Off to Devon and off-line

I’m off to North Devon (in the South West of England) with limited internet access so I won’t be posting for a while. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve signed up for NaPoWriMo (as suggested by Carrie Etter) as have many others, including publisher and writer Colin Will and writer and poetry activitist Flo Reynolds, whose blogs I’ve started following recently – you might enjoy them too. And if you’re also doing napowrimo please feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment and including a link to your blog if you’d like. I’ve already started my month of poetry writing by collating my many unfinished poems together – I’m taking them with me to Devon so that I can work on a different poem each day with the aim of finishing as many as possible, or at least taking them one step further. Colin has written a series of writing prompts for himself and Flo is aiming to read, as well as write, a different poem each day.
I’ve also signed up for the 5×50 Challenge a pledge to run/cycle/walk/swim 5 km (approximately 3 miles) a day for 50 days. The initial registration costs as little as £5 – most of which goes to Comic Relief. I’m looking forward to continuing this Challenge by the Devon coast and I’ll try to take some scenic photographs to show you later!
Finally, in the last few days the winners of this year’s National Poetry Competition have been announced and I was intrigued to read the winning poem by Patricia McCarthy which you can read and listen to here. In the poem, Clothes that Escaped the Great War, McCarthy recounts a story about the First World War told to her by her own mother and NPC judge, Vicki Feaver, has said that the poem “describes the grief of the women left behind”. I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve started to think about using poetry, and other art forms, as a means of commemorating the centenary of the start of WWI and it will be interesting to see how many WWI-themed artworks we see emerging over the next 18 months, in other competitions, magazines and projects. Am I also allowed to say that I was uplifted and inspired to see Patricia McCarthy’s beautiful, lived-in face? Well, I’ve said it.
And now I’m packing my notebooks, my pens and my walking shoes. Happy Easter!

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