Bulletin - "In the Offing"
“... in the offing ...”
– not very distant;
close enough to be seen;
ready or likely to happen
February sees the arrival of our visiting schools’ poet to initiate the Education Programme, and this year’s poet, John Siddique, has just completed a week of outstanding whole-school and workshop sessions with our partner primary schools in Blakeney, Burnham Market, Hindringham, Langham, Walsingham, and Wells, which culminated in a whole day visit to Alderman Peel High School in Wells last Friday.
John is a highly charismatic and dynamic poet and performer, equally at home with adults and children; his ability to inspire and motivate others was put to excellent service this week, and from my own observation and chats with John throughout the week, it was clear to me that we couldn’t have made a better choice for our poet-with-portfolio. His direct and approachable manner, easy way with youngsters, enthralling vocal skills, and belief in sheer hard work combined to produce sessions that had a real buzz of energy to them. The poems produced (in embryo) with John will be guided into shape by staff at the participating schools in the next few weeks and then edited by John for inclusion in a special Schools’ Anthology which will be available for purchase in May. Remember that our combined Schools’ Event takes place on Saturday 12th May at 9.30 am.
To John, and to all the staff who allowed us to erupt into their schools last week in order to grant students their poetic licenses: our grateful thanks.
Entries for the 2012 Open Competition continue to come in steadily. At the weekend we received our first international entry – from Hong Kong. Please keep them coming.
We are delighted, with the support of The Poetry Archive, to be offering an additional element to your poetry experience at PNTS 2012. For the first time we will be playing a looped “poetry soundings” CD in an upstairs room at The Maltings in Wells (next to our festival artist Cecilia Evans), consisting of recordings both ancient and modern of poets in English reading their own works. We hope that it will serve as a useful sampler of poems by our participating readers this year, all of whom will be represented, as well as an insight into the huge wealth of classic spoken-word poetry that the Archive has guardianship of. Recordings from other sources have been sought out, and some exclusively produced for PNTS.
The room will be open for audience members between events and at lunchtimes throughout the weekend. We intend to have copies of the relevant texts displayed in the room, together with an informative playlist to aid your enjoyment and promotional material concerning the extraordinary ongoing work of The Poetry Archive. We hope that audience members will feel they can use the room to relax, eat their picnics and make the most of this exciting new venture.
In addition, we are currently negotiating with Catesby’s (a stone’s throw from The Maltings) to provide a high-quality, pre-bookable Poetry Picnic for your convenience, which you will be welcome to enjoy in the refreshments area of the “poetry soundings” room. For details, ring Catesby’s on 01328 711591 or see the brochure – which is due out soon.