Anyone else excited?

December 2015

Can you feel it on the air?
It’s pulsing round the globe.
There’s a magic everywhere
and holy Lucasfilm I know
that this year will be special.
This year, one of a kind.
I’ve got to make sure I play it safe.
Make sure that I don’t die.
I get goose bumps thinking about it.
My hairs all stand on end.
I’ve been waiting for a decade
but now it’s time, my friends.
For that sprinkle of Disney magic
has given life to dying embers.
Another chance to show the world how it’s done
and it’s coming this December.
I honestly can’t remember
the last time I was this excited
and I’m not gonna sugar coat it.
because to be honest, I’m a bit frightened.
I couldn’t stand being disappointed again
I don’t want to have my heart
rip out of my chest
and thrown on the floor
and crudely ripped apart.
I’ve put all my trust in the magic
because the magic and me
we’ve been together my whole life;
since I was old enough to dream.
Since I was old enough to take a stick
and make those swooshing sounds
that only a lightsaber can make
when it’s chopping storm troopers down
I built the spaceships out of Lego
before the Lego line was released
and now I have my ticket for the new Star Wars
on December 17th.
So step to one side Christmas.
Cos I’ve been wanting this for ages
and I’ve done Christmas for the past 30 years
and nothing really changes.
But Christmas you’re not forgotten
and you know you’re not forsaken.
It’s just I’ll be with you December 18th
after The Force Awakens.

-Woolly

 

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West End Words

For the past few Sundays I have been going over to Morecambe to work with the folks who use the West End Impact centre. The centre is a Christian run charity that aims to give those who need it a brighter future.

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The Writing Room – oh so cosy

A lot of the people who use the centre are, amongst other things, homeless, extremely poor or struggling with day to day life and need a hand.

Over the past few weekends I have been attending the Sunday drop in service to meet the people who use it, listen to their stories and help them to contribute to a poetry pamphlet of their own. The work they produced would be sold at an evening of poetry and spoken word and everything made from their pamphlets and all other donations would be given to the Impact.

The pamphlet they produced is called West End Words and it contains poems that touch on hopes, memories, feelings and the centre itself. My favourite is called ‘Some kind of poem’ and is at the bottom of this post. Last night it went on sale at the spoken word performance.

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BigCharlie Poet

I was honoured to host the event, along with Mollie Baxter and The Writing Room. The Writing Room is a place where creative minds can meet, chat, produce new writing and listen to others perform their work. I was joined by Lancaster’s BigCharlie Poet and some excellent talent on the open mic.

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The Woolly Poet, Mollie and a table full of donations

The evening was, as always, a free event but I asked if those that attended would either buy a copy of West End Words, donate for a glass of wine or donate a woolly hat, scarf, gloves or other item of unwanted clothing.

I am pleased to say that I was totally blown away with the amount of clothing that was donated to the cause. We sold ten copies of West End Words and had £22 donated. Now £22 doesn’t sound like a great deal, but that amount could buy two house holds electricity for a week.

So today I dropped off all the donations at the Impact centre and showed everyone the pamphlet they had contributed to. Every single person was impressed with what they had produced and they were more than thankful for the items of clothing. Some of the hats and gloves had found new homes before I’d even put down the bags.

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Very happy with the hats and gloves

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at the Impact centre, Mollie Baxter for letting me use The Writing Room, BigCharlie Poet for supporting and everyone else for doing open mic and donating.

-Woolly

 

Some kind of poem

The centre has free coffee and tea.
I don’t event drink coffee or tea.

But I meet new people.

– By Anon

 

 

An awesome review :)

“On Sunday Week 4, I attended the last show of Benjamin Guilfoyle A.K.A Woolly Hat Poems’ Lancaster “tour” promoting his first poetry pamphlet ‘Level up’ with illustrations from Lancaster University  Art student, Emily Ingle. Held in the cosy Meeting Room of The Gregson Centre, it was a quaint evening of wonderfully anecdotal poems and lots of laughs, perfect for a chilly autumn evening…”

Above is the opening paragraph to a review of the final performance of the Level Up tour which I recently completed. The review is written by Hazel Mason and has been published in Lancaster Universities student newspaper ‘SCAN‘. It is the first published review of the tour and I am very pleased with it.

I can’t post the whole review here, but if you follow this link you can read the whole thing.

-Woolly

Woolly at Natterjacks

End of a Woolly whirlwind

For the past month or so I have been taking my poetry pamphlet ‘Level Up’ on a mini tour of Lancaster and it’s surrounding area and it has been really great. Since the final performance last Sunday I have had that feeling of ‘I now have nothing to do‘ that always comes at the end of a major project.

