I had two bits of welcome news to make up for the election chaos this week. One is that I have poems in the Seeking Refuge anthology and will be reading them at the launch this week. The other is that my old tutor Andrew Motion got married on Saturday, so all good wishes to him and his wife.
Andrew was a fabulous tutor and one of those rare life-changing people who cross our paths. He gave me belief in myself as a writer and helped me identify the strengths and weaknesses of my own style without trying to change how I wrote.
Penelope Shuttle and Fiona Sampson are two of the well-known poets supporting Seeking Refuge, the latest anthology from the Camden and Lumen Poetry project in aid of the homeless. Each year Ruth O’Callaghan organises regular open mics with all proceeds going to the Cold Weather Shelters, and readers can submit the poems they perform for inclusion in this prestigious anthology.
Jan Fortune-Wood selected the best poems from last year’s open mics and edited Seeking Refuge, which has been published by Cinnamon Press this year. The standard of the poems is high, and the collection also makes poetry accessible, so the anthology is a perfect gift as Jan indicates: ‘This is real poetry with a real purpose – accessible, entertaining, varied and able to make a difference. Seeking Refuge is both a great way to get into poetry and a fantastic way to support an essential charity housing London’s homeless.’
Seeking Refuge is already available from Inpress Books, and as all proceeds go to the Cold Weather Shelters it’s worth getting a copy and a few extra to give as gifts. The launch, on May 9th in the Lumen venue, is sure to be a vibrant and sociable event, with the selected poets reading their Seeking Refuge poem, and copies available for purchase.
Please share this information and review the book on your websites to raise as much as possible for the Cold Weather Shelters. This project supports two worthwhile causes – poetry with the open mics, and the homeless in the shelters. It’s also good fun to come along and read and you can submit poems to be considered for next year’s anthology. Every penny raised at events and with the anthology goes to the homeless.
You can find the Seeking Refuge anthology on Inpress Books here http://www.inpressbooks.com/seeking_refuge_jan_fortunewood_i020914.aspx and you can see more about it and also find how to take part in the open mics if you look at the Camden and Lumen website here http://www.camdenlumen.wordpress.com Hope to meet some of your there.