Tuesday, 19 August 2014

LefLion Kickstarter Campaign

James Walker, LefLion Literature Editor:

For the past ten years I’ve given my blood and guts to LeftLion magazine for free because it is such an important publication in helping to change perceptions about Nottingham. The magazine was created for two reasons: Partly to offer an alternative to the journalism of traditional publications such as the Evening Post and secondly to counteract the negative branding of Nottingham as ‘Shottingham’ after a spate of random shootings in the early noughties. My proudest moment was when we had the balls to run with the front cover ‘Another Shooting in Nottingham’ – referring, instead, to our thriving film industry.   

As the Literature Editor I have hosted spoken word events such as Scribal Gathering at the Nottingham Contemporary, literature podcasts and created and developed the WriteLion brand which at present gives two pages to poetry and literature. With a readership of around 40,000 we easily offer more exposure to poetry than the most established magazines on the market. 

I have strived over the years to offer a space for self-published authors, ensuring a minimum of one review every issue. Online we have run interviews as well as extracts from books. Knowing that certain bookshops refuse to even stock self-published novels and most magazines won’t even entertain reviews, we have become a vital platform for a new generation of writer prepared to go it alone. 

Now we need your support. To celebrate our tenth anniversary we are running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise £10,000 so that we can go monthly. This will mean even more reviews for self-published writers and space for new presses daring to offer an alternative to mainstream fiction. Not one penny of this campaign will go into my pocket. It is all for the additional cost of printing and distribution, as we aim to broaden our circulation by delivering to towns on the wider outskirts of the city. 

This now all boils down to a very simple equation. If you support us we can support you. 

James Walker is the Literature Editor of LeftLion magazine, Chair of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, co-Director of the Festival of Words and a Board member of Nottingham: City of Literature. He is currently editing together the graphic novel Dawn of the Unread

Local Writing Showcase, Aug 26, West Bridgford

Tuesday 26th August 2014, 2.30-4pm, Local Writing Showcase : Venue: Cedar Room, West Bridgford Library.

Featuring: Don Read, Victoria Harwood, Neal James, Cristian Contras, Rob Hann. Hear more about their work which ranges from children’s books to crime poetry and autobiography.

Reserve your ticket at 9816506

Friday, 15 August 2014

Pete Davis, a Nottingham lad

Earlier this month Nottingham lost a son. Pete Davis, master storyteller and reminiscence artist, died on August 4th aged 64 after a seventeen month long battle with cancer. 

Pete grew up in the 1950s on the Bestwood estate, an experience he’d later reflect on in his one man show A Nottingham Lad. A fireman for thirty years, he’d engage in the lively banter at Carlton Fire Station but it was after he’d left the service that he fell in love with storytelling, first getting the bug at Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, and then founding The Storytellers of Nottingham group. Pete organised storytelling events at The Trip for over a decade before the group moved to the Nottingham Playhouse and, later, the Broadway Cinema

Pete and his Nottingham storytellers never received funding for their craft or events, something Pete was proud of. He wanted the group to be self-funding and they achieved this, without ever failing to support local events and groups. Pete worked with the elderly, the mentally ill, and children with special needs, entertaining and enlightening them all with his warmth and wit. 

A member of the professional trainers’ association, Pete would teach classes on his approach to storytelling. He held a strong interest in the art of telling tales and over the years encouraged many people to give it a go. Pete’s methods involved using pictures to tell his stories, only these pictures were in his head. He wouldn’t learn a script, preferring to let the pictures lead him through the story. He’d practice, know how the story would begin, the direction it would go, and how he’d end it, only this way he could keep it fresh, making every version a little different from the last. Most of the stories he told were his own creations, influenced by local stories he’d heard or his own experiences of growing up around the city. 

“Storytelling is the most subversive art form there is. When all else fails, word of mouth will carry on. Dictators may burn books, but they can’t stop us speaking or imagining. No matter what crap they feed us, someone will always have that quiet word that cuts through to the reality.” **
Pete Davis

A regular on BBC Radio Nottingham, Pete was often heard giving an amusing and honest take on local issues, all in his recognisable Nottingham accent. 

