Friday, 5 October 2007

Call for poems

The Timeline is happy to publish poems in their entirety on a north East theme. The poem(s) should be sent as attachments on a WORD document and should be the sole work of the sender and the sender should agree to Timeline displaying the poem forever-ish.

Kevin Cadwallender's Poetry Annual a call for Information.

The fabled Timeline originally commissioned by Independent Northern Publishers, http://www.northernpublishers.co.uk/

12 months of literature in the North East representing a couple of millenia.

lots missing and out of date and needing to be updated but hey you have to start somewhere.

Send info to kevincadwallender@btinternet.com and I will include it, albeit in an abridged form.

I want to know about organisations, events, new books, new poets, old poets and writers, anything and everything related to poetry in the North East of England.

Up to Date

DECEMBER

Of course this isn't up to date at all. Please send me anything for inclusion.

LIAR INC
BILLY LIAR ‘From the Frontlines to the Frontiers’
CD sized magazine of dirty realist fiction and poetry founded 12th December 1997.
‘Billy Liar’ was a part of ‘Liar Inc’ which runs writing projects for alienated young people.
‘Billy Liar’ was a part of ‘Liar Inc’ which runs writing projects for alienated young people. Issue one Volume 2 had a 20,000 print run and was given away with the style magazine ‘Dazed and Confused’.

LIAR REPUBLIC
A magazine of contemporary fiction, poetry, journalism, photography and interviews. Effectively replacing ‘Billy Liar’ as the magazine for ‘Liar Inc’ published twice yearly.

IAN DOWSON Writer, Poet and Editor
Co-Editor of Liar Republic.
Pamphlet ‘Smack Her Mother in the Teeth’ Echo Room Press’ plus anthologies and magazines.
PAUL SUMMERS Writer, Poet ,Painter and Editor
Co-editor with Ian Dowson of ‘Billy Liar’ magazine which started in 1998 and has now turned into ‘Liar Republic’. Ex co-ordinator for Morden Tower.
Poetry includes A pamphlet with The Echo Room ‘Vermeer’s Dark Parlour’ and ‘The Last Bus (Iron Press) as well as several editorial anthologies and/or magazines.

Some North Eastern poets/poets associated with Billy Liar/ Liar Inc
ALLY MAY
Enigmatic poet with a wry sense of humour and precise minimalism.
Lives in Newcastle.
STEVE MOORE
Not from the North East but lived in Newcastle. Now in Brighton.
DAVID CRYSTAL
Ex-patriat Geordie in London. Latest Collection 'Just Like Frank' (Two Rivers press)


THE POETRY VANDALS The Poetry Vandals have grown over the last few years to gain a reputation as performance poets not afraid to tackle difficult and unusual venues. In that time it has grown into a collection of six poets: Jeff Price, Aidan Halpin, Annie Moir, Scott Tyrrell, Kate Fox and Karl Thompson. (Kevin Cadwallender was briefly a member.)

PROUDWORDS
The creative writing festival for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals is now in its fourth year and is going from strength to strength. Due to demand from those who’ve attended previous festivals we’ve organised a series of workshops, readings, discussions, celebratory events and weird goings on that begin in April and go right through the year. As usual we’ve scoured the book shelves to bring you the best writers to inspire and guide those who’ve never written before and those who may need encouragement and fresh perspective. As a community we have so many stories and experiences that aren’t reflected in the mainstream. We’re a vibrant and expressive bunch, keen to get our voices heard. ProudWORDS seeks to give lesbians, gay men and bisexuals the opportunity to tell their stories in a supportive and relaxed atmosphere where the emphasis is fun and love of words. AND IT’S ALL FREE!!
If you’ve never attended a workshop before and are unsure about what goes on, now’s the time to banish the ghost of your English teacher at school. There’ll be plenty of breaks coffee and discussion. There’s no pressure to do anything you don’t want to.
www.proudwords.co.uk

The Hydrogen Jukebox was a cabaret of the spoken word mixing poetry and performance with music and comedy in a fresh format designed to take poetry out of schools and books into the everyday world. Teesside poets Andy Willoughby and Jo Colley set up the monthly event at Darlington Arts Centre with a team of teenagers working backstage and onstage to make THE HYDROGEN JUKEBOX the most exciting live literature event for a young audience . Original songs by young bands, original satire and music from the cabaret team of Industrial Junkies and the legendary Monsieur David "French" existentialist poet punctuates the performances by local and nationally recognised poets. Sparky, controversial performance styles and material are helping to create a new teenage and alternative audience for poetry. The emphasis at The Hydrogen Jukebox was freedom of expression, creating a space for the voice of those often ignored because of age, appearance, class, race and sexuality. The Hydrogen Jukebox brings the human voice joyously and furiously to life. The name ‘The Hydrogen Jukebox’ comes from a line in Allen Ginsberg's legendary "Howl" and the style of the Jukebox is in keeping with the Beat poet's ideas of expression, freedom and spontaneity. “Ultimately, the motif of Hydrogen Jukebox, the underpinning, the secret message, secret activity, is to relieve human suffering by communicating some kind of enlightened awareness of various themes, topics, obsessions,neuroses, difficulties, problems, perplexities that we encounter as we end the millennium." (Allen Ginsberg) The Hydrogen Jukebox was situated at Darlington Arts Centre in the Garden Bar.

THE MORDEN TOWER

'It just keeps Going'

Adam Fish. poet born on September 18th, 1977
First pamphlet, Diving for Yemaya, (Morden Tower Publications) was published and launched on October 11th (11/10/02) at the Morden Tower

The Long Dark Night of Frank Sinatra

Frank peeks out the curtains,
pours another Cuba Libre. It’s a joke
that isn’t funny anymore, a habit
he can’t break. The boys have gone:
they folded long before the dawn, but Frank
prefers to stick. To show his poker face
to sleep. To beat the night.

He’s heard that Dino’s making spy flicks.
Huh. Some jokes are sicker than his,
after all. And some jokers are wild
and scaly, slick enough
to beat a Jack, and lay the Queen
of Diamonds. Sam. John. Marilyn…

All dead. And more as well; the brother,
and the witnesses, the mistresses, the fall guy:
gone. Cashed out. No longer in the game.
All debts called in: now Frank’s a living relic,
blue-eyed fossil walking ‘round in snakeskin shoes.
And now there’s a hunter out stalking his playground,
rewriting the borders, rewiring the signs.

In a vision he sees it come down:
all the pirates pushed over the plank, Hughes, the mob
buccaneers, muscled out by movie studios. His stage
usurped by Elvis, relacquered with irony.
A thousand drunken Mackies filling karaoke bars,
without a killing on their conscience…

He can feel himself slipping; he pulls himself back,
sneaks a glance out the window.
The Vegas neon’s turning off, the clouds
are hyping up the sky, the sun’ll be on stage
in ten. He clears the rum away
like Peter Lawford hiding evidence.

He hasn’t folded this time.

Light's List of Literary Magazines 2003
Contains the names, addresses, price, frequency, page count and a brief note of interests (e.g. "Traditional: poems to 30 lines, fiction to 2000 words, reviews, artwork") of over 1400 UK, US, Canadian, Australasian, European, African and Asian small press magazines publishing creative writing and artwork in English.
(70 pages). 18th annual edition ISBN 1 897968 19 1
£3 inclusive of postage (US$7 surface; US$8 air)
Please make cheques or British postal orders payable to John Light.
Photon Press, 37 The Meadows, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 1NY, British Isles.

SWARLEY'S CLUB
The occasional club led by Keith Armstrong carries on into 2007.

SAND magazine and Press
A magazine and press started in 2003
Edited by Kevin Cadwallender (and originally Joanne Piesse.)


MOODSWING -Pocket Broadsheet.
A beautifully produced folded broadsheet. Lovingly made and edited by Consett based poet Steve Urwin. His own poetry includes 'Tightrope Walker' (Redbeck) and the forthcoming Dogeater Press collection.

FERANK MANSEED -Poet, D.J. and 'irritainer'
Newcastle based performance poet , rapper and 'underground' favourite.

www.gnosticgarden.com/ferank/intro.htm

The Bards Valentine VersesGulbenkian StudioWednesday 12 February 2003
Poets Gillian Allnutt, Julia Darling, Linda France, Cynthia Fuller, Desmond Graham and Bill Herbert, who are all members of Newcastle University's resident writers group, will be offering their own unique thoughts on romantic love and love in its widest sense. They will be performing their poetry together in a staged reading prepared by Duska Radosavljevic Heaney, the Dramaturg at northern stage and Newcastle University. Duska Radosavljevic Heaney said: "The aim of the evening is to create an event that is more dramatic than a traditional poetry reading. We hope to create a performance in which the poems are seamlessly woven together. The poems have been chosen to complement each other and will be accompanied by live and recorded music as well as lighting and props."

WRITERS FOR PEACE
On Sunday 2 March at Live Theatre, North East actors will perform one of the 568 readings of Aristophanes anti-war play Lysistrata which are taking place in 36 countries around the world. Conceived in January of this year by two New Yorkers, The Lysistrata Project is the first ever global theatrical event for peace. It was created to voice opposition against war with Saddam Hussein and its many participants include Kevin Bacon and Julie Christie. Written in 400 BC, Lysistrata tells the story of women from opposing states who unite to end a war by refusing to sleep with their husbands until the men agree to lay down their swords. Powerless in their society and distraught over too many of their children being slaughtered in battle, the women use the only tactic available to them: they withhold sex.In the Newcastle event North East writers Julia Darling, Rachel Matthews, Alice de Smith and Ellen Phethean have reworked passages of the riotously funny and sexy play to give it a strong contemporary regional flavour.

INSTITUTIONS

NOVEMBER
INSTITUTIONS


‘The Lit & Phil’
Vires acquirit eundo (it gathers strength as it goes)

The Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society was founded in 1793.
It stocks about 150,000 books.

Sid Chaplin 1916- 1986 was Vice President of the Society from 1976-1985

Joseph Skipsey 1832- 1903 (The pitman poet) worked as an assistant librarian for about a year before returning to coalmining. See January th

http://www.litandphil.org.uk






NORTHERN ARTS LITERARY FELLOWSHIP

Started in 1967
Fellows since that time............
Tony Harrison 1967-68 and 76-77
Basil Bunting 1968-70
Barry Cole 1970-72
Paul Bailey 1972-74
John McGahern 1974-76
Edward Bond 1977-79
Fleur Adcock 1979-81
Anne Stevenson 1981-82 and 1984-85
Barry Unsworth 1982-84
Dick Davis 1984-86
U.A.Fanthorpe 1987-88
Carol Rumens 1988-90
Fred D’Aguiar 1990-92
Sean O’Brien 1992-94
W.N.Herbert 1994-96
Bridget O’Connor 1996-98
Jo Shapcott 1998-2000
Ian Duhig 2000-2001
Jackie Kay 2001-2003
Colette Bryce

Some 'Literary Fellows'

TONY HARRISON He lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Tony Harrison was born in Leeds, England, in 1937. He is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, including recently Permanently Bard: Selected Poetry (Bloodaxe Books, 1996) and V. and Other Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990). He is also a noted translator, dramatist, and librettist whose works have been performed by Britain's National Theatre and the New York Metropolitan Opera. His honors include a Unesco fellowship, the Faber Memorial Award, a U.S. Bicentennial fellowship, and the European Poetry Translation Prize. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984.

