Introducing Confluence magazine

Photo of Confluence 1 + 3
Photo of Confluence 1 + 3
Confluence 1 + 3

Confluence is a new writing magazine from Wordsmithery. Confluence aims to introduce writers from the East Kent area to writers from everywhere else and promote artistic exchange. We are open now for submissions of short plays, short stories and poems.

We will be publishing a print copy four times a year (August, December, February and May). See the Submissions page for what we’re looking for and how to submit!

You can order Issues 1 and 3 and subscribe at the Wordsmithery website if you want to get a feel for the type of writing we’re looking for.

Writers we have featured so far include: Issue 1 (all available online)  Janine Booth, sean burn, Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, David Cramer Smith,  Zack Davies, Rachel Davis,  Sarah Hehir, Dan Horrigan, SM Jenkin, Daphne Margolys, Tara Moyle, Katarina Rankovic (illustrations), Angel Uriel Perales, Cameron Williamson.

Issue 2 (all available online) Linked to our ‘An assemblance of judicious heretics; re:imagining Shakespeare’ project – featuring poetry and prose from 33 writers and interpretations of their words by 32 artists.

Issue 3 (some video extracts available online) Stories and poems from Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, Maggie Drury (woodcut illustrations), Barry Fentiman Hall, Sam Hall (a play), Mark Holihan, Shaun Philip Hutchings, Philip Kane, Bill Lewis, Daphne Margolys, Maria C. McCarthy, Katarina Rankovic, David Cramer Smith, Spreken, Jonathan Terranova, and Barrie West.

The magazine is printed using a Risograph machine locally at Intra on recycled paper, using vegetable inks, which gives it a retro feel. “…it’s so satisfying to hold and read! Typeface is fab, paper is perfect magazine weight. Old school printing was an inspired choice…”

See more at the Confluence website.

Coming up at Roundabout Nights

Photo of As long as it takes book cover
Photo of As long as it takes book cover
Maria C McCarthy is our guest on 1 December

We have a busy schedule of guest readings and performances at Roundabout Nights at the Alexandra, Chatham for the rest of the year.

On 17 November, poet Fiona Sinclair joins us for the Medway launch of her first full-length poetry collection, ‘Ladies who lunch’. Fiona’s work deals with the past, family and the peculiarities of life. Her poetry forms little vignettes or stories.

On 24 November, She Writes at Roundabout Nights are pleased to present a rehearsed reading of Alison Mead’s new full-length play ‘Politic Man’. The play tells the story of an extraordinary couple, Alfred and Ada Salter, who were instrumental in improving living conditions in the East End in the first part of the 1900s.

On 1 December, writer and publisher Maria C McCarthy will join us as our guest author. Maria will be reading stories from her highly lauded collection ‘As long as it takes’; ‘Dark, impeccably minimalistic stories about immigrant Irish mothers and their English-born daughters.’ Martina Evans

On 8 December, we will have our last Type’n’gripe of the year, so if you’ve been doing NANOWRIMO, why don’t you bring that along and share an extract! Our final event of the year will be our Christmas Lucky Dip Party on 15 December, where there will be festive mirth and treats aplenty! We hope to see you at some of our literary events!

Roundabout Nights
Doors 7pm, readings from 7.30pm
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, ME4 6RJ

Spoke ‘n’ Word – FREE workshops for 14-21yrs

Spoke-n-Word-eFlyers-MEDWAY

17th May | Times and venues listed below 

Shout Out to all budding spoken word artists, poets, wordsmiths, song writers and emcees aged 14 -21yrs.

Free opportunity for two full days mentoring by some of the UK’s most talented slam poets (during half term – 28th & 29th May) and a chance to perform alongside professional poets on our pedal powered stage onboard LV21 as part of the Fuse Festival at the Wise Words Festival in Canterbury.

Taster Session 17th May 11:00 -13:00 FREE

Medway Youth Service, Strood Youth Centre, Montford Road, Strood, Rochester ME2 3ET

Meet the Poets 17th May 18:30 – 21:00 | Tickets £3

‘Where Giants Stood’, Woodies Youth Centre, Arethusa Road, Rochester ME1 2UN

For further details please contact theCaptain@lv21.co.uk or pop into Strood Youth Centre.

