TODAY MANCHESTER, TOMORROW…THE WORLD!

I know….I know….. It’s been weeks since my last blog, and I’m reeeeeally sorry for that.  Blame it on a combination of The Back Ache from Hell (a recurring problem), and a ‘day job’ that’s taken most of my time and energy over the past couple of months.  April seems like a long time ago, but there was a lot happening, so this will be a bit of a journey into last month, tho’ future blogs will be more current, honest, so bear with me.

Loose Muse launched its 3rd Anthology on the 4th April (OMG…that was over 6 weeks ago!), and the whole thing was truly FAB.  Despite arctic temperatures and SNOW, it was a fantastic success, with dozens of the 40 writers whose work had been included there to help us celebrate with tremendous enthusiasm and gusto.  It was lovely to see so many loyal LM fans there to enjoy the moment, as well as lots of newbies also caught up in the excitement.  For me the best thing about producing these anthologies is the fact it really does seem to make a difference to those whose work has been included.  When I get e-mails from people saying things like, “I was about to give up writing when I got your notice saying one of my poems was going to be published.  Now I feel encouraged to go on…”; or, “You’ve given me the incentive to take my work further…”, well, it makes all the hard work totally worth while.

 

The latest Loose Muse Anthology

Local poet Aryamati with moi  at Manchester’s Loose Muse Night

I Still have lots of copies to sell before I break even, so if you know anyone who might be interested in buying a copy, they’re only £8.00 each (+ £1 p&p), available from me on agnespoet@googlemail.com

Claire Booker performs ‘Last Man in Watford’ at London launch

And then on April 17th we had our first Loose Muse Manchester event!  Yeeeeehaaa!!!  Thanks to the marvellous Steph Pike, a local poet and activist of enormous talent and energy, we had a fantastically successful first out-of-London LM event.  Steph and I had been collaborating on the idea of a Manchester gig since she featured last year.  She worked really hard to get a great venue, spread the world to local women writers, plus securing two truly terrific Manchester writers to feature – Rosie Garland and Rebecca Audra Smith, who were both terrific, and whom I hope to feature in London later in the year.  Accompanying me for the 1st LM Manchester was the multi-talented Claire Booker (a brilliant travelling companion),who read excerpts from her short plays + a few poems, while I read poems from my slender volumes + a few new ones.  We seemed to go down reasonably well – they didn’t thrown rotten tomatoes, so it must’ve been OK.   The quality of open mic-ers was top notch too, and I’m hoping all that talent will be reflected in submissions for the next Anthology.  Deadline for that’s mid-July for a launch date in mid’ish September.

The plan is to make the Manchester event regular, taking place 2-3 times a year to start with. If things work out we’ll have a combined second Manchester event and Anthology launch up there mid-late September, to complement the launch in London.  This idea was greeted with enormous enthusiasm, so hopefully we’ll get a strong and vibrant platform going there for women writers too.  Seeing the beginning of this kind of network is really exciting, and I have all kinds of plans for the future to make Loose Muse a real contender…. as I say….tomorrow…the WORLD!

The next Loose Muse event in London is on July 12th, at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden.  If you missed her last time, this is another chance to see Steph Pike rock’n’roll it all the way from Manchester – if she doesn’t knock your socks off with her poetry, well, you’re not really alive.  And as if that wasn’t enough, the fabulous Charlotte Ansell is making a very welcome return to the London scene from her house-boat in Rotherham.  Charlotte’s one of my all-time faves, and her awesome poetry never fails to hit the emotional target.  Plus we have Angela Stonerwinging in from Penzance as a Special Guest!   Talk about a bevy of nationwide talent! You’d be mad to miss it!!!!

Also, check out Claire Booker’s marvellous review of the anthology launch here: http://bookerplays.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/a-tale-of-two-cities-loose-muse-hits-london-and-manchester/

 

So come share the passion, share the joy.

Agnes

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Loose Muse Spring anthology – grab your copy now!

Loose Muse - Spring 2013

 

 

Want to get your copy of the latest Loose Muse anthology? Just email or call Agnes Meadows for details.

It’s only £8 for the Spring edition and £5 for back copies.