SEAN O’ BRIEN Lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne

‘No poetic reputation has firmed up more solidly than Sean O'Brien's since 1994. As if goaded by his exclusion from New Generation (he was just the wrong side of the age cut-off point), he seems to have been intent on fulfilling a hegemonic master plan. He published a critical book The Deregulated Muse and the anthology The Firebox in 1998. Together, these books established him as the poet-editor-critic of his generation. His poetry has gained in power, winning the Forward Prize for Ghost Train in 1995. In his piece in Strong Words he says: "Work, John Kinsella will do that for us". But, in fact, a list of O'Brien's own recent activities is dizzying; he has recently been writing plays: Laughter When We're Dead broadcast on R3 ; Downriver, a jazz musical co-written with the composer Keith Morris, was premiered at the Newcastle Playhouse . He is now writing Keepers of the Flame, a verse play, set in the 1930s / 1990s, about fascists, poets and gunrunners and Is that a Fact, another verse play. Plus reviews for the Sunday Times, the TLS and the Guardian.’ POETRY REVIEW

Sean O'Brien read English at Cambridge and taught English for several years after graduating. His first book of poems, The Indoor Park, appeared in 1983 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. Its successor, The Frighteners (1987) received the Cholmondeley Award. In 1993 HMS Glasshouse received the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 1995 Ghost Train won the Forward Prize for best collection. A selection of his work appears in Penguin Modern Poets 5 and his poems have been widely anthologized and broadcast. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

W.N.HERBERT Lives in North Shields
W.N. Herbert is a highly versatile poet who writes both in English and Scots. Born in 1961 in Dundee, he established his reputation with two collections from Bloodaxe, Forked Tongue (1994) and Cabaret McGonagall (1996). His other books include a critical study, To Circumjack MacDiarmid (Oxford University Press, 1992) and The Testament of the Reverend Thomas Dick (Arc, 1994). His is co-editor with Matthew Hollis of Strong Words: modern poets on modern poetry (Bloodaxe). He was Northern Arts Literary Fellow in 1994-96, has held other residencies, with Dumfries and Galloway (1993), Moray libraries (1993-94) and Dove Cottage (1997-98), and has been Writing Fellow in the Creative Writing Department at Lancaster University since 1976.All three of his Bloodaxe collections have won Scottish Arts Council Book Awards. Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Saltire Awards, Forked Tongue was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation as well as a selected title in the New Generation Poets promotion. Cabaret MacGonagall was shortlisted for the Forward and McVities prizes. .

ANNE STEVENSON Poet, Critic and biographer.
Lives in County Durham
Winner of the Inaugural Northern Rock Literary Award 2002.
First book of poems in 1965 followed in 1969 by REVERSALS (Wesleyan)
CORRESPONDENCES (a family history in letters in 1974), Nine collections with Oxford University Press including COLLECTED POEMS 1955-1995)

Joined Bloodaxe books in 2000. GRANNY SCARECROW published.

Prose books include
ELIZABETH BISHOP (Twayne USA 1966)
BITTER FAME, A LIFE OF SYLVIA PLATH (Viking, Houghton Mifflin, 1989)
BETWEEN THE ICEBERG AND THE SHIP Selected Essays (University of Michigan Press 1998)

FIVE LOOKS AT ELIZABETH BISHOP (Bellew /Agenda Editions, 1998)

Anne Stevenson was Northern Arts Literary Fellow in 1981-82 and 1984-85 only herself and Tony Harrison have held the post twice.

http://www.anne-stevenson.co.uk/

Franks Casket is a poetry webzine produced by Newcastle University's School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics . It aims to provide a platform for creative writing within the university and throughout the north.
It is named after the ivory book-box made in this region in the 7th Century, a box supposed to contain the codex cosmographiorum mirandi operis (the book of cosmographies and wondrous work) While we can't promise precisely those contents, you will find poets from Newcastle's Creative Writing MA alongside new and established writers from one of the most thriving poetry scenes in the country. Please feel free to browse the site and to submit work or comments.
We are interested in receiving work from student poets, especially writers on Creative Writing courses, and poets based in the North of England. That said, we are happy to look at good poetry from anywhere, and to publish what we can.






"First Eleven"Poets from Newcastle University's MA course in Writing Poetry reading from their work atthe Lit and Phil Library23 Westgate RoadNewcastleonWednesday February 5th, 2003, Introduced by Desmond Graham.
Poets Included in the book produced Julia Darling, Heather Young, Joanna Boulter
Maureen Almond, Monica Cheale, Rima Handley, Joyce Hodgson, Jeanne Macdonald, Alison Rowell, Anne Ryland, Fiona Ritchie Walker.

Writing Poetry, MA at Newcastle University
MA: 12 months full time; 24 months part time
This unique programme will suit those wishing to develop their own creative writing, teach poetry or go on to further study of poetry. It combines writing poetry with reading and studying it.
We have strong links to the vibrant literary culture of the North East and the programme is taught by practising poets and editors as well as literary scholars. You will be helped to develop your own writing through workshops and consultations (poetry workshops 1 and 2, 30 credits each).
Critical engagement with writing will be encouraged through the study of contemporary poetries and their backgrounds, and through the exploration of how poetry lives today in magazines, anthologies, reading, and the activities of publishers (the life of poetry, 20 credits).
These compulsory practical modules will be complemented by two more academic modules, drawn from a list which might include: twentieth-century American women poets; introduction to modern poetry; postwar American poetry; poetry and propaganda - poetry from the North of Ireland (20 credits). You also take compulsory modules in research methods and skills (20 credits) and either submit a portfolio of poems or write a dissertation on an appropriate literary topic (60 credits).
MA Creative WritingCourse Length1 year full-time (also available on a part-time basis) LocationLipman Building, Newcastle City CampusEnquiriesAdmissions OfficeContact Details TEL: 0191 227 4925FAX: 0191 227 4630EMAIL: ar.admissions@northumbria.ac.uk
Standard EntryUsual requirements are a degree and strong creative writing ability.
Additional NotesThose without formal qualifications will be considered on the basis of their creative writing. When applying, prospective students should submit samples of creative work. Prospective applicants should complete a standard University application form and submit it. Along with examples of their creative writing, to the School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Lipman Building. Application forms should be submitted by the end of August in the proposed year of entry. Teaching usually begins at the end of September.
COURSE INFORMATIONThis was the first Masters degree of its type in the North East of England. The MA in Creative Writing is a challenging postgraduate course which allows the student to specialise in either poetry or prose, or to work in both forms. This is a practical degree, designed for people who wish to become published creative writers, as well as for those involved in teaching creative writing or in other areas of the writing industry. The MA offers the opportunity for either full-time or part-time study. Teaching sessions of 3 hours take place during the evenings (usually 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.), twice a week for full-time students and once a week for part-time. The sessions are usually made up of a writing workshop, followed by a seminar. Seminar topics include: Contemporary literature The writing industry (including editing) The writer as tutor. The writing workshops are taught by experienced creative writers and make up the backbone of the degree. During some workshops students might produce a piece of creative writing, while other workshops (critiquing sessions) involve discussions of work by members of the group. Students also have regular one-to-one tutorials with staff members.
COURSEWORK AND ASSESSMENTThroughout the programme students produce portfolios of creative writing for assessment, and the final MA is based on the production of a substantial body of creative work. APPLICATION DETAILApplicants should complete a standard university application form available from the enquiries office

DESMOND GRAHAM

Born in Surrey and educated at Leeds University. He has lectured in Africa, Germany and since 1971 in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Professor of Poery lecturing on the MA in Poetry at Newcastle University. Reviwer for STAND. Books include
'Not Falling' (Seren), 'The Lie of Horizons' (Seren), 'The Marching Bands' (Seren) and his latest from FLAMBARD 'After Shakespeare'. He was Editor of 'Poetry of the Second World War'(Pimlico) and has edited the works of Keith Douglas and written a biography of that poet.

NORTHERN ARTS
Now defunct Arts organisation which is replaced by Arts Council: England : North East.

HELIX ARTS (formerly Artists’ Agency) seeks to bring artists working in all disciplines into direct contact with people, primarily those who have had little previous experience of or contact with the arts. For example, projects have taken place in prisons, in hospitals, in the community and with special interest groups. Projects are mainly residencies and national/international exchanges. Helix Arts also undertakes consultancies and delivers education/training programmes to those in the voluntary, public and private sectors.
http://www.helixarts.com/

NEW WRITING NORTH
New Writing North exists to create an environment in the North of England in which new writing in all genres can flourish and develop. The company was launched in September 1996 and is core funded by Northern Arts (now Arts Council:England : North East) through the Literature, Film and Media and Performing Arts Departments. We raise money for core costs and projects by working with producers, sponsors, local authorities, through charitable means and through operational management fees. The North of England has a strong track record for producing and being the adopted home of, writers of extremely high quality. Recently the region has been the focus of two major feature films: Lee Hall's Billy Elliot, and Purely Belter based on Gateshead writer Jonathan Tulloch's first novel The Season Ticket. Both of these writers were nurtured via theatre and writing initiatives in the Northern Arts region prior to their successes in the national and international arena.
New Writing North is a unique organisation. As the writing development agency for the region it is the primary force for the development of new writers in all genres (poetry, fiction, theatre, film and new media) from the region. We work closely with writers, producers, theatres, educational establishments, publishers and others to achieve our objectives
http://www.newwritingnorth.com
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND : NORTH EAST
Ambitions for the arts
In the summer of 2002, after a period of radical reform, a new Council of Arts Council England was appointed. This is the Council's manifesto for the years from 2003 to 2006. It sets out our ambition, to promote the arts at the heart of our national life.This is the start of a new era of significant expansion for the arts in England. The financial case for the arts is being won with Government. In 2002's spending round, we achieved a major increase in public investment in the arts. Now we intend to capitalise on that success by backing the country's artistic talent and winning further support for the arts.It is our central belief that the arts have power to transform lives, communities and opportunities for people throughout the country.From 2003 to 2006 we will:
· prioritise individual artists
· work with funded arts organisations to help them thrive rather than just survive
· place cultural diversity at the heart of our work
· prioritise young people and Creative Partnerships
· maximise growth in the arts
as well as creating a modern and progressive Arts Council.
The Arts Council and 'the arts'
We will adopt a more modern definition of the arts, one that is open to current trends in emerging (and often challenging) arts practice, in arts and technology, and in breaking down the boundaries between art forms, and between the arts and other disciplines.We will be unabashed about excellence in the arts. By excellence, we mean the highest possible achievement, not a value system placed on one group by another.We will take a contemporary, international approach to the arts. We will promote our artists internationally, encourage international exchange and co-production, and do all we can to ensure that audiences and artists in this country benefit from the best of the arts from outside the UK.We will argue that being involved with the arts can have a lasting and transforming effect on many aspects of people's lives. This is true not just for individuals, but also for neighbourhoods, communities, regions and entire generations, whose sense of identity and purpose can be changed through art.We will create more opportunities for people to experience and take part in life-changing artistic experiences, through:
· making, doing and contributing
· watching, viewing, listening and reading
· performing, playing and publishing.
We believe that access to the arts goes hand in hand with artistic excellence. Participation, contribution and engagement in the arts are the bridge between access and excellence.That bridge is especially crucial in a society which is itself subject to ongoing change: more culturally and ethnically diverse; more educated and informed but also more distracted and cacophonous.Placing artists at the centre
The artist is the 'life source' of our work. In the past, we have mainly funded institutions. Now we want to give higher priority to the artist.We can do this indirectly through training, legislative change, or in stimulating the economy for artists. Or we might provide direct assistance through more funding, or help with spaces to work, with equipment, time, or travel and opportunities for international exchanges.We believe artists, at times, need the chance to dream, without having to produce. We will establish ways to spot new talent; we will find ways to help talent develop; we will encourage artists working at the cutting edge; we will encourage radical thought and action, and opportunities for artists to change direction and find new inspiration.Our relationship with arts organisations
Most of our funding will continue to go to our portfolio of 'regularly funded organisations'.We are looking for a new, grown-up relationship with arts organisations; one that is based on trust, not dependency. We will expect hopes, aspirations and problems to be shared openly with us. We consider this new relationship to be fundamentally important to the future of the subsidised arts.Arts organisations provide the foundation for the arts in this country. Because of this, these organisations must play a leadership role in terms of artistic innovation and experimentation, as well as in how they are managed and governed. They are crucial to all our priorities and we will ask them to make a major contribution to our ambitions in cultural diversity.At the same time, we will not ask them to take on any agendas that are not consistent with their fundamental purpose and ambition. We want to lighten rather than add to their burden.We want a new relationship with arts organisations based on mutual trust. We have changed, and will change more, but they must also.We will be fair in what we expect of organisations. We will help provide training for their employees and we will help to produce more cultural managers and leaders for the future. We will help organisations make the most of their capacity, but we will not ask them to do more than their funding allows.In return, we expect arts organisations to be open and clear in their dealings with us. We expect them to be well managed and to deliver using our investment. We want them to thrive and not just survive. But we will exercise the right to withdraw our investment from those who repeatedly mismanage or fail to deliver.Cultural diversity
The arts provide spaces to explore differences. The results can be greater understanding and tolerance or, at their best, a sense of shared excitement and celebration of the miraculous richness and variety of cultural identity and endeavour. We want cultural diversity to be a central value in our work, running through all our programmes and relationships. The term 'cultural diversity' can be interpreted in many different ways. We will take the broadest interpretation - as meaning the full range and diversity of the culture of this country - but with a particular focus on race and ethnic background. We can achieve much in cultural diversity through persuasion, illustration and by identifying and sharing good practice. But we also need to take positive action if we are to share our riches and achieve greater equality of opportunity. We will at the very least make more funding available specifically for culturally diverse arts. We will also take steps to change the employment profile, governance and activities of both the Arts Council and the funded arts sector. The arts and young people
We recognise the transforming power of the arts in relation to young people. We value the wealth of arts and education activity that has taken place and will continue to take place in schools and other settings up and down the country. We see Creative Partnerships as a highly valuable extension of our previous arts and education work, and embrace the Creative Partnerships initiative with much excitement and enthusiasm. Creative Partnerships can bring about profound change in how education relates to the arts and vice versa. We will give it a very high priority, evaluate it thoroughly and we will do all we can to turn it from a pilot into a mainstream activity. We want to see the same principle - putting people and high quality artists and art together to create transforming experiences - applied to other sectors and ages. Given the significant growth in the population in the 50-plus age group in the next decade, we would like to explore initiatives that apply the Creative Partnerships principle to that age group. Growth in resources for the arts
As an organisation, we will be focused on growth. We will bring the transforming power of the arts to bear on issues of health, crime, education and inclusion. Many artists are naturally drawn to those fields. Without compromising our main purpose - the arts - we will make the most of growth by establishing healthy and effective partnerships with a range of national, regional and local organisations. Nationally, these include government departments for health, education, trade & industry, and the Home Office as well as agencies such as the Youth Justice Board and national broadcasters. Regionally and locally, these include regional development agencies, regional government, regional government offices, local strategic partnerships, regeneration agencies and, of course, local authorities. We will draw up a plan for growth nationally and regionally, with some clear and challenging targets. We will place added emphasis on marketing and communicating the value of the arts. This will include marketing of the 'transforming power' of the arts - all the arts, not just the arts we fund - and more specific marketing, for example, in relation to new opportunities to raise extra resources for the arts. A modern, dynamic Arts Council
In order to fulfil our ambitions we need a dynamic and effective Arts Council. We will build staff morale, deliver some early wins, and allow people to get on with their new job. We will create a sense of progress, momentum, excitement and achievement. This will involve focusing on our organisational culture and working methods and making the most of our new organisation's strengths. We will form project teams to drive forward new programmes with clear goals, drawing on people across the organisation. Overall, we will improve our operational performance and responsiveness, for example through our much simplified grants for the arts. In summary, we believe that the new Arts Council will be able to:
· position and market the arts publicly throughout the country so that the case for government funding in future will be immeasurably stronger
· make operational changes that deliver a much improved service to the arts at considerably less cost
· lever resources for the arts from a wide variety of national and regional sources at a level far greater than was possible previously
· work to one agenda, joining up our programmes and policies with action, and delivering against clearly stated ambitions
Arts Council England will be bold and set ambitious targets in order to maximise these advantages. Where there are major gains to be made, we will take risks and encourage the arts community to take risks. In the past, the Arts Council had many policies and strategies. Now we have this manifesto. It states clearly what we want to do and replaces other general policy statements. Now is the time for action. How we will measure our success
Our corporate plan, which we will publish in March 2003, will set out our detailed investment and describes the practical steps we will take, in partnership with others, to bring about our ambitions. That plan will include measurable 'success factors'. By way of illustration, these might include:
· more people saying that the arts play a valuable role in their lives
· more people from ethnic and cultural minorities taking part in the arts
· the majority of school children having had direct contact with the professional arts
· an enhanced reputation for England and the UK as a world centre for critically acclaimed art
· a marked improvement in the management and governance of our funded organisations
· significant growth in the number of artists who have previously received direct funding from us now enjoying an ongoing economic return from their work
· cultural institutions more open to people from diverse backgrounds as performers, audiences and staff
· more teachers, health professionals, probation officers, youth workers, social workers and carers reporting the value of the arts in their work
· the arts community reporting that we have broadened our range to show a clear interest in new and emerging arts practice
· the arts community recognising that the we speak up more effectively for artists and for the value of the arts
· our own evaluation showing a creative and valued workforce
· a further significant increase achieved in the 2004 government spending round - as a result of the successful marketing and promotion of the transforming effect of the arts
We invite artists, organisations, partners and colleagues to join us in this bold adventure. Peter HewittFebruary 2003

