Evesham Festival of Words Days 2 and 3

Better late than never! I had intended to post this last week, but events intervened. The festival is not as fresh in my memory now, so I hope I can convey what a brilliant two days they were, and this will only cover the events I was involved with. Others, I gather, such as Ash Mandrake in the Red Lion were a great success.

I woke up on Saturday 2nd July, tired after the excitement of day one, but looking forward to all that was to come. My first visit was to the Emergency Poet, stationed with her ambulance, and her creative partner, Nurse Verse, under the poemcetamols awning, in the Market Square. I was really looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. I was feeling depressed at my lack of creativity, and we talked about the difficulty of creating when life is too busy and you have no head space. The Emergency Poet gave me Seamus Heaney’s ‘Flaggy Shore’ which begins: And some time make the time to drive out west,/Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,/In September or October, when the wind/And the light are working off each other … Perfect!

EP & me Interrupted by photographer during consultation!

My husband felt upset about Brexit and he got John Donne’s ‘No Man is an Island’ which includes these significant lines:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.

It was a wonderful experience, and if you have a chance to visit the Emergency Poet, I thoroughly recommend it. A brilliant concept and she knows her stuff!

In the afternoon, it was the open mic event, which I had organised and which was held in the Friends’ Meeting House in Evesham with its beautiful garden, an oasis of tranquillity. We had a wonderful mixture of writing, prose and poetry, funny and sad, all brilliantly MC’d by the inimitable Fergus McGonigal, Worcestershire Poet Laurate 2014-2015. In fact there were THREE poet laureates there, including Suz Winspear just recently crowned!

poets laureateSuz Winspear, Fergus McGonigal, me – getting in on the act – and Maggie Doyle.

Coffee time at the open mic

Debbie, Bren & Jacci at open mic

Debbie Young, Bren Littlewood and Jacci Gooding

Polly, Alan & Rob at open mic

Polly Stretton, Alan Durham, Rob Hemming

enjoying some writerly chat over coffee

Sunday dawned bright and sunny – sunshine after so much bad weather – which was perfect for the poetry walk, organised brilliantly by Worcester-based poet, Polly Stretton. We started at the beautifully-restored Bell Tower in Evesham, and even climbed up tio the ringing chamber which had been opened specially for us. That was a wonderful experience. We walked around the beautiful historic centre of Evesham, pausing every so often to hear some wonderful poetry.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPolly marshals her poets outside Evesham’s two beautiful churches

In the afternoon we had a real treat with entertainment from Heather Wastie, Worcestershire poet laureate 2015-16. Heather is increadibly talented. She writes poetry which is both funny and thought-provoking, sings and plays the accordion. We joined in songs such as The Runaway Train with gusto, played some percussion instruments, and generally had a wonderful time. After three action-packed daysof the festival, I didn’t feel exhaused, as I’d expected, but uplifted – thanks to Heather.



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1 Comment

  1. Polly says:

    Lovely write-up Mrs S-F – thank you – what a wonderful couple of days were had 😀

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