Telltales is a free event and we welcome all types of writing – poetry, prose, memoir, non-fiction.
Freshly Squeezed at Port Eliot Festival 2014
A hot, dry weekend at Port Eliot raised hackles of nervousness for all concerned as 3.45 pm on Sunday grew nearer and nearer. This was the appointed hour for Telltales writers to reveal what they had written over the weekend, inspired by the festival’s events, aura or the tiniest whispers.
Clare Howdle read a series of mini-epiphanies overheard at the festival which she used to introduce each writer’s piece in turn. Chiming with the centennial remembrance of World War One, Genevra Fletcher gave a richly detailed factual story of a soldier and his family’s experience of the war, rooted in a Cornish past vividly brought to life. Her accomplished writing helped settle the audience and writers waiting in the wings. Jane Pugh opted for an eulogy of the recently- deceased TV actor James Garner, celebrating his laconic, humorous gravitas as an enunciation of everything that Port Eliot isn’t. Alan Robinson’s story about a couple celebrating their first weekend away together by glamping at Port Eliot was based on observations of strange, unexplained incidents occurring across the festival weekend. Writing it on the hoof meant he’d been able to change the ending to a happy one at the very last minute. We all take our hats off to Suzie Cunliffe, who, reading her work with Telltales for the very first time, gave a calm and confident performance. Suzie was followed by Felicity Notley’s linked group of poems. Inspired by the coming together of myriad life-forms in one place, it celebrated both human and non-human life; a memorable poem at the centre of her piece used a butterfly as a metaphor for the celebration of living and survival. Gareth May ended the set with a light touch: a moving and funny account of how camping affects romantic impulses, sexual organs and desire in confined spaces.
As the appreciative audience dispersed, there was a collective sense of achievement that the event had delivered something unusual, which was both commentary and story, together with an overwhelming sense of pure relief.
Telltales at Parklive, Kimberley Park, Falmouth 21 September 2.15 to 3pm
Telltales will be performing at Source FM’s Parklive event on Sunday 21 September 2.15 to 3pm in the Spoken word marquee. There’ll be performance poetry, novel extracts, poetry and non-fiction from our talented performers. The event is free.
There will also be four open mic sessions during the afternoon (starting at 1pm) if anyone wants to bring along a reading.
Send in your Spoken Word performance to Guardian Witness
Guardian Witness have been in touch to say that they have commissioned a series of original spoken word opinion pieces from some of the UK’s leading poets and spoken word performers. You can already listen to Hollie McNish on Outdoor Education and Luke Wright on Scottish Independence. Coming soon are James Massiah on Gentrification and Deanna Rodger on Housing.
To coincide with the launch, Guardian Witness are calling for spoken word pieces from Telltales writers in the form of a short video (no longer than three minutes) filmed on your computer, camera or phone (the video quality is irrelevant.) You can then upload this to the Spoken Word: share your performance assignment on the Guardian Witness website https://witness.theguardian.com. Join Telltales writers Aaron Kent, Abigail Wyatt and Nick Jarvis, whose contributions are already available on the website.
If the series goes well, the Guardian may use these submissions to find new talent to commission, so it’s an excellent opportunity for Telltales writers to get their work seen and heard on a national level.