August Monthly Meeting

1st August 2015 – Poet Laureates2015-08-01 14.24.49

We were blessed this month with not just one but two poet laureates. Serena Arthur, Birmingham’s current Young Poet Laureate and Roy McFarlene, Birmingham’s 2010 – 2011 Poet Laureate joined us to talk about the process of becoming Poet Laureate and what it has meant to them. Both were very informative in fluid and amusing ways.

Serena, who became Poet Laureate at her second attempt, shared her initial disappointment, but guided by the feedback she got from her first attempt, she was able to secure the position for this year. She told us that due to funding cuts within the library services in Birmingham it DSC00330has not been possible to conduct the search for a Poet Laureate this year. She has therefore been asked to continue for another year on the basis that she has been such a wonderful ambassador to poetry in the city.DSC00333

Roy, who was already a seasoned performer by the time he applied, was successful at his first attempt to become Poet Laureate. He shared with us the intensity of demands on his time during the laureateship, the engagements, the performances, the commissions, and the travel to Amsterdam where laureateships lasts for two years. He was also able to tell us what happens post laureateship, the outcomes of contacts made during his time in office.

We were then tDSC00342reated to performances from both of them. The performance sizzled and zinged as we were taken on a roller coaster of emotions on a range of issues. Serena’s poem ‘Mother’s Morning Song’ was very much in keeping with the fact that 1st August is Emancipation Day, speaking as it did of freedom. Roy read from his forthcoming collection to be published by Nine Arches Press 2015-08-01 14.04.13next year.
We believe we were the most fortunate writers group in the world at that moment.

Listen here to some of the wonderful performances that we were treated to; click on an image.

Serena YouTube    Roy YouTube
© Serena Arthur and Roy McFarlane

Both Serena and Roy will be taking part in the Birmingham Literary Festival. Serena will be performing with US Poet Laureate Rita Dove on 9th October and Roy will be part of the
Ode Trip: Black Country Bus Tour on October 11th. I will certainly be booking my seats.

book-pattern-images-660x266Click on the image for the full programme


About David Rollason

I am a writer, creative, inventive, observant, but the results are for you the reader to decide. There are things in my head constantly that I need to get out and into a readable form and this for now is my preferred medium. I am a simple being with complex workings. I am a complex being with simple logic. I am really just..... me.
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2 Responses to August Monthly Meeting

  1. Elaine Yap says:

    Thanks to David for an accurate and informative report on this month’s flavourful meeting that proved to be another of our interesting monthly’s. We are certainly progressing in the right direction and have become a strong ‘family’ of writers – without borders. May our union be long and fruitful. Humbly we move forward.

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