Having just performed at The Hertford Club’s first literary festival, I have been inspired to look into what other poets and events there are within the boarders of my beloved county.
When doing a Google search on ‘poetry in Hertfordshire’, I found it funny that most of the searches resulted in either poetry as a healing group (which is fine and to be welcomed in these worrying times) or various reading group websites, which is also fine as I belong to one of them (The Hertford Writers Circle)!
However I didn’t find anything specific about poets or poetry itself…
With the World Cup having gained a lot of attention throughout the town and a host of other events widely supported by the masses, I thought quietly to myself: ‘has poetry had its day?’
On a more positive note, surfing the net will also bring up information on a great wealth of local authors, poets and playwrights who have had varying degrees of popularity throughout history. These include George Bernard Shaw (probably Herts’ most famous literary resident), Francis Bacon, Beatrix Potter, Barbara Cartland, Frederick Forsyth and more.
My personal experiences of spoken word poetry in London and other areas has made me feel that perhaps it is time for change.
Although I welcome the challenge of getting my words and rhymes into the ears of our wonderful community, I must also take a minute to ponder on the task I have in front of me…
Earlier this year I collaborated with an amazing animator, poet and filmmaker, named Jamie H Scrutton, which culminated in a spoken word piece put to some amazing stop-motion animation. The purpose was to raise funds and awareness for the various charities that are supporting the Grenfell Tower disaster fund and with a very positive response so far, we continue to support the cause.
My thanks go to Jamie for such an amazing piece of art, which I am very proud to have been a part of. I have also been in discussion with people from within the Grenfell community, as to the sensitivity of our film, as this is of course a very controversial and emotive subject.
When I wrote the poem It was out of pure frustration and anger but I think it is very easy to get carried away with your own artistic journey and it’s so important to keep in mind the impact your work may have on others.
The piece is hopefully going to be published in a collection of poems later this year.
My next blog
Poetry in Hertfordshire continues to fascinate and allude me and I will certainly welcome any contributions to my next blog, with the sole purpose of putting poetry on our map. My hope is that we can improve the image of poetry and the spoken word.
In the words of George Bernard Shaw: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
I shall soon be presenting “An introduction to poetry” to a group of year ten students. And so the journey begins once again…
About the author
This is a guest post from Daren Peary*.
As well as a poet, Daren is also a blogger, a member of the Hertford Writers Circle and author of the book Lettermorphosis, which is an imaginative and entertaining introductory poetry book for all ages.
*All opinions expressed in this article and related materials are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by HertfordArts. This website is a place to discuss Hertfordshire’s wonderful artists and their work so please feel free to leave a comment below – just please keep it friendly, so we can all enjoy an open, pleasant conversation. Thank you.