Listen to Cherry Potts, Laila Sumpton, Michelle Penn, Katerina Watson Math Jones and Grace Cookey-Gam talking about and reading from work that will be performed in tomorrow’s Solstice Shorts Festival together with two of the songs – Anna Kissell’s Oh, the Dark (Bristol) and 3 Bucket Jones Light Another Candle for You
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.
For the collectors amongst you – SIGNED books. limited numbers available, in some cases only ONE. Support our crowd fund for Dusk, the next Solstice Shorts Festival.
Pledge £10 or more for a Signed copy of The Old Woman from Friuli
copy of our children’s illustrated folk tale (illustrated by Ed Boxall) signed by the author, Ghillian Potts
Pledge £15 or more Signed copy of Devilskein & Dearlove
Young Adult fantasy novel Devilskein & Dearlove, (Nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2015) with book-plate SIGNED by Alex Smith.
Sorry, We can’t ship to South Africa as D&D is published by someone else there.
Pledge £15 or more for a SIGNED copy of Liberty Tales or Shortest Day, Longest Night, (you choose!) signed by as many of the authors as we’ve managed to catch up with, (there are only a couple of these left)
Pledge £17 or more a Signed copy of an Epic Fantasy Novel
Signed Copy of Cherry Potts’ mammoth fantasy epic, ‘The Dowry Blade. UK only, it’s a big book!
Pledge £30 or more for a Signed copy of OUTCOME
Our spectacular full colour photographic portraits by Tom Dingley, signed by him and as many of the subjects as we’ve happened to bump into. There is only ONE of these available.
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 the run up to our celebration of our fifth anniversary we are highlighting our first five books, all available for £5 each from our shop
Also available to bona fide libraries and book charities free please contact us to enquire.
Number Four: Mosaic of Air
Originally published twenty years ago, the sixteen short stories in Mosaic of Air reflect and explore Lesbian life in the 1980s through myth, history, fantasy and science fiction. Delving into lecturing spiders, Helen of Troy, seaside libraries, computers that fall in love, murder and memory; but most of all humour, and a delight in all that women can be.
Praise for the first edition:
Cherry Potts writes with economy, punch, panache.
Definitely about women in space, not the usual glossy tomboys of standard sf.
Delightful … both a hilarious spoof of one-man-and-his computer myths such as 2001, a Space Odyssey; and a reflection on the limits of love and power.
From the foreword:
Sometimes I think that I would write these stories differently now, and then I think, would I? Yes, the world has changed, these days many of the scenarios played out by characters in the contemporary stories wouldn’t now happen in Britain; but there are plenty of places in the world where these stories would still happen. Sadly they have not dated as thoroughly as I might have hoped.
‘Mosaic of Air’ is an interesting parable featuring a proto-post-feminist lead, a computer programmer whose programme becomes sentient which surprisingly encases an abortion debate.
If you read nothing else in this book you must read ‘Arachne’s Daughters’; this takes apart a myth about Arachne (a human) challenging Athene (the goddess): ‘”Now, can you believe anyone would be so stupid?” ‘. It’s set as a speech given at a women-only meeting with a clever twist on why so many women shouldn’t fear spiders despite the extra legs and pincers ‘ “Forgot something though didn’t they?…[Men]… How many Cancers and Scorpios are in the audience?”.’
audio of readings:
The Old Woman is next being read at our 5th Anniversary celebrations at Manor House Library in Lee SE13 on 8th September at 6.30pm. This event is free, but ticketed.
Then at Shoreham Library as part of the Shoreham Word Fest on October 14th at 11 am where it will be read by Tash Fairbanks. This event is free.
Another outing for The Old Woman from Friuli!
Ghillian Potts‘ creation will continue her tour of London Libraries at West Ealing Library Melbourne Avenue, Ealing, W13 9BT
Reading by the author’s daughter & publisher Cherry Potts
Saturday 12th August 2pm Free
Suitable for everyone age of 5 and above
Books available for sale
In the meantime here’s Sarah Feathers reading the book at Osterley Library last month!
Brockley Max is coming – and we are getting involved.
2nd June 7pm at the Talbot Pub in Brockley SE4 1QG, Arachne authors Bartle Sawbridge, Rosalind Stopps and Cherry Potts join other writers from WooA (Writers of Our Age), Neil Lawrence, Anna Somerset and Hilary Dunn for Urban Myths. (the link says 7-7.30 that means 7 for 7.30, we aim to be there at least 2 hours.
You can join in with 100 words of your own urban myth, and get stuck in with the epic writing relay, which is definitely best experienced slightly sozzled.
On Sunday 4th June at 3.30, we join Vocal Chords Choir (who have supported Solstice Shorts Festival a couple of times) at their Songs of Protest gig at St Hilda’s Church SE23 1NL when actors Silas Hawkins and Carrie Cohen will read some of the poems from Liberty Tales to complement the songs.
Our final drop-in session is at Art In The Park Story-telling tent on Hilly Fields, on Saturday 10th June at 2.30, when Arachne stalwart Katy Darby will be reading our forthcoming younger children’s book, The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts which is in the shops 6th June – you can buy direct from us NOW post free.