Download flyer.

www.spokenword.info
www.lv21.co.uk
www.fusefestival.org.uk
www.wisewordsfestival.co.uk

Seasonally Effected – Creative Open-Mic Events – Medway

Seasonally Effected is a Rochester based open-mic night for creative and cultural exploration.  It features a diverse mix of performances including poetry, short film, comedy, short stories, original music, plays and a variety of experimental content that is less easy to define.  Usually happening at the lovely and cosy Dot Cafe on Rochester High Street, it is advisable to arrive early to guarantee a seat.  The first events for this year are planned for the 29th January and 19th February and will run 7-9pm.

photo-2

This year they are looking for performers who are up for more of a challenge. Organisers are suggesting people try something completely different from their usual practice, for example poets do a painting, singer-song writers perform some stand up, film makers experiment with flower arranging and storytellers sing a song.

The event is free to attend and there is no pressure to perform.  However, if you are interested in booking a 10 minute spot to share something you have created, whether that be film, poem, song, art, idea or other form of expression, contact them on: seasonallyeffected@gmail.com

City without a head – New book by ME4Writers published

City without a head cover
City without a head cover
City without a head

“…this anthology is wonderfully enthralling and the passion that oozes from each page is unquestionable.” **** Femalearts.com

Medway-based ME4Writers are proud to present their new book – City without a head – an anthology of creative writing written over several years, which was launched on 8 October at the Rochester Literature Festival.

City without a head is based on ME4Writers’ long-running writing project: The City Project aka Encyclopaedia Citaecephale, where they created non-definitions for an alternative encyclopaedia which was printed in a series of 8 limited edition zines and left around Medway (and further afield).

The book is a collection of poems, stories, interlinked sci-fi fragments and found writings collected in the form of an index by ME4Writers’ regular authors Barry Fentiman, Sam Hall, SM Jenkin, Anne-Marie Jordan, Sarah March, Tara Moyle and Roy Smith. It also features illustrations by award-winning artist Victoria Wainwright.  The aim of the book is to try to define what the authors feel about living in cities, and take a sideways look at our urban predicament. This is a theme which many of ME4Writers’ projects respond to.

City without a head has been published by Wordsmithery and costs £12. You can order a copy from www.wordsmithery.info

A Medway Vision 3 – Authentic Legend

Every now and then you hear of someone who should be more well-known than they are. Medway painter and poet Bill Lewis is one of them.  I’m not talking about seeing some ones work and thinking, ‘oh that’s quite good’ rather, I’m talking about someone who, once you realise what he has done, you realise he is a legend.

Bill Lewis is one of the founding members of both The Medway Poets and The Stuckist Movement of painting.  The Medway Poets were founded in 1979 by Lewis along with those other Medway legends Billy Childish and Sexton Ming.

Stuckism was founded in the 1990’s by Bill and 12 others (again Billy Childish) in response to the post-modern ‘event’ art of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.  In fact, the name ‘Stuckism’ comes from a conversation Emin had with Childish.  During a phone call, Emin mocked Childish and his painting friends for being ‘stuck, stuck, stuck’ in the past.  And the name, well, stuck.  Bill Lewis and the other original Stuckists, or ReModernists, decided that this new art lacked authenticity.

When asked if he still considers himself a Stuckist, there is little doubt he knows that he will always be one of the founding members of that group, “but I’m more interested these days in the wider aims of the ReModernist experiment. The integration of spirituality into art and the attempt to avoid slipping back into post-modernism”.

When asked about his painting style Bill says “some people have called it Magical Realism but I’m not sure that fits. My paintings are like a magic mirror that I hold up to see what I am like inside. The imagery in them often takes years for me to decipher. Sometimes I never fully understand them”

“Some writers and artists tell me they have no influences but then humans have a great capacity for self denial. They think they are being original. Nothing is original. The best we can hope for is to be authentic. Authenticity comes from love. The things we love influence us the most”

I have always made pictures but I did not start writing until I was at school. I used to draw on everything as a kid and after covering the wall next to my bed my parents bought me sketch books to stop me drawing on the rest of the walls. But poetry and fiction are my main artistic outpouring.

For me, his paintings are fascinating.  One in particular reminded me of the Inuit art I had seen from the Canadian Arctic when I was making my first feature film, East 3. However, it’s his writing that appeals most of all.  It seems that this is where his true voice is.  Looking at some of the poetry on his website www.billlewis.co.uk it strikes me as very honest.  It carries that element of all great poetry in that it seems to speak to you personally without ever knowing who you are.  It carries a beat to it that is often missing from modern poetry, Bill notes “we have lost the music in our poetry. Poems should sound good to the ear as well as work on the page”  This is probably why his work sounds so good when performed as his YouTube clips testify.

If there is indeed, a Medway Vision, a new spirit of independence and artistry then Bill Lewis, quite simply, is one of its godfathers.

