up your end

As we feel our way through the response to Covid-19 all regular poetry events in the Black Country have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. We’re addressing that by running a series of online poetry activities across our region, commissioned by Creative Black Country.

‘Stay Up Your Own End’ is a series of six online events, each providing a platform for poets of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to share their work. They’re being held on Monday evenings on our Facebook page, and for each one we’re encouraging people to write about some aspect of life in their part of the Black Country. This blog entry will be updated each week to give the latest prompt (scroll to the end of the blog to find it).

The Walsall, Dudley, and Sandwell events have now taken place, Wolverhampton is this evening, and that means we’ve just one more evening – centred on Stourbridge – to come before our grand finale on 20th July. At each event a ‘judge’s favourite’ has been chosen and secured a £25 prize for the author, plus the opportunity to work with us on creating a video of their piece for our sixth and final event, which will feature the five winning poems as well as videos from each of our five judges.

Each week an established regional poet has provided a prompt for their part of the Black Country, and we’re grateful to Richard Archer, Rick Sanders, Roy McFarlane, Kuli Kohli, and Heather Wastie for working with us on the events for Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, and Stourbridge respectively.

Anyone can submit a poem. First-time writers, regular scribblers, and all those in between. Whether you’re a keen poet or just fancy dipping your toes in the poetry water, this is for you. And – of course – everyone’s welcome to take part in the events, either as contributors or audience. They’ll all be hosted on our Facebook page, which you will find here.

Heather’s prompt for the Stourbridge event is below. If you want to take part, email your finished poem to us at poetsprattlerspandemonialists@gmail.com by midday on Sunday July 5th for the chance to win a £25 prize. Our thanks to those people who’ve already sent their poems in – the rest of you, get yer skates on!

Here’s Heather”s prompt. We’re sure it’ll inspire you to write something about your part of Stourbridge…

“Stourbridge’s suburbs have some interesting places names. Have you ambled in Amblecote without a coat? Did you once tell a lie in Lye? What is there to write home about in Wordsley?  I’ve driven through Norton, Oldswinford, and Pedmore, shopped in Wollaston, wondered (not wandered) about Wollescote and got somewhat stressed trying to find my way into Stourbridge town centre…

Do you have childhood memories of Mary Stevens Park? What’s it like inside the Red House Glass Cone? Have you walked along the Stourbridge Canal? Please choose a location in Stourbridge – large or small, outdoor or indoor, noisy or intimate – somewhere you can remember vividly, or somewhere on your doorstep you can easily visit, and take the reader there in your poem. “

We hope that inspires you. Get writing, folks!