Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Round-up of news

It's the last day of the year and I thought I'd just catch up on Word Distillery news before we set sail for 2014.

Of Moment Book Launch

The Aberyswyth launch of Nigel Humphreys' third book Of Moment was an enjoyable event. It was very well attended and Nigel very generously gave the floor to three writers from his arts centre based poetry class who have since been published: Caroline Stockford, Heather Williams and Caroline Oakley. Their readings were excellent and gave variety to the evening.

Heather Williams

Nigel then read poems from the book - including my favourite red kite which begins:

its moment is
the scimitar unsheathed

the instant when the sun
ignites the tyrant's blade

Michael Dembinski's comments on the previous collection The Flavour of Parallel apply just as much to this new book, which celebrates the universe as both scientific and spiritual with "a memorable turn of phrase, a mind restless for a new understanding of our reality through metaphor".


The Chinwag open mic event with guest readers has been successfully taken over from Rhian Edwards, erstwhile poet in residence at the arts centre, by Word Distillery member Mike Smith. The last event on 4th December had David Subacchi and Ken Jones as the guest readers. More Chinwags are scheduled for 2014 on January 15th and March 6th - see the sidebar for details. If you have five minutes of material you would like to share or road-test with an audience then come along and sign up with Mike at 7pm before the event starts.

The Word Distillery on YouTube

Thanks to Sarah Smith (big thanks, Sarah!) who has been videoing Word Distillery performances (as well as working behind the scenes on Chinwag events), you can now watch some of the members performing at the Lantern Lit in Tywyn.


All in all it's been a successful year for The Word Distillery with new members, new performances and new venues. In 2014 there will be more Chinwag events throughout the year, a tribute to Shelley on March 26th and more performances (dates yet to be decided) in Aberystwyth and London.

Finally a big thank you to Aberystwyth Arts Centre which has provided support and space for the poetry community. It has become a place of nurturing and encouragement for local poets and I'm happy to say that poetry is thriving in Aberystwyth. We sincerely hope that the cuts to funding in 2014 won't affect that.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Of Moment - book launch

Just a reminder of the launch of Nigel's Humphrey's third book of poetry Of Moment from Arbor Vitae press at the Russkiy Mir bookshop. For details see the sidebar.

If you can, do go along to share in this momentous occasion - have your book signed and taste some Russian sweet cake and wine  (or possibly cider)!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Chinwag Open Mic Event

Chinwag Open Mic Events at Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Wed 9 October & Wed 4 December 7.45 pm

The Word Distillery invites you to Chinwag!

This event will run every 8 weeks at Aberystwyth Art Centre. There will be performances by guest writers as well as an opportunity to take part in the Open Mic hosted by local poet and performer Mike Smith.

If you have five minutes of material, either prose or poetry, that you'd like to share or road-test with an audience then come along. Make sure you arrive early to sign up with Mike at round 7 pm - Chinwag always proves to be a very popular event.  

Are you interested in being a Guest Reader?   We are looking for published writers. This event will give you an opportunity to share your material with an audience and to chat to fellow poets and writers. Please get in touch with Mike if you'd like to take part.

One way or another, we'd love to see you there!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Word Distillery at The Lantern Lit in Tywyn

Live literature at Tywyn's Magic Lantern Cinema with Lantern Lit:
readings of poetry and prose by fabulous writers plus open mic,
hosted by Helen Sandler.

Sunday 15 September 2013 at 4 for 4.30pm in the cinema bar

This lively Aber group of poets have appeared at Llanidloes and
Hay festivals and round the UK. They all have their own individual,
sometimes quirky styles.
Members Tina Warren, Eluned Jones, Hilaire Wood, Marc Perry and Mike Smith
will be reading

Plus open mic! 

Are you a writer who'd like to take part? If you would like to read
two or three of your poems, or a page or two of prose (fiction or non-fiction)
to our friendly audience in the open mic,

please email helensandler@gmail.com in advance. Limited numbers.
Max 5 minutes each.

Only £4 entry. FREE if you're reading or are buying a ticket
to the film at 7pm that evening: Red 2

Croeso i chi ddarllen yn Gymraeg.

Coming soon:

17 Nov Guest to be announced Sadly Jay Griffiths, whose name appeared
on some posters, can't join us, but we hope she will come another time.

Past guests
Past guests have included Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch,
Damian Walford Davies, Mike Parker, Chris Kinsey, Niall Griffiths,
Tiffany Atkinson, Phil Wheeler, VG Lee, Ann Weatherby and Jane Whittle.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Bright Field

The Bright Field is a poetry festival being held in Llanidloes on Saturday, 29th June. There’ll be a Pied Piper poetry trail for children, a session on Shakespeare with the Willow Globe theatre - you can bring along your favourite sonnets/speeches to share - and one on R. S. Thomas – again, bring along your favourite poems. I’m doing a reading with fellow poets Chris Kinsey and Stevie Krayer. (Click on the poster to enlarge.)

There's an Open Mike session in the evening at the Great Oak cafe. Book your ten minute slot with Marg on 01686 413513 or curlew@fsmail.net by the 21st June.

Hilaire Wood

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Nigel Humphreys at Birbeck College, London

Nigel Humphreys is reading at Birkbeck College, University of London, Room B18, Malet Street,London on Monday 3rd June, 3 pm, as part of a 2 day international seminar called Quest of the Heart. It's jointly sponsored with the University of Helsinki and looks to have a lot of interesting talks and presentations. For more information click HERE

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Homage to Coleridge

28 May 14:45
HOMAGE TO COLERIDGE 9th May. Aberystwyth Arts Centre. 

Nigel Humphreys writes: The poets presented the poetic life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge to a full house, reading all his great poems and culminating with a complete rendition of Rime of The Ancient Mariner to the backdrop of the Gustave Dore prints of the poem.  

                                     Left to right: Back row Allan, Nigel, Marc, Mike
                                                 Front row Eluned, Hilaire, Heather, Tina

For more photos of the event see HERE

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Three Word Distillery Poets at the Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden


 Tina, Nigel and Eluned carried the flag of The Word Distillery by
 taking part in the Poetry Moot at the Poetry Cafe, London on April 8th
 organised by David Parry.  It was Eluned's first reading at the Cafe,
 home of The Poetry Society and she will next appear reading
 Coleridge's Nightingale at the Homage to Coleridge event on May 9th.



Saturday, 13 April 2013

At the Poetry Cafe

Very very belatedly I'm posting the pictures from our London tour in November :-) The Poetry Place is tucked away in Betterton Street in Covent Garden, for those who don't know it. The offices of the Poetry Society are on the top floor, there's  a gem of a vegetarian cafe on the ground floor and in the splendidly (to me) 60s-type basement is the performance space.

We had a good audience and I think we all enjoyed reading there. Here we are (in no particular order)

 Allan Marsden

Marc Perry

Mike Smith

Nigel Humphreys

Tina Warren

Hilaire Wood