patriciafostermckenley.com

Professional Poet, Life Coach, Educator, Artist – Runs Workshops, Gives Reiki & Wellbeing Training

Category: Empowering Young People Through Creativity (page 1 of 3)

Sable Poet-In-Residence Patricia Foster McKenley Performs Poetry and Delivers Workshops at the Mboka Festival, 9-14 January 2017, Gambia.

Between 9th and 14th of January 2017, I can safely say I had one of the most life changing experiences during my existence on this Earth.

Late evening of the 8th of January, after a delayed flight, Banjul in Gambia embraced me with open arms, as I visited West Africa for the first time in my life. On the descent from the plane, I momentarily crouched down and touched the Gambian tarmac.

In September 2016, I received a most welcome and at the same time, frightening and exhilarating email from Kadija (George) Sesay, connected to my role as Sable Litmag Poet-in-Residence. The email confirmed my invite to read poetry and deliver workshops, at the SABLE Literary Festival and the Mboka Festival of Arts. The SABLE Literary Festival, is part of the brilliant new collaboration – the Mboka Festival of Arts, Culture and Sport – in warm and delightful Gambia. Mboka means ‘One Family’ in Wolof.

After a 10 year hiatus, the SABLE Literary Festival relaunched, as part of the Mboka Festival, which took place between 7-17 January 2017. 
This assignment, in my role as the first Sable Poet-in-Residence, was an honour and complete privilege. But I was forewarned I would be worked very hard and indeed I was. 

On 9th January 2017, my second day in Gambia, I was extremely excited and equally nervous to be reading that night, at my first ever poetry event in West Africa. In fact, my first ever poetry reading on the continent of Africa. The reading, where I was also a special guest and highly anticipated poet (apparently my online presence and videos were searched for and watched), took place at the new African Poetry Library, also known as Mango Tree (due to the impressive mango tree in its yard). To top it all, the event was captured for the news on Gambian national television.

Patricia Foster McKenley Reading at the Mboka Literary Festival 2017 launch. Photo courtesy of Kadija George.Patricia Foster McKenley Reading at the Mboka Literary Festival 2017 launch. Photo courtesy of Kadija George.

I was exposed to many young, talented Gambian poets and spoken word artists, in particular the dynamic poetry outfit and writers’ group ‘The Clouds’. I was deeply honoured to share the stage with them. 

Patricia Foster McKenley with The Cloud writing collective. Photo: Clovis McKenleyPhoto: Clovis McKenley

I was even more flattered when I was invited by The Clouds to deliver a lecture and talk to them two days later (Wednesday 11th January 2017). My talk focussed on my journey and Life As a Poet since 2001, my role as Sable Poet-in-Residence, plus writing tips they could apply on their own writing journey. This was delivered at their headquarters in Banjul (the capital). I was left very impressed with their business ideas and set up. 

Patricia Foster McKenley delivering lecture in Gambia. Photo: Clovis McKenleyPhoto: Clovis McKenley

Photo: Clovis McKenley

Spending time with The Clouds also gave me an insight into the political and socio dynamic background for young people and their desire for a greater entrepreneurial spirit in Gambia. They spoke eloquently about the potential for Gambia, at a time when Gambia itself was experiencing a shift in presidential personnel. 

On Thursday 12th January 2017, also as part of the Sable Literary Festival and Mboka Festival, I was programmed to deliver a workshop at The African Poetry Library. After much soul searching, deliberation, hair pulling and brow wipes from my (then soon-to-be) fiancé (and my now husband), I finally prepared a keynote presentation, then took a taxi down to the African Poetry Library. The numbers were small, but the workshop produced great discussion and varied and rich pieces of writing.

Patricia Foster McKenley facilitating workshop at Mboka Festival, Gambia, 2017. Photo: Clovis McKenleyPhoto: Clovis McKenley

Friday 13th January was the showcase for the The Mboka Festival. This was held at the beautiful Senegambia Hotel and included the introduction of our esteemed Kenyan writer and keynote speaker Ngugui Wa Thiong’o, who had only arrived in Gambia from California that afternoon, to a traditional and grand drum, dance and song welcome (which was captured on film and posted on YouTube). As well as myself reading a set of poetry to my own produced soundscape and imagery, the evening contained UK based Numbi Arts and their beautiful collaboration with local artists and musicians, storyteller Nzinga and US based half Gambian academic and poet Rosamund S. King.

Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley

Photo: Clovis McKenley

On Saturday 14th January, I was gifted an opportunity that created an immense shift in me as a poetry educator. Even though incredibly challenging due to the size of the class, their delay en route due to traffic, the language hurdles to overcome and the different learning needs, I thoroughly enjoyed delivering a poetry workshop to the Jambanjelly Basic Cycle School, again at the African Poetry Library, a.k.a. Mango Tree, in Banjul Gambia. The thirty-five eager to learn, polite, endearing students, aged eleven to sixteen or seventeen, also overcame shyness and came to grips with my Jamaican British cultural nuances, to produce some excellent work. A presentation of their work, as well as recitals of their favourite poems took place out in the yard, under the mango tree. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life, without a doubt. I’ll be eternally grateful to this wonderful school for having me! 

Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley

Later that evening, after a searching high and low before sampling vegan Lebanese food, we took a couple of taxi rides to see the excellent production of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s play ‘The Black Hermit’, at Ebunjan Theatre in Bakau, The Gambia. Expertly directed by Janet Badjan-Young, she later stated, “It is a very relevant play for The New Gambia.” The Black Hermit was commissioned by The Mboka Festival and was well received.
Sunday 15th January 2017, the early part of our last day in Gambia was spent exploring the beach, packing and saying our goodbyes to the lovely staff at our hotel. With luggage in toe, we went down to the Senegambia again to attend the brilliant talk given by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. His lasting message to Mboka Festival attendees, particularly local Gambian writers and creatives, was his encouragement ‘to nurture and publish both written and spoken Gambian languages’ to sustain their heritage. Prior to Ngũgĩ’s talk, was a book launch for Rosamond S. King’s collection of poems Rock| Salt| Stone, published by Nightboat Books. 
My week of delivering workshops and poetry, woven between meeting Caribbean-British recently relocated to Gambia, eating and devouring delicious Domoda with vegetables and African fried rice, drinking refreshing ginger and sorrel drinks, visiting a Gambian primary school and being energised and revitalised by the gorgeous Gambian beaches, was over within a matter of hours. Flickers of wonderful memories matching the blinking city night lights of Banjul, as our plane hovered back to rainy London.

Only two days after we returned from Gambia, the outgoing president conceded defeat and the new President was received, heralding new hope and a new direction for beautiful Gambia.

I will be forever grateful for the trust and belief in me, as well as the mentorship provided by Kadija (George) Sesay and Dorothea Smartt, which enabled me to have such a rewarding, character building, culturally engaging and memorable experience that will stay with me my entire life.
By Patricia Foster McKenley.

#SablePoetInResidence #MbokaFestival2017 

Sources: 

A snapshot of The Gambia’s Mboka Festival of Arts Culture and Sport 2017

Posted by James Murua

Link:

http://www.jamesmurua.com/snapshot-gambias-mboka-festival-arts-culture-sport-2017/

This article was first published in: Sable Poet-in-Residence Patricia Foster Reads Poetry and Delivers Workshops at Mboka Festival, Gambia, 2017’,  June 2017. Link: https://www.peepaltreepress.com/blog/inscribe/sable-poet-residence-patricia-foster-reads-poetry-and-delivers-workshops-mboka

LIPS – Anti-Bullying Poetry Film. Written and Performed by Award-Winning Poet Patricia Foster McKenley. Produced by Mellow 9 Productions. Anti-Bullying Week 2018.

As a young child and teenager, I was bullied. As an adult, I have been bullied. These experiences prompted me to write my poem ‘Lips’.
I recently had the poem ‘Lips’ skilfully made into a film by the brilliant Mellow 9 Productions. So thankful for this. 


The poem and film focuses on the traumatic impact of bullying and how important it is to reach out to and seek comfort and refuge from those who can support us. 
I currently use my poetry film ‘Lips’ in poetry, self esteem and anti-bullying workshops. Please contact me for more details and to book a workshop.
Bullying affects more people than we realise.
Watch the film here!
https://youtu.be/DuzFlvl25qg

#AntiBullying

#AntiBullyingWeek

#AntiBullyingWeek2018

#SelfEsteem

#ChooseRespect

Super Woman: Taking Everyday In Her Stride! Celebrating International Women’s Month. By Poet, Educator, Holistic Coach, Speaker & Vegan Patricia Foster McKenley 

“As a woman, today and hereafter, I choose to express myself at my highest potential! That is my divine purpose and mission on this Earth.”~ Patricia Foster McKenley, 8th March 2012

International performances at ‘Palabras The Reunion, Paradiso, Amsterdam

Performance at book launch of ‘Irki’ by Kadija George, at The Barbican. Photo: Rousha Browning / SABLE LitMag

Imagine how this world would be if as individual women, we decided to reach for our highest potential and operate from that place for as much of our lives as possible. Imagine if we tapped into our innate powers and energies daily. 

