Fletchski has a new site!

Greetings all you wonderful Lobsterites.

I’ve a lovely new blog over at http://fletchski.wordpress.com Why don’t you pop over and have a look at all the stuff I’ve been up to lately?

Cheers.

Midsummer Poetry Picnic.

 

Blimey, I’ve been invited to read again this summer!

This time it will be at the gorgeous Martineau Gardens in Edgbaston, Birmingham, for the launch of a Meredith Andrea & Fiona Owen collaboration entitled,’Sea of Brightness,’ published by Cinnamon Press.

An oasis in the city.

An oasis in the city.

The Martineau Gardens really are wonderful, an oasis in the middle of the city and a fine venue to hear some great poetry.

There are some excellent poets on the bill,including the mighty fine Charles Wilkinson. I’m in the same writers group as Charlie and he’s an excellent orator as is Jacqui Rowe and Meredith Andrea. I don’t know Joan Poulson but I’m sure she must be good.

Below is the invitation.

 

 

Invitation

‘Screen of Brightness’ is a poetic collaboration by Meredith Andrea & Fiona Owen, published by Cinnamon Press. It will be launched on Sunday 16th June at

A Midsummer Poetry Picnic

in the beautiful Martineau Gardens
27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 7UG

2 – 6pm, with poetry readings from 3pm. Cakes & drinks provided – bring a picnic and listen to Fiona & Meredith
supported by guest readings from
Garrie Fletcher
Joan Poulson
Jacqui Rowe
Charles Wilkinson

All welcome – RSVP jan@cinnamonpress.com

To find out about Martineau Gardens and how to find them click here.

To read about ‘Screen of Brightness’ click here.

My take on the Martineau Gardens can be found here.

 

Naked Lungs

I was asked to read at the launch night of Naked Lungs a Birmingham based spoken word night in the heart of the city. This happened nearly two weeks ago and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect; spoken word nights can be a bit hit and miss and this was the first one. I’d met Chris Baker two weeks before and we’d chatted about what he was after, I was impressed with his enthusiasm and laid back approach to getting a project like this off the ground and promised him some stuff for the launch magazine. The magazine was the clincher really, not only would Naked Lungs be a spoken word night but it would also comprise a magazine that would feature work from all the writers on that night’s bill.

The Greenhouse Cafe is the venue for Naked Lungs and a mighty fine venue it is at that. Situated in the Custard Factory, the beating heart of Birmingham’s creativity, it is cool without having to try too hard, they do good green tea which was enough for me to give it a ringing endorsement.

The bill for that night was Seasick Fist, Annie-J, Garrie Fletcher (me,) Ben Jones and Keiran Goddard. I didn’t know any of them and I was that busy leading up to it that I didn’t even Google them, if I had of done I might have had an inkling of what a treat I was in store for.

Seasick Fist is young, vibrant and almost electric with words. He attacks the mic at such a rate that you’d be forgiven for thinking that someone had gone crazy with a diction machine gun, cutting down the rows of onlookers with nothing more than well aimed words. Annie-J is a wonderful poet that reflects upon her grandmothers courting rituals whilst extolling the virtues of playing Tomb Raider, both of these proved to be insightful and very funny. Both these performers had recounted their thoughts almost entirely from memory so I let the side down by having to read direct from my story, well, it is nearly 3000 words. I went down well and was really pleased with the crowd’s reaction to my story ‘Kowalski’ which is a tale of an elderly Polish man befriending a young Pakistani boy. Keiran Goddard was the last on and treated us to a fine selection of poems from his next collection, tales of rag-and-bone men, lost loves and city streets, which I shall definitely be checking out. However, for me, the evening was stolen by the marvellous Ben Jones and he wasn’t even in the room! Ben found himself double booked and unable to attend so he sent along a Powerpoint and audio track to stand in for him. Ben is a philosophy lecturer at Halesowen College and the flyer had promised ‘Free form philosophy, live on stage.’ Ben’s presentation, even though it wasn’t live, was enthralling to say the least. For twenty odd minutes he kept us all hooked upon his every word as he ruminated upon the philosophy of masturbation, yes, wanking. A few people I’ve mentioned this to have looked at me aghast to say the least but it wasn’t sordid or cheap; it was well constructed, painfully funny and penetrating (no pun intended.) Yes, it really made you think about wanking.