XY Uber Alles

OCTOBER
‘Writing Women’
The North East has developed a powerful force for creativity within women .This has flourished and diversified and created its own tradition.
In Newcastle The Poetry Virgins and their dynamo poetry centre of Julia Darling and Ellen Phethean have created a wealth of opportunity for women writers.
'WRITING WOMEN' Magazine. Main Editor : Linda Anderson.

'A magazine which publishes writing by women is actively contributing to a process of political and ideological change' Professor Linda Anderson



VIRGINS, TWIGS and BLUE ROOMS
The Poetry Virgins first book Modern Goddess was published in September 1992 this was also the birth of Diamond Twig Press - ‘which we launched it at Live theatre wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with pink writing declaring Modern Goddess and I was being sick because I was in the early stages of pregnancy with my second son, which was announced at the launch.’ Ellen Phethean
The PVs included Julia Darling and myself, Charlie Hardwick, Kay Hepplewhite and Fiona MacPherson.Sauce was published with Bloodaxe/Diamond Twig on 6th October 1994 which was National Poetry Day, and we featured on Women's Hour, Radio 4 on that day.The first two books in the Branchlines collection were Broken Biscuits by June Portlock Waltzing off from Hand-Me-Downs by Sylvia Forrestpublished and launched 29th October 1997 at Gateshead LibrariesThe first broadcast of Ellen Phethean’s radio poem Witnessing Westgate Hill on Radio 4 was on Stanza, July 19th 1997.

THE BLUE ROOM
The first BlueRoom was on Sunday 6th April 97 with Jadwega Billewicz, Joan Johnston, Kathleen Kenny and Lisa Matthews upstairs at The Frog and Nightgown, Waterloo Street, N/C.JULIA DARLING Born 21st August 1956 ’My first poetry reading was with the Poetry Virgins at the Side Cinema, so called because they had never read poetry before. I formed the Virgins because I was so terrified of reading in public I could hardly breathe.Now things seem to have come full circle, and I'm reading on my own again, although I still love working with musicians.’Two books coming out in 2003...Sudden Collapses In Public Places with Arc (Poetry), and The Taxi Drivers Daughter (Novel) with Penguin.
Sudden Collapses In Public Places
like buildings, people can disintegratecollapse in queues, or in a crowded street
causing mayhem, giving kids bad dreamsof awkward corpses, policemen, drops of blood
but I'm stood here, a miracle of bonesarchitecturally balanced in my boots
I feel each joint, each hinge and spinal linkjolting to the rhythm of my breath
aware of every tremor in my joists.And yet I'm scared I haven't done enough
to be re-enforced and girded. Christ, I fearthose flowers tied to lamp posts. Fear the crash.

Bloodlines
Panurge published this collection of Julia's passionate, funny and powerful stories in 1995. Her women stride courageously through them with ambition, lust, desire and doubt. These stories frequently explore the extremes of parental tyranny and defiant existence on the urban margins. ISBN 1-898984-25-5
Although this book is now out of print at the publishers, it can still be obtained from Diamond Twig

Other Publications
One of Julia's short stories, Geographicals, was published in Biting Back, published by IronPress.ISBN 0-906228-76-X
Small Beauties: this book of poems by Julia was published by Newcastle Libraries in 1988, and is still available from Diamond Twig at the bargain price of £1.00ISBN 0-902653-71-7
Snap Shots:Angela Royal Publishing; ISBN: 1-899860-80-0The Ian St James Awards are international awards for short fiction. Julia contributed to this selection of winning stories is picked from the first ten years of the awards.
Gas and Air (Bloomsbury Books): An anthology of stories about birth.
England Calling Writing From The Regions. ed Julia Bell
New Writing Ten (British Council/Picador)
Book Of The North CD Rom. Available from New Writing North.
Unbound ~Julia Darling (Editor)Blyth Valley Borough Council; ISBN: 1-898747-00-8
http://www.juliadarling.co.uk



All Lombard Street to a China Orange : Anthology of North East writing women,Edited by Maggie York (West Press) 1993 including poetry and prose from Margaret Wilkinson, Linda France, Gillian Allnutt, Cynthia Fuller, Fiona Cooper, Ellen Phethean, Joan Johnston, Kath Kenny, Andrea Badenoch amongst others.

Women and Children First Poems and prose by Celia Bryce and Vera Kulkarni (Seafield) 1992. Foreword by Margaret Wilkinson
‘The two strong voices preserved here, find, in both the domestic and the more exotic settings of women’s experience, humour, pathos, sensuality and, most of all strength’ - Margaret Wilkinson

GARLANDS (an extract) by Vera Kulkarni
Holding hands we were cautious
Standing straight by the couch
With the same careful stare,
Communicating our fear
Through fingertips,
Now I am here, and Joan is no more.

SMALL MERCIES (an extract) by Celia Bryce
That night he lay staring at the ceiling. She took his hand and laid it on her breast.
You were meant to find this you know. At least that’s what the good books say. I seem to have read them all.
He remained staring at the ceiling. She nudged him.
We’ve got spiders up there.
They don’t scare me, he said


ELLEN PHETHEAN Born 25.1.1952
has broadcast her poetry on Radio 4 and Radio 3. In 1996 she won an Arts Council/BBC North writing award to develop a long sound/text poem about the West End of Newcastle "Witnessing Westgate Hill" for radio which was broadcast on Stanza, Radio 4 in July 1997.Ellen also works with The Poetry Virgins, a women's performance poetry group. They have three collections Modern Goddess, Modern Riddles (Diamond Twig Press) and Sauce (Bloodaxe Books). She now writes plays for them including Journey With A Golden Lady, a verse play about mothers, daughters, broadcast on Radio 4 as the afternoon play in May 2000, and a verse play Cast Off, about old ladies in a Residential Home with memories of former lives as pirates and sailors, which was performed in a short regional run in July 2002.
The University of Northumbria commissioned two plays for the Drama Students: Olympia in June 2000. A Life in Shadows, combined the texts of Jane Eyre and The Wide Sargasso Sea, performed in Belsay Hall, Northumberland, May 2001. She adapted and expanded Victory Harvest, a Julia Darling play about The Women's Land Army, for the first year Drama Students performed at Live Theatre in May 2002.
She runs Diamond Twig Press, with Julia Darling, which promotes and publishes new writing by women in the North. She also runs The Blue Room, a monthly reading giving opportunity for new writers in a pub in Newcastle.
She works as a sound artist and poet, playwright and editor. She completed a Poetry Film KEEPING TIME about the photographer Jimmy Forsyth, with International Media Productions and is working on a Year of the Artist CD rom exploring Female Pirates, which inspired the play Cast Off! with digital artist Sneha Solanki.
She is writer in residence in Byker for The Centre for The Children's Book, Ouseburn, until May 2003 and combining this work with Writing on the Wall project exploring communities who live along the line of Hadrian's Wall.


Vane Women - the Darlington women’s writing and performing collective, officially constituted in 1994 with 12 members and the aim of promoting and supporting the work of NE women writers. An A4E lottery grant in 1997 enabled a series of masterclasses with professional writers, and the publication of 4 pamphlet collections by new women writers from the Northern Arts area. We have now published a total of 9 pamphlets, and our most recent publication is the acclaimed Northern Grit, a book of photographs by VW member Pat Maycroft, with poems by Pat and the rest of the group. Our current project is a collaboration between Vane Women and the Isle of Wight’s Shore Women, and a book of writings arising out of exchange visits in 2002 is due for publication towards the end of 2003. Visit our website on www.vanewomen.co.uk
Northern Grit is a compilation of photographs and poetry by the Vane Women collective. Pat Maycroft, one of County Durham's finest photographers has provided a selection of photographs capturing the essence of the North, particularly the landscape of South West Durham where she lives. The collective, including Pat, has provided the poetry. A book where the North comes alive with images and voices.

