NaPoWriMo Day Six: Leanne Moden – Your Favourite Book

Picture: Lizzy Doe

Today we welcome back Leanne Moden who invites you take inspiration from your favourite book.

Write a poem that retells or explores the plot of your favourite book. My poem is called “An Unexpected Journey” and is based on one of my favourite books – The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. In the book, Bilbo Baggins is pressganged into an adventure filled with mortal peril, when all he really wanted was a second breakfast. This poem is about that feeling of being supremely underqualified for a job, and dong it anyway…

An Unexpected Journey
After The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

A wizard calls in for a cup of tea
and leaves a secret sigil on your door.
Then thirteen dwarves show up, and they agree
that your horizons need expanding more.

A mission, to recapture stolen gold!
The dwarves are grateful for their recruitee
– a master thief, adventurous and bold!
Turns out that Gandalf lied on your CV.

There will be goblins, dragons and some elves;
you’ll be imprisoned, hungry, cold and wet.
You curse under your breath and to yourself –
you haven’t seen a bloody contract yet!

You might return, but there’s no guarantee;
you sigh and add ‘hero’ to your CV.

Leanne Moden

You might have noticed this is a sonnet, a classic form to have a go at if you feel like an extra challenge, but, as always, go wherever your mind and your pen leads you.

Leanne Moden is a poet, performer and educator, based in Nottingham. She’s performed at events across the UK and Europe, including recent sets at WOMAD Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sofar Sounds, and Bestival on the Isle of Wight, as well as shows in Estonia and Spain. Leanne performed at the TEDx WOMEN event at UCL in 2016, and was a semi-finalist at the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Slam in 2019. She is currently working on her first full-length theatre show, Skip, Skip, Skip, which is about identity, music and belonging, and her second pamphlet of poetry, ‘Get Over Yourself’ was published by Burning Eye Books in 2020.

Please share your responses to today’s prompt either in the comments or via email. The best submissions will be featured in future podcasts.

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Episode 7: Leanne Moden – Edinburgh Fringe debut

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.

Leanne Moden – CD player as Life Support Machine

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.