Anyway, those wonderful guys at Naked Lungs have posted a video of snippets from the first evening with a gorgeous soundtrack. Check it out, see what you missed and make sure you’re at the next one.

Naked Lungs

This Thursday at 7pm, in The Greenhouse Cafe, Custard Factory, Birmingham I shall be reading as part of Naked Lungs. Naked Lungs is described as a: ‘Birmingham based poetry collective looking to foster a community of like minded individuals for creative collaboration.’ Which sounds marvellous, only I’ll be reading a short story. However, I do have some poems in the magazine that compliments the evening so if you turn up you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.

Look out for this flyer around town!

Look out for this flyer around town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening kicks off at 7pm but I’ll, hopefully, be there a little bit earlier so come and say high, hey, I’ll even let you buy me a beer.

We’re All InThis Together.

Poetry From the West Midlands.

Tomorrow night, Friday the 19th October at 7:30 in the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, I shall be helping to launch the latest book from Offa’s Press.

West Midlands finest.

We’re All In This Together is a fine collection of poetry from writers across the Midlands with an environmental theme. I have two rather lovely poems in the book, which I shall be reading and I’ll be joined by a host of writing talent from across the region. Speakers include Michael W Thomas, Emma  Purshouse, Marion Cockin, Iris Rhodes, Ramesh Gaat and Romalyn Ante.

As well as this aural treat we also have Linda  Nevill a printmaker. Linda has designed the cover and will be  exhibiting some of the other designs submitted for the cover in a pop-up  exhibition at the gallery.

There will be light refreshments and copies of the book to purchase. Get the weekend off to a great start and come down.

Reading Challenge Update

I’ve just completed the first of my six books for my summer reading challenge. Inspired by the Reading Agency’s challenge to borrow and read six books from your local library I identified six from my own bookshelves that I’d not read yet. I know I should be getting books from the library but I now have a whole book case of books that are on my ‘to read’ list so it made more sense for me to get stuck into them.

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The first book I read was Steve Claridge’s (with help from Ian Riley) Tales from the boot camps. I’ll be honest it’s not a great book but as a Blues supporter and a huge fan of Mr Claridge I just couldn’t resist it. I’ll post a full review later but for now I need to choose my next book.

Ok. That didn’t take long. My next book will be Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.

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You can find out more about the summer reading challenge here.

Reading Challenge

The Reading Agency has set a challenge to the young readers of the UK. The aim is for people to read six books, borrowed from their local library, this summer. The library will record how well the reader is doing and the more books they read the further they progress through the challenge from bronze to silver to gold. More information regarding this can be found here

I thought I’d give it a go myself with a selection of the many unread books on my ‘to read’ shelf so I’ve picked out these six.

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I’ve already read The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith this summer so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into some of her short stories. Being a Blues fan ( that’s Birmingham City not any of the other pretenders to that title ) I couldn’t resist Tales from the Boot Camps by Steve Claridge when I saw it in a charity shop in Wales. Girlfriend In A Coma was in the same shop. I’ve read a couple of Coupland novels in the past and enjoyed them so I’m hoping this is as good. Continental Drifter was picked up in Buxton over a year ago, there’s high praise all over the cover and it’s been a while since I read any decent travel writing. Pigeon English sounds just like my kind of thing, gritty, urban and short listed for the Guardian First Book Award in 2011. That just leaves The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell. I’m a big fan of Mitchell despite the fact that whenever I read his stuff I feel like chucking it all in, as a writer, I’m not suicidal, honest. Mitchell is just so brave, imaginative and confident that I know it’s going to be something I’ll love.

So there you go. Six books for the summer, I’ve also got a couple of poetry books on the go as well but I tend to dip in and out of those so I’ve not included them. I’ll let you all know how I get on and maybe you could let me know what you’ll be reading this summer?