A Cardiff Poetry Launch with Bare Fiction

annette c boehmThe brilliant thing about being involved in a local writing group is that you get to hear about all the literature related events taking place in your area. The downside is, sometimes you can’t go to all of them. You’d think that summer would be a time to wind down and take a break, but the open mics, book launches, and general literature celebrations seem to have racked up a notch this month. Determined to make the most of this glut in events, despite feeling tired, I attended the Cardiff launch of Annette C Boehm’s collection, The Knowledge Weapon, on Sunday evening. She won the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition of 2015, which was judged by Andrew McMillan.   

The venue was Roath Park Pub, on City Road – a noisy, messy pub which has a large room at the back, perfect for writer-type people to host events. This event was organised by Bare Fiction. They publish a magazine which includes poetry, fiction and plays. They also publish books and their 2016 competition (deadline 31st October) will be judged by Helen Mort (poetry), David Gaffney (flash fiction) and Courttia Newland (short stories).

Christina Thatcher

Christina Thatcher

The event starred Ren Hubbuck-Melly, Christina Thatcher and Gaia-Rose Harper, as well as Annette C Boehm, and also included an open mic section. We had some varied pieces from Renn, including a philosophical poem contemplating the weirdness of time. Gaia-Rose Harper (winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award) read some intense, image-filled poems, many of which were short and thought-provoking. Christina Thatcher then read us another set of short poems from her collection More than you were, which is due to be published in 2017. Her poems explore the loss of her father, who passed away in 2013 and include surreal descriptions of grief as well as poignant childhood memories.

Renn Hubbuck-Melly

Renn Hubbuck-Melly

After a short break Annette read a number of poems from her collection, which covers a wide range of themes including a fascination with nuclear power and depictions of her grandparents who attempted to emigrate to Canada. The poem entitled ‘Acts of Volition’ was, in fact, one which caused an intense debate in our writers group meeting a couple of weeks ago, so it was interesting to discover that it was inspired by the ‘Choose your own adventure’ books that were popular in the nineties. The poem plays with the notion of choice, setting the scene on a night out, referring to the people you might meet by number, rather than name.

The night continued with open mic performances by some of the Roath Writers regulars. Unfortunately by this point my introvertometer was in the red. I’d had enough socialising for one weekend, and needed to bury myself back inside my writing cave to re-charge the batteries, ready for another week of literary events.

Annette will be launching her new book at events in Manchester (26th July), London (28th July) and Birmingham (29th July) – see the Bare Fiction Facebook page for more details.

3 thoughts on “A Cardiff Poetry Launch with Bare Fiction

  1. Indeed, many many events. Missed this one due to doing a Pecha Kucha presentation piece at the same time (originally scheduled to be upstairs at the same place, the Roath Park!). Missing something else tonight due to having three other things to make it to this week and getting on for ten more events in the two weeks after that. My natural inclinations are introspective (formerly to the point of actual agorophobia) but have gained so much from showing up events to listen and share that ending up organising and hosting things too came about. Introverting tonight due to previous experience of burnout (yes, just used introvert as a verb!)

    But current life so much better than a seemingly previous existence of too much introspection. Still, striking a balance is crucial.

    • Glad to know it isn’t just me… although I really do appreciate all the events, especially as most of them are free.

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