Far too much good news!

Am always resolving to keep posts down to a minimum, but this month is proving so fruitful and exciting for Bath Writers & Artists that I have decided to slip in an extra post ahead of time. We are looking forward to such an exciting meetup at the end of July.  And while we wait, so many other good things are rolling in…..

Neptune

Poseidon/Neptune God of the Sea

Our ‘Odyssey’ sequence on 28th July already has a very compelling line up which includes CONOR & ROGER WHELAN reading together ( a father and son first ), SHIRLEY WRIGHT with blood curdling accounts of Circe the sorceress, SUE CHADD presenting the work of Scottish poet Andrew Greig, and further contributions from AMA BOLTON, CLAIRE COLEMAN, LINDA SAUNDERS, SARAH GREGORY and MARGARET HEATH.

We also have two new pamphleteers ready to do their shared launch readings.  Huge congratulations to VERONA BASS and ANN PRESTON who have both worked phenomenally hard to meet self-imposed early summer deadlines which I wrongly thought impossible.

Frome writer ROSIE JACKSON is joining us, to read in our Odyssey sequence and also to introduce poems from our Amazon anthology, The Listening Walk which she and other Poetry Café members edited so brilliantly several years ago. We will be lucky enough to have three of ‘Rosie’s poets’ with us on the 28th, reading the poems she selected and introduced so eloquently for her section, As If the Sea.

I will have the privilege of prefacing Rosie’s presentation with a short introduction to the work of MALCOLM ASHMAN RWA who provided the cover image for The Listening Walk and is now a member of the Bath Writers & Artists Group. Bath poet LINDA SAUNDERS, whose poem provided our anthology title, will read her poem of the same title as part of that.

IN ADDITION…..

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.49.29

The Journey by Bath artist Jude Wisdom

Bath artist/illustrator JUDE WISDOM, whose solo show has just opened in Chapel Arts, has volunteered to do our first artist’s Q&A session, showing slides of her paintings and drawings on the theme of Journeys and answering  questions about her work.

Sherborne singer/songwriter MIRANDA PENDER is appearing as our first virtual contributor, having sent in a stunning voice file to make up for not being able to join us on the day.

AND…..

We also have news of two exciting new contributors  to our growing group.  Bath artist/poet PETE SMITH is preparing a special presentation for November on the wisdom and healing potential to be found in myth, and in particular in the myth of the heroic journey, which will link beautifully with our July 28th Odyssey afternoon.

And we are looking forward with great pleasure to welcoming artist NIENKE VAN WIJK from the Royal College of Art as soon as she has settled into her new life in ‘the rolling hills of Somerset’.

AND, PLEASE EVERYONE NOTE, WE HAVEN’T EVEN REACHED JULY!!!!!

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Setting out for Ithaka

220px-Constantine_Cavafy,_ca_1900As you set out for Ithaka 

hope the voyage is a long one 

full of adventure, full of discovery. 

Constantine Petrou Cavafy (1863 – 1933)

Bath Writers & Artists’ fascinating journey is only just beginning, but what an adventure we are about to have!

This afternoon ( 27th May) at least six of us – VERONA BASS, AMA BOLTON, SARAH GREGORY, ANN PRESTON, TESSA STRICKLAND and me – were swept away in Bath Assembly Rooms by the vivacity and brilliance of Emily Wilson’s presentation of her new translation of The Odyssey which is inspiring our next meetup on 28th July. Already ideas for an afternoon paying homage to this greatest of all literary journeys are flowing in.  Cavafy, for example, (portrait above) whose marvellous Ithaka ( read by the right person ) is going to electrify the room. Margaret Atwood, Derek Walcot, Joseph Brodsky, Louise Gluck, Chaim Gouri, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Longley….. I have already been offered mesmerising poems by all of these.  We will be using extracts from Emily Wilson’s book to provide a simple framework for the afternoon contributions – which means we need an authoritive and compelling voice or pair of voices to play the part of guiding narrative.

ALSO ON JULY 28TH…

AMA BOLTON is going to share her journey to St Kilda,

and VERONA BASS the journey she has made to create her two debut poetry pamphlets.

 

Malcolm Ashman Paintings in St Ives

Malcolm Ashman’s opening in St Ives

Meanwhile, in St Ives this very evening, MALCOLM ASHMAN RWA, RBA, ROI,  who recently joined the Bath Writers & Artists group,  is at the opening of his latest exhibition, which will feature some of his journeys as a painter to the heart of landscape. On a forthcoming meetup afternoon, we hope to present a slideshow of Malcolm’s landscape paintings, to mark and celebrate his joining of the group.

Friend of Bath Writers & Artists, PAT MILLNER, having very suitably been in Patmos during our last meetup, is hoping she might be able to make the long journey from Appledore to take part in our Odyssey afternoon.

And for journeys of the spirit, one of Bath Writers & Artists great adventurers, Sherborne singer/songwriter MIRANDA PENDER is allowing me to share this recent portrait. Miranda recently created a musical setting for William Henreysen’s final letter from Mexico, beginning with the words “I have been anointed for a journey”, which just might, therefore, find its tiny way into our afternoon.

 

Miranda Pender being Adventurous

Miranda Pender looking adventurous

As RS Thomas wrote, and that was only on one island….

And I haven’t yet sent out the message requesting contributions and contributors for July!

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU HAVE IDEAS AND THOUGHTS TO SHARE ABOUT OUR ODYSSEY AFTERNOON, OR WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE BY READING / PERFORMING /SINGING SOME OF THE WORKS WE CHOOSE.

WE WILL WELCOME SHARED PRESENTATIONS & STORYTELLING AS WELL AS POETRY, AND WILL BE DELIGHTED TO BE OFFERED COMPACT TALKS, WITH SLIDES.

ANYTHING , REALLY, WHICH DELIGHTS THE GIVER, SPRINGS OFF SOME MOMENT IN HOMER’S ODYSSEY,  AND WHICH WILL ENTHRALL AND ENTERTAIN THE AUDIENCE…..

DRESS CODE : BLACK FEATHERS (see below)

John_William_Waterhouse_-_Ulysses_and_the_Sirens_(1891)

John William Waterhouse : Ulysses and the Sirens