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.