Marilyn Longstaff born in Liverpool on May 29th 1950. Poems published in magazines. Started writing in about 1994), websites (eg Write on Tyne) and my first small collection ‘Puritan Games’( 36 pages) was published by Vane Women Press in 2001. Some poems in Northern Grit too (Vane Women anthology to accompany Pat Maycroft's photographs). Vane Women are in the final stages of a north south collaboration with Shore Women from the Isle of Wight ( anthology to be published in the autumn).
‘A significant event in my writing life was joining a writing class at Darlington Arts Centre run by Jackie Litherland - from that has sprung everything else. Barry McSweeney came to run one of the classes and his tutoring provoked me to write Lament, which is in my collection - and for which he gave me a small prize.

ENGINE HOUSE (BURNTHOUSES)
Eyes dim, slates gone and losing hairOnce proud, now figure of disgustShe should be taken into care
She's old. She's suffered wear and tearWe know she wouldn't want a fussEyes dim, slates gone and losing hair
We've always tried to do what's fairOf course we love her but it's justshe should be taken into care
She cannot manage step or stairLost balance how can we trustdim eyes, slates gone and loss of hair?
She's frozen, given to despairShe'll soon be ruin, rubble, dustShe should be taken into care
I fear she's gone beyond repairDried up, her engine's turned to rustEyes dim, slates gone and losing hairShe should be taken into care
Marilyn Longstaff




The East Durham Tradition
From the early eighties the women of East Durham had a writers group that was all women. Instigated by a WEA course led by Cynthia Fuller amongst others. This group of women brought out a book of poems entitled ‘Womens Words’ in the mid eighties, later in the early nineties the writer Vici Wreford instigated a group which called itself ‘Pandora’s Box’ which had an anthology titled ‘Lifting the Lid’. From this group came Michelle Robinson , who changed her name to Elle Ludkin and read her poetry in the North East and beyond and was co-organiser of ‘Origins’ music and poetry club with Kevin Cadwallender which ran at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle in the late nineties.


http://www.the-madolescents.com/




‘A Feather behind the Ear’ Vane Women (Vane Women Press) November 1995.
Second anthology by this active and talented group which started in 1990.Includes work by S.J.Litherland, Pat Maycroft, Joanna Boulter, Vicki Thomas, Allison Agius, Misty Ashton, Wendy Iliff, Margaret Rule, Irene Stacey, Louise Watson and Annie Wright.


THE BLUE ROOM
'It was the brain child of Ellen Phethean. A discussion took place between Ellen, Lisa Matthews and I where the idea was put forward' 'Gillian Allnutt came up with the name.' Jane Wood

The venue moved from the 'Frog & Nightgown' to the 'Head of Steam' and then on to the 'Bridge Hotel' in Newcastle Upon Tyne. The Blue Room was shortlisted for a Northern Electric Award in 1997.
The readers are ostensibly women although ' Men's nights' and 'Genre Swap' nights have become a regular item. The Blue Room continues to thrive and added Sheila Mulhern( Prose Writer) and Kath Kenny (Poet) in turn to their team of organisers.

The monthly blue room writers group
for new women writers, meets on the first Sunday of the month at The Bridge Hotel, before the Blue Room at 5.30 - 7.30. Tutored by Sheila Mulhern and Kathy Kenny, cost £3 or £2 which gets you into the Blue Room reading afterwards as well. Any women interested should ring either Sheila on 0191 281 8939 or Kathy on 07909 766 572.
New writers and readers always welcome to submit work for consideration. If you would like to submit your work send it to blueroom@diamondtwig.co.uk or post it with sae to The Blue Room 5 Bentinck Road, Newcastle NE4 6UT. Anyone is welcome to submit their work for consideration at The Blue Room or attend the readings, contact Diamond Twig for details.

DIAMOND TWIG

Diamond Twig is a small press that was first launched in 1992 to publish new writing by women in the North East of England. We like to promote poetry and other writing in innovative, exciting ways, such as the Blue Room readings and the Poetry Virgins and to develop and encourage audiences too.
Books available from Diamond Twig are;
Small Beauties £1.00 ISBN 0902653 71 7Newcastle Libraries 1988 - poems by Julia Darling
Modern Goddess £3.50 ISBN 09520090 0 5Diamond Twig Press 1992 - virgin collection by the Poetry Virgins, the popular performance poetry group.
"Women not afraid to open their big mouths, break taboos, stand up and be wise and foolish" Linda France
Sauce £5.95 ISBN 1 85224 316 3Bloodaxe Books and Diamond Twig 1994 - The Poetry Virgins second collection, edited by Linda France, with a foreword by UA Fanthorpe.
Modern Riddles £5.00 ISBN 0 9509797 6 7Diamond Twig & The Artists Agency 1995 - explores the changes to post industrial Tyneside and River through poetry and photography. Poems by Julia Darling and Ellen Phethean . Editor Stephanie Brown. Bloodlines £6.99 ISBN 1 8988984 25 5Panurge 1995 - a collection of short stories by Julia Darling.
Even The Ants Have Names £5.00 ISBN 1 9539196 3 3Diamond Twig Press 2002: a new anthology of short stories by Linda Leatherbarrow, Mary Lowe, Janine Langley McCann, Susannah Rickards and Betty Weiner. Guest Editor - Gerry Wardle.
The Blue Room Anthology £4.00 ISBN 0 9520090 5 6 1999 - first in a new series of reading from the Blue Room '99, poetry and prose.Editors: Lisa Matthews, Sheila Mulhern, Ellen Phethean and Jane Wood.
Blue Room Postcards a set of twelve colour postcards by the Blue Room writers' group, designed by the Community Photography Group. £6.00 a set of twelve poems (say how many sets you want) 50p each (say how many cards you want and list which ones on a separate sheet of paper)

BRANCHLINES A series of first collectionsAll books £3.95 (series editors Julia Darling and Ellen Phethean)
Broken Biscuits - ISBN 0 9520090 2 1 - June Portlock 1997
Waltzing off from Hand-Me-Downs - ISBN 0 9520090 1 3 - Sylvia Forrest 1997
Glee with a Blue Background - ISBN 0 9520090 4 8 - Liz Atkin 1999
What You Want ISBN 0 9520090 3 X - Joan Johnston 1999
Lip Reading - ISBN 0 9520090 7 2 - Fiona Ritchie Walker 1999
BRANCHLINES FICTION ISBN 0 9520090 6 43 new stories in one volume Marion Husband, Sheila Mulhern, Jane Wood 1999Sex & Death ISBN 0 9520090 9 9 - Kathleen Kenny 2000
Glass Tales - ISBN 0 9520090 8 0 - Marlynn Rosario 2000
1956. ISBN 0 9520090 0 9 - Margaret Wilkinson 2000
Colours/Colors - ISBN 0 9539196 1 7 - Angela Readman 2001
Postcard from a Waterless Lake - ISBN 0 9539196 2 5 - Lisa Matthews 2001
International Women's Day Postcards six poems on postcards by North East Women, printed for the Amnesty International Campaign in March 1996. 50p a set of six poems (say how many sets you want) 10p each (say how many cards you want and list which ones on a separate sheet of paper)
Love Poems Postcards a set of eight in typically irreverent Poetry Virgins style. 50p a set of eight poems (say how many sets you want) 10p each (say how many cards you want and list which ones on a separate sheet of paper)
Blue Room Postcards a set of twelve colour postcards by the Blue Room writers' group, designed by the Community Photography Group. £6.00 a set of twelve poems 50p each
Forecasting £1.00 A3 poster of a popular Poetry Virgins poem, text Julia Darling, illustrated by artist Anti Hachler
JANE WOOD
A graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle.Co- Founder and organiser of the Blue Room.

LISA MATTHEWS
Lisa Matthews is a poet and Novelist, Worked for Mslexia at one point. Co-founder of 'The Blue Room' . Poetry includes 'Postcards From a Waterless Lake' (Diamond Twig). Co-Founder of Proudwords Literature Festival.
"Lisa Matthews is an immediate and distinctive poet; her tone can be passionate, witty or dislocating by turns. She draws you effortlessly into very human, very complex atmospheres and moods - a rare skill." W.N.HERBERT


PROUD WORDS
In 1999 the First Gay Literature festival held at Newcastle University Centre for Lifelong Learning. Writers included Lisa Matthews, Julia Darling, Barry Stone, Michael Wilcox, Brighid Morrigan and Sarah Waters.


MSLEXIA ‘ignite the writer in you’
Debbie Taylor . The founder and editor of Mslexia, now in its fifth year. She previously worked as an editor of the New Internationalist and as a researcher-writer for Channel 4 and BBC2. She is a writer of fiction and non-fiction and one of her novels 'My Children, My God' was shortlisted for the Fawcett Prize.
Mslexia is a magazine written by women essentially for women but is also an indispensable read for anyone who considers themselves to be a writer of whatever gender. The website is also top class.
http://www.mslexia.co.uk/
Mslexia is read by top authors and absolute beginners. A quarterly masterclass in the business and psychology of writing, it's the essential magazine for women who write. Mslexia is a vibrant and growing organisation committed to furthering women's creativity. Our independent research into the biases in book reviewing, book buying and poetry publishing have been featured on BBC2's Newsnight, Radio 4's Today programme, in the Independent and elsewhere. More knowledgeable than any other literary organisation, Mslexia has been engaged by the Arts Council of England to furnish the bulk of information on their national liveliterature.net website.This year we have been on the road with Fay Weldon, Michèle Roberts, Selima Hill, Wendy Cope, Julie Myerson and others, touring the top literary festivals with the Mslexia Roadshow.
'diverse and brilliant' Fay Weldon
'intelligent and creative' Time Out
'my favourite women's magazine' Wendy Cope
'the best I've read on the subject' Independent
'full of essential information' Daily Mail
'astute, invigorating and above all an excellent read' Helen Dunmore

