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Food bank poem: Belly First by Sara Carroll

This competition raises money for Nourish Food Bank. The winning poem, by public vote, has £50 sent to Nourish in the poet’s name. Voting is by “likes” and ends 12th July 2018.

nourish

Belly First

People are falling through the cracks in a system not made to hold them.
The Guardian, April 2018

The day he fell through the crack he went belly first;
tumbling through dark space to land on
chicken bones, fish bones, used tea-bags,
two black pennies – enough to drop on to a church plate.
He put his hands together, called out to anybody there,
and in the silence, tried to climb out.
The sides were pillow-soft, nice,
if you wanted to sit down, watch telly, enjoy
a cup of tea and a biscuit, which he had,
but his mug was empty and before he knew it
he had fallen from a place that was not made to hold him.

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Food Bank poem: MNEMONICS POEM FOR “FIVE MOST WANTED FOOD ITEMS” by Elly Nobbs

This competition raises money for Nourish Food Bank. The winning poem, by public vote, has £50 sent to Nourish in the poet’s name. Voting is by “likes” and ends 12th July 2018.
nourish

MNEMONICS POEM FOR “FIVE MOST WANTED FOOD ITEMS”

(after reading my local food bank’s on-line donation guide)

1. To remember that the first on the list is canned tuna,
I’ll look up at night and think of the goddess Luna.

2. I can’t imagine a world without peanut butter!
So said Sue from Second Street and I don’t doubt her.

3. Favour molasses over tomato inside canned baked beans?
Whichever – legumes are much cheaper than meat as protein.

4. To warm those in need give condensed (just add water) soups.
Check labels: some contain at least bits of all of the food groups.

5. For now, I’ll admit there’s convenience to Cheez Whiz –
but my study of food banks requires more analysis.

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Food Bank poem: Stain by Susan Castillo Street

This competition raises money for Nourish Food Bank. The winning poem, by public vote, has £50 sent to Nourish in the poet’s name. Voting is by “likes” and ends 12th July 2018.

nourish

Stain

After my father died, things changed.
My mother took a second job
and I looked after my young brothers.

She kept the show on the road
for three more years, but then I saw
her skin turn grey, her hair fall out.

The chemo hit her hard. She couldn’t work.
Not long thereafter, I saw a brown stain
in my pants. The food bank gave us things to eat,

but when that time came once a month,
I sorted things as best I could:

…………with cut-up towels
…………paper napkins when we had them
…………even Father’s rolled-up socks.

The worst was when one day at school
the blood seeped through my skirt
and the boys laughed at me:

………..someone’s been stabbed
………..in the arse
………..is going to bleed to death
………..girls are muck

bleeding to death is how it felt.

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My reading pile: Tommy Sisson, Zayneb Allak and Jessica Mookherjee

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Goodnight Son came out in 2016 from Burning Eye Books and is the debut poetry collection by award-winning writer Tommy Sissons. In this Sissons addresses issues of masculinity, crime, religion, modernity, working-class pride, patriotism, politics and the transition from childhood to adulthood amongst a host of other topics.

Zayneb Allak’s Keine Angst is from New Walk Editions who entered the pamphlet scene in 2017 with this and John Mole’s, A Different Key. Allak grew up in Baghdad and Birmingham, and has since lived and worked in various places around the world. She has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from Nottingham Trent University. Allak says, “When I began my MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University it felt like a dream come true—I loved the opportunity it offered me to take writing seriously and to work closely with fellow students and tutors—so when I was offered a place at NTU to complete a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing I didn’t have to think twice about it!” This is her first pamphlet.Aisha

 

Flood came out this April from Cultured Llama and has overarching themes of migration, otherness, sexual awakening, maternal mental illness, the impact of catastrophe, of loss and being lost. Spilt into three sections, this collection carries the reader on a journey of love, of finding love from others and giving love. Mookherjee is able to bring the universal to the personal and the personal is laid before us, no holds barred.

Seder

I sat with you Esther Drukartz,
when I bathed you in 1992.
We talked about your tattoo
and when they turned you
into a number.
Tell me about Pesach, I asked you,
at Seder, in Kilburn.
It’s the one where we have cheesecake
you answered and we both laughed.
Edith Metzger paces up and down.
She never sat still all the way to England,
Toni Reich’s accent rasps
She called that Nazi, who pushed her mutti away
as she got on the kindertransport,
a very rude man, she was so brave.
Edith Metzger paces up and down.

