I’m really looking forward to reading at the Seren Poetry Festival in February. What a fantastic series of readings and lectures. I’ll be reading at the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet prizewinners lunch on Sunday 10th and am excited to meet the prizewinners from other years. You can book tickets from the above website.
The poetry workshops at Sidmouth Folk Week were so much fun. We wrote poems about Great Grandfather’s violins, dragon mountains, Brexit, the inventor of the shopping mall and of course the seagulls The quick and hungry Gods of the Church of the Webbed Feet. It was such a great experience to lead the sessions with people of all ages and backgrounds and they worked so hard and with such energy and enthusiasm, despite some of them being up to the early hours singing and dancing and maybe having a little drink or two. The performance on the main stage of the Ham marque was amazing and a several of the participants joined me in reading our collaborative Sidmouth poem which had people laughing out loud as well as bringing a lump to the throat as someone in the audience told me later.
So thank you to all of the people that came to the workshops over the week, to the Folk Week organisers who took a chance and incorporated poetry writing into the festival line up and to all the kind comments from people who came up to me afterwards and said how much they’d enjoyed the poem. Special thanks to Jan Dean a very special local poet and friend who came to some of the workshops and contributed the line in the collaborative poem which sums up the joy and feeling of Folk Week – Folk Week is Sidmouth with it’s corsets off!
And the best thing? They’ve invited me back next year, so we can do it all over again!
After the success of the Kimpton Folk Festival poetry workshop, it’s on to Sidmouth Folk Week 3rd- 10th August. I’ll be holding five poetry writing workshops from Sunday to Thursday at the lovely Royal Glen Hotel, 11.30am – 1pm. These are stand alone workshops so you can come to individual ones or even better all five. We’ll be reading poems about the sea and ballads about doomed lovers ( always a popular folk theme!) and then using these and other writing prompts to write our own poems. There’s also a chance to read poems written during the week at the Friday showcase concert. It’s the first time there’s been poetry at Sidmouth, so a chance to show how poetry fits in anywhere. You can also swim in the sea, eat lots of ice cream, dance the night away as various ceilidhs and listen to some of the best folk music in the world, how exciting is that!
Good news, due to some extra funding the workshops at Kimpton Folk Festival are now absolutely free! The weather is set to be perfect, so what better way to spend a day; a poetry workshop at 2pm, then relaxing with a drink on the village green listening to some amazing music, a story or two, then going to a ceilidh or a concert. Sounds perfect to me, see you there!
First exciting news of 2018! – Sidmouth Folk Festival the amazing week long celebration of music, song and dance that has been part of the festival calendar since 1955 is introducing poetry workshops this year and I’ll be running them! The festival in Devon is known for featuring established stars of the folk scene as well as emerging artists and has a huge range of concerts, sessions, ceilidhs, talks, story telling and spectacular dance displays as well as over 200 workshops. Accompanied by the sound of seagulls and Morris dancers, I’ll be showing you that anyone can write a poem, all you need is a pen, some paper and your imagination.
I’ll be reading from my pamphlet The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels and also some new poems on being a vet, a mother and a stepmother. Come and find out what ‘Grunting Up’ means and how life sometimes just feels better when you’ve heard a poem about pigs!
Starts at 7.45pm. Open mic slots too
Auction Room, 1 Duke Street, MK40 3HR Bedford, Bedfordshire,
The Thief came from the experience of visiting my father in hospital after he had had a stroke. Those months before he died seemed to consist of moments of panic and impossible decision making and hours and hours of sitting by his hospital bed feeling helpless. One day when we came home from visiting him, there was indeed a magpie that was trying to steal a blackbird fledgling from a nest in the garden and the outcome seemed like another hopeless inevitability. The final line sums up some of the frustration of the whole experience and I guess not wanting my father to die.
48 poets from all over the country, continuous poetry for 8 hours and over £13,000 pounds raised for Medicins sans Frontieres. What an achievement!
Come and join us! 50 poets will be in a non stop relay to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub in Walthamstow on 12th November 2pm-10pm. Each poet will read for 8 minutes and we’re hoping to raise £5000. I’ll be reading at 6.10pm. If you feel you could sponsor me, even for a small amount, it’ll be hugely worthwhile and I’ll be overwhelmed with gratitude! www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ilse-Pedler
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is the world’s leading emergency medical humanitarian aid organisation. They provide emergency assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics and natural or man-made disasters, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. They work in over 60 countries and go to the places where others cannot or choose not to go.