Songs of Protest


Back in the day, when you went on a march through London – something I did a lot of in my youth, starting with the march against the Corrie Bill, and moving on to Section 28, the Police Bill, Anti-Nuclear marches with CND, Reclaim the Night, anti-cuts marches with various unions, Lesbian Strength, Gay Pride (back when it was really a political march not a fun day out) …gosh so many marches – anyway, way back then, we used to SING, and in local protests more recently (library under threat,  arts venue funding being cut, entire hospital threatened with closure) we’ve gone out and sung too.

I’ve been on a few marches recently, the political climate having taking a heave to the right, and feeling the need to do some shouting in public, but no one is singing anymore.

Why NOT?

There is a fantastic tradition of protest songs, and they are (Usually, from necessity) easy to sing and easy to remember.

And they are fun too.

I’ve been suggesting we do a season of protest songs at Vocal Chords, my regular choir for a couple of years and we have finally done it. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about protest songs in perfect harmony in a church – they should really be rough round the edges and raucous, and full of joy and anger and defiance, and most importantly – outside! However, I’ll take what I can get.

Come and have a listen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 1st April 7pm for 7.30

Holy Trinity Church, 66 Lennard Road SE20 7LX

£7 on the door in aid of Wheels for Wellbeing.

Reprising at Brockley Max festival Sunday June 4th 3.30pm at St Hilda’s Church Courtrai Road SE4.

Shortest Day, Longest Night


978190920829221st December 2016 ORDER NOW from Arachne Press
Edited by Cherry Potts
978-1-909208-28-5 print £9.99
978-1-909208-29-2 epub £5
978-1-909208-30-8 mobi/kindle £5
144 pages

The Solstice Shorts festival celebrates the shortest day of the year, which is also short story day, with stories poems and songs to an appropriate theme. In 2015 that theme was Longest Night, in 2016 it will be Shortest Day, and will be celebrated (appropriately) with flash fiction. These are the combined stories and poems for both events.
Featuring work from

Abigail Beckel, Bob Beagrie, Cherry Potts, David Mathews, David McVey, Frances Gapper, Neil Brosnan, Pauline Walker, Sarah Evans, Sarah James, Wendy Gill, A.J. Akoto, Alison Craig, Frank Rubino, Jill Sharp, Joan Leotta, Juliet Desailly, Karen Bovenmyer, Karina Lutz, Laura Page, Lisa Kelly, Mario Duarte, Marlee Cox, Megan E. Freeman, Moira Quinn, Pat Tompkins, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Steph Thompson, Tim Cremin, Ness Owen, CB Droege, David Steward, Jamie der Wahls, Katy Darby, Lee Nash, Liam Hogan, Pippa Gladhill, Polly Hall, Roger W. Hecht, Rosalind Stopps, Tom McKay.

with themes as various as friendships betrayed, birth, atheism, searching space, strangers in the night… and genres from fantasy and science fiction to poetry and realism.

Shortest Day, Longest Night on TOUR:

Wednesday 5.30 & 7pm 21/12/2016 Greenwich Launch (Solstice Shorts Festival) West Greenwich Library & Made in Greenwich
All the Shortest Day Stories and Poems, read by actors.

Friday 7.30 06/01/2017 Oxford Albion Beatnik
Poem (and story): Sarah James. Story: Wendy Gill, Pauline Walker, David Mathews, David Steward.

Tuesday 7.30 10/1/2017 St James Wine Vaults 10 St James Street, Bath, BA1 2TW
Combined reading with Liberty Tales. poem: Bernie Howley,  Elinor Brooks, Jeremy Dixon, Jill Sharp;  story: Nick Rawlinson,  Pippa Gladhill,  Cherry Potts

Wednesday 7pm 11/01/2017 Lewisham Library
Poems: Lisa Kelly, A J Akoto. Stories: David Steward, Cherry Potts, Liam Hogan

Sat 3pm 14/01/2017 Essex Wivenhoe Library
Stories: Rosalind Stopps, Cherry Potts, David Steward, Katy Darby, Poem: Lisa Kelly

Wednesday 7pm 18/01/2017 Brockley Deli The Story Sessions: Winter Tales
Rosalind Stopps, plus others including YOU?