A new book of poetry “In The House Of Ladders” by Bill Lewis is out now and published by Greenheart press (an imprint of WOW Medway magazine). Price £10.

Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk

www.twitter.com/Mr_Young

www.facebook.com/themoontheeye

A Medway Vision: Words and Sounds

Let me explain myself. I’m an independent filmmaker living in Rochester. Over the course of, well, however long they allow me to write these articles, I’m going to highlight one of Medway best kept secrets. One at a time I will focus on a local artistic talent within the Medway towns.

There seems to me something brewing around here. Whisper it, but it might even become a ‘Medway Scene’. Filmmakers like me, poets, musicians, visual artists, photographers, writers are busy creating. That, taken on its own, is nothing new. But there is a buzz, a real sense of artistic change in the air. The Fuse Festival is fun but this is something else.

I have lived in a few places, big places like London and Birmingham and for a little while now I have felt something unique about Medway. The art that is being made around here feels raw, exciting. It’s an independence of spirit and a DIY ethic. The NEED to create. It feels like Medway means it. It feels like Medway has something to say. A Medway Vision. Over the coming weeks I hope to prove that…

First off, let me introduce a group of beat poets I have been working with. There are three of them, they call themselves, perversely, a trinity. I can’t tell you their names. They work in secret. Determined to only write poetry and discuss nothing else, they asked me to produce their first CD of poetry. The go by the moniker of 7th Adventure Recordings and mix a surreal and dark set of words to an even more surreal and darker set of beats and noises.

I have worked with one of them before, secretive even then, he went only by the name of Polarghosts. He provided soundtracks to three of my short films. I liked his style, dark and dream-like, nightmarish really. When he told me about his interest in beat poetry my ears pricked up. He had grouped up with two others who shared a passion for beat poetry and together they wanted to redefine what poetry and beat poetry was. Beat poetry came out of the post-war USA in the 1950’s. Using music, often jazz, as a backdrop the poets usually performed stream of consciousness writing to a hip crowd. The legacy lived on but transformed and the melding of music and spoken word paved the way for rap music in the 1970’s.

Beat poetry in its own right kind of fizzled out. But the works of Kerouac and Ginsberg are still revered. 7th Adventure Recordings are presenting, what they call, beat poetry for the 21st Century. The music is still sometimes jazz in form, but it’s all electronic minimalism and has more in common with techno music. The words are not about 50’s America and the post-war lost ’beat’ generation but do share the stream of consciousness feel that those earlier poets had. Even the sub-title of the new CD ‘Poetry for the Blank Generation’ conjures images of the original beat poets but repackages it, Generation X-style, for a new generation of misfits.

Their new CD is something of an ‘EP’. 8 short poems with distinct identities, 9 minutes running time. Their words strike to your very soul. It’s like listening to a character in a dream. You can hear them and understand but you are never quite sure what they mean. Partly scary, partly uplifting, the CD is unusual in that it looks and feels like a new EP from a band including cool artwork. But it’s poetry. This really is poetry with a difference.

I have seen poetry performed a few times. It was ok but pretty dull and bourgeois. I was always attracted to beat poetry as it contained a raw energy. And who can resist the romantic image of the beat poets from 50’s America, travelling, drinking, free to create and thereby define a generation. Ok, I’m guessing that this bunch of Medway beat poets won’t be defining a generation, but if you want to explore a dark and surreal underbelly rather than listen to poems about funny people on a train or how the pretty the countryside is then this group might just become your favourite new poets.

7th Adventure Recordings seem destined to remain secretive and have no plans to perform their work live. That seems a pity, but, as with so many Medway artists currently at work, their vision is what makes them tick. Their vision is what makes them vital. Their vision is what is making Medway bubble with ideas and passion. And we wouldn’t want that to change.

Their new CD by 7th Adventure Recordings, ‘Curious Fascinations – Poetry for the Blank Generation’, has just been released and is available from www.themoontheeye.co.uk or www.7thadventurerecordings.tumblr.com priced £3.

Mr Young
Independent Filmmaker
www.themoontheeye.co.uk
www.twitter.com/Mr_Young
www.facebook.com/themoontheeye

Heroes and Villains: Poetry workshop for World Poetry Day – Strood – Kent

Saturday 24th March 2012

From Greek myths to fairytales, football to politics, TV to comic books: who are the heroes, who are the villains?

An inspiring creative writing workshop for new and established poets led by Maria C. McCarthy, author of Strange Fruits.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

10am to 12.30pm

 Strood library, Strood, Kent

Booking is essential for this free event by phoning 01634 335890

Area – South East