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

Tag: Patricia Foster Poet

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

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

‘At The Inkwell London’ Christmas Special! Thursday December 15th 2016. Doors 6:30pm. Show 7-9pm. CHANGE TO LINEUP! Featuring: Abby Ladbrooke, Cath Drake, Jude Cowan Montague and Jane Grell. Hosted by Poet Patricia Foster and writer/journalist Rachel Rigby. Counter Albion, 45 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch E2 7DJ.

‘At The Inkwell London’ Christmas Special!
Thursday December 15th 2016

Counter Albion Café, 45 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DJ.

Map

Doors: 6:30pm. Show 7-9pm
There has been a slight change to our lineup!

Featuring: Abby Ladbrooke, Cath Drake, Jude Cowan Montague and Jane Grell


FREE! Open mic too!

Literary feast of writers served up just for you.

Healthy delicious food and drink to purchase. 
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1274110802660527/

Original Design by Monique Lewis. Image by Patricia Foster.

I feel really honoured to be co-hosting the final ‘At The Inkwell London’ of 2016. What a year it has been. The US reading series, devised and founded by the brilliant and talented Monique Lewis, has really captured the imagination of writers and audiences in London since its July 2016 launch in the UK. 

Myself and my wonderful co-hosts Rachel Rigby and Gemma Weekes look forward to bringing you more from ‘At The Inkwell London’ in 2017.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2017!
Meet our features below:

 

Jude Cowan Montague


Jude Cowan Montague is an artist, writer and composer whose work may be playful, truthful, mysterious and subversive. She explores story, song, and visual ideas. The worlds she creates are often inspired by her professional life in broadcast media. Her most recent collection of poems ‘The Wires:2012’ (2016) is published by Wisdom’s Bottom Press.

http://www.judecowanmontague.com/

Jane Grell

Jane Ulysses Grell is a storyteller, writer, teacher, poet and singer. She was born and grew up on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Her poetry and storytelling are imbued with the love of the music of words in the spirit of the vibrant African-Caribbean Oral Tradition.
Jane has worked extensively with children, young people and adults in most London boroughs and beyond. She has presented stories and poetry for BBC Radio Schools’ Programmes.

Her poetry collections – Praise Songs and White River Blues conjure up a vivid landscape which embraces both the traditional and the modern and explore journeys, memories and loss through poems both tender and exuberant. 

“Jane, it would seem that some of Ananse’s stories went to you. You tell them so well. – Sarah Woodham (Leytonstone Festival 2013)

www.janegrellstoryteller.com

Cath Drake

An Australian from Perth lured to London in 2001, Cath Drake has been published in anthologies and literary magazines in UK, Australia and US. She has performed in many cafes, bookshops, theatres, festivals and for unsuspecting passers by. She runs writing workshops to recharge creativity and is passionate about taking poetry and creative writing to new spaces. In 2012, she was short-listed for the Venture Poetry Award, awarded an Arts Council England grant and was writer in residence at the Albany Arts Centre café. Cath won the 2013 Mslexia/Seren poetry pamphlet prize and her pamphlet ‘Sleeping with Rivers’ was published in 2014 by Seren Books. It was the Poetry Book Society’s summer choice. Cath’s poetry was included in Best Austrailan Poetry 2014 (Black Inc books) and she was short-listed for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize. She is also a copywriter and non-fiction writer and her work includes award-winning journalism, writing for radio, oral history and life stories. 

Cath Drake Communications: http://cathdrakecomms.com/

Poetry and creative work: http://cathdrake.com/

Abby Ladbrooke

ABBY LADBROOKE is an active member of the London Bridge Writers’ group, finds writing thrilling and feels most herself when writing, reading and talking about writing. Abby has attended several short, creative writing courses, with tutors Maggie Hammond, Howard Cunnell, Naomi Wood and Christie Watson. She is co-founder of a boutique recruitment and training company, which has published a pocket book which she co-authored and edited. Abby is part way through her first novel which explores the missed love between two people through the soul of their child never born.

US Reading Series ‘At The Inkwell’ Expands to London. Curated by Poet/Novelist/Singer Gemma Weekes, Journalist Rachel Rigby and Poet/Performer Patricia Foster. Brainchild of Monique Lewis. FREE Event!

Hi London poets, writers, novelists and short fiction stars! The latest London literary event ‘At The Inkwell’, will be launched July 21st 2016. Already a success across the USA and organised by Monique Lewis, ‘At The Inkwell’ comes to London and will be curated by Gemma Weekes, Rachel Rigby and Patricia Foster!
Come along! 

Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1782308612004621/

——-

At The Inkwell Expands to London

 

 

London, UK (June 6, 2016) – At The Inkwell, the New York City-based literary reading series, announced today that it is expanding to London, under the leadership of Patricia Foster, Gemma Weekes and Rachel Rigby as co-hosts.

 Founded in 2013, At The Inkwell supports published authors through book reviews, author interviews and readings. London will be the first international city in addition to Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington and New York City.


 

The inaugural launch in London will be Thursday, July 21 at 19:00 at Counter Albion, located at 45 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ. Only a 3-5 minute walk from ‘Shoreditch High Street’ Overground station.
At The Inkwell features emerging and established published authors of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays.
Featured writers also include those who have published essays and short stories.

 

In the past three years, At The Inkwell’s US reading series has gained increasing recognition in the literary community. It has hosted readings at the Annual NYC Poetry Festival, which attracts more than 4,000 people. In September it will partner with 100 Thousand Poets for Change, National Translation Month and Lit Crawl Denver to host readings.

CONTACT

For more information, visit www.attheinkwell.com or contact the co-hosts Gemma, Rachel or Patricia at inkwellreadings.london@gmail.com.

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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Happy National Poetry Day 2014 – From Sable Litmag Poet In Residence Patricia Foster

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Photo by Giorgis Media

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“National Poetry Day is a great opportunity for appreciators – from the classical and traditional word, the melancholic and lyrical word, to the contemporary, rapped and spoken word – to celebrate and indulge in a magnificent and efficacious art form.”

National Poetry Day Quote – by Patricia Foster

What does poetry mean to you? National Poetry Day is a very important day in the UK poetry and literature calendar. Celebrated on the first Thursday in October, poets, poetry organisations, schools, community groups, poetry supporters and poetry lovers alike acknowledge the art form. A day in recognition of poetry’s prominence, as well as its relevance in our ever changing society.

The theme for National Poetry Day 2014 is ‘Remember’

How many ‘remember’ themed or inspired poems can you think of?

USEFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES
Education Scotland – National Poetry Day

The Forward Arts Foundation – National Poetry Day

The Poetry Society – National Poetry Day: Theme ‘Remember

My Next Poetry Performance: Guest Poet at Fundraiser ‘Every Child Matters… Inspire a Girl, Big up a Boy in Jamaica’

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I am delighted to share that I will be a special guest poet and speaker at a very worthwhile event and fundraiser entitled ‘Every Child Matters… Inspire a Girl, Big up a Boy in Jamaica’. I will appear alongside some prestigious artists and Speakers such as singer/actress LORNA GEE, singer MICHAEL GORDON, HARAMBE DRUMMERS, singer PAULETTE TAJAH and guest speaker MR MOR DIOUM – Director of The Victoria Climbe Foundation UK.

One Step Forward Consultancy in recognition of Child Month will be hosting its Fund Raising Event for this cause on FRIDAY, 9th MAY 2014 at The Croydon Park Hotel, 7, Altyre Road, Croydon, London, CR9 5AA. 6pm – 2am.

If you are a social worker, or are involved with child support agencies, do come down, show support or forward to interested parties.

Tickets for Dinner and Dance £30, for Dance only £15, for Display/Exhibition Table £20

For more information please email: onestepforwardconsultancy@gmail.com or phone Patricia McKenzie-Thomas on 07960-368-048 or Sharon on 07956 801 709

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Creative Education Consultant, Poet, Tutor and Holistic Coach for Sensitive, EBD Pupils | Patricia Foster McKenley 

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Is your child emotionally sensitive and slightly overwhelmed by the school learning environment?

Does your child require an educator or education environment which holistically supports their emotional sensitivity?

Is your child labelled ‘shy’, ‘introverted’, ‘misunderstood’ or even ‘disruptive’?

Does your child prefer a calmer, relaxing, more sedate learning environment, supportive of their emotional needs?

Does your child have any unrealised creative gifts or talents and need a empathic educator to help them realise their potential?

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Tel: +44(0)7956 476 547

Email: prfoster@hotmail.com

http://about.me/patriciafoster

Twitter: @Ms_P_Foster or @YouAreYOU 

Skype: patricia_foster_trainer

Instagram: @PatriciaFoster7000

Main Photos of Patricia Foster McKenley by C Powell