Martello – February News

First of all, thanks to everyone who came to the Seagull Theatre to see the brilliant Megson –  a truly memorable evening which they thoroughly enjoyed as well. So much so that they have already asked for a return visit!

Our February gig is on Sunday 11th at the Cut in Halesworth when we will be presenting the brilliant young all female band from the Orkneys, Fara. If you are unfamiliar with them have a look at the Cut’s website where you will find a video of their performance at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The link is www.newcut.org/events/entry/6424.

On March 8th we are back at the Seagull for Miranda Sykes (singer and double bass player with Show Of Hands) embarking on her first solo tour for many years. Tickets at www.theseagull.co.uk/event/miranda-sykes/

The period of exclusive priority ticketing for local people for our Acoustic Music Day on 28 April at the Canopy Theatre in Beccles has expired, although you will still be able to buy tickets in person from Beccles Books. Tickets are now available to the general public online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/459147 (small booking fee applies). Details will also be going up on the websites of all the acts  performing on the day which includes Gilmore & RobertsAlden, Patterson & DashwoodHoney & The BearDoghouse RosesPenny & Stuart MackJoseph Parsons and The Burkitt Family – all for the amazing inclusive price of £20.

Lastly, a lot of people have been asking about tickets for Clive Gregson & Liz Simcock, who are at the Canopy Theatre on Saturday 19th May. I am pleased to say that these are finally going on sale this week. They will be available online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/448907 from 9.00 a.m. on 1st February (small booking fee applies) and they can be purchased in person from Beccles Books, I Exchange Square (cash only please) from Friday 2nd February.

After that, we will be taking a break for the summer (too much competition from festivals, big sporting events etc!) and picking up again in September. There may be the odd fully acoustic show in the meantime, but we will keep you posted about any that might arise. Remember to check out our website www.martellopromotions.wordpress.com, and follow our Facebook page MartelloPro and our twitter feed @MartelloFolk.

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Peace, pubs and poetry!

I have several poems coming out in a new peace anthology by Scottish writers, published by Dove Tales. There is a fundraiser for the anthology here. Dove Tales’ Jean Rafferty hosted a great event at Celtic Connections. It involved a discussion about the Human Cost of War, featuring David Pratt, foreign affairs editor of The Herald and Sunday Herald; Mary Smith, author of Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni, a book about the lives of ordinary Afghan women; and Billy Briggs, director of The Ferret online investigative newspaper and an award-winning freelance writer who has worked in many war zones. I was very touched to see that some of my poems (linking Iraq, Kurdistan and Belfast) open the anthology. A poem of mine also pops up first in an anthology on pubs, another of my passions! One for the Road, edited by Helen Mort and Stuart Maconie, is published by Smith/Doorstop. Here it is below. It’s keeping great company, with poems by Alan Buckley, Catherine Smith, Ian Duhig, Simon Armitage, Collette Bryce and Zaffar Kunial.

ONEFORTHEROAD-my poem

One for the Road and Dove Tales, with an amazing cover photo by Angela Catlin.

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Martello Music gigs

Martello, set up with our former Beccles Library Folk Club volunteer Martin Lovett, is going great guns! Here’s some great press for our latest gig, Megson at the Seagull Theatre tomorrow. Made two ‘best of’ lists. I can’t wait! Next gig is Fara at the Cut, Halesworth, 11th February. Tickets are selling fast, so make sure and get yours!

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Poetry in Aldeburgh 2017

Above is a thank you from Chris Agee and a blessing (in Irish) from Paddy Bushe. A thank you and a blessing began and ended my time at Poetry in Aldeburgh. A thank you and a blessing is what I give for the chance to continue to be involved in bringing poets to this small seaside town – the thing I brought my family down here to do! It has been quite a journey.

The first thank you was from author and critic Amit Chaudhuri, for reminding him that he also wrote poetry. A blessing in disguise was his not being able to make the festival in the end, which lead to me being asked by the Trustees to read in his place with Tiffany Atkinson, one of my favourite poets in English. Her originality of image and language is a model for how to write poetry, so it was quite nerve-wracking to be asked to read with her, but she was graciousness itself, and the audience was very warm in its reception. I chose to read some of Amit’s poems as well, old favourites and some new poems he sent, written in Calcutta, full of colour and taste and life.

A blessing too came from Michael Laskey, the founder of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, who was reading this year. As I climbed to the top of the Lookout Tower to see Issam Kourbaj’s sobering exhibition of tiny boats full of burnt matches, Dark Water, Burning World, with Ruth Padel’s poems playing in the background, Michael walked past in his trademark beret. ‘I was just this moment thinking of you,’ he said in his quiet way. ‘How are you?’ The answer was too big, so I smiled, he nodded, and we parted again.

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Highlights of the festival? Top would be the Irish contingent. I was lucky enough to be involved in bringing Chris Agee over from Belfast, and with him he brought Bernard O’Donogue to give the Irish Pages lecture, and then read with Paddy Bushe. Very close after that would be the Jamaica contingent: Ishion Hutchison and Raymond Antrobus were particularly gripping – ‘blown cane’ and life with deafness in a hearing world were among the revelations that complimented the festivals themes of place, identity and language. The night in the Cross Keys afterwards was fabulous, as the conversation continued. Refugee Tales, a book of poems on the model, photographer and child rape victim Lee miller, and a big poetry community thank you to Mimi Khalvati after 20 years of The Poetry School completed my festival. Helen Mort’s The Singing Glacier, with accompanying film and atmospheric music by William Carslake, also deserves a special mention. All in all the blessings were many. Thank you Daphne Astor – stepping down as curator this year – and Robin Boyd, our Chair, for a wonderful time. High praise too for Sally Carruthers of the Poetry School for some top notch curating! Sally will be taking over from Daphne Astor at next year’s Poetry in Aldeburgh. I can’t wait to see what comes.

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Oh frabjous day!

11th hour save for @tellitslantbook! What a Christmas present for Glasgow.

tell it slant

STOP PRESS!!! Tell it slant poetry bookshop has been saved for Glasgow at the 11th hour by Basil Blackwell, musician, social entrepreneur and events organiser, a favourite face and sound at many a Project Cafe Open Mic!

Basil will be taking over the shop from Ellen and Anna in the new year. The goodbye party is cancelled! There will be a celebration party instead in the Project Cafe on the 27th of January, just in time for Burns’ birthday…

More about Basil below. Please take the time to make him feel welcome. He will be sharing his plans for the shop shortly. Poets and publishers can contact him through the shop email: tellitslantbooks@gmail.com.

Basil Blackwell was born in Dumbarton and schooled in Helensburgh and Glasgow. He avoided university and college whilst there and after busking round Europe for 4 years ended up with a mobile workshop in the North…

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Tell it slant is moving!

Sad news. After three very good years in the wonderful Project Cafe in Glasgow, Tell it Slant is going to follow its founder down South. Ellen McAteer, who set up Tell it Slant in December 2013 wit…

Source: Tell it slant is moving!

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| Beccles Library Reviews on WordPress.com

“Chosen by readers, for readers” Brave New Reads is a project that taking place across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, offering an immersive shared reading…

Source: | Beccles Library Reviews on WordPress.com

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