Erna Kurtz, Bessie Rieterbund, Gabriel Makeler,
Johanna Ernst, Annie Weitzenfeld, Sophie Driels

I will say your names and visit
all the places you lived.
I sit in the Musee Juif de Belgique
with a sad collection,
a fast bottom-drawer clear-out
of tattered prayer shawls, Hebrew books,
menorahs.
Friends ask, why do you do this?
I go from Krackow, to Tallin,
From Riga to Berlin,
Budapest, to Antwerp to
St.Petersberg. Summoned by ghosts calling in Shabas.

In the cab back to the hotel,
I chat with the driver, I’m from England
I say and he tells me
he is from Rwanda.
all my family died he says.
Are you OK now? I ask,
filling the flood of space with words
I can not bare,
Of course not he replies.

 

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Telling historical stories in poetry with Jay Barnard

Spread the Word help London’s writers make their mark – on the page, the screen and in the world. Coming up on 30th June, Jay Bernard is running a day course on writing using archival research.  Further details below… and link to their site here

ARCH

Jay Bernard won the Ted Hughes award for new poetry with the performance Surge: Side A, a multimedia sequence which explores the 1981 New Cross fire, a tragedy which came to be a defining moment in black British history after 13 young people died at a birthday party in south London.

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Poems for Food Banks

In this call we are looking for poems about food banks. It is not all about food. I want a heap of poems that draw on what you know about food banks. What do we need to give instead of pasta and baked beans? How do we give to babies, the elderly and young children, in terms of nappies, toothpaste, deodorant? Your poems say it all.

You write. We all read. We all vote by likes. The poem with the most likes has a cheque donated in the poet’s name to Nourish Food Bank Tunbridge Wells for £50. Do question how each region needs food banks, even those in a place you think wealthy actually has people who totally rely on their support.

Poems will be posted from now until July 12th. Winner declared mid-July.

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Nourish

Who we support

Nourish is a registered charity that provides short-term emergency provisions, support and signposting in a crisis to individuals and families within the borough of Tunbridge Wells, South Tonbridge and the surrounding areas.

We work on a strict referral only basis from front line professionals, such as health professionals, social workers, family liaison officers, housing support workers, keyworkers, police, voluntary agencies such as CAB and Age UK TW and community referrers. We currently work with over 100 such agencies in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge who must adhere to our referral policies and this ensures that any need is genuine.

We are managed by a board of trustees who are extremely active in the day to day running but we also have a contracted Operations Manager, Assistant Operations Manager and Warehouse Manager, all of whom work part time and are invaluable in our operation.

We work extremely closely with all our referral agents to ensure ongoing support is received by all beneficiaries in order to determine and hopefully eliminate the core cause of the crisis. We strive to discourage a culture of dependency, preferring to support families and individuals in crisis until they are able to move on. Our policy is to issue a maximum 12 bags to a family or individual in any 12-month period.

In 2016-2017, 81% of our referrals were for people using our service three times or less.

Our relationship base with our referral agents also enable us to signpost our clients to longer term support and advice and help people acquire skills, including cooking, budgeting and dietary skills, as well as employment & training advice.

From an operational perspective, we differ from other foodbanks in that we deliver food parcels to our beneficiaries. We currently maintain four storage units at Big Yellow Self Storage in Tunbridge Wells, one of which is fully funded by Big Yellow and we have an amazing team of volunteers that deliver food parcels throughout the area that we cover. This aids client confidentiality, enables us to operate with minimal overheads and also helps with the more practical side of someone in crisis turning up at a centre and trying to get home with lots of supplies, especially as we cover such a large area.

We also signpost to longer-term support and advice and help people acquire skills, including cooking, budgeting and dietary skills, as well as employment & training advice.

It’s not just about food. The consequences of food poverty can be far reaching, including increased crime, loss of tenancies, mental health problems and family breakdown. Nourish can help provide more positive outcomes by offering a period of respite and an opportunity for change.

How We Help

Behind every one of these statistics is a story. They are all different. The following are just some of the stories from people we have helped this past year. Please note, all names have been changed.

