WPL, Charley Barnes – Blog post #3

For the first time in my life, it might be that I’m early for something! I think this post might be slightly premature in terms of my blogging timeline. However, as it’s World Poetry Day, it only seems right that I have a little check-in (I think, anyway).

It’s been a strange time for a lot of us – which seems like a wild understatement. The world has turned on its head somewhat and many of us are facing challenges that, only weeks ago, didn’t seem a likely reality. Yet here we are, hunting for toilet paper and other basic essentials. Still, we’re in a better position than many other parts of the world, even though it might not feel like it always, and for that I know we’re all grateful.

The most beautiful and heart-warming thing to come out of this whole mess is the way that I’ve seen writing communities band together. My social media has been flooded with invitations to private writing groups where people are sharing their work, and sharing the work of others, to try to keep spirits high.

Say what you like about artists, but it seems that people need something to turn to…

So, what’s happening in the poetry world? Every day this week I’ve published a page to this very website to celebrate a non-British poet and their work, in the interest of highlighting the World part of the day. They’re all housed under the ‘World Poetry Day’ tab which you can find here, if you’d like to peruse the likes of Dante and Sappho this weekend.

Alongside that the ‘Hard times happen’ competition, that I’m lucky enough to be running with Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe Director Martin Driscoll, is alive and thriving! We’ve received entries from the whole world over, as far as California, and it’s wonderful to see such a response to our call-out. We’re accepting entries for that competition up until midnight on April 30, so you have plenty of time to get involved, and all of the information you need to enter can be found right here.

I’ve also teamed up with local poet and Amnesty International representative, Ade Couper, to collaborate on a second competition. This is poetry only and we’re inviting people to submit work to the theme of ‘Home’, which was initially to raise awareness of Refugee Week in June 2020 – although Ade and I both realise this theme might mean something different to many of us now. Everything you need to know about entering your work for this competition can be found right here.

To round off, as it’s World Poetry Day, I’ll be running a giveaway on the Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe Facebook page this week – to giveaway a small book bundle – so if you’d like to get involved then hop on over to our social media for the rules.

I know these are dark times for a lot of people, but I hope that you continue to find small pockets of light along the way.

Stay safe, and keep in touch.

Charley xx