Saturday 04/02/2017 2pm North Kensington Library
Poems: Bob Beagrie, Lisa Kelly, A J Akoto. Story: Katy Darby, Liam Hogan, Pauline Walker, Cherry Potts

Liberty Tales


17th November 2016 ORDER NOW from Arachne Press
978-1-909208-31-5 Print
978-1-909208-32-2 ebook
978-1-909208-33-9 mobi/kindle
£9.99
198x129mm
144 pages

Featured Image -- 4820

2015 marked the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and Arachne Press celebrated with an evening of stories, poetry and song on the subject of Liberty. The call out continued until the end of the year, and here are the collected and eclectic responses.

Liberty, personal, and legal, is the starting point of this wide ranging collection of responses to the Magna Carta, some directly relating to specific clauses of the document signed by King John, others more concerned with how we experience and search after freedom in the 21st Century, particularly with the Human Rights Act constantly under scrutiny.

Featuring work from Alison Lock, Andrew McCallum, Anna Fodorova, Bernie Howley, Brian Johnstone, Carolyn Eden, Cassandra Passarelli, Cherry Potts, David Guy, David Mathews, Elinor Brooks, Helen Morris , Jim Cogan, Jeremy Dixon, Kate Foley, Katy Darby, Liam Hogan, Nick Rawlinson, Owen Townend, Peter de Ville, Richard Smyth, Sarah Evans.

ON TOUR: Coming up…

Tuesday 7pm 10/01/2017 Bath The Gallery, St James Wine Vaults (Combined reading with Shortest Day Longest Night)
Poems from Bernie Howley,  Elinor Brooks, Jeremy Dixon, Jill Sharp: passports, religious freedom, coming out, reading in the dark,
stories from Nick Rawlinson,  Pippa Gladhill, Katy Darby,  Cherry Potts, David Mathews: Fish weirs, old gods, and… we’ll see which stories everyone else decides to read…

Wednesday 25/01/2017 Essex Greenstead Library Colchester time to be 6pm
Carolyn Eden, Helen Morris, Jim Cogan, and Sarah Evans read by Carrie Cohen, and David Guy and Jeremy Dixon read by Cliff Chapman. FREE but please phone Greenstead Library to reserve your place 01206 865758.

Past… with video/sound recordings

16/11/2016 Brockley Deli story sessions
Jim Cogan joins the Freedom tales line up for a prepublication sneak preview.

17/11/2016 Greenwich Launch West Greenwich Library Video
Stories from Katy Darby, Alison Lock, Cherry Potts,  Anna Fodorova (read by Carrie Cohen) David Guy (read by Cliff Chapman), poems from Bernie Howley, Jeremy Dixon, plus extracts… touching on prisoners, the right to roam, emotional freedom, going too far, passports  freedom of sexual expression, and more.

18/11/2016 Oxford Video
Stories from Jim Cogan,  Carolyn Eden, Nick Rawlinson, Katy Darby, Poems from Jeremy Dixon, Elinor Brooks, Bernie Howley. Explore an unusual Gaudy Night, fish weirs, walking out, when it safer to appear witless, finding yourself in San Francisco, religious intolerance, and exactly what the value of a passport really is.

23/11/2016 Lewisham Library Video
Stories from Jim Cogan,  Liam Hogan, David Mathews, Cherry Potts. Day release, love in captivity, crossing borders and escaping the past.

Thursday 6.30pm 01/12/2016 Newcastle Blackwells Video
poems from Brian Johnstone, stories from Alison Lock, Richard Smyth, Cherry Potts. Slave ‘stealing’, the right to roam, escaping the past, and how freedom is punished.

Saturday 5pm 03/12/2016 North London Housmans Bookshop Sound Recordings
Stories from Cassandra Passarelli, Liam Hogan, Carolyn Eden, Katy Darby. Freedom to travel and grow, love in captivity, walking out, and a small prison drama.

Saturday 2pm 10/12/2016 West London North Kensington Library Video
stories from Carolyn Eden, Jim Cogan, Cassandra Passarelli, Cherry Potts. Poems from Jeremy Dixon. Walking out, being let out, finding a way out, breaking out, coming out.

 

 

Liberty Tales Lewisham videos


https://videopress.com/embed/ufF7GmuS?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0https://v0.wordpress.com/js/next/videopress-iframe.js?m=1435166243

Videos of the Lewisham Library launch for Liberty Tales, with a snippet from Knitting for Demons… hmm. Reblogging recordings and videos doesn’t work! That’s annoying. I’ve uploaded my video, for the rest, follow the link to the original.

