A Glowing Review

Last week, I told you that my friend Jill Grey was due to speak at Writers Aloud, telling us of her new book about caring for her husband with dementia. Those of you with good memories may also remember that I said to expect a glowing review of the evening in due course. Well, here it is!

I can say without any fear of contradiction that last Wednesday evening at the Goytre Arms pub was one of the best we have ever had Рif not actually *the* best. Jill was both entertaining and composed, punctuating the account of publishing her book with personal anecdotes from her life with husband Chris. The reading she chose to illustrate her talk was a perfectly pitched balance of humour and pathos, providing an insight into the struggles of caring for a loved-one, whilst not losing sight of the humour that can be found in such situations. Many folk present noted how well Jill spoke, managing to project her voice to the back of the room without it losing any of its characteristic gentleness.  (A skill which I lack, and to which I certainly aspire.)

After the necessary break to recharge our glasses, a number of the gathered crowd then then had their turn to entertain. The usual eclectic mix of poems and prose arose from the usual eclectic mix of people present, carrying the latter part of the proceedings along with ease. We were also pleased to welcome some new faces to our little band of writers which, along with a good turn out of the ‘usual suspects’, made for a very well attended and enjoyable evening.

I personally had a fabulous time and judging by the words of thanks and positive comments I have had from people since, it would appear that I was not alone in this. It has admittedly set the bar pretty high for the next Writers Aloud evening, in October, so perhaps I shall hand the responsibility for co-ordinating that one to someone else!

Any volunteers…? ūüėČ


Writers Aloud once more

Another fabulous evening with my writing buddies at the Goytre Arms last week.  It was good to spend time with friends, especially those who have been out of the loop for a while for various reasons.

Not many people had come with the intention of sharing their work this month, so we took the opportunity to have a much needed catch up. ¬†A number of us also stayed on for the quiz, where our team ‘The Polite Clappers’ came a respectable third place. ¬†(Team name courtesy of pub landlord Rich, who has commented with amusement on the way we applaud each other during our Writers Aloud evenings.)

I must confess to writing very little new material recently, so I will wheel out one of my older pieces with which to entertain and inspire you – well, hopefully.

A Gloucestershire Landscape

Golden corn
Stacked in stooks.
Honey-light streaming
Through blue-sky patches.

Uneasy leaves
Rattle the trees.
As the wind rises
With threat of rain.

Scudding shadows
Punctuate the green,
Pursuing one another
Across the verdant hillside.

Sons of the soil
Gather in the harvest;
Protecting their treasure
From approaching storms.



Writers Aloud

Once again, my online life has suffered at the hands of real life.  Consequently, I am dropping by quickly to redress that by telling you about the poems-and-pints-open-mic-thing which I help to co-ordinate.

Writers Aloud takes place on the second Wednesday of the month, every other month, at a local pub called the Goytre Arms.  Excellent food starts the evening for some of us, with the rest turning out later to lubricate the vocal chords with fine real ale (other alcoholic beverages are available) and share our work with each other.

The most recent evening took place on 9th April (I *did* say it had been a while since I last posted) and was the usual relaxed mix of poetry, prose and banter between good friends.  The Facebook page for Writers Aloud can be found by following this link and you may find out more about the Goytre Arms by clicking here.  

If you live in the local area, you would be most welcome to come along to our next evening. ¬†People are welcome to take part or simply to listen. ¬†As long as you enjoy yourselves, that is fine by us. ūüôā

Exhibitionism – an advance warning

My offline life has been an emotional see-saw recently.  This is like a roller coaster, but far less fun, and goes some way to explaining my lack of online presence.  Apologies if you missed me.

I am attempting to atone for my absence with this brief mention of an event at which I will – once again – be making an exhibtion of myself. (This is getting to be a bit of a habit).

One of my poems is to appear in the JawSpring exhibition on 21st March, which the perceptive amongst you will recognise as World Poetry Day.  This conveys upon me the privilege of being a Sushi Laureate at this event, as the haiku in question (below) is to be immortalised in sushi.

Young rose blooms bee strewn
Open petals beckoning
Pollination time

Don’t believe me?¬† Follow the link and find out…


Hats off to 2013

my exhibition 1

The more observant of my readers will notice that this photo shows me pointing to the poem from the previous post. (Pedants will notice that my hat is actually on, but that’s what comes¬†from being a pedant.) Anyway, metaphorical and literal hats aside, in this first blog¬†post of¬†2014¬†I will be looking back at¬†my adventures in writing over the past year.

My¬†first¬†success of 2013 was¬†achieving pulication in PAN, the creative writing magazine of University of Wales, Newport. If you are interested in reading the¬†poem¬†‘My Welsh Roots’, it can be found here.¬† I also¬†have a few copies of PAN.¬† As¬†my vanity realistically needs no more than one,¬†I would be¬†happy to give¬†a¬†copy to each of ¬†the first three people to¬†leave a comment¬†on¬†this blog post, or who contact me¬†via Facebook or Twitter.

Later in the year,¬†I was pleased to win a place in a competition co-hosted by IdeasTap and Mardibooks.¬† This¬†resulted in my ballad ‘The Inauspicious Beginnings of M. Parapluie’ being published in this anthology.

November then saw the exhibition of my visual poem ‘The Pursuit’, as demonstrated by the woman with the big grin and multiple chins in the above photograph.

Trosnant Writers, a group of fellow scribes to which I belong, published our second anthology in March.  The launch event for this collection was such a success that it has since become a regular fixture, in the form of Writers Aloud.  I have facilitated and participated in a number of these evenings, enjoying the chance to hear the work of others as well as reading my own.  Other opportunities to perform also emerged as appearances on Flame Radio, a locally run and charitably funded station which sadly went off-air recently due to lack of resources.  Believe me, though, it was fun whilst it lasted!

Time for a conclusion.  As readers of earlier incarnations of this blog will know, it has metamorphosed since I first started.  Early attempts at providing a platform for others to tell their stories was not as successful as I had envisaged, with the addition of my own personal tale creating no real improvement either.  Furhtermore, feedback from a professional editor added to my growing conviction that I am not ready to tell my personal story, especially as making my experiences more appealing and readable would require a level of honesty and vulnerability that I am not yet willing to display.

So, what is the conclusion?

Honest reflection over the past year would suggest that my natural medium is poetry.  I enjoy writing poems; I revel in the experience created when others encounter them, whether in written, visual or audible form.  I have to admit, I particularly enjoy performing poetry.

In October, I felt able to call myself a writer.  Perhaps I will now add my particular specialism.  My name is Dith Parry, and I am Performance Poet!