Robert Garnham, aka The Professor of Whimsy, has been taking his much-loved brand of LGBT whimsy and humour to UK audiences for over a decade. He’s an inveterate performer at the Edinburgh fringe, a prolific writer and co-host of popular South Devon Spoken Word night Stanza Extravaganza. Before he comes to perform in Crediton Town Square on 30 August, Ysella Sims has been chatting to him about his work.
Chris White is a poet and performer, who produces Exeter’s regular spoken word night Spork. He has recently been selected as a Siren Poet for the Cape Farewell Project, an international arts organisation creating a cultural response to the climate challenge. Local writer Ysella Sims has been talking to him about the impact of lockdown, the writing process and his dream dinner party.
Award-winning performance poet Tim King is this year’s Bard of Exeter and the much loved host of Exeter’s most popular poetry/spoken word night, Taking the Mic. In April he was due to perform at Poetry in the Pub at the Lamb Inn, in Sandford. But when lockdown put paid to that event, Ysella Sims decided to interview him digitally.
In April 2020 - two weeks into lockdown - Philip Robinson sat at his kitchen table in Crediton wondering what it was like for other people in this similar predicament elsewhere in the world. Same or different challenges, what did they feel and think about it all, what could they see from their window? And so began One Day At Home In the World, an extraordinary project connecting over 50 people aged from 9 to 89 spread across 30 countries all recording what they did on one day in April 2020.
For many people the worst part of lockdown has been separation from their grandchildren. Local writer Mary Stephenson came up with a novel idea for keeping in touch with her grandson - she wrote him a story, recorded it with sound effects and music, and then sent it to him. She is offering to help others do the same.
Jean Rhys is thought by many to be one of the greatest English writers.
She is best known for her book Wide Sargasso Sea, but not many
people realise that she lived for many years in Cheriton Fitzpaine. In
2017 her long-time friend and publisher Diana Athill wrote a short
biography of Rhys for Cheriton resident Elly Babbedge. The full
version can be bought in the village church. Here is an extract.
Poetry can be a source of comfort in times of crisis and help us connect with our emotions. Local writer Ysella Sims shares a sonnet about the pandemic which moved her to tears and urges us all to have a go at expressing our feelings in words. Poetry need not be scary, she says, it is about stopping and noticing.