Arachne 10th Anniversary – the Authors – a short series part 5

A reminder that this anniversary festival is all the work of our authors, from making suggestions as to what they would want to attend, to putting together the events. We just promote and host!

I thought it would be useful to give you all a bit more detail about the authors who have put together our amazing, eclectic anniversary events.

For our fourth week we have events on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and  Sunday (two events)

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023 6pm The Business of writing– The Society of Authors This is very kindly being run for us, by two of the coordinators of the  Society of Authors Poetry & Spoken Word group: Johanna Clarke and Mathilde Zeeman

Johanna Clarke has been an advisor at the SoA since October 2021. She advises writers on publishing contracts and issues, and works closely on their outreach programme. Johanna is one of the coordinators of the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group.

Mathilde Zeeman joined the SoA in 2022. She recently transferred from the Membership team to the Advisory team where she will continue her work advising writers on publishing issues, and is a coordinator of the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group.

[not part of the festival, but on Wednesday 25th, 7.30pm Jeremy Dixon is reading from his award winning poetry collection, A Voice Coming from Then at Verbatim, at the Poetry Pharmacy in Bishops Castle, Shropshire.]

Thursday Jan 26, 2023 7pm The Empire Writes Back: “Space, place and belonging” is being run by Nikita Aashi Chadha 

Nikita is a writer, poet and social commentator who advocates for an intersectional lens and approach to be utilised – she is committed to spotlighting the ‘other’, those who are chronically unheard and underrepresented within society. Her poetry focuses on the experiences of the South Asian diaspora, mental health and identity. Nikita’s poem Jallianwalla Bagh appears in our anthology Where We Find Ourselves, and she chaired our Writing the Diaspora panel. Nikita is also a patient voice advocate, lead facilitator and speaker for Cysters (a non-profit that specialises in supporting marginalised people with reproductive and mental health problems. Instagram: @nikkaayyy_c @didacticdiaspora @cystersgroup

Friday Jan 27, 2023 6.30pm Using family history/photos as inspiration for poetry with Seni Seneviratne

Seni was born and raised in Leeds, of English and Sri Lankan heritage. Published by Peepal Tree Press – Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin (2007), The Heart of It (2012), Unknown Soldier (2019). She is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry and has collaborated with film-makers, visual artists, musicians and digital artists. She is one of ten commissioned writers on the Colonial Countryside Project: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted. She is currently co-editing a Bloodaxe anthology of post-independence Tamil, Sinhala and English poetry and working on her fourth collection. She lives in Derbyshire and works as a freelance writer. Arachne published Seni’s poem,Triptychs Without Borders, in our Global Majority anthology, Where We Find Ourselves, and Seni took part in our writing the Diaspora panel.

Sunday Jan 29, 2023 11am  Writing About Mental Health in YA fiction: Cormorants & #cornishgothic with Clare Owen

After working as an actor and arts administrator in London, Clare married a boat builder and moved to Cornwall. She promptly had three children and set up an improvised theatre company, re-enacting the stories of their audiences around the county. More recently she has co-written and performed with the all women ensemble, ‘Riot of the Freelance Mind’ and she regularly reads her short fiction at spoken word events and local festivals. Her first YA novel Zed and the Cormorants, was published by Arachne Press in April 2021 and is the winner of the Holyer An Gof YA prize and the Ann Trevenen Jenkin cup. Clare also had a story in our anthology, An Outbreak of Peace, both the short story and the novel explore various aspects of mental health through the lens of a young adult protaganist, and the way the natural world can help.

Sunday Jan 29, 2023 3pm  Marketing on a Tight Budget for Writers with Saira Aspinall

Saira is our marketing expert. What she can achieve with no budget and in only one day a week is positively miraculous, you really want to hear what she has to say!

Rhiya’s Routes – Bapuji

This month we are delighted to be launching Rhiya Pau’s debut poetry collection, Routes, almost exactly a year since we published Rhiya’s first poem ‘Departure Lounge’ in our Where We Find Ourselves anthology.

Routes chronicles the migratory histories of Rhiya’s ancestors and explores the conflicts of identity that arise from being a member of the South Asian diaspora. Ahead of publication, we asked Rhiya about the inspiration behind the collection:

“In many ways, my grandfather has been the inspiration behind Routes. Bapuji was born in Kenya but moved to India in the 1940s to become a freedom fighter in the Independence movement. He participated in marches and sit-ins, and was laathi-charged several times by British soldiers for his disobedience. In one instance he was even shot in the leg. Later in life, after moving to the UK he was awarded Membership of the British Empire by the Queen for his community work, an accolade he was incredibly proud of. I created Routes as a space in which to document the migratory history of my family and community and explore the conflicts of identity that emerge. The release of this collection reflects on the fifty years since much of our community moved to the UK, following the expulsion of the Asians from Uganda.

My grandfather was a salt-march pilgrim
in a fleeting incarnation of this nation.
Now how do I wash the blood from his flag?

Bapuji is remembered as a bold and principled man, who was unafraid to stand by his convictions in the face of disapproval. He believed this to be a necessary act in service of societal progress. In Routes I hope to pay tribute to his legacy. It is only by examining our history that we can begin to answer – what is worth holding on to? What memories, what stories, what truths? When we piece these together, what is the narrative we choose to tell? And how are we going to address the silences that remain?

Routes will be published on 24 November 2022. You can pre-order your copy now. 

Join us for the in-person launch of Routes at Keats’ House on 24 November, from 6.30pm. Details and free tickets.

Writing the Diaspora, A Conversation

Join Arachne Press poets to talk about diaspora experience and the power and significance of creative response

Tickets free/donation/with book

Chaired by Nikita Chadha, our panel will include Alex Williams, Gita Ralleigh, Seni Seneviratne, Des Mannay, Marina Sánchez and Catherine Okoronkwo. The panel will consider questions such as: How important is your diaspora identity to your writing? and As a writer, where do you feel like you belong?

This is an open event – we want to hear your voices too and there will be plenty of break-out and Q and A time, to encourage you to share your thoughts, reflections and experiences – and, if you would like, to write about them.

Different breakout rooms will allow time for shared conversation and deeper exploration of the ideas raised by the panel or provide an opportunity to attend a short writing session/ workshop.

This is an online event on Zoom. We will use auto captions.

 

Live Launch of Where We Find Ourselves Anthology Sold Out

We’re excited to announce that our live event at Keats House to launch our Where We Find Ourselves anthology is sold out!!!  However, you can still join us to celebrate publication of this fantastic collection of stories and poems of maps and mapping from UK writers of the global majority at our online launch on November 4th. 7-9pm.

Coming Soon

Be quick though – tickets are selling fast!  Tickets available here.