We are delighted to welcome Janet Crawford as our featured writer and FWS committee member. Janet’s role on the Committee is as Assistant Events Convenor with particular remit to expand activities in the Falkirk area. As you will see from her biog. and her description of her role in the Federation, Janet is well qualified to do this. She has also shared with us her first published poem Quiet Moments which meditates on the sounds of silence in the ‘space you stand in’.
Janet Crawford is a Falkirk based writer published in both Scotland and internationally. Her film-poem Beacon, (in response to young adult suicide) was included in the New York based ‘Anti Heroin Chic’ e-magazine. Her debut stage-play ‘A Cup o’ Kindness’, was shown during this year’s Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.
This year she has performed with Loud Poets, Poetry @ Inn Deep, at the Hidden Doors Festival with the Women with Fierce Words collective. She programmes for the Falkirk Storytelling Festival and is embracing Storytelling, with the ’Hillfoots Tales’ in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, both in October.
Janet writes of her role in the FWS and on the Committee:
There is a story in itself, as to how I came to be involved with the Federation. In 2014, when I started writing, I did not know how or where to connect with other writers, and was surprised at just how extensive the ‘written and spoken word world’ around Scotland was. Even though I’d always been a reader, I hadn’t been a writer.
I learnt of a local event [Untitled] Falkirk through pure chance, by picking up a magazine they’d produced whilst at our Town Hall. I went along and listened to the attendees reading and importantly, became aware of the support being shown as they shared their work. This attendance after time, led to my first poem being published, Quiet Moments, as printed below. Many people I met here and at other events across Scotland have become firm, respected friends.
Here is the connection to the Federation for me: having joined a short time before, I was invited to join the committee to promote the Federation in the Falkirk area, and have strived to do so. I believe it is by word of mouth and personal connection that we can achieve success together. This excites and encourages me, and I’m looking forward to developing my role, supporting Events across the country. It’s an exciting time to be involved.
The Federation’s started aim is: “making the written and spoken word available to the public of Scotland, with respect for diversity and recognition of additional support needs”.
The professional approach of the Federation to their membership, through their extensive social media presence, the website and the comprehensive newsletter is truly encouraging to be part of. Consider alongside this the workshops and spoken word events which are delivered, and you’ll be aware of just how hard the committee works. My writing has been supported through my membership of the Federation, of that I’m sure.
The work done on days such as National Poetry Day, -when the GOMA in Glasgow has been a wonderful backdrop – has been a joy to be part of.
I want to encourage others to feel the same, that’s my main driver.
Listen to the sounds around the space you stand in
Hear the way it swirls and echoes through the air
It transcends your meaning as it invites others in
With a sense of belonging, it envelopes every being
Wrapping them in a protective embrace with a deep understanding
Of them in that instance
Welcoming newcomers and old friends alike
The sound is still, yet slowly changing
Silence, a peace of mind
A peace of heart
As you embrace the space
That the quiet surrounding you creates
© Janet Crawford