, Carina Mitchell, who is launching her Vineleaves Publishing business with a short story competition – more to come on that soon!

E and R-scholarships

Carol Hilton and other scholarship recipients with staff at Park Campus

Last but not least, the prose writers have been busy too. Lania Knight is celebrating the UK release of her brilliant first novel, Three Cubic Feet. You can get it here! Senja Andrejevic-Bullock, a drama lecturer wearing her prose hat, has published her short story ‘The Party’ at Storgy Magazine.

Three cubic feet

Cover for 2nd Edition of Three Cubic Feet

And it’s only fitting that we should end by celebrating the achievements of our newest member of staff, Bea Hitchman. Bea has recently been one of the judges, along with Philip Hensher no less, for the Bath Spa Flash Fiction competition ‘A Place in Words’, which challenged entrants to write a novel in 25 words. The competition attracted more than 1500 entrants from all over the world, and the prize was awarded by Jeremy Irons at a special ceremony at the London Library. Bea has also written a chapter for a forthcoming book on Sylvia Plath, ‘Plath in Context’, to be published by Cambridge Uni Press in 2018, discussing lesbian contexts for The Bell Jar (there are, she informs us, a surprising number). Congratulations to everyone!

Remember that it makes us incredibly happy to hear good news, so if you have a success to share please drop a line to mjohnstone@ you know the rest.