Sparklers:A Celebration of Writing for International Women's Day, 8 March 2003From Diamond Twig, Mslexia and Independent Northern Publishers.Women writers from Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East are comingtogether on Saturday 8 March for a celebratory event on Newcastle Quaysideto mark International Women's Day and the region's bid for European Capitalof Culture 2008.This will be a unique opportunity to hear some of the best Tyneside womenwriters reading from their work and talking about the challenges andopportunities facing women writers in the region. Readers include AndreaBadenoch, Julia Darling, Linda France, Chrissie Glazebrook, JackieLitherland, Margaret Wilkinson and many more. The evening will also includemusic from Jane Beacher and a DJ set.Many women from all walks of life write, but too many are self-deprecatingabout their talent and modest in their aims, believing that their writing issomething to keep quiet about, or even secret. Two Tyneside publishersworking to promote women's writing and encourage individuals to seek a wideraudience for their work are Diamond Twig and Mslexia, who are organising theevent with Independent Northern Publishers.Diamond Twig and Mslexia have been fundamental in developing a community ofwomen writers in the North East over the past decade. Andrea Badenoch, acrime writer from Tyneside, comments that 'Mslexia gives a sense oftogetherness and support for women writers, a sense of belonging tosomething, both with their magazine, and the events they organise, such asthe Mslexia Roadshow and the forthcoming International Women's Daycelebration." It's not just 'sisterhood' that's offered by Mslexia.Badonoch continues 'Mslexia provides a platform for women to get published -each issue has a generous number of pages devoted to new work, and there arenot really many other publications like that. It's a tremendous boost tounknown writers to see their work in print for the first time, and givesthem the confidence to submit their work to other publishers. Mslexia offersa space for new voices that is becoming increasingly rare."Paul Collard, Head of Programme Development 2008 said: "Many innovativewriting projects and women writers have expressed their voices in the NorthEast. This evening celebrating talent and achievements confirms the region's growing reputation as a hotbed of new writing. But most of all itconfirms why, with the creative talent in the region of this quality, wewould be a worthy European Capital of Culture in 2008.""It is impossible to imagine a world without MSLEXIA. It's a must-readmagazine for every woman who is, or is interested in becoming, a writer. Itinforms, entertains and, equally importantly, gives hope and encouragementto anyone who has torn out her hair, strand by strand, over a blank page."Chrissie GlazebrookMargaret Wilkinson, a creative writing tutor and regular columnist forMslexia, agrees with Badenoch on the importance of local publishers inhelping women writers develop. Her collection of short fiction '1956' waspublished by Diamond Twig as part of their Branchlines Fiction series."Diamond Twig's idea of publishing first collections of women writers isinspirational. It allows women to see their work in print, giving them theconfidence to stand up and call themselves writers. This 'can do' aspect isvery empowering".Sparklers is one of the many events to be held across the country and acrossthe globe as part of International Women's Day, which takes place on 8 Marchevery year. "There's going to be a real party atmosphere, as women writersfrom the region get together to celebrate their achievements and futurepossibilities. We're asking people to bring a quote from their favouritefemale author, either something they've written or something they've said.These will be read throughout the evening. It's a good way for everyonethere to mark the achievement of women writers all over the world, both pastand present." Ellen Phethean, co-founder of Diamond Twig.EVENT DETAILSSparklers: A celebration of writing for International Women's DaySaturday 8th March 7.30 pm 2003with glittering women writers including Andrea Badenoch, Julia Darling,Linda France, Chrissie Glazebrook, Jackie Litherland, Margaret Wilkinson &many morewear something spanglybring a dazzling quote from your favourite female authorenjoy free cake and sparklers, plus pay barwith bijou readings of poetry and prosemusic to scintillate and dj to shimmer to later onVenue: OWSA Ouseburn Boat Club, Spillers Quay, Newcastle£5.00 and £4.00 on the doorwith Mslexia, Diamond Twig and Independent Northern PublishersFor more information, or to subscribe to Mslexia magazine, call 191 261 6656INTERNATIONAL WOMEN"S DAY March 8th.International Women's Day (IWD) is a major day of global celebration for theeconomic, political and social achievements of women. The firstInternational Women's Day was held in 1911 and is now always celebrated on 8March. The day is celebrated by women's groups around the world, andobserved at the United Nations. For further Information, visitwww.iwd.auroravoice.comWRITER BIOSAndrea Badenoch was born in Tyneside and lives in Newcastle. She has hadfour crime novels published by Macmillan, including her two most recentbooks 'Blink', set in a pit village in County Durham in the 1960, sand'Loving Geordie', set in the Benwell area of Newcastle. She is currentlyworking on her next novel, about a poet that goes missing on the borders ofNorthumberland and Cumbria.Chrissie Glazebrook has worked in a zoo, a vegetarian restaurant, and as aradio and television presenter. Her short stories, poetry and journalismhave been widely published in magazines and newspapers, and broadcast onradio. The Madolescents, her first novel, was published by Heinemann in 2001and by Arrow in 2002. Her second novel, Blue Spark Sisters, will appear inMay 2003.She has conducted writing workshops with, amongst other sectors, womenoffenders, people living with mental distress, and adolescent groups,including excluded pupils, and recently wrote a short film with studentsfrom an all-girls' school. The film was premiered at a cinema in Liverpooland will be shown at the National Film Theatre in March. Her readingsinclude appearances at Oxford Literary Festival, proudWORDS, WOW Liverpool,Ways With Words, Durham Literature Festival, Words by the Water, and C√ĻirtInternational Literary Festival in Galway. She is currentlywriter-in-residence with 'Firing the Imagination,' South Tyneside's Arts andMental Health project.Extract from 'Blue Spark Sisters'
Chapter 1
Destination: Haemorrhoid Oil
Toosh, toosh, toosh.
When I first spot the rabbit, it doesn’t register as odd. It doesn’t strike me as even a hundred decimal-points of weird, not until later, when I’m on the aeroplane. This is how I know I’m on a mad tip.
I’m sitting on the top deck of the early-morning bus, gazing out of the grimy window. A zillion bees swarm in my stomach. My head’s whizzing in that switched-off stratosphere on the far side of panic. Why? Because I’m running away from the place I laughingly called home, heading for a new life. Big, big deal. And there's the rabbit, a black and white affair, shuffling, sniffing, twitching its nose. Aaahh, cute, is all I think.
The point is, the rabbit’s on top of a bus shelter. On the roof. That's not something you see every day. Well, not ever. I’m seeing it all right, but my brain’s spinning at 100 mph, too fast to file it under strange.
Toosh, toosh, toosh.
What’s my reaction? Do I whizz round in a double-take like Chandler out of Friends? Do I push the emergency button? Yell for the RSPCA?
Uh-uh. Jesus. I mean, how does a rabbit come to be on the top of a bus shelter anyway? Rabbits aren't mountaineers, like those hairy-arsed goats; they don't fall out of the sky, like frogs; and once they're up there, they can't abseil to the ground yelling ‘hut-hut-hut’, like the SAS. Anyways, nada, nix, big fat nothing, that's what I do, because it seems such an unstrange occurrence.
This is how I know the madness is still on me.
Crazy or not, I'm sane enough to spot the CIA agents they've put on my tail.
Toosh, toosh, toosh
Copyright Chrissie Glazebrook 2003 Used with permission.
Margaret Wilkinson is a prose writer who also writes for radio, screen andstage. Shis a lecturer on the Creative Writing MA at Northumbria Universityand a regular columnist for Mslexia. Her first collection of short fiction,1956, was published by Diamond Twig in 2000. A selection of the stories werebroadcast on Radio 4 last July under the collective title I Decided to KillMy Brother-in-law After Dinner, starring Maureen Lipman. She is therecipient of BBC Northern Exposure and New Writing North drama awards and aNorthern Stage Drama Attachment.Betty Weiner was born in Vienna in 1936. At the age of 2 her family wereforced to leave Austria. After six months of journeying and hiding inEurope, they arrived in Britian where Betty grew up in North Wales. Shespent twenty years as a social worker in North Tyneside and Newcastleworking with families in stress and with all kinds children with problems -offending children, orphaned children, disturbed and abused children. Sinceretirement her attention has turned to her writing. Two of her short storiesare included in Diamond Twig's latest prose collection Even the Ants HaveNames; and she has had pieces in Northern New Writers, Northern Tales, TheBlue Room Anthology, Mslexia, and broadcast on Radio 4's short story slot.EVENT ORGANISERSDiamond Twig was founded in 1992 by writers Ellen Phethean and JuliaDarling, with the aim of promoting new writing from new women writers in theNorth. The Branch Lines series promotes exciting, unusual work that deservesa wider audience, and for each writer it is a first collection. It nowincludes nine books of poetry and three books of short fiction. A new seriesof drama written by and for women is launching soon.Mselxia first launched in 1997 as a magazine 'for women who write' and hassince become one of the top writing magazines in Britain. Mslexia aims toprovide a platform and playground for women writers. Its intention is toprovide information, guidance and inspiration for published and unpublishedauthors, and improve the quality and standing of women's literature.Published quarterly, each issue includes writing from new authors and aguest editor. Previous guest editors have included Jackie Kay, Fay Weldon,Maggie Gee, Carol Ann Duffy and Adele Geras.

Independent Northern Publishers are a consortium of fiction and poetrypublishers from the North East, working together to promote the best newwriting in the region through events, collaboration with libraries and otherorganizations, and a forthcoming website. INP includes Mslexia, DiamondTwig, Vane Women, Flambard, Iron Press, Mudfog, Biscuit Publishing,Arrowhead, Other Poetry and Liar Republic.

More than poetry

SEPTEMBER
A Few Novelists and Playwrights

Pat Barker : Novelist.
Born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire, England, on 8 May 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics, where she read International History, and at Durham University. She taught History and Politics until 1982. She began to write in her mid-twenties and was encouraged to pursue her career as a writer by the novelist Angela Carter. Her early novels dealt with the harsh lives of working-class women living in the north of England. Her first book, Union Street (1982) won the Fawcett Society Book Prize, while her second, Blow Your House Down (1984), was adapted for the stage by Sarah Daniels in 1994. The Century's Daughter (re-published as Liza's England in 1996) was published in 1986, followed by The Man Who Wasn't There in 1989.In 1983 she was named as one of the 20 'Best Young British Novelists' in a promotion run by the Book Marketing Council and Granta magazine. Her trilogy of novels about the First World War, which began with Regeneration in 1991, was partly inspired by her grandfather's experiences fighting in the trenches in France. Regeneration was made into a film in 1997 starring Jonathan Pryce and James Wilby. The Eye in the Door (1993), the second novel in the trilogy, won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road (1995), the final novel in the series, won the Booker Prize for Fiction. Another World (1998), although set in contemporary Newcastle, is overshadowed by the memories of an old man who fought in the First World War.Pat Barker was made a CBE in 2000. Her most recent novel, Border Crossing, was published in 2001 and describes the relationship between a child psychologist and a young man convicted of murder 13 years earlier. FictionBibliographyUnion Street Virago, 1982Blow Your House Down Virago, 1984The Century's Daughter (re-published as 'Liza's England' in 1996) Virago, 1986The Man Who Wasn't There Virago, 1989Regeneration Viking, 1991The Eye in the Door Viking, 1993The Ghost Road Viking, 1995Another World Viking, 1998Border Crossing Viking, 2001Prizes and awards1983 Fawcett Society Book Prize Union Street1993 Guardian Fiction Prize The Eye in the Door1994 Northern Electric Special Arts Prize The Eye in the Door1995 Booker Prize for Fiction The Ghost Road1996 Booksellers' Association Author of the Year Award2000 CBE


ALAN PLATER
Born in Jarrow in 1935 and brought up in Hull. Many credits in radio, television film and theatre. An absolute legend. Hull City supporter and Jazz afficianado.
Better known work includes ‘The Beiderbecke Trilogy’’Barchester Chronicles’ and ‘Fortunes of War’ but his work is as popular as he is prolific.
Has won BAFTA’s and EMMY’s.
Co-wrote ‘Close the Coalhouse Door with Alex Glasgow and Sid Chaplin. Which seals his fate as a legend in the North East.
Close the Coalhouse Door lad
There’s bones inside
There’s blood inside
There’s bairns inside.
So come outside.
Alex Glasgow


ANDREW CRUMEY. Novelist, Editor.
Andrew Crumey is the author of three previous novels, Music, in a Foreign Language, Pfitz and D’Alembert’s Principle. He lives in Newcastle.
Following the advice of his long-suffering housekeeper, genial octogenarian Mr Mee abandons dusty books and turns to the Internet in search of Rosier’s Encyclopaedia, a lost book proposing the philosophy of an alternative universe. Instead he finds a photograph of a naked girl reading Ferrand and Minard: Jean-Jacques Roussaeu and the Search For Lost Time.Meanwhile, in spring of 1761, the two French copyists Ferrand and Minard find themselves in possession of Rosier’s Encyclopaedia and pursued by the authorities who want to claim its secrets for themselves. The interwoven stories which follow concern Rousseau’s madness, a dying scholar’s love, and Mr Mee’s belated discovery of sex, drugs and Jimmy Shand. Crumey, whose writing has been widely compared to Borges and Calvino, has produced a philosophical thriller of breathtaking originality. The seamless collage of history’ fantasy and intellectual caprice results in a witty narrative which ultimately provides a history of the Internet.

BITING BACK Anthology of stories IRON PRESS 2001 Ed. Kitty Fitzgerald.
Features stories by Chrissie Glazebrook, Chaz Brenchley, Margaret Wilkinson, Julia Darling, David Almond, Andrea Badenoch amongst others.
‘Sophisticated, tart and original, these stories will sting your senses and touch your emotions’ - Helen Dunmore.
‘It was summertime in the North East of England . The room was small and I hunched my shoulders as I walked in. There was a fire blazing in a cute little fireplace. I stood right in fron of it burning my face and my knees. The backs of my legs however remained cold.’ From ‘The Intruder’ by Margaret Wilkinson.