Agnes Meadows

Tel:             07789-901-667          E: agnespoet@googlemail.com   www.loose-muse.com

 

 

LAUNCH EVENT – 3rd Loose Muse Anthology of New Writing by Women

Featuring the work of 40 UK and international writers, 33 of whom will be reading on April 4th!

Loose Muse - Spring 2013

Thursday 4th April @ Cottons Caribbean Restaurant – Downstairs Bar

– 70 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QP – Free Event

Doors open at 7.00 for a 7.30 p.m. (sharp) start.   

Agnes Meadows (founder and Chairwoman) will be hosting.

Agnes Meadows

Writers featured include:Sue Johns, Chikodi Nwaiwu, Steph Pike, Patricia Foster, Sarah Reilly and many more…

Patricia Foster

Sue Johns

Steph Pike

SOMETIMES IT’S HARD TO SAY GOODBYE

 

 

When the weather is relentlessly dreary, winter stretching ahead in a louring canopy of grey on grey, it doesn’t help to  hear a friend you’ve known for  more than half your life has died.

 

Just when you’ve finished writing a poem acknowledging there will be things you never get to do, places you won’t ever get to see, lovers you finally acknowledge will never be yours, someone else you cared about for decades is added to that ‘never ever’ list.

 

My friend Linda, who spent years planning all the marvellous thing she was going to do when she retired, but who was struck down with cancer only months after that retirement. So she never got to do any of it – to busy struggling with treatments, tests, medications, and hospital visits.  And the moral of that has got to be, don’t postpone having the life you want to have, filled with the things bringing you joy.  Because Fate is cruel, and the only day you’re certain of having is this one.

 

My friend Linda…a talented, smiling woman whom I shared so much laugher with.  For years we lived in flats opposite each other in Central London.  I didn’t have a ‘phone at the time (hard to believe, but true), so if I wanted her to come over for a coffee and a natter, I’d ring a hand-bell out the window, the signal for her to come over.  It never failed to amuse us, and passers-by would often wonder what the hell was going on.

 

She was the first person I told I was getting married in 1986.  I was living in Istanbul, had met and fallen madly in love with a young Turkish musician, but too broke to call everyone back home to let them know my plans.  So I called Linda and asked her to spread the news to friends and family (including my mother – it was years before she forgave me for not calling her first!).  It was midnight when I finally got through to my pal.  Erhan and I were booked with the Registrar at 8.45 the following morning; we’d only got permission to marry late that afternoon, and I was flying home the day after, so things were a tad tense.  I explained all this to Linda, who shrieked enthusiastically before asking, her tongue firmly in her cheek, if he was a waiter.  The fact he was a classical musician and his parents were both opera singers calmed her down a lot. But we laughed about that for years.

 

She and I shared a love of fireworks, Cornwall, Cornish cream teas, castles, and the gardens at Sissinghurst.  We had the same sense of the ridiculous, loved cheesy jokes, Tommy Cooper, Morecombe & Wise, and music in all its forms.  She had a fine singing voice, but was too nervous to make a career as a performer.  She didn’t share my wanderlust, being perfectly content to stay in England, but loved hearing about my foreign adventures and followed my trips with avid interest.

 

And when she met the man she subsequently married, she was as nervous as a teenager.  I had to calm her down with lots of tea and cake.  It all worked out beautifully, and he was her devoted partner until the day she died.

 

If I was to sum up her life in a few words, I would say, hers was a quiet life lived in laughter, surrounded by love and friendship.  And that’s got to be something to celebrate.  I know I’m not the only one to miss her.  So goodbye, my lovely.

 

The next Loose Muse is another celebration of talent and friendship with two featured poets – Kate McLoughlin, and Isabel White, both wonderful but in very different ways.  April’s Loose Muse is on April 10th, at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden, for more details see our events page.

 

Hope to see you there,

Until the next time,

Love

Agnes

 

Some fabulous pics from March’s Loose Muse…

Loose Muse 13 March DSCN3198 DSCN3201 DSCN3206 DSCN3208 DSCN3213 DSCN3216 DSCN3215 DSCN3218 DSCN3219 DSCN3223 DSCN3225