 
 
 
“I just wanted to thank you so very much for the bags of food i received today. I’m so very grateful and humbled by the kindness of others. Please pass on my thanks to all concerned”
 
“Quite simply it has saved us! The kindness of strangers has been humbling, and reduced me to tears (for once, not from worry!). I cannot thank you all enough.”
 

What It Means To Our Referral Agencies

“DAVSS was delighted at the very swift response to an urgent request for food for a domestic abuse survivor who only had tea bags and sugar in her cupboard for a week, until she received money due to her. The request went to Nourish mid afternoon and by 4.45 pm, a food parcel had been delivered to her door with the promise of a further delivery  4 days later to make sure she did not go without. This swift response was all that we could hope for – Nourish provided food yet again for someone in real need when there was no-one else to turn to. Thank you so much for providing this vital service”

“A special thank you to yourselves at Nourish Foodbank and your doubtless numerous supporters for enabling myself and Crossroads to support one of our very elderly patients with cognitive problems and help ensure her welfare. This lady has no relatives or close associates to assist and her former employer with whom she remains on good terms has had major health problems recently and has not been able to have any input.”

“John  has received your food parcel and has asked me to email you to thank you for everything,  you literally stepped in when he was at his lowest point and enabled me to help him to sort out his multiple issues while being able to safeguard his welfare. The process is so easy and I thank you for yet again being on the other end of the phone at an ungodly hour!”

 Could Nourish Help You?

To qualify for help, families and individuals have to be referred to Nourish by a professional care organisation, such as Social Services, DAVSS, Local housing groups, Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK etc. We also work with Churches, Schools and Doctors Surgeries.

If you feel that you are in need of the service provided by Nourish Community Foodbank then please speak to your GP, Social services, your care provider or the CAB.

Your GP or relevant agency can then refer you onto Nourish and we will be in touch.

 

 

The Latest
News /Events

Harvest 2017 at Nourish
Childrensalon Dragon Boat 2017
Samsonite bags 4 sale! Grab a bargain!
Tunbridge Wells Scouts Collection…

To donate online please do so using the Paypal button below.

 

 

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Crissy Bogusz – film winner #instapoetrylib competition at the National Poetry Library

Crissy-BoguszWho is Crissy Bogusz?
Crissy Bogusz created one of the winning films of the #instapoetrylib competition at the National Poetry Library. Crissy is a designer, motion graphics artist and video editor currently working at Vogue International, creating the animated videos for their Snapchat Discover videos. Her creation of the animation for NHS Crisis, one of the winners of the National Poetry Library’s #onstapoetrylib competition came about through a creative collaboration between her and two spoken word artists. Olmo Lazarus and Thomas ‘GhettoGeek’ Owoo are two well-established spoken word artists, known well on the poetry scene and also dedicate their lives to using their skills within poetry to help reach the youth of today through schools and councils around the country. Thomas has just given a TedTalk speech on this subject:

(http://www.tedxhounslowed.co.uk/). He uses spoken word as a tool to engage the disaffected youth of today in education, and he also uses it as an example to help teachers better relate to their pupils.

Capture

So what else is there to know about Crissy Boguz?

“I also work as a mentor to young girls in need of inspiration from successful women around the country via The Girls Network. So between the collaborators there is definitely a passion to educate through our skills, especially our skills within the arts. That being spoken word for Olmo and Thomas, and multimedia design and animation for myself. Thomas and Olmo spent the better part of 2 years working on this particular spoken word piece about the woes of the NHS (inspired by their family members who work within it). They dedicated themselves to finding a creative way to get this message out to the public.”

(Olmo’s journey is noted in his online article HERE

The spoken word duo then approached Crissy due to the popularity and innovative design of her videos created for Vogue to bring this piece to life. The animation took many months due to every second being depicted by visuals : designs, fluid typography, dynamic animation and accompanying audio. Each sentence had multiple meanings so her task was to decipher how to best represent these visually.

On it’s release in Jan 2018, the general public including well-known figures and groups took to sharing it and it garnered great praise. Among it’s supporters were political figure Peter Stefanovic, medical expert Dr Lauren Gavaghan, and groups such as Occupy London. The animation won in the film category of the National Poetry Library’s #instapoetrylib competition and is now being exhibited at The Southbank Centre and Royal Festival Hall at the world’s first instagram poetry exhibition.