SOME BOOKS BY NORTH EAST WRITERS OR WITH A NORTH EAST SETTING. 2 (as featured on North Tyneside’s library website)
Daniel Easterman: Night of the Seventh Darkness
Valerie Georgeson : Seeds of Love
Margaret Graham: Only the Wind is Free
Sheila Jansen : Mary Maddison
Stephen Laws : Ghost Train

C.P. TAYLOR
PETER PAN MAN; THE BLACK AND WHITE MINSTRELS; GYNT! YOU ARE MY HEART'S DELIGHT; TO BE A FARMER'S BOY; BRING ME SUNSHINE, BRING ME SMILES
Illustrating the range and vision of a most humane writer, this anthology brings together six previously unpublished but successfully staged plays by C.P. Taylor. Taylor was unique in being equally at ease writing for the RSC and the West End or local theatre such as the Newcastle-based Live Theatre Co. He died aged 52 in 1981, leaving a phenomenal legacy of more than 70 plays written in little more than 20 years.
His other published works include: GOOD, AND A NIGHTINGALE SANG…,and LIVE THEATRE:FOUR PLAYS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

Barry Unsworth : Novelist
'As a child I was beset by the sense of secret pathways, tracks leading away from, running alongside, occasionally touching, the ones everyone knew about. They could be anywhere, wherever there was cover. There were privileged people who could step into them at will because they knew the access points. Or you could somehow blunder upon them.This sense of hidden alternatives was always like possessing a secret and it always involved a sort of conflict with the familiar world. All my fiction starts from a feeling of unique perception, the pressure of a secret, a story that needs to be told. Before it can be properly told one needs to explore the ways, find embodiments in character, deal with the weather and the look of things, get it right. But whatever the ramifications, whatever turns the path takes, the beginning is always there, in a particular moment, a particular point of access.' BiographyNovelist Barry Unsworth was born in 1930. He grew up in a small mining community in County Durham, in the north of England. After studying English at Manchester University and completing two years national service, he lived in France for a year where he taught English. He travelled extensively in Greece and Turkey during the 1960s, teaching at the Universities of Istanbul and Athens.He was Visiting Literary Fellow at the Universities of Durham and Newcastle, and was Writer in Residence at Liverpool University in 1985 and at the University of Lund, Sweden, for the British Council, in 1988. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His first novel, The Partnership, was published in 1966. It was followed by The Greeks Have a Word For It (1967), The Hide (1970), and Mooncranker's Gift (1973), winner of the Heinemann Award. Pascali's Island (1980) is set during the last years of the Ottoman empire. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction and was later adapted as a film starring Ben Kingsley. The Rage of the Vulture (1982), develops a similar historical narrative through the story of a British spy in Constantinople. Stone Virgin (1985) interpolates the story of a contemporary restorer working on a Venetian Madonna with earlier related episodes set in the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. Sugar and Rum (1988) was inspired by Unsworth's residency at Liverpool University and contrasts the city's contemporary problems with its prosperous heritage. Research for the book led him to write Sacred Hunger (1992), a powerful account of the Atlantic slave trade that moves from Liverpool to West Africa, Florida and the West Indies. It was joint winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1992. More recent novels include Morality Play (1995), a murder mystery set in the fourteenth century, and After Hannibal (1996), a portrait of warring neighbours living in modern Umbria. Losing Nelson (1999), is a portrait of a biographer with an obsessive interest in his subject. His most recent novel, set during the Trojan War, is The Songs of the Kings (2002).Barry Unsworth lives in Umbria, Italy. He was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by Manchester University in 1998. BibliographyThe Partnership New Authors, 1966The Greeks Have a Word For It Hutchinson, 1967The Hide Gollancz, 1970Mooncranker's Gift Allen Lane, 1973The Big Day Michael Joseph, 1976Pascali's Island Michael Joseph, 1980The Rage of the Vulture Granada, 1982Stone Virgin Hamish Hamilton, 1985Sugar and Rum Hamish Hamilton, 1988Sacred Hunger Hamish Hamilton, 1992Morality Play Hamish Hamilton, 1995After Hannibal Hamish Hamilton, 1996Losing Nelson Hamish Hamilton, 1999The Songs of the Kings Hamish Hamilton, 2002Prizes and awards1974 Heinemann Award Mooncranker's Gift1980 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Pascali's Island1992 Booker Prize for Fiction (joint winner) Sacred Hunger1995 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Morality Play

THE LONG LINE - THE FILLETING MACHINE - TIME AND MONEY (Iron Press)
Tom Hadaway is the most acclaimed living dramatist in the North-East, and the three plays published here affirm a strongly poetic stage voice which speaks powerfully for a region and a way of life it knows intimately. All three plays have the backdrop of the North Shields fishing community, and all three were originally produced on stage by Newcastle's Live Theatre Company, with whom Hadaway has had a long association.


FUTURE TENSE
Thirty playwrights applied to be a part of the project, sponsored by a grant from the ‘Arts 4 Everyone’ scheme. New Writing North commissioned five new plays.
April 6th until the 10th at the Gulbenkian Studio at Newcastle Playhouse Theatre.

Vigo by Bill Martin
Performed by BOSS,
Directed by Foolsyard.
‘The play explores the life of Jean Vigo, France’s first independent film director. A fractured childhood leads to a fractured life lived as art’

Bill Martin
Founded a young people’s theatre group in the sixties in London. The company toured with varios productions including Martin’s ‘Clowns’ a piece about community care commissioned by the United Nations. In the seventies Bill was awarded the Northern Arts Playwright fellowship and was writer in residence at Sunderland Polytechnic. Commissions with East Midlands Arts and the National Theatre ‘Four Weeks in the City’.


When we were Queens by Peter Straughan
Performed by Barrow Youth Theatre
Directed by Wils Wilson.
Shakespearian theatre land meets new Labour values a young cross dressing actors struggle to make sense of their identity in this surreal black comedy.

PETER STRAUGHAN
Born in Gateshead in 1968. Straughan acted for a while ("I was terrible"), left his literature course at Newcastle University to play guitar with a punk band for five years, and worked in a music shop until his plays were accepted Stage plays produced in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Including ’18-12’ (Rummage Theatre Co. London), ‘Rat’ (Pink Pony Theatre, New York) and ‘The Ghost Of Federico Garcia Lorca Which Can also be Used as a Table’ (Northern Stage Lorca Festival, Newcastle Upon Tyne). His short fiction has won several regional and national competitions and was selected for the British Council’s ‘ New Writing Seven’ anthology. Awarded a Northern Arts Writer’s Award in 1997 and an Arts Council Theatre Bursary and the C.P.Taylor Playwright’s bursary. A play ‘ Bones’ directed by Max Roberts in 1999 when he was commissioned by New Writing North and Live Theatre’s writing initiative.

SPITTING LOVE by C Byrnes
Performed by Customs House Youth Arts Group
Directed by Wils Wilson and Phil Hoffmann.
Young people on the margins of society, young people at the risk of having too good a time at everyone else’s expense. A surprise brick of gold through your front window - or a ‘Lord of the Flies’ for the ‘e’ generation.

C Byrnes
Was born and brought up in London and Newcastle upon Tyne where she currently lives and works. Published work including short stories and academic essays. Several plays at the Edinburgh Festival and performed at the Gulbenkian in Newcastle. Commissions include work for Twisted Stockings Theatre Co, New Writing North /Live Theatre initiative and for Rod Arthur (RSC). Winner of the Student Playwright Award 1996 and the National ‘Understanding Literature’ Playwrighting award 1997. Awarded a Arts Council Encouragement Bursary in 1999. Various commissions and rsidencies.


Daytime by Ann Coburn
Performed by the Maltings Theatre Group.
Directed by Rachel Ashton, Friday 9th April.
When do daytime TV chat shows go too far? If you agree to take part, is your whole lifestyle up for exploitation by the media? Meet Max Leonard, the undisputed king of daytime TV...

Ann Coburn
Born in Northumberland where she lives with husband and children.
An award winning theatre writer whose plays include ‘ Get up and Tie you Fingers which won the 1997 John Whiting Award for new theatre writing. Her television work includes ‘Refuge’ a drama for ITV set on Lindisfarne. She was on the writing team for the ITV drama ‘The Bill’. Her first book for young people ‘The Granite Beast’ was shortlisted for the Book of the Year Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal, She followed this with ‘Welcome to the Real World’ and ‘The Domino Effect’. ‘Borderlands’ set in North Northumberland was adapted for the BBC.


Souled Out by Jeff Williams
Performed by Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans, Directed by Kay Hepplewaite,
It is the 1970’s, beer is 25p a pint, it’s Friday night and you should be dancing at Wigan Casino...

JEFF WILLIAMS
Has been a professional writer for fourteen years.
Work includes a children’s picture book, ‘The Magician’s Cat’ An adaptation of his stage play, ‘ Big Time Charlie Tomato’ was shown at the Johannesburg Film Festival in 1997. Wrote two episodes of ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ series for Tyne Tees Television 1995. Works for the stage include ‘ God’s Little Garden’ winner of the Kate Collingwood Award in 1993. ‘Potter’s Field’ which played Edinburgh Festival in 1994 and ‘The Far Corner’ an adaptation of Harry Pearson’s book about North East Football.

ANNE FINE
Anne Fine is a distinguished writer for children of all ages, with over forty books to her credit. As well as being chosen as Children's Laureate in 2001, she is twice winner of the Carnegie Medal, Britain's most coveted children's literature award, and has also won the Guardian Children's Literature Award, the Whitbread Children's Novel Award twice, and a Smarties Prize. She won the Publishing News Children's Author of the Year Award in 1990 and again in 1993.
Her books for older children include the award winning The Tulip Touch and Goggle-Eyes which was adapted for television by the BBC. Twentieth Century Fox filmed her novel Madame Doubtfire as Mrs Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams. Her books for younger children include Bill's New Frock and How to Write Really Badly. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages.
Anne Fine has also written for adults. Her novels The Killjoy , Taking the Devil's Advice ,In Cold Domain , Telling Liddy and, most recently, All Bones and Lies , have been published to considerable critical acclaim.
Anne Fine has two grown up daughters, and lives in County Durham.
http://www.annefine.co.uk/

CAROL CLEWLOW
Carol Clewlow trained as a journalist. She worked for all the national papers as a freelance before giving up full-time journalism to study English and Philosophy at university. Her first novel, Keeping the Faith, begun in her last year was short listed for the Whitbread First Novel Prize. Her best known book is the best-selling A Woman's Guide to Adultery, subsequently made into a TV mini-series. It was translated into 15 languages and was recently republished as a Virago Modern Classic. She has written two other novels, Love in the Modern Sense, and One for the Money, and has a novella, The Spirit of Things due to be published on the Liverpool John Moore's University web-site later this year. She has had short stories broadcast on the radio and adapted one novel - One for the Money - for performance at the Edinburgh Fringe. Recently the country's first writer in residence at a UK medical school, she is a founder member of Operating Theatre, a drama group designed to bring members of the health professions and the performing arts together to explore medical practice. She teaches imaginative writing and media studies.

STEPHEN LAWS
Stephen Laws is a full-time novelist still living in Newcastle upon Tyne where he was born. His first novel - Ghost Train - was published in 1985. Since then, he has published many other supernatural-horror-thriller novels. He is winner of the British Fantasy Society Award, regular host of the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films and has recently completed a screenplay for a movie version of one of his novels , Darkfall, to be filmed in the near future.
CHAZ BRENCHLEY
Has made a living as a writer since the age of eighteen. A recipient of the British Fantasy Award and a Northern Writer of the Year Award, Chaz likes cats , cooking and is one of the most versatile and talented writers in the country.His website is a delight.
Light Errant won the August Derleth Fantasy Award for best novel, 1998
http://www.chazbrenchley.co.uk/
Bibliography
Time Again (as Carol Trent) - Fontana (pbk), 1983, UK
The Samaritan - Hodder & Stoughton, 1988, UK; St Martin's, 1988, USA; Coronet (pbk), 1989, UK; St Martin's (pbk), 1989, USA
The Refuge - Hodder & Stoughton, 1989, UK; St Martin's, 1989, USA; Coronet (pbk), 1990, UK
The Garden - Hodder & Stoughton, 1990, UK; Coronet (pbk), 1991, UK
Mall Time - Hodder & Stoughton, 1991, UK; Coronet (pbk), 1992, UK
Paradise - Hodder & Stoughton, 1994, UK; NEL (pbk), 1994, UK
Dead of Light - Hodder & Stoughton, 1995, UK; NEL (pbk), 1996, UK
Blood Waters (short stories) - Flambard Press, 1995, UK
Dispossession - Hodder & Stoughton, 1996, UK; NEL (pbk), 1997, UK
Light Errant - Hodder & Stoughton, 1997, UK; NEL (pbk), 1998, UK
Tower of the King's Daughter - Orbit (pbk), 1998, UK
Shelter - Hodder & Stoughton, 1999, UK; NEL (pbk), 1999, UK
Feast of the King's Shadow - Orbit (Pbk) 2000 , UK,
Hand of the King's Evil - Orbit (Pbk) 2002 ,UK
Children's work
The Thunder Sings - Arnold Wheaton (pbk), 1988, UK.
The Fishing Stone - Arnold Wheaton (pbk), 1988, UK
The Dragon in the Ice - Arnold Wheaton (pbk), 1988, UK