Arachne Press

Welcome to the Liberty Tales Lewisham videos (yes, I got the video to work!), not posted until now because I was too busy doing other events!

so here are:

David MathewsBorder Country

Jim CoganLag

Cherry PottsKnitting for Demons

Liam Hogan The King’s Computer

Incidentally, each time I post a snippet of video or audio, it will be a different pieces, so you can search around for more of the piece without repetition.

On which subject TODAY at 5pm, you can catch Katy Darby, Cassandra Passarelli, Liam Hogan and Carolyn Eden reading at Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, N1 9DX from 5pm, and if you buy a book they’ll sign it for you.

View original post

Liberty Tales launch recordings and Human Rights Day


A short recording of me reading from Knitting for Demons at the launch of Liberty Tales …and re-blogging recordings doesn’t work! Follow the link to the original for the other recordings, here is mine…

Arachne Press

Our next reading event for Liberty Tales is at North Kensington Library, appropriately on Human Rights Day, Saturday 10th December at 2pm.

To get you in the mood, here are some snippets of recordings from the LAUNCH of Liberty Tales (I know, everything out of order.)

Alison Lock Dog’s Life

Anna Fodorova Fruit of the Sea read by Carrie Cohen

David Guy The King and the Light read by Cliff Chapman

Bernie Howley The Privilege of Departure or Dover Bound but Delayed

Cherry Potts Knitting for Demons

Carolyn Eden Free White Towel

Jeremy Dixon Flax, San Francisco and Pearls Over Shanghai

Katy Darby Character Study

View original post

NOT the Booker! The Dowry Blade is long-listed


Trumpet Fanfare…. The Dowry Blade has been long-listed for The Guardian’s Not the Booker prize …along with over 100 other books. Thank you Neil & Juliet for nominating.

So if by some miracle you, like them, have finished reading it, and feel moved to vote, follow the link above and do that thing – for your vote to count you need to vote for 2 books, and write a 100 word review of at least one of them (obviously it would be great if it was The Dowry Blade!) by the 14th August. So you’ve got 2 weeks to read it if you haven’t already – that’s only about 12,000 words a day – you can do it!

I can’t imagine we have sold enough copies to be in with a chance of making the shortlist, but if it gets a few other people interested in buying a copy, it would make me immeasurably happy, as opposed to just modestly pleased, which is where I am right now.

out and about with Carmen


I’ve not been on here much recently, there’s been too much happening.

The opera – of course the opera! Each year I’ve done more and written about it less. Barely managing a faint tweet now and then this year. Carmen, under the direction of Chris Rolls had us on stage almost all the time  even when not singing – so no time for gathering thoughts to get on the blog. IMG_4585I’m in the background here somewhere (photo © Lena Kern) foreground Don Jose, Adrian Dwyer and our amazing Carmen Hannah Pedley – so good we tended to get caught up and forget we should sing too. This run sold out weeks ahead of the performance so I know a lot of people were disappointed. You can read a (5 star) review here, and you can catch us singing the choruses between 3 and 5pm TOMORROW (Saturday 23rd July) at Greenwich Park bandstand, and stop to chat while we picnic between sets. (I may not actually be singing myself, as the company throat infection caught up with me as soon as we stopped performing.)

Between performances I hurtled up to Derby to be on a panel (Is high fantasy getting more literary?) and run a workshop (Writing with Your Ears) at EdgeLit5. I’m doing more of that at NineWorlds at the Hammersmith Novotel 12-14th August, with creative writing panels: The Feminine Voice and Writing Female Characters in 21st Century Fantasy Fiction and Writing Queer Characters. I’m not sure of the timings yet, but there’s loads on, workshops, panels, book launches and so on and the finalised timetable will be up soon.

So: writing! Sci Fi Novella turned down by Tor, flash fiction published on line by Spelk, if you like your literature short you might enjoy a free haiku walk (should that be a Haik?) round Horniman Gardens with friends The Museum of Walking on Thurs 4th Aug.

And finally, I got my first ever bit of fan mail – as in hand-written, from someone I don’t know, who loved The Dowry Blade! I think it’s such a fat book that it’s taking people time to read it, but there is now a very nice review on Goodreads too.

I think that’s me caught up for now.