Year of the woman

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.

April
Kate Foley Poetry Collection: A Gift of Rivers

Kate is reading from the collection at Gay’s the Word on 5th April and we are investigating a launch in Amsterdam.

May
Cathy Bryant Poetry Collection: Erratics.

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’

June
The final installment of The Naming of Brook Storyteller: Wolftalker arrives from Ghillian Potts.


Also in June we have the official launch of Dusk which will also kick off thinking about 2018’s Solstice Shorts festival, Dawn!

July Five by Five: 5 short stories each by Katy Darby, Joan Taylor-Rowan, Cassandra Passarelli, Sarah James, Helen Morris

August
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.

September
Vindication: an anthology of up to 10 poems each from
Sarah James, Sarah Lawson, Jill Sharp, Elinor Brooks, Adrienne Silcock and Anne Macaulay

November
We are commemorating the end of WWI with poetry and short story anthology An Outbreak of Peace.

 

At the Bottom of the Sea of Troubles video

Katy Darby reads the delicious At the Bottom of the Sea of Troubles by Lucy Ribchester (originally a Liars’ League story), at our Shakespeare400 event, Midsummer Night in the Garden at Manor House Library.

oh, and we got a review – it’s only available on Facebook, so it is copied here in almost its entirety for those of you who don’t do that (I’ve left out some misapprehensions that just confuse the issue.)

“A miniature Kenwood or a pocket Glyndebourne” ? by RICHARD STOKER – Actor/Composer/Writer/Artist etc.

Some very talented actors and musicians treated us to a real summer open-air event last evening – June 21st 2016. It was luckily a warm sunny night with only one spot of rain ! The action started with music : ” From Songsters Raise the Roof ” and ended with a story ” At the Bottom of the Sea of Troubles ” these two items alone made an excellent start and end to the production – both as creations and in performance quality. You can guess by now that it was in praise of our greatest bard – William Shakespeare – in an almost authentic setting both in its venue – the splendid Baring public-library and gardens (even the two canons outside the front door were festooned with flowers for a change) – the birds flew over even one seagull – planes could be seen in the distance but did not drown in any way the music or the actors – one baby could be heard crying. We were very lucky no midges wasps or bees were about … the sound system worked extremely well too – refreshments were available including strawberries and cream tarts etc. People sat on the lawns Glyndebourne-style with picnics laid out over the grass. As it grew darker this setting was idyllic for Shakespeare …I was reminded of Kenwood House as the music was sung and the Scarborough open air library events came to mind which I always enjoyed. “Raise the Roof” was the splendid choir mostly a cappella conducted by Kirsty Martin – who reminded me of Imogen Holst herself – with the same determination of purpose. The actors were excellent – they included Cliff Chapman, Carrie Cohen, Katy Darby, Saul Reichlin – in fact Katy Darby was a star of the show having that rare ability to hold any audience anywhere at her finger-tips. There was also some original writing from many of our authors including the american-born Sarah Lawson, her “Next door to the Capulets” deserves mention. The printed program was well designed in Shakespearian style print and spelling. Much devoted thought had gone into this whole project. This evening will live long in the memories of all who were lucky enough to have attended …

Midsummer Night in the Garden

tempest headerIt cannot have escaped the notice of most people that it is 400 years since Shakespeare  shuffled off this mortal coil. There’s been a lot of celebrating, and not to be outdone, we are joining in, not on his birthday, not on his death day, but at Midsummer. You know how we like a solstice.

manor lib showing lawnThe nice people at Lewisham Libraries are hosting us for an event on Tuesday 21st June at 7:30 on the front lawn of Manor House Library Old Road, SE13 5SY (with performances on the front steps) or inside in the Baring room if the weather is unseasonable.   Please  phone the library on  0208 314 7794 to book a place, and to book a seat  for those who genuinely need one. You are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket to spread on the lawn. (If it rains we will be inside)IMG_0867
IMG_0872 Shakespeare’s great skill was in telling an old story in a new way, so we are shamelessly tearing a leaf from his folio. We have poetry, story, and song, based on Shakespeare’s own work, the characters he invented, and his life.
Songs from Raise the Roof and from Rachel Bellman and Elizabeth Charlesworth performed by Rosalyn Miller, Toby Hine and Mark Wainwright.

Poems from Pat Tompkins, Alison Absolute, Shakespeare himself, Kim Russell, Sarah Lawson, Elinor Brooks and Jennifer A McGowan, a story from Lucy Ribchester, and from Carolyn Eden,  an award-winning sketch based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For the sketch and where the author can’t make it, we have actors: Big thanks to Katy Darby, Carrie Cohen,  Saul Reichlin, Cliff Chapman and Mike Eden
Discover what’s in a name, what you get when (almost) the complete works of Mr Shakespeare are reduced to Haiku, five of Shakespeare’s women get their own poem, as does his mother, Juliet’s neighbour makes a complaint, one of Shakespeare’s sonnets gets turned on its head, the Illyria of Twelfth Night resurfaces in a story of modern-day refugees and find out where (and from whom) young Will stole his best lines. Oh and what Rosalind and Orlando’s wooing sounds like set to music.

We are crowdfunding to pay the performers. If you would like to contribute you can do so here.

0994_JenMcGowan_fullElinor Brookskim russellSarah Lawson

kirsty-homelucy ribchesterKaty portrait 1 (Jon Cartwright)

Carrie Cohen reading FROG

Carrie Cohen

Saul Rechlin

Saul Reichlin

midsummer flier copy