Archives for the month of: January, 2017

I’m reblogging Jennifer C Wilson’s blog today. Read on…

Jennifer C. Wilson

Morning all! Today, I am thrilled to welcome to the blog one of my favourite writers, Anne O’Brien, who is going to talk about a lost Plantagenet princess…

Some years ago I was invited by a local historical society here in the Welsh Marches to give a talk on the life of Elizabeth of Lancaster, together with a guided tour to the tomb of the ‘Plantagenet Princess’ at Burford, just over the county border in Shropshire, near Tenbury Wells.  Being a recent incomer to the area at that time, and before I was writing about medieval women, I was forced to admit that I knew nothing about this princess buried in the depths of the Welsh Marches.  I soon discovered who she was, but still knew very little about her other than her Plantagenet connections, her illustrious parentage – younger daughter of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster –…

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Poetry with Friends is a poetry appreciation group with a difference. I think the difference is our merry band of North East England coast-dwelling souls care about other group members. Care and concern for fellow attendees of our meetings has led to friendships as well as the publication of at least one book.


Yesterday’s book launch in North Shields of Kisses from Above by John Gardham Lowe is a direct result of caring about another poetry lover. John was a regular at Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC’s Poetry with Friends groups. John wanted to get his work published and asked me for advice. I helped fulfil his wish but sadly he died before the book was printed.

In the past week Kisses from Above has featured in our local paper, The Journal, on BBC Radio Newcastle and we’ve nearly sold out of copies of the book. The “we” I’m referring to includes John’s “kids” (as he used to call them), son and daughter Steve and Deborah plus publisher Angie Stanger-Leathes of Limelight Classic Productions and Gail Curry of Happy Planet Creative Arts.

johns-accordian-boxJohn will never been forgotten by his chums at Poetry with Friends. How can we forget his smile, his love of John Masefield and playing the accordian, his cheeky sense of humour and his baking skills?! Our poetry groups resume meeting this week after an extended Christmas break. Our first Thursday morning session of the year takes place this Thursday 26th January at Whitley Bay library from 11 am. It is followed next week by our first Tuesday evening session at St Paul’s Church centre on the 31st from 7pm. I suspect we will be talking about and sharing poems from Kisses from Above.

Looking forward to running the inaugural North Tyneside Writers’ Circle this Saturday. Read about it here…

The North Tyneside Writers' Circle

Hello, and Happy New Year – welcome to 2017!

We hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year, and, more importantly, that all those lovely, ambitious Resolutions are still going strong. If they involved ‘start writing’ or ‘write more’ then we are here for you, with our diaries already filling up with plenty of great opportunities to get the ink and inspiration flowing, or, if necessary, get you back on track whether you’ve been away for the Christmas fortnight, or half a lifetime.

One thing we’re really excited to be bringing you, starting on Saturday 21st January, is the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Whether you’ve been writing for decades, or want to make your first tentative steps in any form or genre, come along to this FREE event at North Shields Library. We’re seeing this as a great chance for like-minded, ‘writerly’ folk to get together, chat…

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kissesThis coming Sunday I will participate in the launch of Kisses from Above, a collection of poems and stories by John Gardham Lowe. I’m proud of my involvement in this project. The story behind it is touching and I suggest you read veteran North East journalist, Tony Henderson’s telling of it by clicking here.

Please join us for the book launch this coming Sunday in the Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields Fish Quay from 2pm to 4pm

If you live in the North East of England and love the arts then you need to nominate artists and events in The Journal Culture Awards.journal

Northern artists need to be acknowledged in these annual awards run by The Journal newspaper. In addition The Journal deserves and needs support. Newspapers are dying but The Journal’s arts and culture coverage is vital to the region. Nominations for the awards lets the newspaper’s owner know there is still an appetite for arts journalism here in the North East.

There are 14 categories in this year’s Culture Awards including Best Performing Artist of the Year, Writer of the Year and North East Museum of the Year and you can nominate your favourite comedian, poet, musician, festival and more right up to the closing date, Tuesday 31st January by clicking here

I’ve already sent in my nominations and if you’re dithering I ask you think back to stellar live performances by local actors, musicians and poets. What’s your favourite museum in the region?  Did you attend a fantastic festival in 2016? If so then nominate it in one of the “Best Event” categories. If you don’t then who will?

kitchenerThe entry form is a faff as you have to nominate and submit your details for each category instead of filling in one form for all categories. Don’t let that put you off. You have until the 31st January. Your local arts scene is depending on you!

That link to The Journal Culture Awards one more time….

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