Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
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By: Sheree Mack
Returning after a 5 year break, Sheree Mack is back as writer-in-residence at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle.
# 10 [1 October 2012]
National Poetry Day@The Lit and Phil is your chance to play amongst the stars ( for a small donation)
Thursday 4th October is a special day of sensational poetry related events.
Come in between 11-1 and been seen by the Society's Nurse Sue Spencer who will prescribe the perfect poem for your ailment. Be that a sore head to a broken heart, you will be in good hands with Prescription Poetry.
Come in between 1-3
with a word or a theme and take a away a poem for keeps with Poetry Takeaway, with the very creative and humorous Amina Evans.
Hang around between 3-5, and be ready to fall in love with poetry as Oonah Joslin will read you and only you a poem and with Personal Poetry.
4-5pm Drop by with the Family and join in some creative book making with Printmaker Theresa Easton. You will have the chance to explore the nooks and crannies of the Lit & Phil and discover some hidden gems. Suitable for +6 -18 years. All materials provided, donations welcome.
And if that's not enough there's a special Writer's Cafe taking place between 5-7 on the theme of 'the stars' . A series of writing activities will see you put pen to paper with enthusiasm as well as creating a book along the way. Theresa Easton will be on hand to demonstrate some creative paper folds to give your hand written text that unique finish.
£3 for workshop, reading and wine.
The day will end with a flourish with the launch of edition #3 of Material, the newest and bestest creative magazine in the North East.
£3 entry for reading and wine.
Sheree Mack, the Lit and Phil's writer in resident will be on hand all day making sure you have a star quality experience of poetry.
# 9 [6 August 2012]
Here, where time
seems to have stopped.
Here, where the land
to useless memories
and heroic songs.
Here, where blood
Here, in the stillness
of the cemetery,
I’ve still found
the steady gaze
of crushed eyes,
I’ve listened to the words
of the stiffened tongue.
I’ve glimpsed life.
Agnes Agboton, Benin
# 8 [6 August 2012]
The Writing Process
I’ve just had a meeting this afternoon with a fellow writer, discussing the forthcoming event, Glimpses of the World’s Continents. We got talking about the writing process and what a weasel of an experience it can be.
It happens for us all differently but we probably all can recall a time when we’ve sat there with the blank page taunting us to try and write a masterpiece in one sitting. To the other extreme of writing so much that there’s no way of making sense of all the words that are on the page, especially if you have my handwriting!
There is a time in the process when the internal critic has to be switched off in order to make some kind of start. But then later on in the journey, the editor/critic is needed in our attempt to make some progress, or give some structure to the piece.
Giving ourselves the time and space in between drafts, while we engage with other things in our lives, means that we can bring fresh eyes to the piece. But during this time away, we know fine well that the wheels have been whizzing around in our heads about the writing .
Some people like to write in long hand with pencil. While others like to use ink in multicolours or just strict black. There are others who like the reassuring sound of the clanking keyboard to feel that they are being productive and creative.
It’s an amazing process, one that is for me different every time. Even when I’ve tried to duplicate the process because it has been deemed fruitful at one time, the process is not the same and the results are definitely not the same.
In the coming months, I will be sharing my writing process as I try to create 10 Poems About Islands, as part of my residency.
Let’s take the poem below as my first in the series. It’s about the island of New Zealand. I’ll be back in a few days with my second one, which I created recently on a day retreat to Holy Island.
This poem has been already converted or transformed into a poemfilm, this very weekend. More information to follow.
Until then, happy scribbling
# 7 [6 August 2012]
The High Alps of New Zealand (one) by Rev. W. S. Green by Sheree Mack
“Are not the mountains, waves and skies, a part
Of me and of my soul, as I of them?
Is not the love of these deep in my heart
With a pure passion?”
Once I climbed the highest mountain in the world.
It was white upon white, sheer vertical rock,
the glaciers adorned with edelweiss in full bloom.
Life arrived only through thin air; just snow
and crisp, bracing wind. Taking its bearings
by the map in my hand, on this virgin peak
great banks of cloud settled like bridal veil.
While we struggled, clear against the pea-green skies
a large sea-gull, grey speckled plumage , winged
its way up, flying close to the ice, business-like,
on its first pilgrimage over the snowy range
to the turquoise sea. I could only stare, on and on,
this spotless glare.
I found our ascent isolated:
a wall of frosty silver,
Mount Cook, her majesty,
# 6 [6 August 2012]
On the evening of Thursday 16 August, lets keep the spirit of the Olympics 2012 alive with an evening of readings influenced by countries from around the world..
Participates will share their writings about their travels and explorations in relation to the continents of the world. We have readers such as Yvonne Young exploring Asia, Richard W. Hardwick sharing his experiences of the Middle East, Rachael Head with share her poetry created in response to the Shipley Art Gallery’s South African bead work exhibition along with readings from Steve Urwin, Catherine Graham, Amina Evans and Bill McCumsickey taking us on their journeys of Europe.
Please come along and enjoy the journeys into old and new lands.
16 August 7pm at the Lit and Phil
# 5 [6 August 2012]
My name is Sheree Mack and I am the Writer in Residence in the Literary and Philosophical Society. During my time in the library, I will be investigating my interests of travel and exploration in the collections, riffling through their rare books, music and ephemera for inspiration for new material. I will be searching through these collections plundering and plucking rare objects that grab my attention. I am going to be examining expeditions to new found lands through the ages, both from and to the UK, and seeing where the research takes me.
