During July and August 2016 I will be Poet-in-Residence at Mottisfont (a National Trust property near Romsey, Hampshire) as part of The Observatory. I’ll be researching and creating new work responding to the flow of water through and around the estate including the ‘Font’ spring, the Abbey Stream and the River Test. The Residency will include public talks and ‘Book Making and Poetry’ workshops. Visitors to the Observatory will be invited to contribute to the group poem.
The Observatory consists of two structures, an artist’s studio (The Study) and a public shelter (The Workshop). Using a unique rotating system, the resident artists are able to orientate The Observatory to take maximum advantage of daylight and vistas, or to create shelter from the prevailing weather.
Residency Dates at Mottisfont
Saturday 9th-Monday 18th July 2016
Monday 1st-Sunday 14th August 2016
I’ve been fortunate enough to be awarded a 3 year full-time research studentship as part of the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. I’ll be starting in October 2016. Really excited about it and looking forward to working with my supervisors Dr Rory Waterman, Dr Sarah Jackson (both at Nottingham Trent) and Dr Henry Chapman (University of Birmingham). It will be a practice-led PhD and the topic is ‘Contemporary Poetry, Sea-level Rise and Coastal Flooding’. http://www.midlands3cities.ac.uk/midlands-3-cities/index.aspx
I joined Kim Slater, Jonathan Taylor and Sheelagh Gallagher to discuss the Costa Book Awards 2015 on Thursday 21st January (7.30pm) at West Bridgford Library. The Costa Book Awards are split into five categories: novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children’s book. This meant reading five books in a week, quite a challenge! We discussed the category winning books in the running for the overall award, plus awards and writing in general, and also shared some of our own writing with the audience. The Lie Tree (which was, indeed, the overall winner) and A God in Ruins seemed to be the favourites to win, although if I had to choose, I’d go for The Invention of Nature for the sheer brilliance of both subject and author!
Artist: Ewan Allinson. ‘Top Of the World’ 2015 Poulter Country Park Photo: Aly Stoneman
The Limestone Journeys partnership is coming to an end after five years. I’ve been delivering the creative engagement for Junction Arts since 2011, through participatory arts activities in the scheme area (mainly Bolsover District). There were 20 separate projects (part of our Rural Programme) funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, many running over multiple years, including film, literature, performance and heritage crafts. The final project to complete is a new sculpture trail in Poulter Country Park, a re-greened ex-colliery tip in Derbyshire, which launched on Tuesday 24th November. ‘Top Of The World’ completes the first stage in the development of this trail and connects with the Archaeological Way and Art Along The Way.
Art Along The Way 2015
We worked with Ewan Allinson, a master craftsman stone waller, Derbyshire County Council, and the local community including Primary schools and the Langwith Whaley Thorns heritage centre. Other artists involved earlier in the year included David Mayne and poet Liz Cashdan. Despite the wet weather, we had a turnout of around 1oo people for the launch, who gamely splashed along the muddy trail to see the finished result. Some were participants in the Limestone Journeys conference at Creswell Crags earlier that day, where I represented Junction Arts in talking about our involvement in the Landscape Partnership and the process of engaging people with the landscape through creative practice.
‘Bridging The Gap’ 2015 Artist: David Mayne; Poet: Liz Cashdan. Photo: Aly Stoneman
Living For The City is a new show combining poetry, words and music from Renaissance One. Very proud to be in the company of Panya Banoko, Joe Coghlan and Michael Brome, supporting Andrew ‘MulletProof’ Graves’ amazing new show, God Save The Teen. I saw the scratch show at NWS and it was brilliant, so I’ve seen it twice now, still laughing and crying! Andy’s show reflects on his relationship with his ex-miner single father. Oddly enough, 20 November was my Dad’s birthday – he passed away about 10 years ago. So while reflecting on ‘the city’ I also chose poems relating to my father, who was very much a rural man. R1 made a video of the event, to follow.
Living For The City: Joe Coghlan, Panya Banjoko, Aly Stoneman, Michael Brome, and Psykhomantus
Outstanding regional writers and a DJ respond to their home cities of Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, and explore sights, sounds and daily interactions through their hand-picked soundtrack of words, and music by DJ Psykhomantus. Curated by Melanie Abrahams, Produced by Renaissance One
Lincoln Drill Hall, 7.30-9.30pm with music until late £8 (£6 concessions)
I was surprised and thrilled to win the Buxton Poetry Competition with my poem ‘Windfalls’ on the theme of ‘Time’. David Wilson was second and Joe Caldwell was third. The judge this year was Helen Mort. I’m a big fan of Helen’s work (one of the reasons that I entered the competition) and so I was doubly excited that she chose my poem.
All the winning poems are available to read on the competition website. http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk/outreach/poetry-competition/
I was also mentioned on the Poetry Society website (more excitement!): http://poetrysociety.org.uk/news/aly-stoneman-wins-buxton-poetry-competition/
I’ve had a good start to the year, after a bit of a hiatus over the last two years when I was writing (but not enough, and very slowly) and not really submitting any work. Crystal Clear Creators (who published my pamphlet ‘Lost Lands’ in 2012 and have been tremendously supportive of many East Midlands writers) celebrated their 10th Anniversary this year with an anthology of poems, which included my poem ‘Thalassa’ (Greek for ‘the sea’). I also have a humorous poem ‘Song of the White Van’ in The Coffee House in their last planned issue (edited by Deborah Tyler-Bennett). I’ve had my fair share of rejections, like most writers, but they serve to make the occasional success so much sweeter. Thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me.