Our very own Cathy Grimmer has taken part in an episode of ‘The Kitchen Cabinet’ on Radio 4. It’s available for the next 28 days at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0501jlz
We were delighted to welcome York based poet Alan Gillott, joint proprietor of Stairwell Books small press and co-host of The Spoken Word, as our adjudicator.
Alan began by making some general points about what makes a good poem and recommended testing its effectiveness by reading it out loud. Rhythm is important. Rhymes, if used, stand out and should, therefore, always be intentional. A word with more than one meaning depending on how it is pronounced – he gave ‘bow’ as an example – can cause confusion in the mind of the reader. Alan also heavily discouraged the use of similes.
There were more than a dozen entries to the competition this time around and Alan commented on each poem individually before announcing the results. With so many different themes and styles to choose from, his task had been a difficult one, but he awarded the trophy to Cathy Grimmer for Kazakhstan Wedding, a colourful and moving account of a stolen bride’s forced transition from childhood to womanhood. Caroline Slator took second place with He’s Gone and David McAndrew came third with Golden Wedding.
There was time to listen to all the entries before we broke for refreshments, after which Alan was invited to read a selection of his own poems and Jan expressed thanks from the Chair on behalf of the Group.
Members and guests sat down to a three course meal in The Old Deanery, with plenty of fun and games to occupy us in between courses.
Joe presented the President’s Cup to Susan Perkins and said that the result had been a close one this year with Cathy and Caroline not far behind.
We scratched our heads over the Chair’s Christmas Challenge.
Members had been asked to compose Christmas limericks or other poems to suit the occasion.
A ‘Who Am I’ game caused considerable hilarity. The ‘volunteers’ in the masks did eventually work out who they were supposed to be – Charlie Chaplin, Carmen Miranda, David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Clint Eastwood …
The proceedings ended with a rousing chorus of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and everyone having a dip into Santa’s sack.
For more photographs, see below. Apologies for the quality, but lighting conditions weren’t ideal for Admin’s camera phone!
The AGM was well attended. Cathy reported that finances were healthy and her recommendation of a reduction in the annual subscription was accepted. Retiring Chairman Audrey gave a short report reviewing a successful past year and Jan, elected to take her place, expressed the Group’s thanks to Audrey for her service in various offices over the past twelve years. Peter H succeeds Jan as Vice Chairman and the rest of the committee remains unchanged. A number of suggestions for meeting themes was put forward to assist the incoming committee in preparing a programme for the coming year.
Cathy won a free weekend at the ‘Hearth’ micro literary festival at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden and took lucky Maggie along as her ‘plus one’.
The writers in residence were James Runcie (seen above with Cathy), whose series of novels about a vicar turned sleuth in Grantchester has now been turned into a television drama screened on Monday evenings, radio, TV and screen dramatist Lucy Gough and novelists Rebecca Abrams and Patricia Bracewell.
As well as enjoying the more formal events, both ladies were more than happy to sit round the eponymous hearth with glasses of wine in their hands and take part in the discussions.
For more information about their weekend, take a look at https://www.writers-online.co.uk/information/Gladstone%20Library%20Hearth%20literary%20micro-festival%20review/ or Maggie’s website. Future ‘Hearth’ events will be posted on www.gladstoneslibrary.org
Our annual ‘open mic’ event was once again held at the Golden Lion, Allhallowgate and we were happy to welcome guests from Harrogate, Nidderdale and York. Between them, they treated the audience to poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction, story telling and ‘performance’ pieces. Some read from their own published work and others from ‘work in progress’, including a blood curdling story written as late as that afternoon!
The readers, in the order in which they signed in at the start of the evening, were Peter Page, Richard Cobbett, Daphne Peters, Joe Peters, Nick David, Cathy Grimmer, Alan Gillott, Carol Mayer, Sheila Whitfield, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Jan Maltby, Paul Zealand, Claire Cox, Maggie Cobbett, Caroline Slator, Anna Greenwood and Kathleen Atkinson.
Earnest discussions took place during the interval and then time permitted more readings and a second slot from a few of the above.
Unfortunately lighting problems led to some photographs not turning out well and we do apologise to anyone who appears to have been left out. Their contributions to the evening were, of course, just as highly valued as the rest.
Graham Chalmers, Weekend Editor of the Ripon Gazette and its sister papers, adjudicated for us for the first time. After giving considerable insight into his journalistic background and approach to judging, he provided valuable feedback on each of the twelve entries.
The winner of the competition was Lindsay Trenholme with ‘The Rose of York’, an imaginative story with a background of intrigue at the court of Henry VII. Peter Page’s ‘The Art Show’, inspired by visits to a couple of local shows and the nursery rhyme ‘Little Miss Muffet’, came second. Eileen Walters was third with ‘Portrait of a Tree’, the tree in question being one which meant a great deal more to her than to the neighbour who owned it.
Graham also commended Susan Perkins for ‘My Enlightenment’ and Cathy Grimmer for ‘A Fair Bargain’.
Following the presentation of the trophy, all five of the above members read out their entries.