On zines, poetry, and making things – Happy National Poetry Day!

Hello! Its National Poetry Day tomorrow, and to mark the day I’ve made a new zine of poems.

If the divide is in you, then the divine is in all of us

As you can see, its called ‘If the divine is in you, then the divine is in all of us’ (a title I borrowed from something I heard a brilliant woman say in a yoga class), and although it is scrappy and scruffy and wonky, I’m really really pleased with how it came out.

 

In June 2017 I was lucky enough to go on a trip to New York (upstate and city) for a month. I looked after their super cool kid while they made a record. It was a great adventure. A lot of the poems are not actually about that trip, but what links them all together is that I wrote them or started writing them while we were away. Travelling is a good time to write, I think, because you’re existing in a kind of alternate reality from your usual life.

I made the poems into a zine because:

  • They are collected thoughts and fragments for the most part, rather than fully realised poems, so I wanted them to live all together in one time capsule (and that’s ok).
  • I applied for A LOT of courses and grants and fellowships and publications this year, and didn’t get any of them! Which did start to make me feel a bit negative about writing, but then I remembered ‘Hey! Writing isn’t about getting prizes! It’s about trying to work things out, hooray!’ So, I made this zine so I could enjoy every aspect of the making process again, pressure free. I enjoyed to scribbling and writing and editing the poems, but I also enjoyed the cutting and sticking and photocopying and stapling. Touching the paper. My hands touched every one of the pages. It was fun! The library in my little town lent me a long-armed stapler when I went in to use the photocopier. Making a zine is a good conversation starter.
  • Before the world of everythingisontheinternet, I got a lot of my music and arts news, and insights into the thoughts and opinions of my artistic peers, from zines. They were bought, sold, swapped and handed around, and I loved the practice and reading something made directly by someone else, of feeling part of a community of makers, and more broadly – the warmth and relief of hearing someone else’s thoughts, worries, ideas communicated so openly and honestly, and not feeling alone.

A Different ForestIt was a great way to bond with my own writing process again. I was blissfully removed from any worries about where I would submit the poems, who might read them, where and why they might be judged. It felt really magical to sit at my kitchen table with the radio on and write and cut and stick my observations and passions and worries about the world into a little homemade booklet. It made the disappointments of being turned down for courses and grants and residencies etc feel small by comparison, because it was a tangible reminder that what I really want to do is write and create art, and say things that I think are important. Whilst I will always strive to improve myself and my career as a writer and artist by applying to be part of things, to be funded and expand my possibilities, it isn’t everything. Writing is everything, making is everything. Translating the love and turmoil and panic and hope of your insides into something tangible and readable for anyone who wants and needs to share in it with you – that’s the alchemy.

Extracts

Hey, you should make a zine too! And if you do, send a copy to me please.

If you want a copy of my zine ‘If the divine is in you, then the divine is in all of us’, then please send me an email with your name and address, and perhaps be so kind as to paypal me £3 to cover the photocopying and paper costs, and I’ll post one right to your door! I’m on sallyjenkinsonpoetry@gmail.com

Loads of love, and happy National Poetry Day to everyone for tomorrow! xx

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Tour dates for October readings

I’m doing seven lovely readings around the country in October, detail below. Come along if there’s one in your area (and if you like poems!).

Tuesday 3rd October – Hackney Hammer & Tongue @ The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH London
https://www.facebook.com/HammerTongueHackney/

Wednesday 4th October – Bristol Hammer & Tongue @ Smoke & Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street, BS1 5DQ Bristol
https://www.facebook.com/events/115817759102255

Thursday 5th October – Brighton Hammer & Tongue @ Komedia, Gardener Street, Brighton
https://www.facebook.com/groups/32704030308/

Friday 6th October – Cambridge Hammer & Tongue @ Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, CB1 7GX Cambridge
https://www.facebook.com/events/171712973378182/

Saturday 7th October – Cheltenham Lit Crawl 5pm @ Waterstones Cheltenham
http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/festival-village/cheltenham-literature-festival-…around-town-2/lit-crawl

Tuesday 10th October – Oxford Hammer & Tongue @ The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ
https://www.facebook.com/hammerandtongueoxford

Wednesday 11th October – Southampton Hammer &Tongue @ The Arts House, 178 Above Bar Street, SO14 7DW, Southampton
https://www.facebook.com/htsoton/

 

Sally Jenkinson 2015 photo credit Tilly May

Full set at Rhyme & Reason (Bath) October 2016

Last October I did a featured set at the very jolly Rhyme & Reason in Bath. I mostly read quite sad poems so its not exactly a lively reading, but hey, my hair looks great – which as we know it the most important thing!

Seriously though, I’m very grateful to R&R gang for filming and editing this together, its nice to have a video of a whole set! Have a look if you’re interested.

Our first year at Shambala Festival with new venue Phantom Laundry

August bank holiday weekend was our first year at Shambala Festival with our new poetry and music venue Phantom Laundry. We were missing some vital and beloved crew members from our family this year, so it was really sad in lots of ways. But we worked really hard to create a new venue which showcased the best poetry, spoken word and live music from around the scene this year, and we were proud of the result.

Thank you from the bottom of our (still very tired) hearts to every poet, musician, DJ, artist, crew member, watcher, listeners, applauder, gasp-in-awe-er and dancer who graced our venue for its first ever outing at Shambala Festival. We are proud to have poetry and spoken word at the forefront of the progamming in such a big, beautiful space at a festival (and of course proud to showcase such brilliant live music too!). If you were there, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Love, Phantom Laundry X

(Most of) the Phantom Laundry 2017 stage crew

(Most of) the Phantom Laundry 2017 stage crew Photo credit: Tilly May Photography

Photo credit: Tilly May Photography

Bespoke poems for sale! Raising funds for flood relief.

Hi poetry lovers,

I’d like to get some money together to aid flood relief in Bangladesh as soon as possible. Among other things, to raise some cash I’m offering to create bespoke poems to order for any occassion. Is your Mum about to have a milestone birthday? Is your kid off to university soon? Do you just really really really want someone to write a poem about that time you walked along Hadrian’s Wall? This, and / or any other conceivable reason you might want a bespoke poem creating for you, now is the time to order them and also make an important donation to help fellow humans who really need it.

All you need to do is email me on sallyjenkinsonpoetry@gmail.com to discuss the details, idiosycracies and finer points of what you want to your poem to contain, and when you need it, and also pay me £20!

ALL money raised will go directly to the Friendship NGO, which has been doing important outreach work in poor and inaccessible communities in Bangladesh for more that 20 years. More info about their fundraising here…

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/stand-up-for-the-flood-victims-in-bangladesh/

The floods in Bangladesh are thought to be the most severe in 100 years. More than a third of the country has been submerged. At least 115 people have died and more than 5.7 million are affected. The government and NGOs are struggling to cope with the extent of the disaster and warn of risk of disease as well as shortages of crucial supplies including food, medication and clean drinking water. More than half a million homes have been damaged.

If you need a poem, and would like your money to go towards a good cause, get in touch! Look forward to hearing from you. Best, Sal xx