Poet in the City – Upcoming Events

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Poet in the City presents a series showcasing some of the most exciting new voices in poetry. Acclaimed International poets, rising stars, and some of the UK’s best new performance poets, will come together in a unique celebration of the power of words.

Come and experience poetry as you’ve never seen it before – inside London’s biggest bowler hat!

Living London – Monday 7th July 6.30pm – Living London is a celebration of some of London’s most exciting poets, writers and performance artists, in collaboration with Tilt. http://www.ontilt.org/

* Drawing on the unique Bowler Hat venue, the artists will explore London from all angles, from the surreal to the sublime! Living London will feature a live art performance by Stacy Makishi, flash fiction and wordplay by Femi Martin and poetry by Antosh Wojcik.

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London Calling – Monday 14 July 6.30pm – Celebrating the publication of My Voice: A Decade of Poems from The Poetry Translation Centre, this event showcases the outstanding contemporary poetry written in three languages widely spoken in London: Arabic, Persian and Somali.
* Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi is widely regarded as one of the leading African poets writing in Arabic. His Collected Poems was published in 2010. A distinguished journalist, he was forced into exile in 2012 and now lives in London.
* Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is one of the most exciting young poets of the Somali diaspora. She came to the UK in 1990 having fled the Somali Civil War and now lives in London.
* Reza Mohammadi was born in Kandahar in 1979. His three collections of poetry have gained him many awards, such as from the Afghan Ministry of Culture in 2004 and prizes for being Iran’s best young poet in 1996 and 1997.
* English translations will be read by Sarah Maguire (founder and director of the Poetry Translation Centre) and the poet Clare Pollard.

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How to Book:

Tickets for each event cost £8 and can be purchased via:

Living London

London Calling

For further information please contact Poet in the City on 0207 014 2812 or info@poetinthecity.co.uk

The Bowler Hat, Paternoster Square, London EC4M.
Nearest tube station is St Pauls.

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** Listen to Poet in the City’s informal Podcast with Antosh Wojcik – one of the youngest performers who will be at the Living London spoken word event – here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2267780-living-london-interview-with-antosh-wojcik

** Follow Poet in the City’s Blog, Twitter account: @PoetintheCityUK, or Facebook page for more information about upcoming events.

** Follow @brunelwriter on Twitter for information about events, competitions and job opportunities in the world of writing!

A Guide to Surviving the Summer

No, this isn’t about safety abroad or using sun protection; (although we do advise those things) this is about how to get through the long summer months which fall between exam period and fresher’s week without losing your mind.

Summer

The last week of term after exams always feels free, and celebratory, but what then? What do you do from late May to September? Of course, a lot of students have jobs or internships, but in the last few years it has seemed more difficult to find these opportunities, which means you may lose motivation.

So what can you do? Well…

Write something – you have all the time in the world now to just write something you want to write, not because you’ve been told to, not because you have an impending deadline. You could write something fantastic that would get published, you could write something utterly terrible that you never show to anyone, that won’t get you a bad grade. You could explore and develop some of the things you wrote over the academic year (because don’t we all improve so much between week 1 and now?) The point is that if you do something which feels productive, it is likely to motivate you to do other productive things.

Take up a hobby – It doesn’t have to be a new craft, it can be something that slowly became less prominent as the academic year got more and more crazy. What do you love to do? Think about it, do you miss it? Do it. Again, sometimes it’s difficult to get motivated to even do things that you know you love doing when you feel like you have nothing to do, but seriously, go and make a pie, bake an upside down cake, build a computer, make your own dress, plant some vegetables. Seeing and holding the product of your own work is extremely fulfilling.

Read a book – Read two books, read ten, read a hundred. This is your opportunity to pick up any book in the world and read it just because you want to. Apart from being one of the best feelings in the world, it will still hone your reading skills and your writing skills. One of the first things I was taught at Brunel was ‘the more you read, good great or terrible, the better your writing will be’.

Do voluntary work – If you’re looking for actual paid work, then voluntary work won’t get in the way. It is flexible, it’s far easier to get into than a paid position, because in general, if you have the time, you are qualified. It will also look great on your CV and will get you out of the house for a few hours each week.

Start a blog – This kind of goes hand in hand with ‘Write something’, but then again, you blog doesn’t have to be for stories or your other creative work. You can take anything you enjoy and blog about it. Film reviews, books, games, crafts, cooking, health and fitness, nail art. The world, as the say, is your oyster when it comes to blogs, and it’s hard to explain how surreal and satisfying it is seeing views accumulate from all over the world.

Those are a few tips, hopefully they’re useful to you in some way. What are your tips for staying productive over the summer?

*** Don’t forget to follow @brunelwriter on Twitter for information about competitions, job opportunities and quotes of the day.

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This house will become a shrine –

” – and punks and skins and rastas will all gather round and hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader. And all the grown-ups will say, ‘But why are the kids crying?’ And the kids will say, ‘Haven’t you heard? Rick is dead! The People’s Poet is dead!’  And then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say, ‘Other kids, do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?'” 

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Comedy lost a hero this week. It is with a heavy heart that we say our goodbyes to Rik Mayall – the People’s Poet, the Young One, an imaginary friend; one of the most lovable comedy geniuses of the last thirty years.

It is rare to see someone’s popularity stand the test of time, and even more rare to see their jokes do the same. It is a testament to him as a person and how he revolutionised the way we write and digest comedy, from performing horrendous poetry which he made hilarious as Rik, The People’s Poet, to co-writing this stand up routine with Ade Edmondson:

Rik is someone who I had been aware of for over half of my life – The Young Ones being shown to me by one of my school friends, aged only eleven. I found him funny then, but after studying the comedy module in my final term as an undergraduate student, I feel a huge amount of respect for him, and am deeply saddened by his sudden loss.

In 2011, Rik Mayall came to Brunel University to film his interactive web drama ‘Soapopolis’, with the help of Creative Writing Subject Leader Max Kinnings and ex Pro Vice Chancellor Steve Dixon. He has been described as ‘a friend of Brunel’, and ‘an amazing person to work with’ by staff and students alike.

Rik Mayall will continue to be an icon in the world of comedy for decades to come. Those who write stand up comedy or sit-coms will still look to him for guidance and the confidence to really push the boundaries of what an audience expects.

Rik’s song ‘Nobel England’ is currently the number 1 downloaded song, head over to iTunes/Amazon to keep it there.

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Creative Writing at Brunel on the Rise

The Guardian League Table has been released this week, and has generated a great deal of school pride for Brunelians, with a 32 place jump for English and Creative Writing, we are now 6th, only one step behind Oxford, and two places ahead of UEA!

I have always been keen to tell people how great Brunel is for Creative Writing, English, and in general, and I am more than proud now to be able to write this post about our huge achievement.

Go to http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/03/guardian-university-guide-2015-improving-departments to read about our jump in the league tables, with a quote from Dr Nick Hubble, head of Brunel’s English School.

Keep up the excellent work, Brunel, onwards and upwards.

Laura

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