BRYAN TALBOT Graphic Novelist.
Bryan Talbot was born in Wigan in 1952. He attended Wigan Grammar School before doing a foundation year at the Wigan School of Art, before obtaining an LSIA in Graphic Design from Preston Polytechnic. Bryan started drawing comics for his own amusement in 1960. His first published illustrations appeared in the British Tolkien Society Magazine in 1969. In 1971, in conjunction with Bonk, a fellow student, he produced a weekly comic strip, Superharris, for the college newspaper.
After completing his education Bryan worked in the drawing office at British Aerospace and as a graphic designer at Longcastle Advertising Agency. However his real creative spirit was devoted to the underground press by creating the BRAINSTORM COMIX. The first three issues contained the 65 page story of Chester P. Hackenbush - The Psychedelic Alchemist. This was reprinted in 1982 in one volume entitled Brainstorm. The MIXED BUNCH issue of Brainstorm Comix included a 7 page strip - "The Papist Affair" - the seed from which The Adventures of Luther Arkwright was later to grow. Issue Six; Amazing Rock and Roll Adventures featured Bryan's 23 page story The Omega Report, an SF/rock-comedy thriller cum private dick pastiche.
In 1978 Bryan began Frank Fazakerly, Space Ace of the Future, a Flash Gordon/Dan Dare take-off, for AD ASTRA, and The Adventures of Luther Arkwright for NEAR MYTHS. This title ran for five issues and work on the Arkwright saga was halted until 1981, when its serialisation began again in PSSST! magazine. In 1982, Never Ltd published Rat-trap - Volume One of the Arkwright trilogy.
After completing Rat-trap, Bryan created over a hundred illustrations for a series of German role-playing-game books and wrote and drew Scumworld for a year for SOUNDS.
In 1981 he worked with SF writer Bob Shaw on the Granada arts programme CELEBRATION to produce Encounter with a Madman.
In 1983 he began working for 2000AD, and with Pat Mills produced three books in the popular Nemesis The Warlock series. The first in these won an Eagle award for Best Comic Album and the character Torquemada the Favourite British Villain award for three years running. He also worked on Judge Dredd by Alan Grant and John Wagner, which included the production of full colour strips for the IPC annuals and the 20 page RPG strip in the first issue of DICEMAN.
Over the years Bryan has created a variety of comic strips for publications as diverse as HOME GROWN and IMAGINE, magazine illustrations, including covers for DC SUPERHEROS MONTHLY and COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES, Rock and SF art Prints, posters, badges and logos.
In 1989 he broke into the American market, when Jamie Delano asked him to draw the first Hellblazer Annual for DC. This was the start of an association over the Atlantic which has recently spread from DC to Dark Horse.
In 1990 he worked with American Tom Veitch, whose underground comix work he had admired years before. The result of this collaboration was The Nazz for DC, a superhero comic seeped in symbolism and graphically depicting the outcome of achieving absolute power.
Still with DC Bryan has drawn a number of Sandman titles and a Shade the Changing Man.
In 1992 Bryan had an idea for a Batman story while lazing in bed. Two weeks later, at the Glasgow Comic Convention, he then met Archie Goodwin who had just taken over as the editor on Legends Of The Dark Knight, the more prodigious of the many Batman titles. Bryan told him he had a story and Archie told him to send him a proposal. It sounded like a polite way of getting rid of him and Bryan didn't take it any further. But six months later when he saw Archie again the first thing Archie demanded to know was the whereabouts of the proposal Bryan had promised. So Bryan sat down at the word processor and within two weeks Archie had accepted the story and told Bryan to spread it over two issues. The story concerned the possibility that Batman was a deluded drunkard who thought he was a hero, or alternatively Batman has a breakdown and believes he is a down-and out. The reality is unknown right to the end, and accuracy in the madness element was lent by Bryan's personal psychological advisor; Keith Marsland.
Most recently Bryan has devoted three years to writing and drawing THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT, which was published by Dark Horse. HEART OF EMPIRE followed and he is currently working on an odyssey based on Lewis Carroll in Sunderland where he lives.
http://www.bryan-talbot.com

Newcastle ain't the only fruit

AUGUST
(NOT NEWCASTLE)
COLPITTS
Colpitts Poetry was established in 1975 to bring a wide variety of contemporary poets to Durham to read and discuss their own work. It took its name from its original meeting-place, the Colpitts Hotel, a small pub in Hawthorn Terrace, Durham, and continues to use the same name although over the years the venue has varied.
S.J.LITHERLAND
Interweaves themes of emotion and abstraction, the felt and the thought. Her work encompasses love, politics, loss, and philosophy. She has three collections of poetry, The Long Interval (Bloodaxe 1986) Flowers of Fever (Iron Press 1992) The Apple Exchange (Flambard 1999). Her work has appeared in various anthologies, most notably in New Women Poets (Bloodaxe 1993) and in the prestigious Forward Book of Poetry 2001. She has received two awards for her writing from Northern Arts. Her co-edited book The Poetry of Perestroika (Iron Press 1991) was the first of its kind and received world wide attention and acclaim. Originally from Warwickshire, she has lived in Durham City since 1965, bringing up a son and daughter and working as a journalist. She has three grandsons. She tutors part-time for the WEA. A member of Vane Women group although she started out as the group’s tutor. The group has gone from strength to strength and now has its own small press imprint. A poet of long standing with a great reputation for encouraging new writers. She has and dopes run several writers groups.

Prebends Bridge - built in 1777, it offers spectacular views of Durham Cathedral. Turner painted from here. At the west end a plaque features Sir Walter Scott’s words about Durham: ‘Grey towers of Durham, yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles, half church of God, half castle ‘gainst the Scot, and long to roam these venerable aisles, with records stored of deeds long since forgot.’

OTHER POETRY Magazine

Other Poetry was founded over twenty years ago, and published continuously throughout the 1980s. After a five-year break, it was revived in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1995, and has been publishing, at the rate of three issues a year, ever since.
It is a magazine dedicated to good poetry in all its forms. As the editors put it, in introducing Issue 4 of the Second Series:
It is in the act of writing that the individual is closest to the live nerve of her or his imagination: closest to both subject and language. We are all categorisers par excellence, and many get through life simply by pigeon-holing. The editors of Other Poetry are hoping to discourage that tendency. They are looking for individual responses to life, in poems of intelligence,
sensitivity and skill, whether the writers’
names be familiar or new, and irrespective
of fashions in subject matter and style.
The magazine is open to anyone with something to say and an interesting way to say it. The late Evangeline Paterson, the magazine’s long-standing editor and champion, underlined this openness in explaining her decision to relaunch the magazine:

‘We are expressing our right to differ. We are a protest against monopoly and hype. We believe there are many good poems which may not conform to current trends, and we want to see these poems brought into daylight. We believe it is important to maintain outlets, however small, where work can be judged, not by whether it is commercial or fashionable, but by whether it is the authentic stuff of life - perhaps not for everybody, but for somebody; where the work of an unknown writer has as good a chance as that of the established.’
Evangeline Paterson

MICHAEL STANDEN Poet and Novelist.
Spent his childhood near London but has moved steadily North. Following an adult education career with the WEA. He now co-edits ‘Other Poetry’ . He has published four novels with Heinemann and one with the OUP. Two collections of poetry ‘Time’s Fly-past’ (Flambard 1991) and ‘ Gifts of Egypt’ (Shoestring 2002).

JAMES RODERICK BURNS Poet and Writer lives and works in Edinburgh. Originally from the north east of England, he spent five years in the USA before returning to Britain. A chapbook of his fiction, 'A Bunch of Fives,' from Mudfog Press is available.

PETER BENNET : Poet
Peter Bennet lives in rural Northumberland near the Wild Hills o'Wanney. He taught at five schools, including the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and then worked in adult education for a number of institutions throughout the North East: Derwentside College, Newcastle University, Northumberland College, the Open University, and Sunderland University. Subsequently he spent sixteen years as Tutor Organiser for Northumberland with the WEA. He has published six books of poetry the latest being ‘The Long Pack’ (Flambard)

RICHARD KELL Poet and Composer
Richard Kell was born in Co. Cork in 1927. He has published four books and three pamphlets of poems including Control Tower (1962), Differences (1969), Humours (1978) and Heartwood (1978). He has contributed to Irish and English periodicals, and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. Between 1960 and 1973 he was poetry reviewer for The Guardian and then The Critical Survey. As a composer, he has had pieces performed by several orchestras, chamber groups and soloists, both professional and amateur. He is a co-editor of Other Poetry.


ARROWHEAD PRESS DarlingtonEstablished September 2001 with the production of 'On Sketty Sands'.Run by Roger Collett, Managing Editor. Joanna Boulter, Poetry Editor.Fifth title - Redemption Songs - Annie Wright, out March 2003.Website set up October 2001.Arrowhead provides a platform for poets who have established themselves bybeing published in magazines and by winning poetry competitions to take thenext step and have either a pamphlet or a full collection published. Allsales receipts are ploughed back in to the kitty to publish the next bookand Arrowhead is non-profit making. We pride ourselves on the quality of ourpublications and continually strive to improve the standard of the materialsand workmanship used in our books.2002 landmarks - 1) Northern Promise Award for our Poetry Editor. 2) Aldeburgh Festival appearance for author BobCooper coinciding with the publication of his first full collection 'All WeKnow Is All We See'.
http://www.arrowheadpress.co.uk

Joanna Boulter d.o.b. 14.6.42; poet; author of 2 pamphlets Running With The Unicorns (Bay Press, 1994) and On Sketty Sands (Arrowhead Press, 2001); founder member of Vane Women; winner of Northern Arts Tyrone Guthrie Award 1997 and NWN Northern Promise Award 2002; also in 2002 gained MA in Writing Poetry (Newcastle University) with distinction.



JAMES KIRKUP
Born 1918April 23rd in South Shields
Author of the poem’The Love that dares to Speak its Name’
A blasphemy trial took place on 4th July 1997 and Gay News were charged and found guilty. The poem which is still banned in this country has had a far greater audience due to the trial than it ever would have had. The poem concerns a roman centurion who has necrophilic sex with Christ.
The poem was read out in public and distributed on the steps of St Martins-in-the-field in Trafalgar Square on July 11th 2002 as a protest against blasphemy laws supporting the petition were writers Iain Banks, Edward Bond, Zoe Fairbairns, Alan Brownjohn , John Mortimer and many others artists, politicians and singers.
http://annoy.com/history/doc.html?DocumentD=100045

WRITEAROUND
Started in 1988 Writearound was until its demise the longest running literary festibval in the North East.
The first poet laureate, Ghazala Bashir was inaugurated during Writearound 1998.Others that followed include Pauline Plummer, Nora Hills and Andy Willoughby.
GHAZALA BASHIR
Middlesbrough's poet laureate in 1999. published a pamphlet of poems called 'No Small Fire' by Mudfog press. Born on 27th of January. Now living in France.
ANDY WILLOUGHBY
Fine performance poet and current Poet laureate of Middlesbrough. Driving force behind the Hydrogen Jukebox. Andy Willoughby grew up in Cleveland between the strange dichotomy of the beautiful iron-emptied Eston Hills (Now vandalised by giant pylons of the national grid against the wishes of most residents) and the blast furnaces of Grangetown
with it’s night time orange skies. He learnt the true nature of post-industrial suffering by supporting Middlesbrough from childhood and was a genuine member of the lowest gate in the clubs history. He went into exile at Kent University at Canterbury where his flat vowels came under serious threat due to being completely surrounded by the privileged southern issue of the bourgeoisie. However he managed to twoc a First , the T.S. Eliot prize for poetry and a W.B. Yeats studentship to attend poetry workshops with Seamus Heaney and drama classes with Katherine Worth in Sligo despite consuming copious quantities of beer in a three year tribute to the legendary Oliver Reed (and Ernest Borgnine in “The Vikings”.)
After sorting out his vowels in Sheffield doing a Masters in Film and Theatre he lived and worked as a lecturer , playwright , actor and performance poet in Tokyo, Manchester, London before returning to the North-East to teach Film, Drama and Literature at Darlington College of technology. He is published in “Oral”- an anthology of British Performance Poetry(Sceptre Press 1999). He has performed regularly since returning at The Verb garden in Middlesbrough supporting poets like Tony Harrison and Linton Kwesi Johnson .He is founder and Co-Director of the Hydrogen Jukebox Cabaret of The Spoken Word based at Darlington Arts Centre which has brought performance poets from all over the country to a young audience in a dynamic format of poetry, alternative comedy and music and is going from strength to strength. He is also currently arranging an international exchange between Teesside poets and poets from Turku in Finland where he has performed for the last three years at the DBLT festival.



