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Sift and Shift

April 27, 2012

This week has been more of a carousel ride than normal.

I’m organising writers-in-schools for Exeter Respect ‘12 (thanks to DAISI) so pleased I have got Edson, Shagufta and Steve D work in primary schools in Devon. Trains to Exeter from Bristol have been the biggest headache. All sorted now. Trains from W-s-M no problems. We will all get together in a few weeks, when it is all over and see if we think it is worth promoting to other schools/ cluster groups and arts in education agencies.

Lorna Goodison had confirmed coming to Bristol for Yardstick in June. This is great news as she has just won a Jamaica 50 award and is excited about visiting Bristol for the first time. This is a great start to programming Yardstick, with Rommi Smith and Nii Parkes details being finalised this will be a good year for writing from the Diaspora in Bristol.

Yardstick–African Diaspora author events

March 15, 2012

I had my first meeting with Bristol and Bath Library Services to plan Yardstick. Bristol and Bath really want the project to succeed, not only to attract BME users to promote African Diaspora writers to white users.

At Bath the main hall has a capacity of 300 and Bristol 100. We also have smaller spaces for to run workshops/master classes and more intimate talks. To make it work the libraries will have to build new relationships with community groups, youth groups and writers. From June to November will be a great time for African Diaspora writers in Bristol and Bath.

Live literature v publishing

February 19, 2012

Mapping out 2012 is more important now than in January. As the first weeks of 2012 have passed the number of opportunities for me have been increasing.

I won’t be in a position to take up all the opportunities being offered unless I sit down and re-work my 2012 time-table.

This really is an important year for City Chameleon. The business model needs to match the artistic standards.

2012 almost started without me

January 4, 2012

For the first time in many years I was healthy over Christmas, no flu, injuries, colds or anything. So naturally the start of January sees me coughing my guts up and weak as a kitten.

Ended up working at home. The thing with having your own business is you have to get stuff done no matter how you are feeling.

The aim for 2012 is to fuse the live literature and publishing arms together so that they support each other.

There are a number of projects all ready lining up (one came in today) so I have to put the hours in and build the relationships I have into real partnerships.

Tonight is the first Word of Mouth at the Thunderbolt and I am looking forward to it. It really does combine an entertaining evening with meeting interesting and exciting people. Nothing to do with the amount of alcohol drunk.

All work makes the play

November 3, 2011

What a week it has been. Exciting, nerve wracking and incredibly enjoyable.

Seasoned started at the Tobacco Factory on Tuesday the venue was virtually sold out and the revues have been good both in Venue and Remotegoat.

castThe actors are a great team and there are powerful performances throughout the show. It is better than I expected and deserves good audiences.


Word of Mouth at the Thunderbolt on Wednesday night was a fantastic evening, three wonderful performers David C Johnson, Claire Williamson and Mike Scott. This evening epitomised, for me, what Word of Mouth is about; great artists with a friendly audience.

It has been a long week and it is not over. Feels like ages since I have worked a simple 8 hour day. But I’m loving it.

Working Sunday lunch

October 30, 2011

Had lunch at the Plantation restaurant supported by African Eye. Lord Paul Boateng gave a talk to us creative entrepreneury types. It was a lunch where I met people who are active in Bristol who I had heard of and not met before. What was strange was that one of them used to come round to my house when she was young to visit my mum. I know her family but never met her before.

Like with all theses type of things it is not what happens in the meetings, it is about the actions that follow. I feel with this one many actions will follow. The first will be lots of one to one meetings drinking lots of coffee.

Seasoned–the interview

October 29, 2011

Edson and I went to BBC Radio Bristol today to be interviewed about Seasoned. The interview went well. Edson is a natural talking on the radio. It was a classic example of Producers should not be seen or heard. Dr. Phil was interested in Edson and as it should be all the questions were put to Edson. I just chipped in when appropriate and tried my best not to say anything just for the sake of being heard. I hope it worked, we talked about the Seasoned and that is what was important.

What am I doing, does it matter in the 21st Century?

October 26, 2011

Organised the second author talk for Central Library last night. Gary Younge discussing issues he raises in his book “Who Are We and Does It Matter in the 21st Century?”. It went well. Some people took issue with some of the points he raised. Others went away with a lot to think about.

Considering all the other events happening in Bristol that night we had a very good attendance. The audience were engaged and had no hesitation in asking questions.

With an improved PA system – using clip mics, a bit more thought around refreshments for the audience, regular talks there can work. Well worth discussing with the library.

Autumn 2011 a defining phase

October 22, 2011

Rehearsals for Seasoned have gone well. Andrew, Shvorn, Joe and Lorna have been great. Andy has created a great environment for the work to be developed in. The warehouse is just about warm enough, I am sure they can survive.

Word of Mouth is going great. The first two events at Bristol Old Vic sold out and at the Thunderbolt there is a fantastic vibe that everyone loves. Funding has run out, it needs sponsorship and funding to continue, I am confident we will have the funds to continue.

Tuesday sees Gary Younge at Central Library, after the success of the Courttia Newland reading this one has to go well. Everyone is talking about it and keen to go, but there are a lot of other events launching that evening.

The long term future is looking good, just got to tighten my belt for the next 3 months or so.

Central Library Author Talks

September 5, 2011

Planning meeting today. Things look good. The flyer design is clean and crisp, just need to confirm the text.

Both events are going to be at Central Library which is much better, people should meet authors in libraries. Libraries should be a place to talk and discuss books, the ideas behind books and the creation  of books.

As the eBook age approaches, we need to make sure that eBooks contain the essence of printed books. Books are more than text. Meeting authors meeting audiences help make the connection that books are more than text.