I wrote the above quote for International Women’s Day in March 2012. March is also renowned  for celebrating International Women’s Week and International Women’s Month. 

We also celebrated Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday 11th March 2018. Additionally, two of my beautiful nieces celebrated Birthdays in March – one on International Women’s Day too, therefore lots of female energy to tap into and generate. Lots of magic and miracles to create.

Giving a lecture to ‘The Cloud’ spoken word collective, as part of the Mboka Festival 2017, Gambia. Photo: Clovis McKenley.

 

So as a woman, how will you choose to express yourself and your positive, female energy today, this month, in March and for the rest of the year? It is our divine gift to share with our loved ones and the world.

MANY BLESSINGS,

Patricia Foster McKenley.

Patricia will be running Poetry Workshops, Self-Esteem Workshops for Young Women and Writing/Personal Development Workshops for Women during International Women’s Month and throughout the year. She’ll also be performing at various Poetry Readings throughout March. 

For bookings, contact:

+447956 476 547
Or

prfoster@hotmail.com

Please feel free to follow Patricia on Twitter @Ms_P_Foster

and on Instagram 

@PatriciaFoster7000

Poet, Holistic Coach, Trainer and Speaker Patricia Foster Nominated in THREE Categories at 2016 R.E.E.B.A Awards. Please vote for her!

Dear Friends, Clients and Acquantences,
I am really flattered and humbled and equally delighted to share with you that I have been nominated in THREE categories at this year’s R.E.E.B.A Awards.
I would therefore be extremely honoured if you could please vote for me.

The Categories in which I have been nominated for are:

• CREATIVE ARTS

• MENTOR.. // BUS OF THE YEAR

• MOTIVATIONAL ROLE MODEL
How can people Vote for me?
1) You will need to Scan the Bar Code on my Voting Flyer/ or Visit the R.E.E.B.A Website http://www.reebaawards.com/#!vote-now-1/c1159
2) Enter your name and email, followed by name of nominee (Patricia Foster) and category.
For every time a person votes for me, if they Visit the R.E.E.B.A facebook page https://www.facebook.com/reeba.gov.uk/?ref=bookmarks and write a comment saying WHY they voted for me, then they will be automatically entered in with a chance to win a FREE ticket to attend the 2016 R.E.E.B.A Awards Ceremony. The R.E.E.B.A Awards will be choosing 1 lucky Winner!
So please VOTE for Patricia Foster.
Thank you so much and stay blessed!

Sable Poet-in-Residence, Life Coach & You Are YOU Founder, Patricia Foster with Award for Poetry services to Art and Culture at International Women’s Month 2015 event ‘Together We Rise’. March 28 2015.

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Photo: Thabo Jaiyesimi

Message from Sable Poet-in-Residence Patricia Foster:

I am still ecstatic and floating, after receiving my award for Poetry Services, within the Art and Culture category, at the empowering awards event Together We Rise.

I had written an acceptance speech, but instead ended up speaking from the heart. I was immensely overwhelmed, as well as inspired by all the other award recipients and their amazing stories. A lot of the women, including myself, had overcome incredible obstacles, to accomplish what we have today.

“Day in, day out we work hard, in our life purpose without little or any recognition. Thank YOU MGT and GCC  for the award!” ~ Patricia Foster

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 Photo: M. Foster

The event was organised by the MGT and GCC, based in Brixton, who do a lot of work in the community, in particular to uplift and empower young girls.

IMG_2483.JPGPhoto: M. Foster

A most memorable night indeed. Hopefully the first of many awards. Feeling very grateful and honoured. A big thanks to ALL who provided support, my family, friends and the writers and poets who came before me, to pave the way and make it easier for me to receive this award. In particular a big thanks to the founders and ALL members of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.

Poet & Life Coach Patricia Foster honoured with award for Poetry services at TOGETHER WE RISE Women’s Event. Saturday 28th March 2015, 3pm-8pm. MGT & GCC Presents! Brixton, London SE24 0HJ. Guests: Janet Kay, Sonia Brown, Oneness Sankara and Nyarai Kizzy. Tickets only £10!

