Highlights of 2013

Last year I did a round up of my highlights of the year, month by month which you can find here, if you’re interested http://kimmoorepoet.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/highlights-of-2012/

So I thought this is as good a tradition to start as any, and seeing as for some reason I am not sleepy at all, here goes…

January – I ran poetry workshops at Inglewood Primary School and with Leeds Writers Circle, read at a Penning Perfumes event and went to my friend Manon’s wedding, and went to the TS Eliot prize readings which just happened to coincide with a friend’s birthday and spa weekend.

February – In February I did a poetry workshop at Thwaites School and for Lancaster Spotlight but the highlight of February was tutoring on my first residential poetry course in Grange Over Sands at Abbot Hall Hotel.  The participants were fantastic and it was a great three days.

March – I ran poetry workshops at Greengates School and for Cumbria Adult Education and read at Headingley Literature Festival with the wonderful George Szirtes – but what made March extra special was my junior band, the Barrow Shipyard Junior Band winning their section at the South Cumbria Music Festival.

April – I went on a mini poetry tour in April (very mini) and read at Puzzle Poets in Halifax and Word! in Leicester.  I was also guest poet at Zefferelli’s in Ambleside at their first open mic.

May – I read at Sheffield Lyric Festival and at the Troubadour Club in London – I also discovered one of my new fave poets Kathryn Maris at the Troubadour and met an old friend from music college there after not seeing each other for ten years.

June – I read at the launch of an anthology ‘Sculpted’ and at Lancaster Spotlight but this month was special because my junior brass band spent a day recording their first ever CD.  They worked really hard and I was (am) very proud of them.

July – I did a whole day of workshops with Year 10 pupils at Holy Family College which I really enjoyed and the next day went to the award ceremony for the Lakeland Book of the Year.  Hunter Davies read my ‘Picnic on Stickle Pike’ poem out.  I crawled underneath the expensive table cloth in embarrassment.  It was a lovely afternoon though and definitely a highlight of the year, even though I didn’t win!

August – August was a great month! I went back to Fermoy in Ireland and met up with lots of old friends from last year, but also made some new ones – like the lovely Ben Johnson.  I attended a training day at the Wordsworth Trust so I could work as a freelance tutor for them.  I spent a week at Ty Newydd with tutors Ian Duhig and Ruth Padel who were brilliant – but perhaps the strangest thing this month was reading at the Breastfeeding festival in Ulverston with Hollie McNish and selling loads of pamphlets, despite not having poems about breastfeeding, not having had children…

September – I found out I’d been accepted as a ‘mentee’ on a New Writing North project to work with newly qualified teachers on their own creative practice and went for a training session.  I had the first ever ten minute play that I’d written performed at Theatre by the Lake – the writing of this play went on over the summer and this was a real learning curve for me, but very enjoyable.  I read in Cockermouth, Wakefield and Huddersfield but my favourite reading this month was reading in St Oswalds Church in Grasmere in a collaboration with local artists who made art work in response to the poems that local poets had written about St Oswalds Church.  Luckily this was the month I went down to three days a week at work to have more time for poetry stuff.

October – I ran a workshop for a lovely women’s group down in Leicester and read at De Montfort University the next day.  I read at Swindon Poetry Festival and got to hang out with two of my favourite poetry people – Hilda Sheehan I already knew was my favourite but Michael Scott became my new bestie…I read at Torbay Poetry Festival and met the wonderful Arthur Broomfield who is also new bestie, read in Bolton, organised by the lovely Anne Caldwell and ran my first poetry workshop for a schools group for the Wordsworth Trust.

November – In November I managed to get about a bit – I read for Brewery Poets in Kendal, Lauderdale House in London, April Poets in Lancaster and ran another schools session for the Wordsworth Trust.  I ran a workshop for the talented Malika’s Kitchen group and spent a brilliant three days in Aldeburgh, reading at the Poetry Festival.  This was the month I was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award and got to spend an evening at the British Library

December – The highlight of December, without question has been taking the band to play christmas carols.  I’ve enjoyed it so much this year I even got the trumpet out and went and played carols with Barrow Steelworks Band.

An early finish to the year (only being three days a week) led me to have too much time on my hands so I decided to set up a brass ensemble of a professional standard.  We will hopefully be performing at a wedding near you in the not too distant future.  If you would like a brass ensemble get in touch – poets rates instead of mates rates!

So it has been a busy and wonderful year.  I hope 2014 brings lots of poetry into my life, more playing of the trumpet and more hanging out with family and friends – maybe that is a lot to expect for one year but who knows!  I hope to see you in 2014, or at least continue to lurk about in cyber space and interact with you all


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