Poetry in motion

Track Record_Severn Beach_Photo by Judy DarleyOn Saturday 13th July 2019, a very special train departed from Bristol Temple Meads station. Passengers collected their tickets and headphones from conductors escaped from an earlier era and made their way to Platform 1 (and three quarters, presumably), where poet Elizabeth Parker ushered into the central carriage.

This was the beginning of Track Record, an event harnessing the poetry of The Spoke – Paul Deaton, Elizabeth Parker, Robert Walton and Claire Williamson, simultaneously elevated and grounded by Eyebrow musicians Pete Judge and Paul Widens.

Track Record_train journey_Photo by Judy Darley

Poetry and trains make perfect sense as a pairing – something about the transient scenery and the rhythm means that they feed into each other as a form of literary symbiosis.

In the half hour journey between Bristol Temple Meads and Severn Beach, we listened to atmospheric recordings of the poets sharing verses inspired by the stations we were passing through, the people and wildlife who pass through, and memories from their own lives. Between or behind the words, Eyebrow’s sonorous trumpet and drums duo painted textures against the poets’ words and wove beneath our skins.

And all the while, the views: city streets giving way to wastelands, fields, industry’s sculptural effigies and the glorious sweep of the tidal Severn.

From Temple Meads to Lawrence Hill, memories of Stapleton Road, a chance encounter at Montpelier, from Redland to Clifton Down, Sea Mills, where we were joined by a Poplar Grey moth, to Shirehampton, where the moth disembarked, and onto Avonmouth’s metallic giants, St Andrew’s Road and the estuary’s feathered ebb and flow,
to Severn Beach.

Track Record_train journey_Avonmouth7_Photo by Judy Darley

Avonmouth seen from Severn Beach train line

Favourites for me included the conversational poem read almost as a list of observations by Robert and Elizabeth near the journey’s start, Paul’s Chicaning and Sweeps of Time between Sea Mills and Shirehampton, and Claire’s Migrations as the estuary stretched before us, shining.

The limited edition CD and booklet of Track Record published by Mulfran Press will be launched at St George’s Bristol in the Glass Studio on Saturday 7th September 2019. Buy tickets.

The Spoke at Seren Poetry Festival

The Spoke poets with shadesFabulous poetry group the Spoke have been on something of a roll recently. Of the four, Paul Deaton and Robert Walton launched their debut Seren titles in 2017, with Claire Williamson and Elizabeth Parker set to follow with their Seren debuts in the coming months.

On Saturday 17th February 2018, they will be reading at Cornerstone’s Seren Poetry Festival.

“It’s going to be a fantastic event and we really hope you can make it,” says Elizabeth. “the festival line-up is superb and we’re honoured to be included.”

The evening will take place at Jane Hodge Hall, Cornerstone, Charles Street, Cardiff.

Tickets cost £12 and include a meal of Beef Stew or Sweet Potato and Bean Soup with a roll.

Find out more and book tickets here https://rcadc.org/event/seren-poetry-festival-spoke-poetry-music-little-red/

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com