I am reading in Leeds this month in Headingley, at the Heart Centre Cafe, LS6 3HN.
The other poets are Julia Deakin, William Thirsk-Gaskell, Neil Clarkson and Andy Armitage.
The event takes place on the 29th January, 7.30pm. I am looking forward to the chance to try some new work and meet the other poets.
I once lived in Headlingley many moons ago and worked at a bookshop on the High St. I had just fallen in love and moved to the city without knowing a soul! My boyfriend at the time worked nights and I worked during the day. So I had plenty of time to explore Leeds and get to know the city. I have very fond memories of it, but left after a couple of years to seek my fortune in London! Leeds was a very different city then. Quite run down, rough around the edges and a cheap place to live. I bought a local magazine called ‘Leeds other Paper’ and did yoga, saw lots of films and eat lentils… What can I say!
I am taking part in an event at the Square Chapel for the Arts in Halifax this Saturday. The main focus of the evening is poetry by Heathcote Williams, performed by Roy Hutchins. The piece is called Forbidden Fruit.After the interval a number of poets are performing, including myself. Last year’s event was great - a real mixture of younger voices and people like myself! http://www.squarechapel.co.uk/en/event/888It would be great to see you.
I have just got back from being involved in a festival at the Emerson Gallery in Berlin and doing a reading in English and German. This was my second visit to the city. This time I had an apartment to live in for a week thanks to Russell Radinski, the gallery curator. I therefore managed to do lots of writing and did not quite feel like a tourist!
I also got to grips with the U-bahn and S-bhan systems so I saw a good deal of the city and its varied districts. Highlights were eating black cherries soaked in vodka, and going to dinner with a new friend called Cordula who loves in Berlin. Oh dear. This is sounding very food-related! I have also produced a limited edition book with artist Jack Wright for this event and will be doing a UK launch for the book on Hebden on the 22nd August, 7pm as a guest at Gaia Holme’s event at the BookCase bookshop. It would be great to see you there if you can make it.
I am off on my travels shortly. London this week for a networking meeting with writers who also coach that I have organised through NAWE,
I am bringing together writers who have trained with NAWE/Arvon and RD 1st (Debs Barnard) on an accredited coaching course that ran in 2011 and 2012. It will be great to see everyone.
Then off to Paris next week with Hebden Bridge’s Junior Brass Band (on tour!). I am hoping it won’t be too hot for the band to play.
I am then reading in Berlin the following week. This photograph is one of my father’s pictures from 1963 that have inspired some recent poems. I have been working on a new book to take with me to Germany with artist Jack Wright. The book, called ‘After Image’ will be a handmade, limited edition artist’s book featuring the poems I have written about Aberdeen and Berlin in the last two years. Further details to follow. If you want to pre-order a copy please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Wish me luck!
I did a reading this summer at Leeds Metropolitan University as part of their contemporary women writers series. It was a chance to air some new work. Here is a link to a podcast of the reading and other writers to listen to that were part of the same programme: http://www.the-cwwa.org/conversations/conversations-with-contemporary-women-writers-anne-caldwell/
A link by my friend and poet Alicia Stubbersfield prompted me to share this poem based on working at the South Bank Centre in the 90’s.
Seems a long time ago, don’t you think? But I loved the sense that the area was used by some many people there in the heart of London. Does anyone else have memories of the place at the time?
A barge full of bin-bags
heads out towards the Isle of Dogs:
London flushes itself downstream
as I leg it across Hungerford Bridge.
The Festival Hall is a block of light in the river.
I run past Dreadlocks-Mike, banjo in hand,
nails yellow as vellum, greyhound
hunkered down beside him,
dash by security guards with their
broken-veined cheeks, arms folded
against hoodies skateboarding
the underbelly of the building.
The Camerata tunes to a high G.
I scramble into my uniform behind the till.
The bookshop’s crammed with
Opera lovers swigging Bollinger
spending fifty quid each
on coffee-table art with their Visas.
When Offenbach’s Orpheus
strikes up, I sneak out to throw coins
in Mike’s hat, his greyhound shivering
in a blanket; let the skaters in for a warm
when the guards are off for a fag.
I work a feet-swelling, ten hour shift,
get the last train home
to Thornton Heath via Brixton.
I have my keys out, ready to stab
any bugger with designs on my handbag.
I haunt the South Bank on my day off.
The Hayward’s showing Diego Riviera.
I stare at his giant Mexicans: workers
in overalls, standing shoulder to shoulder.
I am reading at Waterstones in Leeds on the 23rd May at 7.00pm with the wonderful poets
Cara Brennan and Jonathan Davidson. Here is a link to the facebook page:
Look forward to seeing you if you can make it.
I have been writing about the theme of darkness recently. and working on some poems that have sat on the laptop in an unfinished state for what feels like ages. This one below, has finally found the shape I want. It started off as a long poem and has ended up very condensed. The poem just did not feel right and was trying to say too much. I think because I was in a different country and getting very excited about the landscape without being able to focus on what the poem needed. Does anyone else recognise this process? Particularly if you are writing after walking or being somewhere very new? The photo above is West Yorkshire yesterday. Good grief. It could be Canada!
Bow River, Banff
‘Then, up to our chins, we will pull the dark blanket of earth
and rest together at the end of the working day.’
Sharon Olds, The Ferryer
Tectonic plates rub together
like a conversation beneath a quilt.
Below us, the river splits in two.
The slower stream is silting up,
meandering into ox bow lakes
like a string of half-smiles.
Can you hold still — carry the long view
in your guts as mountain air
bites our lips red?
Can you stop to listen
to the trembling aspen,
a shift in season,
the incremental murmur
of snow from the west?
Anne Caldwell, March 2013