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10 Reasons Why MudFest is IT

You’ve seen the posters…MudFest, felt the notifications ping in your pocket…MudFest, heard the poets talking hype…MudFest! But what the heck is this MudFest? Why should you spend your hard earned Friday night with us, rather than with socks off, face in a pizza, Netflix binging?

WHY, you ask??

1. It’s a MUD Book Launch!

Should there be any other reason other than it’s the launch of our sexy new anthology – and accompanying illustrative Zine, both entitled WOMAN?

These tomes of pure WOMANLINESS has been in the making since last year, and our own raucous festival is the perfect opportunity to launch it with a bang.

Sneaky peek of the cover…

2. Poetry Kissing Booth

Clandestine kissing and street poetry? Well – it’s sort of that. Visit our wee little booth and answer a few mysterious questions to receive a custom written love poem by one of MudFest’s Poets of Lurve – a kiss that you can keep forever. Feel free to swoon in their wake, or gift the poem to a loved one and claim it as your own. Though that might prove problematic when you have to write another one…

Sneak peek of our booth in production stage:

3. Live Music

There’s an eclectic mix of music lined up – with tunes from Emily Franklin, Daniel Ison, and Gang of Angels Choir. Party!

4. Live Spoken Word Poetry

Some excitingly poetic peeps featured in our WOMAN Anthology will be gracing our stage and charming you with their funked up lingo and verbal eurhythmics. What’s not to love? If you sneak up on them afterwards, you might even be able to get them to sign your shiny new copy of the anthology. Instant heirloom! Expect to hear from Bea Udeh, Alex Bond, Anne Holloway, and plenty others, to boot.

5. An Indie Marketplace

The perfect place to find a kooky print or poem – visit our marketplace to peel through the works of Big White Shed, Pop Press, Dizzy Ink, Sarah Woolf, and others. You totally can’t leave without at least one limited edition find, surely?

6. Mud Merch!

This is your chance to grab some extremely limited edition (and I mean EXTREMELY limited edition) Mud merchandise, most of which has been painstakingly handmade by our editor and Mud supporters. As well as Mud totes and pins badges, you should expect a few surprises. I’m not going to spoil the reveal, but I’ll tease that some of it is deliciously, wonderfully, rude.

7. Pick up a Publication

It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up one of our other publications and question our Founding Editor George Wilding about them over and over again. She’ll love it – I promise! She’s already become a bit of a Poetry Guru around Nottingham, recently being featured in the Nottingham Evening Post, as well as performing alongside the poetry wizard Henry Normal on a library tour to promote MudFest. You might have even spotted her this week on BBC East Midlands (at prime time, no less), bigging up performance poetry and even performing a little bit of her own wordage too!

8. Live Artistry and Auction

Not only can you watch some live illustration magic, but you can also take part in the exciting rat race of our Live Artistry Auction! Throughout the event you’ll be able to watch the artists working live, and if you fall in love with a piece or two you can bid on them, and hopefully take home an original piece of Mud history. Maybe you could even get the artist to write a little dedication on the back!

What will be created? Who knows?

9. It’s a Goddamn Festival!

Come on… Free music, spoken word poetry, independent wizardry, face-painting, letter presses, Instagram photo opportunities… What other surprises could there possibly be?? You’ll have to turn up and see. There’ll be Mud Staff dotted around to help too – so look for our shiny new Mud lanyards (they’re pretty swish)!

10. Kudos

Earn respect and admiration amongst both indie and literary communities by attending. Be inspired by the kaleidoscope of whiling colours and punching words. Take it all in and tell stories about it for weeks. MONTHS. Afterwards, you might be moved to have MUD tattooed across your chest. You might run away to Paris and set up home in Shakespeare & Co. You might participate in the next MudFest as a fire-eater or balloon eater or some other kind of slightly dangerous and perplexing eater. You might EVEN give poetry a go, and submit to Mud’s next call for submissions. 😉

Convinced? I’ve heard that it’s just THE place to be this April.

The Where: THiNK Creative Space, Cobden Chambers, Pelham Street, Notts, NG1 2ED

The When: Friday 28th April, 4.00pm – 8.00pm

The Why: If you haven’t worked this out yet, scroll back up to the beginning and read again, please.

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Introducing… MudFest!

Mud Press have been approached by the wonderful folks at Nottingham Poetry Festival to produce an event as part of their poetic celebrations – so it is with great pride that we present to you: MudFest!

We’re so excited about this event. Not only is it a chance to be part of the poetry festival, but it lands at exactly the right time for us to launch our two newest publications: WOMAN the anthology, and illustrative zine!

For such a special event, we felt we had to go ALL OUT, for a full festival vibe! We’re having live music, live art, an indie selling market, face and body painting, a poetry kissing booth and more to be confirmed – and entry is completely free, too!

