Tag Archives: Rod Griffiths

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.


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.


Team UoG Strikes Again

5 Oct

The other week Creative Writing Lecturer and BA Course Leader Tyler Keevil was down in London to read at Waterstones Picadilly for the most recent Word Factory short story salon.  He performed alongside, and was in conversation with, Diriye Osman, Toby Litt, and Carys Davies, recent winner of the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize for her stunning collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike.  The readings and interview with host Cathy Gavin should be on WordFactory.tv shortly, so you’ll be able see Tyler hamming it up if you’re not sick of hearing him in your classes.

More importantly, on the same night Word Factory announced the winners of its Neil Gaiman-inspired short story competition, Fables For a Modern Word.  So imagine Tyler’s surprise when he looked out in the audience to see UoG MA student Rod Griffiths in the crowd, who had entered the contest and come to support the event.  Then, to both their delight, Rod’s piece, ‘A Ghost’s Story,’ was revealed as one of the winning entries.  The challenge?  To complete a fable based on Gaiman’s opening line: ‘Long ago, in the days when there were still fish in the oceans and cars on the roads, there lived a woman who was not afraid of governments…’  Rod’s winning piece will be published on the Word Factory website, and possibly in a forthcoming anthology; he also wins a year’s free entry to all forthcoming Word Factory events.  Below is a pic of Rod with judges Toby Litt and Cathy Gavin, and other winners from the night.

Word factory

More Team UoG Successes!

7 Apr

The publications keep on coming for students here at UoG.  We’re going to need to hire a blogger to specifically handle this aspect of their achievements – that’s how good these writers are.  We currently have four to announce, and the lull over Easter break seemed the time to do so.  First up, MA student Senja Andrejevic has placed her story, ‘Half,’ (a poignant piece about blood ties and loyalty, developed on our MA 7101 module) with the Lampeter Review, where it will appear in issue 12.

TLRlogoThe magazine has previously published David Vann, Rachel Trezise, and our own Phil Bowne.  Speaking of Phil, he’s at it again: this time he’s placed his latest story (developed on our HM6101 module) with Work magazine.  The piece is a gripping exploration of bullying and misogyny in the workplace.

stroud short stories image 2Phil has also placed in the latest Stroud Short Stories Competition, along with MA student Rod Griffiths.  The pair fended off fierce competition from nearly 100 entries, and will be appearing at the reading event at Stroud Valleys Artspace on April 19th.  Last but not least, 2nd year student Reece McCormack will have his work appearing in a prestigious paperback anthology – more on that shortly!

Just to show that our Creative Writing tutors aren’t being outdone by their talented students, lecturer and BA Course Leader Tyler Keevil had good news recently: his short story collection, Burrard Inlet, has been longlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Award 2015, alongside the likes of Hilary Mantel, A.L. Kennedy, and Rose Tremaine.  The shortlist will be announced in May – so fingers crossed for Tyler until then.