Woolly at Natterjacks

In total I did five shows. The first at Natterjacks in Ulverston, second at Skippy in the Well in Garstang, third Lancaster Library, fourth The Robert Gillow and the fifth at The Gregson Community Arts Centre. All of these venues were more than accommodating and offered help in any way that they could, so for that I am extremely grateful.

Woolly at Natterjacks

Everyone who attended the events gave me very nice feedback that I think needs sharing:

– “What a great evening. A pleasure to experience such talent. Well done.”
– “Well done… what a lovely evening.”
– “…a wonderful evening! A very talented performance!”
– “Inclusive and accessible poetry for all!”
– “Fantastic, entertaining evening.”
– “Poetry… it’s like rapping but better”

How nice 🙂 Throughout the tour it has been comments like these that have made the whole thing worthwhile. Selling copies of the pamphlet was just an added bonus. I had one gentleman who came to three different gigs!

Woolly at Skippy in the Well

So yes, I am extremely grateful to all the venues, all the people who turned up and anyone who helped me with any part of the tour that I could not do myself. I would like to say a special that you to Amy Boud and Don’t Tell Suzy for their support in Ulverston; Tim Ledwitch for his support at The Robert Gillow; Trevor Meaney for his support at The Gregson Centre and to The Music Spot in Lancaster for lending me all the technical equipment.

It’s been a week since the tour finished and I think I am just about starting to come round. Woolly Hat Poems is working on a couple of new projects in Lancaster and Morecambe as well as something special for the new year. I post more details soon.

Thanks for the support everyone!

Woolly

Level Up tour info / update

Level Up poster

I had a blast last weekend and was honoured to be able to perform at the Brighouse Arts Festival and the Woodystock Charity event 2015. I was able to meet lots of wonderful new people and amazing poets of different styles and tastes. Very cool.

But now it’s time to crack on with preparations for the Level Up launch tour. The tour will run for five FREE shows between the 7th and 25th of October (dates below). As well as a performances from myself each event will include support from local poets, open mic slots or both. So if you have any of your own poetry you want to read then bring it along. I’d love to hear it!

REMEMBER! If you wear a Woolly Hat to ANY of the launch gigs, you can take home a FREE woolly poem!

Hope to see you at one of the gigs!


Natterjack’s Arts Cafe – FREE ENTRY, Ulverston – 7th October – 8pm-10pm – with support from local folk legends Don’t Tell Suzy

Skippy in the Well Bookshop – Garstang, PR3 1YB – Tuesday 13th October – 7:00pm – 8:30pm – FREE ENTRY

Lancaster Central Library – FREE ENTRY – Market Square Lancaster, LA1 1HY – Thursday 15th October – 7:30pm – 9:00pm – with open mic

The Robert Gillow – FREE ENTRY – Lancaster – Tuesday 20th October – 7:30pm – 9:00pm – with open mic and support from Tim Ledwitch

The Gregson Arts Centre – FREE ENTRY – The Olive Bar – Sunday 25th October – 8:00pm – 10:00pm – with open mic and support from Trevor Meaney

Coffee cake

I don’t know why, but people seem to think that because I like a nice cup of coffee, I automatically must enjoy a massive slab of coffee cake.

Well, I don’t. Stop trying to make me believe that the two taste the same. They don’t.

Coffee cake

Look, I’m sorry
but I really have to say it.
Just let me get it off my chest
and set the record straight.
Before you try and force feed me
another loaded plate
just accept I like coffee
but I hate coffee cake.

Level Up launch event – New venues

I’ve had a couple more dates added to the mini tour of Lancaster and it’s surrounding area. Which gig can you attend?

All links will lead you to the event page. Please share these events amongst your friends.

Remeber: If you wear a woolly hat to any of these events you will take home a FREE woolly poem!


Brighouse Arts Festival – 26th September – Miller’s Bar, Brighouse – Please note start time changed to 1:00pm

Woodystock fundraiser for Overgate Hospice – 26th September – Brighouse HD6 2HN – 5:00pm

Natterjack’s Arts Cafe – FREE ENTRY, Ulverston – 7th October – 8pm-10pm – with support from local folk legends Don’t Tell Suzy

NEW DATE Skippy in the Well Bookshop – Garstang, PR3 1YB – Tuesday 13th October – 7:00pm – 8:30pm – FREE ENTRY

NEW DATE Lancaster Central Library – FREE ENTRY – Market Square Lancaster, LA1 1HY – Thursday 15th October – 7:30pm – 9:00pm – with open mic

The Robert Gillow – FREE ENTRY – Lancaster – Tuesday 20th October – 7:30pm – 9:00pm – with open mic and support from Tim Ledwitch

The Gregson Arts Centre – FREE ENTRY – The Olive Bar – Sunday 25th October – 8:00pm – 10:00pm – with open mic and support from Trevor Meaney


Please contact me in the comments below, via Twitter or Facebook with any questions regarding any of the above gigs.