This week’s podcast guest is Julia Webb. Here is a poem from her second collection Threat published by Nine Arches Press.
She was a biscuit barrel or barrel shaped at least
as he kept reminding her the bucket he kicked splashed lemony water up the wall her face a crumpled tissue on the floor the dog was whining outside the locked back door the TV was querulous and mundane the shopping was waiting to be packed away the kettle was whistling on the stove a child was shuffling on their bottom down the stairs
She was a biscuit barrel though whether empty or full was unclear he was a barrel full of vinegary homemade beer his contents leaking out across the floor a child had shuffled down the stairs and let the dog in in the other room the TV blared the shopping was defrosting in the pushchair’s tray the kettle was still whistling on the stove
She was a biscuit barrel mopping the kitchen floor he was cursing the kettle and the dog shouting through to turn the TV off or else his mood was vinegary and cold the shopping was scattered across the floor the dog was whining in the hall a child was crying in the downstairs loo the house was quarrelsome and sly
Leanne Moden felt like she’d finally found her place in the world when she accidentally became a teenage goth in rural Norfolk in 2002. In 2019 this became the starting point of her debut show spoken word Skip Skip Skip about finding your identity through music and discovering your tribe. She talks about developing the show and preparing to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe as well as sharing a few poems.
Leanne also offers this prompt for writing about your hometown:
In my show, I write about my home town, talking about how I imagined it when I was growing up there, fifteen years ago. One of the most interesting ways of talking about place is by using personification to articulate character. In this prompt, I want you to imagine the city, town or village you live in, and think about how you would describe it if it were a person. What would the person look like, sound like, and what would their relationship be with you? (This place is my sister. This place is a stranger.) Think about personality, how they dress, how they talk, how they walk. Remember to be really specific. Take fifteen minutes to write around this topic, then refine your writing into a poem.
Good luck with writing your own poems. Please share them via email or on social media using #poetrynonstop. Tune in to hear Patrick conjure up a poem that personifies Norwich.
Leanne is performing Skip Skip Skip at the at the Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh every day from 17 to 25th August at 7pm. For details of this and other events see her Facebook page.
Poetry Non-Stop will be back next week with Leanne Moden. Leanne is based in Nottingham but this month she is in Edinburgh performing her debut poetry show Skip Skip Skip from August 17th-25th at the Banshee Labyrinth. Tune in next week to hear her talking about how she became a goth in rural Norfolk in 2002 and used the experience to write a show about finding your identity through music and discovering your tribe.
I’m currently recording and editing more episodes which will be coming out soon. They will be going out every two weeks to allow people more time to listen to them and respond to the writing prompts. On the weeks in between I might post bonus podcasts. These will be shorter and may include additional material from the main podcasts or readings on poems sent in response to previous prompts. I’d also like to do some podcasts featuring poets talking about an individual poem and the story behind how they wrote it. If you have a poem that has an interesting story or writing process behind it then please email with a copy of the poem and up to 100 words on why it should be featured. The poem can be previously published as long as you have permission to share it on the blog and podcast.
Submissions are still open for poems written in response to prompts from the first series. Details here.
I closed roads to cars leading into my heart and have found more space for couples to stroll and kids to mark the streets with chalk birds and lions. The number of people whispering secrets has also increased three-fold, but that may be from more people meeting without needing to not pause. I may begin closing my heart’s skies to plane traffic, just because I’d like to hear the sun’s motors whirring again.
It’s been a great first series of Poetry Non-Stop and I’ve been proud to present a variety of poets discussing a range of topics and sharing some wonderful poems. But the podcast isn’t just a showcase for a few poets it’s an opportunity for everyone to be inspired which is why there is a writing prompt on each episode. Please have a go at these exercises whether you are an accomplished poet looking for inspiration or if you’ve never written a poem in your life. I will be sharing poems submitted on the blog and possibly in a special podcast before presenting more poets in the second series. To submit simply send poems via the submission form, share as a comment or post on social media using #poetrynonstop and tagging @poetrynonstop. Please submit by June 27th to be featured.
Here is a quick reminder of the exercises with links to each programme:
Jamie Osborn: Borders and intimacy Sue Burge: Describe a memory in black and white then in colour Martin Figura: Use metaphor to describe feelings associated with a life event or experience Jenny Pagdin: Write a gratitude poem (see post for instructions) Avouleance: Pick a page of a non-fiction book at random and use it to write about a character in a poem Alex Russell: Find an exploitable market and write a poem to exploit it
In this first series we have heard many wise words about the craft of writing poetry but all that anyone really needs to know is: How does it make you money? Alex Russell is a poet, performer and creative entrepreneur. In this final episode in the first series of Poetry Non-Stop he talks about some of his innovations in poetry including poems for TV ads, automatically generating poetry with a predictive text bot, looking for love in the lonely hearts ad section of Craigslist and selling poems sealed in jars as poetry preserves.
Alex’s writing prompt is to identify and exploitable market and exploit it through poetry using one of Alex’s ideas or one of your own. Patrick responds with an advert for a popular soft drink in the form of a villanelle.
Please submit your poems here or share on social media using #poetrynonstop. You can submit poems for any of the prompts from the first series and those received before June 27 might be published on the blog and possibly featured in a future podcast.
To learn more about Alex check out his Facebook page. You can get his chapbook (name your own price) here. Write predictive text poems here.