28th June 2018, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
A massive thank you to Rosie Jackson and Jinny Fisher for holding the Words & Ears fort so well at our June event, to guest poets Julia Webb and Elizabeth Parker, and all those who came along (foregoing the football!), including open mic-ers Carrie Etter, Rachael Clyne, Pey Oh, Anna May Laugher, Miranda Barnes, Peter O'Grady and Mark Sayers. Rosie noted down some of the night's highlights (thank you, Rosie!):
"Julia Webb: Wonderful play of imagery around families - mythical (Sun Daddy) and real - and women - 'Owl sister' 'bee dress' "Give me a dress made of honey bees..." "Women are writing their epic poems on the inside of my skin." Particularly powerful were her portraits of dysfunctional family life, "the house was quarrelsome and sly", and her fabulous tribute to her brother who died in his 30s. "O brother... did the world always fit wrong?" Inventive, playful, irreverent, moving, funny all at once. Her next vol, Threat sounds fantastic.
Elizabeth Parker: More family themes - her father, mother, aunt, sister etc imaged as rivers; her family's garden centre in the forest of Dean; our histories in our hands and blood. But most powerful for me were the poems that focused on Lavinia, the daughter from Titus Andronicus, finding ways to communicate after she is raped and loses her tongue. "They took her tongue, her hands/so she tried to write with driftwood, sand." Final poem she read also repeated this theme of writing as a feminist act. Very vivid, intense, beautifully wrought poems. Revenge enacted on the body. Visceral and lyrical and the same time, quite a feat. Fine observations of nature and natural world."