Artswords News February

Here we are, already one twelfth of the way through the year, enjoying snowdrops and occasional snow flurries.

The question is, are we making good use of our time, or, as recommended by The Idler Academy (see ) should we be more laid back about things?

Well, for better or for worse, Artswords prefers to busy itself with putting on good things to do with reading, writing, and Literature Development. So, if you want to see what’s on offer, check out our website at

Here’s what’s happening in February.

This month's Mum’s the Word meeting, for mothers interested in writing, takes place at 7.30pm at Lower Shaw Farm on Tuesday 3rd February.

For further information, contact Karen at 

On Tuesday 10th February, the Poetry Swindon Open Mic welcomes you to share poems, stories, or songs, for up to 5 minutes each. Our guest poet this month is Paul Sutton. The ticket cost is £3 BG members and £5 to non-members. Refreshments will be available for sale.  The evening starts at 7pm to sign up and the new venue is the The Victoria, 88 Victoria Road Swindon Wiltshire SN1 3BD. For further details, please email Sam Loveless at
Eventbrite - Poetry Swindon Open Mic with Paul Sutton

At 7.30pm Tuesday 17th February at Lowers Shaw Farm the Artswords Reading Group meets to discuss Twenty Years A Growing by Maurice O’Sullivan. Where is the Great Blasket? What’s it like to live on an island, without much changing, except for the weather and such? What’s the role of folk tales? What are they? 

For further details, contact:

For other local Reading Groups that take place in Libraries, see HERE

On Saturday 21st February Poetry Swindon have a workshop: Smart Reading for Smarter Writing with Martin Malone. This workshop will provide a general introduction to the sort of critical and theoretical possibilities open to us when we read poetry; so that our own writing may become more self-aware and our decisions more intelligent.1:30pm to 4pm at the Richard Jefferies Museum. Full details and payment on the button below:
Eventbrite - Smart Reading for Smarter Writing: a workshop with Martin Malone

To see the full Poetry Swindon Programme, see HERE

The next Writers’ CafĂ© and Kitchen takes place from 6pm on Thursday 26th February at Lower Shaw Farm. Cost £2. Starts with pot-luck supper from 6pm. If you can, please bring something to nibble or drink, to share with others. Following acclimatisation with food and friendly chat, we take time to look at our writing. You may simply read your work for up to 5 minutes; or, if you’d like your work to be the subject of helpful comments and discussion, bring 10 copies of one piece of writing. This should amount to no more than 500 words of prose or 40 lines of poetry. 
Note. We now also welcome anyone with 5-minute stories to tell. If you have a story, to tell, not read, and ideally a story from your life, please bring it along.

Other News:

The Corinium Museum in Cirencester is running a poetry competition. They are looking for poems of up to 40 lines inspired by an object displayed or theme interpreted at the museum. The closing date for entries is 6th February 2015.  CATEGORIES:The competition is open to three age categories:16 years old and above, 11-15 years old, Under 11s  See HERE for full details.

On Tuesday 27th January, we marked Holocaust Memorial Day in Swindon. Words‘charged with meaning’ and poetry both played a part.
Talking of poetry, in a recent article, Jeanette Winterson says as much about poetry in general and poetry in particular as she does about poems by Carol Ann Duffy.
One after another, she hits nails on heads, we think.
See if you agree at
If you want to keep abreast of Literature development projects and festivals that Artswords will be organising or supporting, you can follow us via this monthly newsletter, or updates on Facebook and Twitter (See links below the newsletter)

If you have any news or events for March that you would like to share with other readers of ARTSWORDS NEWS, please let us know by the middle of this month.

Happy reading and writing!

Matt Holland & Hilda Sheehan