IP

“It’s interesting to not the link with the prominence now being given to art via social media. Apps that were once used to help us communicate with our loved ones, are now being utlisied as a communication tool to spread important social messages and credible works of art. The competition and exhibition itself attests to that, but it can also be seen in my work work at Vogue. Huge prestige is now given to the videos I create for British Vogue and Vogue Paris’ Snapchat Discover channels, we are continually breaking records in the amount of views, screenshots, shares and Vogue subscribers reached each month and animated video snaps are used to help Vogue cover some of the biggest world wide events, such as the recent Royal Wedding.”

Other winners include Holly Mc Nish, Stephen Triplet, Saebom Kim.

 

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Jane Lovell – Two Poems

One day the rain

One day the rain, roaring in
upon a rogue wind, bewildering
the landscape while you stand dismayed
at grass grown tall and seeded,
berries splitting on the vine, thickets
of fireweed,

that rain, the taste of it,
its isolating world,
will be your last;

your space, your time
will be defined by nylon screens,
relentless light, the wheeling of machines
back and fore,

an empty chair
and how are you today?

Things to consider:
……the neon mountain range you know
……as the tremor of your tired heart
a tiny paper cup
swallow these, drink this
……a button to press if there’s anything
……you need.

She speaks again and you recall
something illuminated by the light
of dry days
grass blowing in a hot dusk
the shiver of it in long shadows

that blackbird chortling regardless
of his dried dead young

something illuminated by that low sun
something there in all those gone-days.

Remember one morning you walked
on the dew-soaked grass
before the heat
before anyone else was awake

just you out there, and the blackbird

god we could do with some rain

.

 

Weston-super-Mare, 1932

She sets herself neatly in her cloche hat
and nylons, keeping her shoes on despite
the heat and the soft give of the sand,
gives him space by her feet.

In the background someone is knitting.
He sits by her feet between deckchairs
next to the flask and teacups
in the shade of a towel, digging.

Ted takes the picture, jovial no doubt
as they all squint horribly at the sun,
Babs with her hands shielding the glare,
her knees filthy from the damp sand

while, in the foreground frowning
in his laundered cotton smock, he sits
between craters, Shirley Temple curls
framing his angel face.

Be my good girl, she says, smile.

Years later he writes papers on pathogens,
UTIs and PID, wears a white coat
and washes religiously in dilute phenol,
closing the tap with his elbow.

He shows me streptococcus on a slide
like it was a pet, lifts me onto the stool
to look at the moon and its necklace
of spermy cells shifting.

Now thin as a twig, his limbs casting
away devils, he finds his life drawn away
in a grey tide. He knows me, remembers
Ted, but never speaks of her,

does not recall the perfume
of her powdered cheek, her neat hair
pinned inside a net, the pursed lips,
those tiny slippered feet.

.

Jane Lovell has been widely published in journals and anthologies. She won the Flambard Prize in 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Basil Bunting Prize, the Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize and the Wisehouse International Poetry Prize. Jane is currently working on her first collection, This Tilting Earth, and a pamphlet for the Night River Wood project. Metastatic is to be published in 2018 by Against the Grain Press and Forbidden is to be produced later in the year as a limited edition hand-sewn pamphlet by Coast to Coast to Coast.

Her website is at https://janelovell128.wixsite.com/janelovellpoetry

 

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Sue Wrinch – Two Poems

today's poem vertical

Spellbound

I fall into a hare’s being
she opens herself for me.

I slip in, climb
the staircase of her ribs,

and settle close to her
sparking, twitching heart.

Scents, earthy and herbal
wrap my head in a meadow scarf.

Long ears twist to catch sound,
vibrations, high and low.

I can hear earthworms tunnel lazily,
as bird’s scribble notes on sky,

taste the green of Spring in grass,
as sunshine soaks into my fur.

I look out through shining
amber eyes, see field and hedge

blur as my legs hurl
over scrub and heather,

lungs gulp in clear air as
I flow, bounding the furrows.

to lie at last under an opal moon
still spellbound.

.

 

Together – After Terrance Hayes The Golden Shovel honouring Gwendolyn Brooks

Tiny hand clasps hand as we
skip to school with a real

zeal to learn but a longing for cool.
One told off but we

weep together, lives fused, left
to sit side by side at school.

