Sarah Barr

Writer, poet and teacher

Poetry on the Lake

In late September, I’m hoping to go to The Poetry on the Lake festival , described by Carol Ann Duffy as:  “…perhaps the smallest but possibly the most perfect poetry festival in the world”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZPLIg5tFI8 

It sounds wonderful!

I’m delighted that my poem, ‘Dartmoor Snow’, has been placed 2nd in the open section of the Poetry on the Lake 2018 competition, and will be reading it along with some other poems during the festival weekend. I’m looking forward to meeting other poets.

I’ve never before visited Italy’s northern lakes and so I’m excited to be going and hope to explore the area around  Lake Orta and perhaps also Lake Maggiore.

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Society of Authors literary lunch

I had a great time yesterday at a Society of Authors lunch in Salisbury. I’m delighted to be a member of the SOA and plan to make full use of my membership. As another writer said to me, the society offers invaluable help, for example with authors’ contracts, and I can see that networking will also be a feature for me. The speaker yesterday was Helen Corner-Bryant of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy who gave a fascinating and amusing talk about what Cornerstones can offer authors and this is a huge range of services, including manuscript assessment, mentoring, editing, locating the right market for your manuscript, and how to present it to publishers and agents.

Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction

I’m thrilled that 3 of my short stories have been published this month  in the latest Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction edited by Adam Craig and described as ‘a diverse, compelling collection — thought inspiring and gripping.’  The cover is dramatic and makes me want to open the book and read! Other writers in the collection include Diana Powell, Kate Mitchell, Maeve Henry, Tamsin Hopkins and David Mark Williams.

Horses

I’m delighted to see my poem, ‘Horses’, in the latest issue of The London Reader. What a vibrant cover, and inside an engaging collection of writing from all over the world.  This issue ‘After Words: Animal Reflections’ is curated by Christina Claudia Galego and 10% of revenues will be donated to the charity Cool Earth.

Wimborne Literary Festival 2018

The programme of Wimborne Literary Festival 2018 is now available. The festival runs from 12th to 22nd May: ten days of great talks and workshops – speakers include Billy Bragg, Timothy West, Minette Walters, Malcolm Angel and David Starkey. I’m very honoured to be included in this illustrious group as I’m running a writing workshop on May 16th. If it’s like previous years, tickets for the various events will sell very quickly so don’t delay!

Poems in the Waiting Room issue 78

I’m delighted to have one of my poems, ‘Trees on Lewesdon Hill’, in this season’s ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’ pamphlet. What a great charity PiTWR is: providing a practical way  of using poems to uplift and entertain while patients are waiting for medical treatment. The pamphlet is attractive and appealing. This winter’s issue is light blue and contains poems by John Clare, Henry Longfellow, Rudyard Kipling, Sara Teasdale, as well as poems from more contemporary poets: me – Sarah Steele, Meg Peacocke, Elizabeth Clough and Jill Munro.

Cattistock Poets Christmas Reading and Party

I had a great evening with Cattistock poets in the Oak Room at The Fox and Hounds this week – listening to poetry and reading. I felt honoured to be among a very special gathering including Annie Freud, Pam Zinneman-Hope, Elaine Beckett, Nick Morris, Maya Pieris, Chris Slade, Kate Hall, Peter Thorne, Geraldine Rennison, Sarah Solly and Gill Barr. And there was the audience as well, including writers from Exeter Writers.

Pam was the visiting poet and she read from her lovely new collection, ‘Foothold‘.

Annie organised the evening brilliantly with a poetry themed quiz and prizes.

A heart-warming way to start Christmas, thanks to all.

 

Happy National Poetry Day!

I’m thrilled that my poem ‘Walls’ has been commended in The Poetry Society’s Stanza competition. A lovely present on National Poetry Day! I’m re-reading Emily Dickinson’s poems today and enjoying her concise, dramatic style.

Poetry Reading at East Coker

Tonight I’m take part in a poetry reading with a group of friends from Some Bridport Poets. We’ve been invited by East Coker Poets to the evening which will be at The Helyar Arms, East Coker. I’m looking forward to it. Hope I can find my way there! This Thursday, 28th September, is National Poetry Day so it’s reading and writing poetry all week for me … but also with a little time left for fiction  …

Blandford Fashion Museum Outing

Wimborne Writing Group had a very successful outing last week to Blandford Fashion Museum. What a gem! Tucked away in The Plocks in the centre of Blandford is a charming, Georgian house containing a marvellous collection of clothes and accessories from the last 300 years. Jean welcomed us with refreshments in the cafe (coffee was particularly good) and then Gordon gave us a fascinating talk about the museum and also some wider history about Blandford, the great fire of 1731 and its aftermath. We thought about how certain clothes can help to revive our memories about our own lives and perhaps those of parents and grandparents.  When writing historical fiction – and it seems the 1970s are now part of that! – it’s important to get the fashions right. This museum is surely a very useful resource for writers.

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