Tag Archives: Treloyhan Manor

Sunday Poem – Penelope Shuttle

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Sunday Poem – Penelope Shuttle

 

 

Back to my bad habits of writing my blog late at night! My excuse today is that I’ve been in Lancaster running a 10k race.  I’m not even going to play it cool, pretending to drop this in casually as part of the usual run of the mill blog post…

I ran 45 minutes and 1 second for 10k!

My last ‘personal best’ time was 46 minutes and 17 seconds, about seven months ago, which is why I’m so chuffed.  I’ve been doing a bit more training though, in the last few months, so I knew I would beat my PB, but didn’t think for one second I would be at the 45 minute mark.  I was also 5th woman back, and I got the V35 prize (first time I’ve ever won a prize in a race!) and won the Ladies Team Prize along with my two friends, J and K

This race was called the ‘Jailbreak 10k’ and you signed up to do the race inside a cell in one of the prison wings.  The prison is now shut down of course, but I was actually quite freaked out by the cells.  They were very small and there was a toilet in the corner with a board at the side of it, presumably to give a bit of privacy, and that in itself was shocking – that this tiny space was for more than one person.  It was also really cold in there – and the prison wasn’t shut down that long ago! I couldn’t believe that people were kept in there, that people would have lived in there.  It definitely gave me goosebumps.  I thought the prisons I’d been into were pretty brutal, but they had nothing on the Lancaster Castle prison!

So two photos, and then I promise I will say no more about it.  The first is at the start – I did eventually get away from the unicorn.  (It was optional fancy dress for the race – only three people wore fancy dress – a Ghostbuster, a Witch and the Unicorn).  The second is at the end of the race, having just got to the top of the hill – so am in a bit of pain here, and pulling my famed ‘running face’.

 

This week has been relatively quiet apart from today! I decided I needed to get organised and make myself a timetable, to ensure I’m getting enough PhD work done.  So I did that on Monday, and did manage to make some progress.  I ordered 2 poetry collections by Marie Howe, who I’ve only just discovered.  I absolutely love her work, but this hasn’t helped with narrowing down the possibilities of poets to focus on.

I’ve also been carrying on reading Kate Millet’s ‘Sexual Politics’.  It’s a pretty big book.  I’m now over half way through though and still enjoying it.  The RD1 form is my next big hurdle, and my supervisor gave me an example one to look at.  So I’ve read that through and had a go at writing the first part of mine, just to see how it went.

I’ve also been reworking a review from last week after some feedback, and on Saturday night I had a gig with the Soul Survivors in Ulverston.  I guess it doesn’t sound that quiet now I look at it, but there hasn’t been as much rushing about as there usually is.

I’ve got a few dates coming up of readings and workshops – on Thursday I’m reading at Brantwood with Geraldine Green and Kerry Darbishire.  There is also an Open Mic – tickets are £12 and include food.

On the 4th November, the Brewery Poets are putting a reading on at The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.  I’m the MC, and guest poets will be Pauline Yarwood, Jennifer Copley and Ian Seed.  These nights usually sell out, so if you’d like to come, book a ticket quickly!

I’m also running my Dove Cottage Young Poets group on the 4th November, and am recruiting for new members! If you know any young people (from the age of 14 to 25) who would like to come to a free fortnightly writing group, please get in touch.  We have lots of fun, and the young poets get lots of opportunities throughout the year to perform (if they want to) and to work towards Arts Awards.

And lastly for now, on the 12th November, I’m running an all day workshop for Lancaster Spotlight.  You can find details here, but to book a place, just email spotlightclub@btinternet.com

Today’s Sunday Poem is by the wonderful Penelope Shuttle. I’ve always loved Penelope’s work, right from when I first started writing eight years ago. Penny has featured on this blog before – you can read that post here.

As you will see from this previous blog post, Penny is one of my favourite contemporary poets, so I’m quite excited that she has sent me a poem from her forthcoming collection with Bloodaxe to put up on the blog this week.  I’m even more excited that Penny has agreed to be the guest poet for the Residential Course that I’m running in St Ives next year with co-tutor David Tait.  Penny will be coming to the hotel to have dinner with the course participants, and then she will be reading from her work on the Wednesday night of the course.  There are only four places left on this course, so if you’d like to book, please get in touch with Treloyhan Manor Hotel on 01736 796240.

In 2015 Penelope published (with John Greening) their exploration in poetry  of many aspects of Heathrow airport and Hounslow Heath upon which the airport now stands:  Heath (Nine Arches). She also published a pamphlet titled Four Portions of Everything on the Menu for M’sieur Monet! (Indigo Dreams Publications). Penelope has given many readings of her work, and has been a tutor for many organisations.  She is currently a mentor for The Poetry School.

This poem comes from Penny’s forthcoming collection Will You Walk A Little Faster? which will be published by Bloodaxe in May 2017.  It was originally published in The Manhattan Review.

I love the idea of this poem – to be able to talk to your Life, to make your Life a person, rather than a collection of events.  I love that the poem seems to start mid-conversation with Life.  There’s something unbearably sad about this poem – of course, Life is addressed and personified as a seperate thing, but the whole time, we know that Life is also the speaker.

