January Diary by Sue Wallace-Shaddad
For various reasons, there was not a diary blog for December, so I will cover both months in this blog. I have very much enjoyed a number of readings recently. In December, Nicola Warwick and Sarah Doyle did excellent readings of their chapbooks published by V Press and it is wonderful to hear that Nicola’s book The Human Portion, has just won the East Anglian Book Award’s poetry category. I also attended the launch of new Pindrop Press collections by Fiona Larkin and Jonathan Trotman. I am particularly enjoying reading Gillie Robic’s new book, I Think I Could Be Wrong, having listened to her Live Canon launch. I had hoped to attend the T.S. Eliot readings on Zoom but there were technical problems; I will listen to the recording. I bought Jason Allen-Paisant’s book, Self Portrait as Othello, which is terrific. I am particularly drawn to poetry which features aspects of other countries and languages and his collection takes us to Paris and Venice (both cities I know).
January is a time for planning once the days start getting longer. I have been sending in some proposals to do readings later in the year. As I have a new pamphlet coming out with Palewell Press, Once There Was Colour, hopefully that will make my submissions more attractive. My workshop activity is growing. You can now book to attend the two free workshops that I mentioned in my December Musings, ‘Home to Home’, which I will run on 15 February and 15 March (these are in person in Ipswich, Suffolk – why not have a day out from London if you are there?). Book here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/suffolk-archives/e-gdedme
My choir, Ipswich Choral Society, celebrated the actual date of its 200th anniversary on 24th January. Booking is now open for the major concert on 20th April 2024 to celebrate this at Snape Maltings in Suffolk – a performance of Joseph Haydn’s The Creation, together with Halifax Choral Society and The Britten Sinfonia and three excellent soloists. Book here: https://brittenpearsarts.org/whats-on
As Secretary, I am busy preparing documents for Suffolk Poetry Society’s AGM in March and we are also keen to get more trustees on board. Nowadays this always seems a difficult task as everyone is so busy. However, I also find that busy people are the ones who have energy and know how to prioritise, so being busy can be a sign of potential! You don’t have to live in Suffolk to become a member of the Society and many events welcome the public as well as members, for example, the tenth Festival of Suffolk Poetry Society 10th – 11th May which has online and in person events. Our annual poetry competition is now open and you can enter if you have a connection with Suffolk, Norfolk or Essex (see criteria) or are a member of the Society. Luke Wright is the judge, closing date 14 June 2024. Enter here.
On a completely different topic, I recently did a talk for The Arts Society South East Suffolk about the distinguished artists in my Scottish family. My great-grandfather was James Paterson, a ‘Glasgow Boy’ and other artists were: his brother Alexander, an architect, Alexander’s wife Maggie Hamilton (embroiderer) and their daughter Viola Paterson, James’ son Hamish and my mother Anne Paterson Wallace. I have been writing poems over the last year or so about the women artists in the family. James was also an early photographer and I have copies of the photographs he took of the many portraits he painted, his family and village life. The glass negatives and other family material are held by Special Collections at the University of Glasgow. It is a wonderful heritage to have.
I will end on Paris (a place where many of those painters spent time.). Sue Burge’s latest collection, The Artificielle Parisienne, is being published by Live Canon, with a launch on 28th January. The collection focuses on Paris, so I am really looking forward to that.
If you would like to contact me to comment or follow up, please send me an email via the contact box on my website . You can also contact me to buy a signed copy my books
Sleeping Under Clouds (Clayhanger Press) and A City Waking Up (Dempsey and Windle).