Poetry in Performance/Storytelling
Choral Singing & Community Drumming
Areas of Interest
Creative Writing Workshops working with absolute beginners and with socially excluded groups, eg prisoners and those with mental health challenges under the banner of Word Alchemy Workshops.
Poetry in Performance/Readings
It helps to grow up in a house where your elder sister writes; it makes poetry writing a completely normal activity for a woman, even if the anthologies in the 1960s and 1970s did not affirm that reality.
It helps to be born into a family where reading is as essential as breathing. It helps if you have engaged teachers who will talk about trochaic tetrameter while you are mocking up the Berwick Area Senior High School’s student newspaper.
It helps to be able to take Creative Writing as an elective at Catholic University of America. But you need to keep on once you are out in the Grown Up world scrabbling for the readies; you figure out random ways to keep writing and always keep on reading.
It helps to stumble upon writing groups, in my case the Hackney Poetry Circle in London, and women’s writing classes with the likes of Alison Fell and Gillian Allnut. It helps meeting others in West Yorkshire and beginning to perform the poetry in public. It helps to meet other women writers who band together to create the first collection together (Binary Star) with support from Yorkshire Arts.
It helps to have the good sense to choose a life partner who shares your passion for the creative arts and has very low standards of housekeeping.
It does actually help - really, truthfully, honestly, if only retrospectively - for life to smack you upside and leave you reeling, because you start writing again, regularly, in a more disciplined fashion and you begin to see your poems, your creative non-fiction, your spiritual autobiography, magazine articles and a magazine column in print. Later there will be some short stories, too. Sometimes they even pay you for the pleasure. Not enough. But hey, let’s stay upbeat.
The worldwide web opens more possibilities – the blogs and web articles, the haiku, senryu and tanka get accepted and posted. A website editorship comes about. You and your sister collaborate on a transatlantic haiku collection via email.
Then, in that dark night of the soul, when you think there are really no more words that can be written, Cavan Arts sends you off to the Arvon Centre and Manchester and there is another seam to mine after all.
That really helps.
And now I want to pass it on. I love inviting absolute beginners, prisoners, and mental health survivors, to take a shot at writing, to experiment with words and meaning and creating the right container for both.
Because a life is wholly enhanced, in my experience, by literature and trying your hand to express with words that meaning and purpose.
Read Verbeia by Bee Smith
Read 'What Meredith' by Bee Smyth
Contact information and further details:
Facebook: Barbara M. Smith (Bee Smith) & Irish Blessings Tours
Linked In Ireland: Bee Smith
YouTube clips of poetry readings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaPj0-TIfjE
Telephone: 00353 71 964 3936
Selected blog links:
Bellaonline.com, Irish Culture editor, including weekly posts, forum moderation and newsletter responsibilities, March 2014 to present. www.bellaonline.com