Category Archives: event

Boojum & Snark!


Find your creative voice by making a zine!

With graphic designer Claire Speight and award-winning poet Maggie Sawkins.

Do you live, work or play in the Bay area? Would you like to share your outlook and story or just try something new? Then why not join our zine-making workshops? Zines are neat little DIY magazines that are a wonderful mash-up of stories, art, words, and illustrations that give a voice to differing points of view. Working in groups, you will be guided by Claire and Maggie in exploring shared themes around life in the Bay. Using techniques including collage, drawing, mark-making and other print techniques, Claire will help you develop your story visually. The zines, printed on a Riso press, will then be distributed throughout the community as well as forming part of a summer window installation and be part of a final exhibition at the Quay Arts Centre in spring 2023!

“This project will provide creative opportunities for storytelling and communicating different perspectives of living in the Bay area. What would you like to say to promote understanding?” Tracy Mikich

There are currently four workshops:

BAY TEEN ZINE:13-18yr old

Where: Sandown Library

When: Monday 6, 13, 20, 27 June, 6-8pm (4 sessions)

Book: Email


Where: Boojum&Snark 105 High Street, Sandown

When: Tues 7, 14, 21 June 7-9pm (3 sessions)

Book; email or call 0744 905 4368

YOUNG PERSONS: 18-25yr old

Where: Boojum&Snark

When: Weds 8, 15, 22 June, 6-8pm (3 sessions)

Book; email or call 0744 905 4368

The project is supported by the Arts Council England.


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New Poetry 2022 at Lewes Live Lit

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March 26, 2022 · 12:50 pm

A Poem to Remember

I’m running a free Poetry Workshop at Portsmouth Central Library on Saturday 24 March 10.30 – 1.30 pm.

A Poem to Remember is a national initiative launched by Prince William, encouraging people to write poems of hope over adversity to mark the end of the First World War.

In collaboration with BBC Get Creative and the Poetry Society.

Advance tickets available here:



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The Worry of Words

Saturday 24 June

1.20 – 1.50pm

Fluid Motion Theatre Company

The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke RG21 4AF

All in the Mind Festival

Maggie discusses how writing about a family member’s dual diagnosis enabled her to reach a place of compassion and acceptance. Her live literature production, Zones of Avoidance, which won The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, is described as ‘beautifully written and uncompromising.’ Through poetry, letters and monologues, Maggie manages to juggle the imperative of honesty – how to tell an important story truthfully – and ‘avoidance’ – how bitter truths may be made bearable. The talk will be illustrated by short poem films from the production.

All in the Mind Festival

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June 12, 2017 · 4:39 pm

Jan 2017 – Event – Fareham

Friday 13 January

1pm arrival, 2pm Performance

Tickets: FREE includes tea/coffee on arrival

Ashcroft Arts Centre, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Healthwatch Hampshire present this extraordinary project based on the voice and stories of people with dementia and their carers. Over the last few months, workshops have been taking place within three day centres run by Age Concern Hampshire, giving people the chance to speak about their experience of local health care services. I worked with them to transform these stories into poetry and at this event will be reading from a new poetry anthology created during the project.

Featured Article: The Portsmouth News, 6 January 2017


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July 2016 – Performance – Chichester

Priory Park Music Festival

Guildhall Stage

6.30pm | £4

Poetry reading accompanied by David Jordan on double bass.

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July 2016 – Reading – Steep

Friday 22 July

South Downs Poetry Festival

Steep Village Hall

7pm | £12

Poetry Reading with Andrew McMillan, Hugh Dunkerley, Matthew Caley, Paul Deaton.

Music Mike Knee.


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Hampshire Festival of the Mind

Saturday 7 May 2016, Portsmouth Cathedral, Old Portsmouth


A presentation in which I’ll be discussing how writing can help to foster empathy and compassion. Illustrated with poem films from the award-winning live literature production, Zones of Avoidance.

Details of the day’s events can be found here:


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September 2015 – Reading – Dimbola Museum and Galleries

Zones of Avoidance – A reading followed by Q & A

2014-01-22 17.40.15

Zones of Avoidance – The Cellars at Eastney

Thursday 24 September 2015


Dimbola Museum and Galleries

Freshwater, Isle of Wight, PO40 9QE

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March 2015 – Book Launch – Square Tower

Maggie Sawkins will be launching her new collection, Zones of Avoidance, based on the live literature production that won last year’s Ted Hughes award, in Portsmouth on Saturday 28 March.

Ted Hughes award judge Denise Riley described Zones of Avoidance, which was directed by Mark C Hewitt, as “a challenging, painfully open account of a daughter’s addiction, yet it’s an account which also offers graceful good humour. Beautifully written and uncompromising, it’s a modern story that we felt the writer was compelled to tell; it acts as a vivid witness of harsh experiences which aren’t often described in poetry, and Maggie Sawkins’s illuminating descriptions will prove helpful for others to hear.”

In an interview with Write Out Loud last year, Maggie

said: “The story is very personal.  I’d been gathering draft material on the subject over a period of 20 years. Much of it was in the form of diary entries and some was in the form of unsent letters to my grandson, who’s been estranged from my daughter since the age of three. My motivation was to keep a record for him – when someone close to you is gripped by addiction you’re always expecting the knock on the door. I could have written the story as a memoir and perhaps made a lot of money. However, reading back through the drafts, I realised that the ‘truth’ could be told in relatively few words. I think all of us have the one tale to tell and there are different ways of telling it. Writing in poetry enabled me to tease out the terrible beauty from what, in reality, has been a much darker story.”

The launch of the book, published by Cinnamon Press, is at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth at 7.30pm. Entry is free. More details and Map

Background: ‘The dramatic material provided by living in a battlefield is a gift for any writer’

Music with Bernard MacDonagh and Claire Ward


Zones of Avoidance

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