Videos from the first half of the Departures launch at Brockley Brewery on 21st November 2019
Oscar Windsor-Smith reads This England
Carolyn Eden reads My Daddy
Joan Taylor-Rowan reads from Three Sisters on the Edge
Here they are in all their glory – videos of the readings from Thursday’s launch of We/She
Smoking Ban by Jennifer Rickard read by Carrie Cohen
A Crowing Hen by Arike Oke
Comeback Special by Katy Darby (this one is pieced together – the camera battery died…but our belts have braces so all’s well)
The Real McCoy by Cherry Potts read by Carrie Cohen
Destiny’s Children by Rosalind Stopps
Some Carpets to Remain by Carolyn Eden
Ugly Duchess by Fiona Salter
Cages by Joan L M Williams
The Dead Wives’ Club by Ilora Choudhury
One Beautiful Day by Elizabeth Stott
Today is International Women’s Day, in the centenary year of partial suffrage for women.
So an important day for women, but, you know, women are women every day, and there’s still plenty of work to be done, on all sorts of fronts, so celebrate and then roll up your sleeves…
Our small contribution is to do what we do anyway, but do more of it. We are publishing a number of books over the next nine months and most (not all) will be by women.
Kate is reading from the collection at Gay’s the Word on 5th April and we are investigating a launch in Amsterdam.
Cathy and Kate are taking part in a seminar on diversity and inclusivity in the poetry world at London Book Fair on 10th April at 17:30 at the ‘Poet’s Corner’
Also in June we have the official launch of Dusk which will also kick off thinking about 2018’s Solstice Shorts festival, Dawn!
We are teaming up with Liars’ League for our official #womensvote100 anthology, We/She featuring stories about women by women. Final line up yet to be finalised but expect stories from:
Carolyn Eden, Katy Darby, Elizabeth Hopkinson, Elisabeth Simon, Elizabeth Stott, Fiona Salter, Ilora Choudhury, J. A. Hopper, Arike Oke, Jennifer Rickard, Jenny Ramsay, Lucy Ribchester, Peng Shepherd, Rosalind Stopps, Joanne L. M. Williams, Swati Khurana, Uschi Gatward.
We are commemorating the end of WWI with poetry and short story anthology An Outbreak of Peace.
It has been a busy time, another set of videos I’ve only just had time to edit and post:
We took part in the Archway With Words Festival back in September, reading from a variety of books at Archway Library. (5 books, 5 authors, for our 5th anniversary…)
Katy Darby, The Horror, the Horror, Stations
We had a lot of fun at Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham for Shoreham WordFest on Thursday, lovely crowd, great acoustic and though we say it ourselves, some marvellous poems, stories and songs.
Songs by Sydney Carter, Ali Burns, Albert Nyathi, George Loveless/ Joe Stead and James Oppenheim; arranged by Melanie Harrold messed around with and sung by a small subset of Vocal Chords Choir, (Cherry Potts, Alix Adams, Bea Jackson, Caroline Dunton, Denise Mueller-Brown and Maria Kirby)
The Privilege of Departure, or Dover Bound, But Delayed by Bernie Howley, read by Carrie Cohen.
Singing We Raise the Watchword Liberty in full with the audience
The second half – stories, and a certain amount of difficulty with the camera cutting out.
Here’s some feedback from the audience on what they liked (you can hear them joining in on some of the songs)
Well constructed programme, the segues from music into poetry and back again, the variety of interpretations given to the theme of liberty. Bread and Roses, Free White Towel and the promise of a free badge!
Here is an interesting evening, full of fun, wisdom and wit. Hear some moving poems/ stories from those from the past and present combined with our essential liberties.
I love being read to. A very mixed programme which really stimulated my mind and imagination.
variety – the spice of life
I enjoyed the flow of the first half
Loved the storytelling
Singing – chance to join in
Celebrating freedom – and keeping socialist history alive – good songs poems and stories too!
Witty and original writing. Very lively material, good singing.
