'The dry rustle of hands shoved into coat pockets is an act of protection, hugs are replaced by nervous nods, and to step out into the crisp sunshine more than once is to break the law. Social media is a flickering buzz of news articles, virus-related memes, and screenshots of Zoom meetings, a glass of stockpiled Chablis tilted wryly towards the camera. The line graph of confirmed cases skews alarmingly upwards. 'We are living in strange and unexpectedly challenging times. In between breaking news updates and frightening Covid-19 statistics, there is a sudden influx of articles trying to get us...
We had a lovely evening of poetry and music at The Cellar Bards. Thanks to Penny Thomas for providing the atmospheric pop-up venue change at Quay Street Studios with their plush red curtains and stage on Friday night! Thanks also to all of you who who came along to hear us, share your own creativity and buy books... Here are some snaps Ben Wildsmith took for us:
Jackie, queen of ceremonies at Cellar Bards, Cardigan, reading her poetry.
Kittie, inspiring coat envy in all as she reads from her debut collection Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks.
Pensive Susie, reading from her debut collection Better Houses.
At the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair in London today? Pop along and say hello to our dear poet Kate Noakes who is selling Parthian books all day and then reading at The Poetry Café this evening! She's a star! The Fair and the daytime readings are from 10.30am - 4.30pm at Conway Hall. Daytime workshops and evening readings are at The Poetry Café - the evening readings are 6.30 - 8.30pm.
by Sydney Whiteside
The second day of the 2020 Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival opened on Saturday morning with the New Poetry Showcase, a spectacle of new poetry from authors with recently published or forthcoming collections. Featuring five writers, both debut poets and those on their second or third collection, the showcase was a brilliant start to a dazzling Saturday of poetry in Cardiff’s Temple of Peace.
Cardiff poet Roberto Pastore was the first to read, sharing poems from his new collection Hey Bert, out now with Parthian. Pastore’s poems burst with energy and humour, highlighting the beauty in the everyday and reminding us of our ‘all too humanness’. Among the poems read was ‘Heart Poem’, a beautiful look into memory and the often impossible expectations we place on ourselves.
Kittie Belltree, who was born in south London and now lives in Wales, followed with readings from her debut collection Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks, also out now with Parthian. Her poems explore domestic trauma, history, and mother-daughter relationships with paralyzing detail and wit. Belltree closed her reading with ‘Magician’s Daughter’, a beautifully haunting piece about sexual abuse that makes whimsical diction dangerous and twists words into unexpected and wonderful combinations.