PAULINE PLUMMER, poet. born Liverpool. January.First published in 1992 - most recent 2000. This means that I hit writing in middle age! A late time to start, but not unusual for women. In terms of writing what I have enjoyed most are collaborations, e.g. having a poem on the buses in Middlesbrough, working with painter Annette Chevallier on a touring exhbition of poems and paintings. Writing has led to much travelling! I spent three months in Sierra Leone giving creative writingworkshops and also toured around Mali for inspiration. Oh yes, in 1993 I had to climb up the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough for ‘In A City art’ a Tyne Tees film about the arts on Teesside. I had to stand and read a poem on the top. I was terrified as I don't like heights and my legs were shaking. I am involved as an editor with Mud Fog Press and have been doing so for about 6 years, editing many pamphlets of poetry and short stories.The factors that encouraged me to get into writing wasa) membership of the now defunct Middlesbrough based writers' group - Teesside Writers Workshop where everyone was so positive and supportive. Wealso got together to produce a free pamphlet of local writing distributed through the librariesb) the editor of Tees Valley Writer the late Derek Gregory was always very encouraging. He died a few years ago and his collection of short stories was recently launched by Iron Press. I do workshops on the MA Creative Writing at Northumbria University and have worked for the last 7 years with many interesting poets, such as Andrew Waterhouse, Valerie Laws and other younger people on their way such as John Papper, Angela Readman and Adam Fish.

JO COLLEY
has been making a name for herself on the Darlington-Middlesbrough scene with her electric poetry and as cabaret host of Hydrogen Juke Box at Darlington Arts Centre. Her poetry has verve, attitude and sharp delivery, so watch out, punters, for sharp arrows finding their mark. As if is her first collection published by 'Vane Women'

THE VERB GARDEN
Excellent live literature platform in Middlesbrough. First held in 'The Arc' in Stocton as part of the Writearound Festival. The first Mudfog books were launched here too.

OUTLET Editors Trev Teasdel

TEES VALLEY WRITER Ed: Derek Gregory
Teeside Literary magazine that demised shortly after the death of its Editor.

THE SINGING MEN a new collection of short stories by Derek Gregory.. ..Iron Press ISBN 0 906228 86 7
Teesider Derek Gregory died in 1996, his legacy to the writing world, till now, was as the respected editor of the erstwhile literary magazine, Tees Valley Writer. This collection of stories were found by Hartlepool novelist , Mark Adlard, who also edited the book. Many of them have never been published before.

DURHAM LITERATURE FESTIVAL
Long established Festival now ran by Durham City Arts.

TOERAG
A fanzine style freesheet, Poetry, cartoons, graphics, prose, pop culture,
Distributed free in mid eighties to libraries in East Durham.
Edited by Kevin Cadwallender.

MUDFOG
Publisher and collective of writers. Pamphlets and books including

SUBHADASSI: Sublunary Voodoo (Mudfog)
Subhadassi's Literary Project Work includes a Poetry Film Residency 1999 (New Writing North) and Wall, Window, Ceiling, Floor, a collaborative project with poets and visual artists. Publication includes Sublunary Voodoo, Mudfog Press (1998); Up, Prop and The Other Poetry (1999); Poems published in Urthona, Smith's Knoll, and The Echo Room Yearbook (1998). His work has been broadcasted on Sounds from the Border BBC Newcastle (1999). Subhadassi received a Northern Arts Writers' Award, London Buddhist Arts Centre Award and New Writing North Mentoring Scheme Award (all in 1998).


DEERNESS VALLEY WRITERS
is a writing group founded in 1997 and based in Esh Winning, County Durham. Their first anthology 'Write Up Your Valley' Ed: Margaret Lewis was published in 1999, their second 'Monks, Miners and Moonshine' in 2000. Their third,'Laying Ghosts’ will be launched in Esh Winning library on 22nd May 2003.



SCRATCH
Magazine started in York ran by Poet Mark Robinson ended its life at Issue 17 (eight years) in Stockton on Teeside. Most appearances in magazine Gordon Wardman, most consecutive appearances Andy Croft. Featured 284 poets and translators and published poetry from 24 countries. A small press classic. Whatever happened to Mark Robinson?


FLAMBARD
Margaret and Peter Lewis set up Flambard in 1990 as a small, independent press offering opportunities to new and neglected writers, especially in the North of England. From the outset Flambard has been keen to nourish developing talent. Poetry came first and is still the backbone of the list, but Flambard now publishes a small amount of fiction as well.

CYNTHIA FULLER 'Only a Small Boat' (Flambard)
Cynthia Fuller's distinctive poetic voice is immediately recognisable in this third collection, Only a Small Boat, but she also extends her range by exploring substantially different areas of experience in each of its three sections. These poems move out of 'past homes, old addresses... left here' towards the discovery of 'what kind of house could fold love safe.' culminating in a sequence of love poems. Equally at home in inner and outer landscapes, they are shaped now by memory, now by the history of the pit village in County Durham where Cynthia Fuller lives. Here, in both people and places, is a sense of continuity and hope.
ANDY CROFT
Andy Croft lives in Middlesbrough, where he makes a living teaching poetry in local schools. He has written nineteen books for teenagers about football, and has published widely on the literary history of the British Labour Movement, including Red Letter Days, Out of the Old Earth, A Weapon in the Struggle and Selected Poems of Randall Swingler. His three previous books of poetry are Nowhere Special, Gaps Between Hills (with Mark Robinson and photographer Dermot Blackburn) and Headland (with Dermot Blackburn). Also Just As Blue (Flambard) and Great North (Iron Press). Has edited a new book of socialist poetry due out in May.

'If Matthew Arnold had been a communist living in the last decade of our century, he would have written like Andy Croft.' MORNING STAR
NEIL ASTLEY lives in the Tarset Valley in north Northumberland. He is the editor of Bloodaxe Books which he founded in 1978. He has published several poetry anthologies, including Staying Alive, Poetry with an Edge and New Blood, a critical book on Tony Harrison, and two collections, Darwin Survivor (Peterloo, 1988: Poetry Book Society Recommendation) and Biting My Tongue (Bloodaxe, 1995). He has received a Gregory Award for his poetry and a D.Litt from Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe Books. The End of My Tether (Flambard), his first novel, was written with the assistance of several animals and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for a first novel in 2002.
Murder Squad - Crime fiction to die for: published by Flambard
Val McDermid writes: "This collection is a showcase of some of the most interesting voices in contemporary British fiction. These are all writers who constantly strive to improve their grasp of their craft and who are never satisfied with leaving the genre as they found it."
Mat Coward wrote in the MORNING STAR on December 10:"Their first collection gets my vote for anthology of the year. The collective has brought together a group of very different authors who complement each other's work superbly. There are private eye stories, police procedurals and pieces in which ordinary people become involved in terrible events. The one thing that they all have in common is lively and literary writing."
The group's members are available collectively, individually or in any combination to grace literary festivals, library events, bookshop readings, post-prandial speeches or murder-mystery evenings. Knowing them as I do, I suspect they'd probably come up with a more than adequate cabaret for any occasion from a christening to a wake. And this anthology amply demonstrates that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. Murder Squad's members are a rainbow coalition, spanning among them the whole colourful spectrum of contemporary crime fiction."
MURDER SQUAD is the collective name adopted by seven leading crime writers, now launching their first anthology.
MURDER SQUAD writers do not conform to any one brand of crime fiction but promote the entire spectrum of the genre.
MURDER SQUAD exists to encourage an interest in cutting-edge crime writing. Since forming the collective in 2000, its members have given readings and held workshops and masterclasses at many venues and literary festivals throughout the UK. The latest news of their activities can be found on the Murder Squad website ..
MURDER SQUAD - something altogether new in British crime writing. "This book is a celebration, indulge yourself. Or else." (Val McDermid)

BISCUIT
A publisher and Competition sponsor.

BOB BEAGRIE
Has worked in Arts administration with Cleveland Arts and Creative partnerships. Won a Northern Writers Award and the Biscuit Poetry Award.
Is currently running the Verb Garden and writing a book based around Captain Cook.
Collection : 'Huggin and Munnin' (Biscuit)
MAUREEN ALMOND 'Oyster Baby'
was born in County Durham but lives in Teesside. Began writing in 1992. Holds a Higher Education Diploma in Creative writing from Leeds University and an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University. A pamphlet 'Hot' and a first collection 'Tailor Tacks' were published by 'Mudfog Books'. Runner up in the Biscuit Prize Competition. Is a full time writer.
EAST DURHAM WRITERS WORKSHOP
A Writers group very active in the early eighties brought about as a bringing together of two groups Peterlee Writers Circle and Peterlee Youth Drama Writers Workshop by writer Keith Armstrong. Members included Bill Levitas (stepson of S.J.Litherland)
Kevin Cadwallender, Chris Storey (works for BBC), Mary'Nightingale' Bell and Joy Larraine (Womens Words/ In the pink anthology). Many anthologies to their credit. Membership numbers were as high as sixty people at one point. Split into three rival groups, but only the East Durham Writers survived the split and ran as a group under the guidance of Mary N.Bell for a time. Defunct now as far as I know.

HYBRID 1990-94
Magazine from East Durham Edited by Kevin Cadwallender
About Nine issues in existence.Most famous contributor :Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

KEVIN CADWALLENDER Poet,Editor, Playwright, Music Journalist.
Born in Hartlepool 1958. Editor of Toerag and Hybrid magazines and small press which published 20 chapbooks between 1990 and 1995..(Including Mark Robinson's first chapbook), Nick Toczek and the Scottish poets Bob Shields and Billy Cornwall. Editor of 'Big Red Yonkly'(Rookbook). Other imprints of Hybrid include 'The Candyman's Trumpet' 'Blue Moon' and 'Cold Maverick' which published Michael Cloud and Keith Armstrong in 1999. Poetry includes 'BAZ POEMS' (Rebel Inc), 'THE LAST GREAT NORTHERN WHALE' (Rookbook), VIEWS OF VIEWS (Great North Forest) Book and Animations.HARDLY LITERATURE (with The Hardly Boys) PUBLIC (Iron Press), VOYAGES (Cleveland Arts). Has worked with Anton Hecht on two films the last of which was 'Around the World in Eighty Lines'. Poetry Residencies include the Cumbrian Co-op, Durham Light Infantry Museum and Arts Centre for Durham County Arts and Libraries; Sunderland Echo, South Tees Health Trust and the Great North Forest. 'one2five' booklet with four other poets (Tom Pickard, Kitty Fitzgerald, Alistair Robinson and David B.Calder) published March 2003. Currently working on research for Independent Northern Publishers Timeline (this) and translating Shakespearean Sonnets into North Eastern Dialect for 'Wor Sonnets' to be published later this year. Editor of SAND magazine which will be launched with a website and readings over the Spring.

BEATNIKS BOOGALOO
Was the brainchild of Alan Edge. An evening combining Jazz and poetry that ran sporadically in the late nineties and early 2000's.Met at the Head of Steam and various other venues.
STAND AND DELIVER
Open microphone venue which ran at 'The Old George' in Newcastle for a while from 1996- 200? Organised by Graham C.Brown and Yvonne Brown. Performers included Kevin Cadwallender, Neville Clay (Brenda System), Richard Pearce(William Bloke), Michael Cloud, Ally May, Angela Readman, Joan Johnston, Sylvia Forrest, Jon the Punk Poet, James Oates, Elle Ludkin, Alan C.Brown, Johnny Nichol and many,many more.
THE LOOKING GLASS
Magazine linked to the literature society at University of Sunderland. Most active when Steve Larkin and Tom Parry ran The Litsoc and the venue 'The Poet's Stage at 'The Royalty' Sunderland.Poets who read for society included Tony Harrison, John Cooper Clarke and many others.
WEARWOLF
Elusive and sporadic Sunderland based magazine founded in 1991. P.O.Box 77 Sunderland SR1 1EB. (Two first class stamps for one issue or £2.50 for 5 Issues.