The language that is used seems deceptively simple, but the poem is full of surprising turns of phrase: ‘I’m sad of myself’ and ‘days live me in vain’ and then at the end ‘the walls are spells’ and ‘the roof’s a star’.  Maybe just because I’ve been reading a lot of Emily Dickinson but the capitalization of Life and the short lines made me think of her.

The sounds throughout the poem – all those repeated ‘L’s’ string the whole poem together.  I also love the intermittent address to Life, that comes back throughout the poem, as if the speaker is turning to Life and making sure they are still listening.

The line breaks are very effective as well, particularly at the end with the line ‘I know you so well’ which then carries onto the next line to say ‘My Life, not at all’.  I was left trying to puzzle out whether Life is known or not, and maybe that’s part of the point. Until I read the poem more carefully, I thought the ending was a repeat of the beginning and then I thought it was a straightforward reversal of the beginning, which says to Life: ‘you know me too well’.  This statement is supported throughout the poem.  What is questioned is whether the Speaker knows Life as well as the Speaker thinks they do, and just writing that I realise that of course they don’t.  We can’t know our own Lives without distance, and time to reflect, and we can never do that while we are still living them.

I hope you enjoy the poem – and please keep a look out for Penny’s collection, coming out next year.  If you’d like to find out more about Penelope Shuttle, you can go to her website here.

 

 

My Life – Penelope Shuttle

My Life, I can’t fool you,
you know me too well,
I’m sad of myself,
days live me in vain,
you test me
but bin my answers,
you’re so busy, so tired,
evenings in the glass,
drink them, My Life,
but you won’t,
driving your bargains
of years gone by,
promising me
this and that till
the walls are spells,
the roof’s a star,
and
I seal the hour
in a tear,
a mortal tear,
I know you so well,
My Life, not at all

Residential Poetry Course at St Ives – Change of Tutor

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Sadly, Clare Shaw is no longer able to tutor at St Ives in February 2016 due to other work commitments which include a new post as the Royal Literary Fellow at Huddersfield University.  Although I am sad not to be working with Clare at St Ives, we will be tutoring together in the future – so do watch this space!  I’m really excited to announce that the fantastic poet Steve Ely will be stepping in to fill Clare’s shoes.

Steve Ely’s work fits brilliantly with our theme of ‘Thrown Voices’ – his work is wide-ranging and he writes extensively using history and politics to inform his work.  His first book of poetry Oswald’s Book of Hours is published by Smokestack and was nominated for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2015.  Englaland, his second collection was published in 2015 by Smokestack.  His novel Ratmen is published by Blackheath Books.  Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough, a biographical work about Hughes’s neglected Mexborough period will be published by Palgrave MacMillan in July 2015.

The course will be running from 15th – 20th February 2016 at Treloyhan Manor Hotel in St Ives.  The cost of the course will be £475 for a standard ensuite room.  This has increased a little bit from last year – this is to cover the extra night at the hotel, and tutors travel expenses, which I didn’t calculate in last time (doh).  I think it is still excellent value for money though – this fee covers all workshops, tutorials and readings, accommodation, breakfast and three course evening meal.

Below is a little bit more information about the theme of the week.  Please book directly through the hotel – places are limited and usually fill up fairly quickly.  If you have questions about the course – please get in touch with me directly via the contact page on the blog.

Residential Poetry Course
Tutors: Kim Moore and Steve Ely

Monday 15th February – Saturday 20th February 2016, Treloyhan Manor Hotel, St Ives, 01736 796240
£475

Thrown Voices
Come and join us in beautiful St Ives where we will explore what happens when we throw our voices into other stories, bodies and objects.  We will look at what it means to have a voice, and how poets have written about what happens when this voice is taken away.  Drawing on personal artefacts and stories, published poems and the rich surroundings of St Ives, we will discover what it feels like to write in a voice that is both yours, and not yours; and to tell a story that may – or may not be – your own.  This course is suitable for new writers as well as more experienced poets

https://kimmoorepoet.wordpress.com/residential-poetry-courses/thrown-voices-residential-poetry-course-st-ives/

Information for Course Participants at St Ives

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Evening all – I’ve just sent this email to Treloyhan Manor Hotel and asked them to forward it on to the participants on our course at St Ives next weekend but I thought for good measure I would put it up here as well and hopefully everybody will see it!  The course is now fully booked which is really exciting.    Please pass this information on to anybody you know who is going on the course.

Dear Course Participants

We are really looking forward to seeing you all next week in St Ives on our poetry residential.

To ensure you get the most out of the week, please have a look at the timetable for the course, which you can find on my blog here https://kimmoorepoet.wordpress.com/readings-and-workshops/abbot-hall-residential-course/

Here are a list of things you will need to bring with you:

1.  A favourite poem written by somebody else to read aloud and share with the group on Monday night

2.  If you would like a tutorial on the Wednesday afternoon, please bring 2 or 3 poems that you would like feedback on from one of the tutors.

3.  On Thursday night, course participants will have an opportunity to perform their own work.  You can bring poems that you have written previously (please bring a copy if you would like to do this) or you can read something you’ve created on the course.

2.  18 copies of a poem that you would like workshopped by the whole group on the Friday of the course.

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch
Best wishes
Kim Moore and Clare Shaw