I’ve been so busy recently I haven’t had chance to blog about my latest creation! It’s an audio trail I produced for Alarum Productions with sound designer Sam Frankie Fox.
View from Windmill End Bridge today (photo by Brenda Ward)
Stewarts & Lloyds, Coombeswood, 1972
‘The Netherton Cut to Coombewood’ celebrates the history of the Dudley No 2 Canal, based on a 2.5 mile walk between Windmill End Junction and Coombes footbridge.
It features oral history interviews, music, historical information, poetry from me in Black Country spake and much more!
Click here to listen to the audio trail which lasts around 23 minutes.
I also did an interview about it with Jason Forrest for the Milk Bar podcasts. You can listen (from 26:25) on Podbean or watch on YouTube.
While I’m here, would you like to come to my next online writing workshop? It’s on Thursday June 24th, 2:00-4.00pm.
Rhythm in your fingers, rhythm in your feet.
From di-Da di-Da to tiddley-pom, we will play with syllables and stresses to give our writing a sense of rhythm. After looking at examples in song lyrics and poetry, we will write our own poems, both individually and as a group.
Here’s a link to find out more.
In 2015 I blogged about ‘found poetry’. It’s one of my most viewed posts. Yesterday, I uploaded a podcast on the same subject, showing how poems can be created using articles in newsletters or magazines and by listening to audio recordings.
The podcast is number ten in a series put together for the Alarum Theatre I Dig Canals project which tells stories of women’s involvement in campaigns to save the UK canals. We have researched published material from post war to the 1970s and interviewed women who got involved from the 1960s onwards.
As part of the project, I ran a writing workshop, the results of which can be heard in the podcast. It features the work of writers who came along and some pieces by me too. In each case, you can hear the source material followed by the poem.
I produced something similar in 2014 when I was commissioned to make a soundtrack to be played in the branches of ‘trees’ in a forest made of carpet inside Kidderminster Town Hall. It was a surprisingly magical installation where people sat beneath the trees as if it was a real forest. My contribution was made up of poems and songs I had written inspired by interviews with people who worked in the carpet industry. Here’s a link to the recording.
The writing I did about the carpet industry was the inspiration behind starting this blog. All of the poems have been posted on it and are available as a collection, Weaving Yarns, from Black Pear Press.
Last Friday was the final show of #TheIdleWomen Summer tour — another water-borne adventure! To see some highlights, do visit the Alarum Theatre Facebook page.
“Roll Up! Roll Up! Roll Down! Roll Down!” *
During the tour Kate Saffin and I were interviewed by Sony-award winning David Bramwell for Waterfront, a monthly podcast from the Canal & River Trust, dedicated to the stories, people and heritage around England and Wales’ historic waterways. Here’s the link to listen. It lasts 16 minutes and includes one of my poems and an extract from one of my songs.
* Our potential audience were above us on a slight hill.
Living Waterways Awards
We’re absolutely delighted that the Alarum Theatre 2017 tour The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey is one of the finalists in the Living Waterways Awards. The winners are announced on 20th September. Fingers crossed!
A photo I took when we were on the beautiful Chesterfield Canal
Kate took this one at the bottom of the spectacular Bingley Five Rise on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal