Wednesday, 26 May 2010

MS: Hello Woodstock, Ahem, I mean Hay-on-Wye

The Mslexia Blog


This is my rockstar moment. I’m on tour, on the road and off to the ‘Woodstock of the mind.’ Hay-on-Wye, town of books and dreams. I’m making three onstage appearances during my 10-day stay, one as a journalist, one as a writer of fiction, and one as a poet. I can’t wait. Last year’s Hay Festival was an absolute blast, especially reading to 200 beautiful people who got up for 9am on a Sunday morning to see me chatting about writing on Radio 5 Live with festival organiser Peter Florence. I’ve even dyed my hair Mandarin bright to look the Parthian Bright Young Thing part. My wardrobe has been raided of dresses and pretty things ready to pack; I expect I’ll end up taking ALL OF IT. My Buzz and WM festival previews have been written. The sun has been informed attendance is compulsory. Nothing can go wrong, can it?
I share the bill with some fabulous women writers: Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, Nadine Gordimer, Lynn Barber, Maggie O’Farrell, Gillian Clarke, Stevie Davies, Kathryn Gray, Pascale Petit, and Rachel Trezise. I’m hoping to see all of them, as well as Geraldine Monk, Samantha Wynne-Rydderch, Keri Finlayson, Claudia Azzola, Elisabeth Bletsoe, Caroline Bergvall and Zoe Skoulding at the Hay Poetry Jamboree. I shall be attending launches for the new issues of New Welsh Review and Poetry Wales and a fair few new books. I’ll also be having some literary crushes and trying not to act too like a stalker for my big bookish loves at their signing sessions in Pemberton’s, or less publically in the Green Room. I saw Stephen Fry in there last year, he’s really tall. REALLY tall. And smiley. I’ll be blogging all about my 2010 experience when I get back, fear not.
Readings often bring a sense of trepidation and exposure. I love them. I hate them. That it I hate the run up to them, deciding what to read and in which order. Judging the audience, or trying to. Working out whether swearing is allowed. Or talking about sex. But in the moment, usually, I adore it, and afterwards I feel high as a kite with post-performance adrenalin rushes although I am also, often, my own worst critic. So this Hay I am super excited. I am, after all, talking about my book, not just one story in an anthology of good writing, as last year. I’m also excited beause all the preparation that has gone into Hay Poetry Jamboree, the three-day fringe festival on 3, 4 and 5 of June is to come to fruition and my two hour Word Cloud poetry experiment should be a giggle.
Here are those dates for your diary:
Balloon at Hay
Culture Cymru, Hay Festival, Saturday 29 May, 2.30pm-3.15pm, FREE
Matthew Scott is a writer, Matthew Jarrett is a music buff. In collaboration they have been running Balloon events across south Wales since November 2009  - “nights of prose, poetry and people playing music.” The concept was inspired by Donald Barthelme’s famous short story entitled “Balloon”. Journalist Susie Wild finds out more from Matthew Scott.
Sponsored by Parthian Books
Word Cloud hosted by Susie Wild
Salem Chapel, Hay-on-Wye, Friday 4 June, 11.00am -1.00pm, FREE
A collaborative avant-garde poetry event with live performances from up-and-coming young poets including Ivy Alvarez, Jack Pascoe and Mab Jones.
Part of the Hay Poetry Jamboree
Creative writing programmes and their bright young output
Culture Cymru, Hay Festival, Sunday 6 June, 1.00pm-2.00pm, FREE
Dr Paul Wright chairs a discussion panel of young writers, all successful graduates of creative writing programmes and having debut publications within the next year.
  • Mathew Andrews, University of East Anglia –novel Neurotica Spring 2011 (Iconau)
  • Susie Wild, Swansea University – short stories The Art of Contraception Sept 2010 (Parthian)
  • Niti Jain Trinity University College – anthology Shadow Plays May 2010 (Parthian)
Sponsored by The Dragon Innovation Partnership
Come along and see me.
I am also competing in the Jam Bones Poetry Slam competition in Cardiff on Monday 31 May. (I must practise poems. I must practise poems.) The prize is to support punk poet Attila the Stockbroker on the Welsh leg of his tour. I don’t do slams usually, so this shall be an interesting and possibly really awful experience for me!
See some of you in the town of books – bring plenty of sunshine and sparkle
Susie :)

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