One attacked both become weapon, we
seek to hide as we lurk

in shadow, wait until safe, get home late
but make parents believe all is well when we

know we would strike
and starve for each other, walk straight

down a path of our own choosing, we
will always band together, sing

our own tune believing it no sin
for we have each other and we

could care less what anyone thinks, not the thin
popular pretty or even the scary gin-

ger kid, psycho in making, no, we
just strive to avoid, skipping like jazz

our legs dancing like bees bustling in June
sipping flowers careless and free we

don’t give a fig, never think we may die
but share life together and not part soon.

.

 

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New Baltic Poetry part 1

During the Soviet years, a literary career could put one’s life in danger and so poetry flourished, for it allowed authors to express views in the form of allegories, metaphors and symbols. Poets were treated as rock stars, and their contribution strengthened the idea of an independent nation.

Poetry remains a hugely popular genre in all three countries and to mark the centenary Parthian are publishing an anthology called New Baltic Poetry, introducing the exciting chance to discover their epic past and vibrant, inventive present through the strong voice of modern literature.

Some of the great literary names featured in the anthology include:

download.jpgInese Zandere (1958) is a poet, editor, publisher and has written more than 20 award-winning books for children including her conceptual book of poems for children Medicine Maddy, Other Hospital Nursery Rhymes and One House for All (Book Island, Oct 2017, translated by Juris Petraskevics). Her work has been translated into many languages and inspired the creation of several animations, theatre plays and operas for children.

au.jpegAušra Kaziliūnaitė is a poet, doctoral student of philosophy, a film and culture critic and a human rights activist who has so far published four books of poetry: The First Lithuanian Book (2007), 20% Concentration Camp (2009), The Moon Is a Pill (2014) and I Am Crumbled Walls (2016). She has received numerous national awards, including the Jurga Ivanauskaitė Prize and the Young Artist Prize of the Ministry of Culture. Her poetry will be published in the Anthology of New Baltic Poetry (Parthian, 2018). The first English translation of her poetry, The Moon is a Pill translated by Rimis Uzgiris, is published by Parthian in 2018.
download (1).jpgKai Aareleid (1972) is a prose writer, poet, and literary translator, specialising in writing about history from the perspective of individuals. She translates literature from Spanish, Portuguese, French, Finnish and English, has translated works by Bruce Chatwin, Javier Marías, Paulo Coelho and Roberto Bolaño, and has published two collections of poetry and two novels. Her latest novel, Burning Cities (Peter Owen, May 2018, translated by Adam Cullen) tells the story of a family living in the battle-scarred southern Estonian city of Tartu shortly after World War II. Aareleid will be attending Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2018.

new

New Baltic Poetry is a collection celebrating the diversity of writing from the three Baltic countries; Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Six of the most talented poets from each country are translated and published in English, in many cases for the first time, providing a taste of the fresh, dynamic literary scene in the contemporary Baltic states.

This collection includes poetry by Benediktas Janusevicius, Antanas A. Jonynas, Giedre Kazlauskaite, Indrek Hirv, Helena Laks, Mats Traat, Kai Aareleid, and others.

 

 

 

 

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Emma Lee's Blog

Welcome to occasional reviews, comments and news from this Leicester, UK based writer of poems, stories and book reviews

Gillian Prew // poetry

for the earth and the animals

And Other Poems

New poems to read every Friday.

Loose Muse

London's only regular event for women writers of all genres.

thejessicapoet

Jessica Mookherjee's Poet Blog

monicasuswin

creative therapeutic writing

J V Birch

Singing in the shallows

4artkent

Artwork and exhibitions

awritersfountain

Freelance writer back on the edge ready to jump!

a dreaming skin

Writing, Poetry & Creativity | Angela T Carr, Dublin, Ireland

Cooking on a Bootstrap

The #1 budget recipe website

elly from earth

E.E. Nobbs, poet

clarepollard

Clare's Official Site

Anthony Wilson

Poetry, Education, Research

Poethead

by Christine Murray

Emma Lee's Blog

Welcome to occasional reviews, comments and news from this Leicester, UK based writer of poems, stories and book reviews

Gillian Prew // poetry

for the earth and the animals

And Other Poems

New poems to read every Friday.