#Scrib13 Festival


My time has been very full lately of work and poeming and what not. I was really happy I made the time to volunteer for Tell Us Another One, CartWheel Arts to tweet at their annual festival, Scribble Festival!

It was held on the first floor of the Friend’s Meeting House behind the library, one of the first creative writing workshops I went to in Manchester was held in the basement of this building, so it felt like the perfect setting for the festival.

There was a really exciting buzzing vibe in the room as I waited for the speakers to begin. Saris were flowering all over the room, bright green on pink, gold trim, roses on luminous blue, a pure cream outfit of varying layers of lace. There was such a diverse mix of people; Young Identity were present and performed on the first evening, the whole range of the communities around Greater Manchester was reflected.

I held a copy of Scribble the Beauty Issue and was moved by the simplicity and generosity of the voices within it. Robert McCrum the key note speaker I could have listened to for hours, he has blogged on the Guardian about the festival. He seemed to quote everyone alive, starting with Columbus. One of my favourite quotes which appealed to me as a writer: ‘the blank page: the page of your death, against which you pit your life’s strength’. Absolutely!

When tweeting for the festival I saw it as using twitter as a notepad in which I was scribbling my favourite quotes and moments down. Some of it on looking back is out of context but some of it really invokes the enjoyment and connections of the festival. Here are some of the quotes:

Shamshad Khan: Do we never forget the taste of a land that has grown our parents?

Tony Walsh: The poetry business is a business in feelings.

Workshop quote: The trouble with poetry is it’s obsession with big words!

Robert McCrum: Book clubs are desperate attempts to communicate a personal experience. (my addition: as is life).

But if life is a desperate attempt to communicate a personal experience Scribfest13 definitely contributed to the bridges, the ropes and walkways and words we use to try and cross the distance between ourselves and others. It was great to be part of it; Jackie Kay‘s reading of her poetry, short stories and Red Dust Road was truly memorable.


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