I’m very excited to share that myself, Patricia Foster will be honoured with an award for Poetry services to Art & Culture at TOGETHER WE RISE Women’s Event. 

I am completely flattered and extremely humbled by this recognition. This has topped off an incredible month for me.

  

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Also honoured on the day will be: 

Abi Begho

Julietta Joseph

Kai Ouagadou-Mbandaka

Linda Graham

Melanie Hibbert

Sonia Brown

Sophia Bailey

Special guest perferomers are: the legendary Janet Kay, Oneness Sankara and Nyarai Kizzy.

The event takes place this Saturday 28th March 2015, 3pm – 8pm at The Edutainment Palace, 1-5 Hinton Rd, Brixton, London SE24 0HJ, Brixton, LONDON UK 

Tickets are £10. For further information and to purchase tickets online visit: http://risetogether.eventbrite.co.uk

#FanPageFriday – Like ‘YouAreYOU’ Facebook Page. For Holistic Coaching, Motivational and Training Services: From Coach and Poet Patricia Foster

#FanPageFriday


  


Greetings! 

Welcome to ‘You Are YOU’ Holistic Coaching, Empowerment, Talks, Wellbeing & Training Services – Specialising in Life Transitions.


We provide coaching, empowerment, healthy eating and mentoring services to individuals and groups, as well as facilitate workshops at conferences, seminars, events and within community organisations and libraries. 


Like Our Facebook Page for FREE Tips and Motivation:https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaFosterCoachingServices


Thank you for Liking our Page!

YouAreYOU Founder Patricia Foster, Talks at Aspire2BGreat Coffee Morning, Friday 27th February 2015, Battersea

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Patricia Foster, founder of YouAreYOU Holistic Coaching & Training Services youareyoublog.wordpress.com , will be a motivational speaker and holistic life coach on the ‘Aspire 2B Great’ Young Mother’s Life Skills project, taking place in April 2015.

Come down to the free coffee morning, Friday 27th February, 12-2pm, to hear all about the motivational talk and module she will be delivering and facilitating on this wonderful project. There will be an array of speakers and facilitators at the coffee morning, including Round the World Yachtswoman Tracey Edwards MBE.

Spaces are limited. To secure your place, please RSVP to Dannike_W@hotmail.com

For more information:

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/events/event/2304/young_mothers_life_skills_event

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Living In The Present – by Life Coach and Writer Patricia Foster

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Happy New Year! Best Wishes for 2015 from Writer and Life Coach Patricia Foster

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Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You are amazing. Yes, YOU! Look at what you have accomplished to get to this very point in your life. ~ Patricia Foster

As we approach the end of 2014, it is a useful time to inhale, exhale and look at our accomplishments and victories that got us where we are today. If you search within, You’ll see that you have so much to celebrate.

I am very grateful that I have a lot to celebrate from 2014:

I have been invited to participate in numerous events this year as a Poet, Coach, Speaker and Workshop Facilitator, in The UK and Jamaica.
Included is the successful Every Woman Inspired conference in Jamaica.

I practice as a qualified Life Coach (Dip NMC), focusing on Life Transitions.

Additionally I have the privilege of offering healing as a certified Reiki Practitioner.

I have been invited to present, deliver workshops and speak at my church, as well as working with the youth group.

I have also been made Sable Litmag Poet-in-Residence, with a year long residency and lots of exciting initiatives and events to look forward to.

To top it all, I have had exquisite, quality time with my family in The UK, Jamaica and The USA.

However, at times, it may not look as if we have a lot to celebrate.

It has been a challenging and arduous road for many. Some of us this year have experienced the loss of loved ones – myself included. We have adjusted our lives to accommodate our losses, found the strength to support others, held each other’s hands through the darkness. Sometimes, we have been the light to help others on their forward journeys. For others, again myself included, numerous life changes and transitions have made life journeys more burdensome.

It is possible our own personal challenges can strengthen us to achieve wonderful accomplishments.

How deep down did you have to dig to find your inner strength? It’s amazing what we actually have to celebrate in our lives.

What are your personal highlights? What can you show gratitude for?
Showing gratitude for what you have or what you have accomplished, is proven to create an abundant mindset. It also forces us to focus on abundance and not lack.

Please leave comments or list below your accomplishments and what you are grateful for, however big or small!

To peace, love, happiness and your success in 2015.
© Patricia Foster

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