The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

You ain’t seen me, right?

I'm the one on the left. What ARE these?

Look. I’ve been busy, alright? It is true that I have forfeited my Good Little Blogger status by not posting for weeks: most uncharacteristic, but I really have been most awfully busy. I will pull my wintry socks up and get on with it – after all, it’s not like I am ever going outside again until April. Except, of course, for all the upcoming events shown at the end of this blog.

There’s FAR too much to tell you about in terms of what I’ve been up to, so we’ll go on the ‘picture speaks a thousand words’ principle. What I did in the past six weeks includes:

Foyle Young Poets found the magnetic sculpture then...

Overseeing a joyous National Poetry Day – here’s one image, from outside the Southbank Centre where National Poetry Day Live! was hosted by the wonderful venue and the Poetry Society.

Post-play hysteria

Seeing my play First Person launched and performed by the brilliant young people of Action Transport Theatre, at Chester Literature Festival. Said one lovely person – “a real treat – a strangely compelling combination of drawing room drama and Katie Mitchell.”

Launched Bugged, the book which resulted from our summer eavesdropping campaign – and done oodles of readings from it, alone and with others. It is about to go into its third reprint (that’s when I break even, folks!)

Taken up lecturing at MMU Cheshire, where my avid students are all agog to learn about iambic pentameter.

Done readings of my own in venues from Rochdale to Ramsbottom, and as far afield as distant Wivenhoe (Essex). Here I spent a brilliant afternoon worshipping at the feet of my artistic hero James Dodds, whose picture appears on my book. I love James’ paintings and linocuts, and it was great to meet him and his equally smiley wife Catherine, have a little tour of the town and see James’ studio before being welcomed by the fantastic Wivenhoe Poetry crowd.

James Dodds at his letter-press machine

Had some time at last for friends – such as the esteemed Derek Adams, of Essex Poetry Festival. The future of Essex poetry is in safe hands…

Bought a CAMPER VAN – ta-dah!

Now, where did all those festivals go?

Immediately I brought the van home, winter arrives. I am now very very snowed in – the boat is immobile, and I’m starting to wonder if I will ever be able to fill the water tank again. The neighbours are a bit pissed off too…


Canal unusually hard, say local residents

The end of the year approaches, and normal people are winding down. I, on the other hand, will be appearing before a devoted audience at the following locations:

Ramsbottom library on Monday 6th December for a Christmas session with Tony Walsh (as it were) – see my thrilling Ramsbottom flyer 1 (so much better than the sequel, Ramsbottom flyer 2)

Northwich Library on Wednesday 8th December for a reading with Anji Topping

Macclesfield Town Hall on Saturday 11th December as part of the Pull The Other One cabaret

Camden Eye on Sunday 12th December as part of the Rrrants Bacchanalia poetry special. Please do come, my mother will be there and I need to look good.

Blackburn Library on Wednesday 15th December for a Bugged reading with Calum Kerr.

and then I’ll have a cup of tea. I’ve decided to take 25th December off as a special treat.


4 comments on “You ain’t seen me, right?

  1. Derek Adams
    December 6, 2010

    Nice to see you bloging again, and thanks for the flattering photograph of me, this will be remembered when I get to take your photo!

  2. Paul Beech
    December 9, 2010

    Thanks again, Jo, and thanks to Anji too, for the thoroughly enjoyable show you put on together at Northwich Library last night. Great poetry and prose, and fascinating to learn how Christmas has been viewed down the ages.

    It amused me, your query “What’s a Weimaraner?” whilst reciting Ruth Padel’s ‘Angel’! And your ‘Blessing for a child’ had special meaning for me as I have five wonderful grandchildren and a sixth on the way. The post-it poetry exercise was fun and Anji was very kind in likening mine to John Clare! Amazing what we dream up over a glass of wine and mince pie, isn’t it? Of course the wonderful old venue helped, with benevolent ghosts almost glimpsed out of the corners of our eyes.

    Great having a chat with you at the end, Jo. As you said, it’s nice to meet someone in the real world who you’ve got to know in the virtual world. Have a great Christmas and New Year…I shall be hoping for a whole crop of new poems from you in 2011!

    Regards, Paul

    • Jo Bell
      December 9, 2010

      Thanks Paul! So nice to meet you – and thanks for all your support and your Bugged submissions too. Hope you enjoy the book, and look forward to having a chat with you again some time soon (in the real world or the virtual!)

  3. connetta
    December 18, 2010

    I’ve been reading your blog and feel so inspired. You do know how to use words in a way that makes ones mind say. More, feed me more.. Such a nice place to be in todays world. Enjoyed my visit.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on December 2, 2010 by in Boating life, Readings and writings.
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