“Nottingham has its own lovely voice and should not be sent up by the southern-softies who try to do a Midlands accent on the telly. We like a laugh no matter what, so the show is a must-see for anyone who loves this mad city of ours.”  **
Pete Davis 

Often gothic in nature his oral storytelling events were to be seen as much as heard; works of performance that occasionally became plays. 

At one time Pete was a regular down Meadow Lane and, more recently, he’d be off watching the Panthers.  Sport played a big role in Pete’s life. In his thirties and forties he played squash to a high standard and remained a keen cyclist. But it’s the stories that he’ll be best remembered for. A true Nottingham lad, a great bloke, and an inspiration, Pete will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his wife Sue.  

** Pete's quotes first appeared in an interview he gave to James Walker. Read the full Left Lion article

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Literature Around the World 1914-1918, free session for adults

Literature Around the World 1914-18

Clifton Library
Thursday 4 September 2014 10.30am - 12 noon
FREE session for adults

What was being written and read by people in non-British countries and cultures during the time of the First World War? A discussion of world literature, using poems and brief prose extracts from the period.

Part of the Eleven Eleven Eleven community history project.

Author Talk, Joy James

Author Talk: Joy James

Nottingham Central Library: Floor 1 Exhibition space
Thursday 28 August 2014 2 - 3pm 

FREE ticketed event (Tickets available from Central library floor 1 help desk)
Joy James will talk about her new book based around the First World War entitled "My Dear Mother and all... WW1 Letters from the Trenches."

Find out about the life of William Denman Russell, son of local heiress Juliana Barlow and Londoner William Russell, through the letters he sent home during his journey to Australia in 1912 and his life as a soldier in the 1st World War. 

Further information and tickets are available from the Central Library Floor 1 help desk 0115 9152873 or visit local_studies.library@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.

What Price Glory?

What Price Glory?  1914-1918

Nottingham Central Library.  Saturday 9th August  10.00 a.m -3.30 pm
Nottingham City Libraries commemorate the First World War with a thought provoking and respectful day of activities for all ages.

Highlights include: a talk with Jim Grundy on how the conflict changed our eating habits; period songs performed by Bulwell Riverside Community Choir; craft activities for children and authors Elizabeth Speller and Judith Allnatt discussing their novels set during World War 1.

Throughout the day we will have a range of activities taking place including recorded memories of the period, newsreel films of Edwardian Nottingham, and major displays to illustrate the homefront in Nottingham and the Eleven Eleven Eleven project which looks at the way in which the war affected the lives of people around the world. 

There are timed events happening at the Library, but there are also drop in events to take part in and exhibitions to visit during the day.
For events marked with *** please ask for a free ticket from the Central Library Helpdesk.
Telephone 0115 915 2825 or email enquiryline@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Timed events:
10.30 Welcome to the day of events by Counc. Cat Arnold

10.35- Talk on the Food and Drink of World War 1 by Jim Grundy. What effect did the war have on eating and drinking habits back home in Britain? ***

1-2pm Bulwell Riverside Community Choir sing songs from the period

2.15-3.15 Author Talk: Love and Loss: writing the First World War
Novelists Elizabeth Speller ( "At Break of Day" and "The Return of Captain John Emmett") and Judith Allnatt ("Moon Field") discuss their novels set during the First World War***

During the day there will be lots of other drop-in activities taking place including

Re-enactors: Chat with a member of the Sherwood Forresters regiment from the time of the First World War

Oral history reminiscence listening posts

Film screenings –local newsreel

Major Local Studies exhibition on the theme of Nottingham’s Home Front

Children’s activities based around artefacts of the time , including an opportunity for children to try on clothes from the period.

As part of the Eleven Eleven display there will also be an opportunity to work with an illustrator to create a comic strip.

Bilborough Library Knit and Natter group will be knitting for England and giving children a chance to learn a new skill

The "Eleven Eleven Eleven" Exhibition which looks at the First World War conflict from the perspective of countries outside Britain.

There is something for all the family, so we hope you will be able to join us on the day.  for a full timetable visit our website: