‘When I feel an itch at the back of my skull, I think; there’s a poem coming!’ Isabel Rogers Hampshire Poet 2016 told the Society at October’s meeting.
Isabel is now three quarters of her way through a hectic but fantastic year as Hampshire Poet. The post has enabled her to take her poetry onto the radio and into many of the county’s schools running workshops and getting the children excited about poetry.
Isabel is also an enthusiastic advocate of the Winchester Poetry Festival and in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust her latest commission has been produced for National Poetry Day. It is a poem in Book Morse on a book mark – you have to look at it as a column!
Isabel admitted to often working on a poem with no title adding it at the end and as for research – ‘I usually make it all up!’ she says. But on a serious note, Isabel fessed up to researching her subject to within an inch of his legend when once writing a poem about John Harrison.
The poem was titled ‘John’s Curious Machines and it won the 2014 Cardiff International Poetry Competition. Still a man in her audience told her that one of her points was wrong!
Read other poets widely was her message – ‘It is essential. It is how we learn’.
Poetry Magazine, a publication based in Chicago (distributed internationally) has this month printed two of Isabel’s poems and she read Watching the Perseids to the Society.
The 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival of which Hampshire Poet of 2014 Joan McGavin is a trustee, includes discussions, reading and translations of poetry celebrating all things revolution.
Established successful voices read their poetry and in Journal Letters discuss the letters of Keats who, 100 years ago rebelled against his family’s wishes that he should become a doctor. He became a poet instead and thank goodness for that!
These events are TICKETED. Get in quick!
The festival also features many FREE EVENTS and showcases local and international new voices including a duel between two translators of German poetry!
Take part in the many workshops and the Literary Walking Tour of Winchester which features Keat’s Ode to Autumn inspired by his walk along the River Itchen.
This year sees a new competition: Young Poets Ballad Competition which is run in conjunction with P&G Wells. Head Judge is Richard Stillman, Head of English at Winchester University. Rules and guidelines for this competition can be found at www.bookwells.co.uk/images/WinPoetryBallad2.pdf
Winchester Poetry Festival is delighted to be collaborating with Test Valley Garden and Literary Festival bringing us Poets in the Garden. Readings by distinguished poets, Susan Wicks and Ruth Padel.
Poets Julia Bird and Mike Sims bring the work of Keats to life and Stephan Buczaki chairs a gardener’s’ question time. ‘A wonderful combination of talent, creativity and good company in the glorious heart of England.’ as Alan Titchmarsh puts it.
Angela Hicken, Literature Development Officer with the Hampshire Cultural Trust is only too aware that there are many sectors who will enjoy the intervention of the written word.
A sad statistic is that only 36% of our population read for pleasure.
Angela programmes and promotes events supported by the trust. She tells us that she has been lucky to come into contact with writing collaborations such as Prime Writers and The Killer Women.
Continuing to work with the Hampshire Poet 2016, Isabel Rogers exploring the relief brought to sufferers of mental illness by poetry, Angela listed the Winchester Poetry Festival as an important event. It takes place from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th October 2016.
Not to be missed this year is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. Linking with this event, the Hampshire Cultural Trust will launch two new competitions – a YA letter writing and a short story.
Please see the HWS Website Events page and the member newsletter for a full list of the events outlined in Angela’s talk.