We’re confident that MudFest is set to be one of the highlights of Nottingham Poetry Festival, and can’t wait for you all to see it!

It’s been absolutely mad here at Mud HQ. We’ve been prepping for the event, utilising our founding editor’s craft and DIY skills; painting signs with blackboard paint, knitting vagina badges (which will be for sale at the event), and we’ve even got a friend busy building a Poetry Kissing Booth for us! See pictures of all the little bits we’ve been working on in the gallery under this post!

Needless to say, MudFest promises to be an amazing event. There will be something there for absolutely everyone, so please do come along! Join us on Friday 28th April from 5-8pm in the courtyard of THiNK Creative Space, Cobden Chambers, Pelham street, NG1 2ED. There will be fun, there will be paint and, most importantly, there will be poetry!

Don’t miss a single update – click ‘going’ on the Facebook event HERE.

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Founder of Mud Press Interviewed by BBC Radio Nottingham – Palpitations!

So what do you get if you combine Valentine’s Day, Nottingham, a spectacularly Mouthy Poet, and a splattering of Mud? You get this bloody love-beset poem, you do!

Georgina Wilding, the founder of our dear and dirty Mud Press, was approached by BBC Nottingham to write a poem for Valentine’s Day, and after knuckling down to it came up with this stonker (watch the video via the BBC Radio Nottingham Facebook page).

George was also interviewed live on BBC Radio Nottingham (palpitations!) on what makes a Mouthy Poet, why poetry works, about the language of truth, and of course luuurve. You can listen to the broadcast here (skip to 1:51:03 to get straight to the interview).

So whether you’re spending Valentine’s with the cat, with a box set, or with a rather special human being – why not write it down, poetry stylee?

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A Little Bit of Community Work – Funded by The Poetry Foundation!

Did you know that as well as producing anthologies-so-good-you’d-like-to-lick-them, Mud Press also gets her sticky fingers into community action? Well listen up, y’all, because this stuff really matters.

So what happened?

In April 2015, an exchange was devised between Deborah Stevenson (the founder of UK based Mouthy Poets), working with Bilbrough College Nottingham, and a teacher (Melissa Hughes) from TEAM Englewood School in Chicago. Deborah and Melissa both arrived at each other’s schools with the same poetry prompts and writing activities, ready to inspire two sets of students through intimate coaching and writing sessions. The students were asked to write about their neighbourhood and everyday lives, and though they were given the same stimuli, they were encouraged to drift creatively, and be themselves. The outcome was a vivid melange of poems exploring life in the US and UK, via an individualistic spectrum of voices.

And this is where Mud stepped in! In early summer 2015, Deborah and Anne Holloway (the founder of Big White Shed) approached Mud to compile an anthology of the work produced – AND it would be funded by The Poetry Foundation! Big, big, deal! And so the anthology ‘Middle Ground’ was born.

Mud seized the opportunity to be in the mix, and spent the summer working with Big White Shed to edit the wealth of poems created during the project into an anthology. And what a collection it turned out to be! The most exciting bit was to see how students from different cultures responded to the same prompts; so bold expressions of spoken word-esque works sat next to calculated stanzas in an array of forms, and blunt, gritty pieces were followed by comic ditties. The anthology had become a true ‘community’ of voices in itself.

After the cover was designed by regular contributor to Mud’s graphic design, Angelica Parra (first showcasing her talents on the cover of Hunger), and once the final proof-read was done, the anthology was complete – a visceral, living thing. The collection was delivered to the students who took part, and they got to see (and keep) a real, physical copy of their work, which of course they loved, and it definitely gave them major bragging rights across the schools! They were officially published poets after all.

Mud knows deep in her being that this sort of community work is important. So many of us feel like we don’t have anything interesting to say, or that we don’t lead diverse enough lives to write about, or simply that no one else cares. Projects like this prove that we all count, our private worlds are fascinating, and everyone, literally everyone, has a distinctive voice, which deserves to be captured. Maybe the young people in this project will even continue their storytelling with their new-found confidence!

And so, within the first 6 months of Mud Press being born, she was already helping to change the lives of young people LITERALLY around the world. That’s definitely something worth shouting about, right?

And do you know, Mud’s hoping to do lots more of these community collaborations! So keep your ears to the ground, and of course, if you want to be involved, get in touch!

 

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What is Mud, really?

So, why Mud? Well, it’s sticky, visceral, it’s the earth, it’s made into pies, it’s dirty (but pleasingly cleansing for the skin), it’s full of life, you can smear it across your face, taste it, roll in it, get filthy. And isn’t art and poetry the same? Shouldn’t words and pictures be more than just something to look at?