Being busy people we can’t always arrange our own events as regularly as we might like, so we are very happy when we get asked to take part in other people’s.
On Wednesday 27th September 18.15 we are at Archway with Words at Archway Library, Hamlyn House Highgate Hill N19 5PH where Liam is reading again, alongside Katy Darby, Cherry Potts, Carolyn Eden, and Wendy Gill
On Saturday 30th September we are at Free Verse Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall where we will have a stall all day, and are reading in the Red Lion Square garden cafe at 4.30, with Jeremy Dixon, Lisa Kelly and Sarah James.Experience a flush of openness in San Francisco, a long day on a till, an even longer night in a hotel, and time shifting about the three occupants of a house.
In October we are off to the Shoreham Word Fest with a Liberty Tales/ Songs of Protest evening at the Yacht Club on Thursday 12th at 19.30 (£10) with Elinor Brooks, Greg Page and Carrie Cohen reading poetry and Cherry & Liam reading prose, and Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd and some of Vocal Chords singing. We will be teaching two very simple protest songs!
Followed on the Saturday Morning at 11am with a Children’s event in the Library, (Free) with The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts being read by Tash Fairbanks, and a kind of demonstration of woodcut printing from Cherry Potts, because we couldn’t get hold of Ed Boxall, the illustrator of the book, to join us. No sharp objects will be let near children!
As part of our Arachne 5th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve asked all of our authors to come up with a blog, that might have something to do with writing or anniversaries. Some of them responded! This one is from Carolyn Eden who we published in Liberty Tales.
One chilly afternoon a few years ago I found myself chatting to a chap in the local health club’s Jacuzzi. I’d just completed a leisurely gym work-out, swum a few lengths of the heated pool and was contemplating either a visit to the steam room or the sauna or, indeed, both. The Jacuzzi had always been my favourite place to “zone out” and often, lying there with my eyes closed and my body partially afloat, I would find that as my aches drifted away solutions to niggling problems would bubble into my brain.
“It’s great here, isn’t it?” I said to the young man wallowing next to me.
“Yup, freezing outside,” he replied.
Then the thought that inspired “Free White Towel” blasted into my brain. “Give me,” I said, “ten good reasons why we should ever leave this building.”
I don’t remember what he replied and I certainly didn’t manage to think of ten reasons to leave because I rapidly became caught up in the idea that a leisure club was the ideal sanctuary; the bolt-hole I’d run to if there were a crisis of impending doom.
At a leisure club members can eat in the café, drink free water from the fountains, watch television screens as they pound the exercise machines, read newspapers or surf the internet in the lounge area, snooze on the loungers by the pools, sweat in the hot rooms, cool down in the showers where they can wash and preen using the complimentary toiletries.
Much of the idea was inspired by the story of the man who lived in the limbo of an airport and it wasn’t much of a leap for me to then get the idea that for a homeless person this place would be an improvement on the Spartan airport home, if they could blag their way in, or just afford the monthly fees (a good deal cheaper than the rent on a bedsit). The lockers were big enough to contain a cabin-sized piece of luggage and relatively secure. And then, everywhere I went people were handing out freebies at stations, and I wondered could you keep yourself fed that way, provided you didn’t look destitute?
The clincher was the free white towel that all members were given as they entered the leisure club. Cleanliness is the friend of normalcy.
And so my story “Free White Towel” was born in a whirlpool near Woking. Pamela, my heroine, was able to run away from her abusive husband into this sanctuary of warmth and moistness.
The original was a long poem, read at the first Liberty Tales event back in June 2014 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. Excited by the ideas still flowing I wanted to turn it into a much longer tale; a novel. Pam was to be widowed and then the victim of a con-man, but my editor, the wonderful Cherry Potts, soon pared the story down to the essence of a vulnerable woman reinventing herself. The novel may emerge eventually, as I am still fascinated by how someone can live without a home and still look respectable, without resorting to anything more criminal than liberating a left-over portion of muesli.