The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Bumblebees, Bugs and blue-arsed flies

We did make it back from Wychwood Festival without injury, and I’m not bloody surprised. A more genteel festival I have never seen. The Levellers were brilliant, Pauline Black was great….but the whole site was silent by midnight, and it was all very grown-up. Hot air balloons, not one but two Waitrose stands, and a lot of small children called Hermione dressed as bumblebees. Also, I have been completely spoilt for other festivals – we took the camper van. No more tents for me….

After the bumblebees, a week of running around like a blue-arsed fly. In That London, I had a meeting about National Poetry Day and the Olympics (no, really). There were little elephants on the streets of Soho as I exchanged air-kisses with Graham Henderson of Poet in the City. He’s amongst many helping to promote Bugged – it’s really taking off! Thanks folks for your support.

Back in Cheshire I read with Joy Winkler and John Lindley – and in Herefordshire there was a board meeting of Ledbury Poetry Festival. Ours is another quietly festive festival – sofas on cobbled streets, world-class poets popping into the Prince of Wales (as it were), cucumber sandwiches and blisteringly good poetry all round. It starts on July 2nd. Come on down/up to see Billy Collins, Pascale Petit, Don Paterson and a marvellous poetry slam.

Very exciting paella

To Chester on Friday for a last mentoring session with Liz Loxley, who certainly doesn’t need any more mentoring from me. The young writers of Birmingham, however, may do, and my Writing Squads session there happily coincided with a big food fair in the city centre .

On to Cheltenham, for Slam the Atom!, one of the liveliest affairs in the spoken word calendar. My luck was in. Though great performers like Jonny Fluffypunk and Mark Niel fell in the first round, I squeezed through to the second. The worthy winner was Spoz who gave us this appallingly poo-based poem as a finale. We will have an equally jolly time at the Pull the Other One cabaret in Macclesfield next weekend. After months of planning, the rejuvenated Barnaby Festival will give the town its cultural mojo back. Come on down and enjoy it with us.

And so on to Crewe, as poet in residence for the National Women’s Register at their Golden Anniversary bash. The coming week sees me based entirely at home – an easier week, and the Barnaby Festival at the end of it. Meanwhile…

That’s what too much reiki does


3 comments on “Bumblebees, Bugs and blue-arsed flies

  1. angelatopping
    June 15, 2010

    I like the sound of a civilized festival. It’s one of the reasons I love Whitby Folk Week. It’s in pubs not fields.

  2. Paul Beech
    June 17, 2010

    What do you think – a cruise up the Bridgewater for Lymm Festival (24th June–4th July)? Lovely village. The festival will showcase local creative talent through a variety of exhibitions and events. I enjoyed it last year and will be going again – could be good for ‘bugging’ on 1st July!

    • Jo Bell
      June 17, 2010

      Paul – sorry, it’s a lovely idea but I’ll be at Glastonbury and then at Ledbury Poetry Festivals. And would have to take a couple of weeks off work to get there and back! But hope it all goes well and you get some good overhearings! Director, National Poetry Day – October 7th, 2010. Our theme is HOME. Glastonbury Festival’s Website Poet in Residence. I am a Bugged writer.Find out more on my website and blog, nominated for an Author Blog Award.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on June 15, 2010 by in Writing exercises.
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