The Literary and Philosophical Society is such a vibrant, exciting place to be these days. It’s always packed with interesting people doing interesting things, so I’m going to seize the opportunity to chat with them. With you.
I have been commissioned to write poems responding to the library’s collections, the building as well as the people who work and visit. At the moment I will be at the Lit and Phil on Mondays talking to people about travel and exploration and gathering memories and stories for my poems.
Please get in touch if you have any stories you’d like to share about your travels, near or far or even within the Literary and Philosophical Society itself.
Or leave a story or note for me in the travel box in the Library and I’ll get back to you.
I am also keeping a blog at www.litnphilwriterinresidence.wordpress.com . Please visit and leave a comment or two.
I will be sharing my work-in-progress in FREE Meet the Artist Events:
Saturday 21 July, 11.30,
Monday 10 th September, 7pm
Thursday 18 October at 1.15pm.
I hope to see you soon
# 4 [1 June 2012]
Can I get a witness?
For people who really know me, they will tell you that I am not one for blowing my own trumpet. I’m in the public eye a lot but usually because I’m doing things for others; promoting and encouraging others in their writing and creative lives.
Self-promotion I have a problem with. I worry that I might come across as big-headed or gloating. I get weighed down by the thoughts of all the glory before a fall. It’s not really British to be so self-promoting.
But the argument goes, how will people know what I am doing it I don’t tell them?
So moving forward, I’d like to share some good news with you. I’ve had this special gem of news in my bag for a few weeks now. I’ve been taking it out to polish when I’ve been low or when I just needed that little nudge to believe in myself. Also there was a part of me, and still is to some extent, that wondered is this really happening to me, to me? So I kept my gem hidden safely away.
No doubt you’ve heard that 2012 is London and the Olympics. Part of the Cultural Olympiad event is Poetry Parnassus, which takes place at the South Bank this summer. Poets and spoken-word artists from all the competing Olympic nations will be participating in the Poetry Parnassus. Simon Armitage, Southbank Centre Artist in Residence, said, 'My hunch is that this will be the biggest poetry event ever – a truly global coming together of poets and a monumental poetic happening worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics themselves.'
The event will include readings, workshops and discussions, a wonderful rain of poems dropped from the sky over Jubilee Gardens, and a World Record Anthology containing a poem by each visiting poet.
I’m really excited because I have been chosen as one of the poets from the UK who will be a Poetry Parnassus Buddy for a number of international poets visiting this event. One of my poems will be included in the rain of poems over Jubilee Gardens!
I could say I’m representing Great Britain in the Olympics, or would that be going too far? See I told you I can’t get the hang of this self-promotion malarkey.
But what I do know is that this is an opportunity not to be missed. It will be a time when poetry from around the world will take centre stage. This could be the initiative to revolutionise poetry for this and next generations. I’m going to be rubbing shoulders will some amazing poets for whom poetry is their life, poetry is necessary. I am honoured to be a Poetry Parnassus Buddy.
I am preparing to embrace new wor(l)ds.
# 3 [23 May 2012]
Within the Space
# 2 [23 May 2012]
“You are feeling excited. Your suitcase is packed, you’ve remembered your passport and guide book. You’re ready. You’re going on a journey, far away from everything you know. Who knows how long it will take and what you will see on the way? What will you find when you reach your destination?
Well this is a library with thousands and thousands of books. Once you open a book, you’re supposed to be taken on a journey. But hopefully the adventure will take on a different route and meaning during my time in Residence. I was delighted to be asked to be the Inaugural Writer in Residence in 2007 in the Lit and Phil, to research the North East’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. I am even more delighted to be going in again.
The Literary and Philosophical Society has a rich history across all disciplines but it’s often forgotten how strong it has links with travel and exploration. I will be searching through these collections plundering and plucking rare and dusty objects that grab my attention. I am going to be examining expeditions to new found lands through the ages, both from and to the UK, and seeing where the research takes me. I will be asking for volunteers from time to time.
The Literary and Philosophical Society is such a vibrant, exciting place to be these days. It’s always packed with interesting people doing interesting things, so I’m going to seize the opportunity to chat with them. I’m going to be enjoying a cup of coffee with them, getting them to open up and hopefully we’ll go on a journey together. I’m almost ready for the off, just got to check I’ve got my sunscreen. I’ll meet you at the departure gate
# 1 [23 May 2012]
I am the writer in residence at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle upon-Tyne. I will be sharing my work-in-progress during FREE events throughout 2012.
Saturday 21 July at 11.30, Monday 3rd September, 7pm and Thursday 18 October at 1.15pm.
During my time, I will be investigating my interests in travel and exploration in the Library’s collections, riffling through their rare books, music and ephemera for inspiration for new material. These show-and-tell events are opportunities to see collections, items relating to the journeys and travels that have most intrigued me. I will also be reading specially composed poetry and revealing a glimpse of a new character. There is more information on the Lit and Phil’s events page – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
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I’m a writer. Always have been. I write poetry from the heart and anything else for money. I like exploring voices. In everything, I write I’m exploring my own voice. It’s a journey and I’m enjoying the ride.