Thursday 8 December
Anthology Launch and Slam - Christmas Party
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY & Spoken-Word Slam! To celebrate West Sussex Writers' 85th anniversary, this new anthology book of stories and poems is launching at our Christmas party. Free anthology to all attendees. Additional copies, £5 each with 10% of proceeds to Trussell Trust (food banks)
Review of the meeting
There was a good turn out for our traditional December meeting on this bitterly cold evening. A lovely spread of delicious mince pies, cakes and other party food had been supplied by our (fairly) new member, Lucy, all accompanied by generous amounts of our usual tea and coffee. Lucy found helpers (Jacqui and others) to assist in the clearing and washing up, which seemed to be done like magic, at lightning speed. Thanks for that, and to Liz, who takes the Chair with grace and efficiency.
The evening started off with three – plus an extra one by request – short films made by Michael Wearing. They each acted out a Christmas-cracker style joke and were thoroughly entertaining, not too polished for some of us to feel we might try to do the same sort of thing. Now, there’s a new idea!
The slam started off with a bang: Roger Shadbolt musing on the possibility of God replacing snow with a shower of cornflakes, an original idea.
When we had recovered from that Theresa Gooda read her poem ‘Seeds’, a deeply thoughtful poem, the three verses of which relate to books of the Old Testament. This can be read in the new Anthology.
Normal Allcorn gave us some more of his recollections from his personal history, remembering Albert from Tarring, who was known as ‘a carrier’ and who on one occasion dropped and smashed all the bottles of milk on his float (which it was no use crying over, of course).
After that Jill gave us ‘Best Friends’ followed by Michael Wearing reflecting amusingly on why Santa chose to have reindeers pulling the sleigh. Audrey read ‘I Was Once a Serious Poet’ from the new Anthology.
Alex Medwell gave a soulful performance of ‘The Sea in New Light’, a poem that was new to us, and followed it with a poem from the Anthology, ‘Maroon’, about a soldier powerfully remembered from the past.
Rose Bray read a warm Wedding Story’ about a bride who stood at the altar with her groom and baby, urged to give it a cuddle by the vicar. Jackie Harvey read ‘Western Fantasy’ from the Anthology, a slightly disturbing warning about watching too many films on TV. Terry read ‘Born in a Hut’ and Alan Laurie read another custom of April Fool’s Day’, a funny story about a funeral director (see more in the Anthology!).
Jacqui read a children’s story poem that she had written thirty years ago.
An unusual contribution was made by Fran Tristram, who had written a monologue in response to ‘On The Great Divide’, a piece of music by John Adams.
The party food gave us a welcome time to talk and catch up with friends, after which several people benefited from their winning raffle tickets.
As if we hadn’t displayed our impressive and varied talents to the full, there were more pieces read by those who had already performed, until the end of a very enjoyable evening.