Mud celebrates everything that’s human, that’s wild, that’s daring to be unleashed – and all of this via the most evocative illustrations, digital art, daring wit, and magnificent wordsmithery. It’s a Press to drool at, and if The Mighty Boosh were still about I’m sure a miniature Vince Noir would be dancing within Mud’s pages, crimping to some electric robotic moves.

Mud creates anthologies to scribble on, to press against you, to sleep with if you like (we don’t judge). You are officially allowed to love these anthologies any way you’d like.

Mud puts passion into action. As well as producing work so tasty it should be edible (if only), Mud also gets the community thinkin’ by running writing workshops and collaborative projects – oh, and there are so many more to come. Stay tuned, Nottingham folk. And if you’re further afield, Mud might even reach you too.

Want to experience Mud in all it’s glory? Explore Hunger, bursting with wanting, lust, desire, and venom. It’s you in your darker moments, the violet moments, the moments that pulse. Keep your peepers open for the next call for submissions too – whether you’re an illustrator or a poet.

Go on, rub yer face on it. You know you want to.

Caroline H 🙂

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Wordsmithy Wizard

Would you look at that! We’ve been fortunate enough to bag ourselves a resident blogger, and not just any blogger either, but the fabulous Caroline Hardaker Writes!

She’s here to help spread the word about the fun (and sometimes not so fun) things we get up to here at Mud. We’re a bit bad at keeping you all up to date you see, so Caroline’s going to whip us (and our blog) into shape!

Caroline hails from Newcastle Upon Tyne, and has a first class degree in English Literature and a masters degree in Culture and Heritage from Newcastle University. Her poetry, fiction, and features have been published widely in print and online, and she’ll do (almost) anything to get everyone to have a go at writing or making. She is the Creator behind Knittynudo, and lives with a forest of houseplants, a husband, two snails, and a betta fish with attitude.

Watch this space for her wordsmith wizardry, coming soon (we’re so excited!) …

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It’s National Poetry Day!

Today is National Poetry Day, and for the this year’s theme, light, our Founding Editor Georgina has written a little poem.

Feast at midnight,
thank you fridge light.
Shelf comes stage
and the show goes on.
Produce,
the new Shakespeare.

Did you decide to write anything for this years theme? Or maybe you have a favourite light themed poem? If so, why not share it with us by tweet or Facebook post – We’d love to see some of your stuff!

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The Launch of All Launches

What a ball we had at Friday’s launch party – it was a proper ol’ knees up!

The night started with our founding editor, Georgina, hopping on stage and giving the crowd a break down of Mud and how it all began. That lead on to an open mic hosted by Poetry Is Dead Good, where we had some outstanding performances, and some very brave poems if we do say so ourselves!

After this, there were sneak previews of 5 of the poems featured in the Hunger anthology, read by their actual authors! Some of whom had travelled all the way up from London to be there. It was so humbling.

Next up, the music! We had the incredible Emily Franklin who had people’s jaws on the floor. Everyone was in awe of her and her voice, she did so well – proper blew’t roof off!

Emily was followed by our closing band, Cheshire and The Cat,  who sported old fashioned lampshades for hats and an out of this world trumpet player! By this point, everyone was dancing and jumping around to their sounds, they really are a fantastic band, you honestly should check them out and try and see them live if you can – you won’t regret it!

We had a selfie wall covered in Mud posters, so people could take pictures as though they were on the red carpet; we had light up balloons – oh and we had giant gold balloons that spelt out M U D (They were our favourite); we had big tissue paper pom-poms’ hanging from all over the stage; we had badges and posters and stickers and of course… BOOKS! They sold incredibly well and we were inundated with the most beautiful comments about them. Our favourite comes from owner of Big White Shed, Anne Holloway, who said ‘I just didn’t expect the quality of the poems to be so good!’ – We’re going to have that quote splatted over the website somewhere, just you wait haha!

Here’s a few snaps from what truly was an incredible night.

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Our Launch Party

Well hello!

If you’ve been following us much on social media, you’ll know we’re due a big old knees up at Rough Trade Nottingham to celebrate the launch of us and our first ever anthology, Hunger. There’s going to be an open mic for all poetry enthusiasts to get up and give us a taste of their work, there’s going to be badges, there’s going to be stickers, there’s going to be dancing… and of course, THERE’S GOING TO BE BOOKS!

We have some incredible artists lined up to jam with on the night, here, check them out:

Emily Franklin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdMCYuFBPDo 

Cheshire & The Cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATW-tRQGwWg 

Not to mention exclusive readings from the likes of Gabriel Jones, Georgina Norie, Joshua Judson, Rosemary Swainston and many more!

We’ve also been fortunate enough to be chosen for Left Lions ‘Pick of The Week’, too, and so here’s their run down of our event:

http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/pick-of-the-week--28---4-october/id/7734 http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/pick-of-the-week–28—4-october/id/7734

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Sounds great, right? Will you be there to dance with us?

Mud Press