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A Magazine for Sheffield

Wordlife: Creative Writing: Phil Walsh / Writers Hub / Spoken Word Listings

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Joz Norris

We're continuing to mix up this section with two book reviews, a spotlight on the new Writers Hub at Castle House, and a poem from Phil Walsh.

We're hoping to feature many more reviews in the future, taking in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. If you'd like to get involved and help us cover the literature scene in Sheffield and beyond, please get in touch with me.


Spoken Word Listings

Gorilla Poetry

Mon 18 Nov | 7:30pm | Gardener's Rest | Free

Sheffield's regular open mic night returns with another session at one of Kelham Island's best pubs. Just turn up on the night for an open mic slot.

Joz Norris Is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruit Salad.

Thu 21 Nov | 7:30pm | Shakespeare's | £7

Sheffield's regular storytelling night Tales of Whatever returns with a full-length show from an award-winning comedian, described as "a sort of absurdist meditation on anxiety and grief performed by an idiot from Pontefract who doesn't exist".

Sheffield Writers Hub

The Sheffield Writers Hub is a new project run by writers, for writers.

Based in the old Co-op above Kommune on Castlegate, the Writers Hub has been designed to pull together Sheffield's diverse writing community, giving writers the support and fellowship they need to flourish as performers, published authors, facilitators or simply people who love writing.

The Hub is run by a team of writers and is working in partnership with Kurious Arts, whose remit is to breathe creative life into the beautiful building which is Castle House. The building brings unprecedented potential for the writing community, with a wide range of fantastic performance spaces, plus technology to assist writers in creating work in a range of digital media as well as via traditional means. It's also a great social space and a wonderful venue for literary events and book launches. We're already developing podcasts and a series of films called 'Stories on the Stairs', and our first spoken word night is coming up in December.

The Writers Hub is more than an event space. It's primarily a place for writers to connect with each other and learn from each other. We have free Writers Cafes every Wednesday and Thursday morning in Kommune and a membership scheme which includes co-working and discounts on a wide range of masterclasses, workshops and courses. Our lower-rate Kurious Collective membership is coming soon and we're developing bursaries and a 'pay it forward' scheme to ensure that the Hub can truly be for anyone.

If you want to know more, have a look at the website or email to get involved. We want to hear from you and would love your input to help shape this exciting opportunity for Sheffield.

Beverley Ward

Birley Edge

A lambent sky draws me out along the edge

to clouds flooding tangerine, blood-orange,

plum, aubergine, before perishing

beyond the wood.

Behind me the city's

phosphorescent glow: the Arts Tower pulsing,

street lights zipping along the valley then

scattering as glistening clusters of settlement.

But tonight ancient stones guide me up the steps

of the stile to the wood.

Strange now to think

Wheata Wood a palimpsest, Prior Royd a clearing,

its rowans once a source of labour not leisure,

its birches nurtured by medieval monks,

honeysuckle stripped from its trunks,

coppices felled for pit props, bark peeled

for charcoal to fuel foundries.

Few human traces

remain, even bridleway signs submit to the curfew.

But the absence of markers doesn't throw me

and soon I find the holly hedge on swallow hill,

moonlit and evanescent, not marked

on any map.

A field-scuffing kite sweeps down

from the ridge, a fox startled by footsteps

seeks sanctuary for her cubs,

and between

hill and sky, bingo hall and ancient wood,

asylum and cemetery, I settle to make marks

in this liminal spot.

Phil Walsh

Next article in issue 140

Morley's Fun Page Animal Hanging

There are records of animals being put on trial and punished by public execution, usually hanging, dating back to the 13th through to 16th century for crimes ranging from theft to murder to bestiality.

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Jim Ottewill Out of Space

Author Jim Ottewill's new book is a fantastic exploration of clubs, their associated cultures and the sanctuary they still give to generations of the nation's youth in good times and bad.

Helen Mort A Line Above the Sky – Q&A

In advance of her book launch and conversation with rock climber Shauna Coxsey MBE at the Festival of Debate on 23rd April, Helen Mort talks to Rachel Bower about mountains, motherhood and women's bodies.

Own Your Period by Chella Quint

While Chella Quint’s guide to periods for pre-teens may challenge conservative parents, it is vital and inclusive in a revolutionary way.

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