Saturday 10 April 2021

Recent News & Writing East Midlands Conference 10th April 2021


It is wonderful to have been Visiting Guest Lecturer for MA Creative Writing Course at Nottingham Trent University, and also forthcoming Visiting Guest Lecturer for Derby University for the MA Writing for Performance April 13th 2021. Despite  anxieties and worries with regard to COVID 19 pandemic, also personal loss and bereavement of family members.  In the last year I have  also received other writing work opportunities, e.g. two writing commissions, *non-fiction and *poetry. These are now published  and available to buy online *Poetry and Covid, Anthology Shearsman Press 2021

*Reflections: Cultural Voices of Black Irrepressible Resistance, Serendipity Arts anthology (Non-Fiction) Anthology.2020

Other publications where my work is mentioned or collaborations: 

The Cambridge University Companion to British Black & Asian Literature1945-2010 Ed. Deidre Osborne.There are articles and anthologies, e.g. Oxford Women’s Journal: Women Black Arts,  Brixton in the 1980’s.    Its pleasing to be t referenced in the book Sisterhood and After: An Oral history of the Women’s Liberation’ Movement,1968- present Oxford Oral History Series by Margaretta Jolly.

For the Writing East Midlands Conference , I chaired a panel on How to Make Money From Your Writing, with fellow writer panellists: Shreya Sen Handley, and Andrew Graves. This conference has provided  an interesting opportunity to learn new things, e.g. when I attended the The Literary Consultancy panel Session. 

 Overall, as writers and artists, we are used to working on our computers at home- not much change there.  However, some of us are learning new IT skills for teaching and sharing work, in this brave new online world. Along with making new contacts, extending our reach and engagement, with new audiences. As we continue to build our writer profile and presence online and offline where possible, as writers, and artists . It has brought changes, that would not have ordinarily been expected, changes  bring new challenges and opportunities. I look forward to this year as a transitional year, to the new norma. With  with even more exciting opportunities to develop and grow.  


Monday 9 March 2020

Appointed Part -Time Lecturer - De Montfort University Leicester

It is rather wonderful news i have been appointed, as Part Time Lecturer De Montfort University
Leicester.  To teach Singing Vocals and Musicality, Contemporary Music Theatre Module, for BA (Hons) Performing Arts Students.  This is a great opportunity for me to bring together all my own knowledge, skills, experience and insights, gained from a career in contemporary music theatre. My practice, experience of being a multi-disciplinary artist, will be invaluable to help me to facilitate the Students to develop their own creativity with regard to Contemporary Music Theatre.

Working at De Montfort University, an acknowledged Centre for Excellence in Performing Arts, with esteemed colleagues within School is truly exciting prospect. It will be wonderful to share and learn with colleagues, to reflect and better understand their pedagogy, developed over time and indeed my own.

I will continue to undertake other freelance projects, e.g arts consultancy work, and also continue to make my own work. As this is so important for me to maintain, a trajectory within arts cultural sector in the UK. Other projects, to done in  a phased manner,  include the completion of the final part of the choreopoem trilogy, a new substantial poetry collection,  film project and music album. these projects over tie will certainly keep me busy and focused on expanding my art in myriad ways. As always, the brakes on any arts development, notwithstanding time allocation/resources , or personnel availability, is the financial resources e.g. to R& D and complete these projects successfully.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Catching Up Queens Honours List Awarded MBE & The Future

It is some considerable time that has passed, since writing this blog, which has had so many
 visitors!  It it still an important repository to put my thoughts, events and achievements etc.
 As it was set up for myself to document an artistic journey as a Black Woman Artist living in
 Leicester, the East Midlands in England. I also wanted it to be a resource for others to learn 
about being an artist here at this time. It seems more pressing now with, more cuts and 
pressure then ever on public funds for arts, education etc, and the possible onset of Brexit 
(England Leaving the EU), and the implications of what that could mean, for an outward facing 
internationalist artist like myself. With regard to links and being able to work within say EU 
Countries. However I wanted to share some fantastic good news...

In January 2019 I was delighted, so proud  have been awarded an MBE in the Queen's

 New Year Honours List, for services to arts & culture in Leicester as poet and playwright. 
This list is announced in the London Gazette, the  Investiture Ceremony took place at 
Buckingham Palace on March 7th and I received the MBE from HRH Prince Charles. 
I was accompanied to the ceremony by family and friends.

This national honor is life changing, historic and marks a wonderful milestone in my arts 

career and spurs me on to bigger and greater things. At the Investiture Ceremony Buckingham 
Palace, I was able to meet other recipients of the award from all walks of life and backgrounds
 e.g. the arts, business voluntary charitable sectors etc.

Looking back over this blog and my arts career to date it is clear. I have been on an incredible 

journey. and yet I feel I am just about to start yet another new chapter.  As of last year my 
company produced another choreopoem,  Love he life you live...Live the life you love see here an abridged version, 
which I directed with an excellent male 
performer. It previewed very successfully, it to a paying audience at a major regional theatre 
and got very useful feedback. This was with a view to fully producing the play to tour nationally 
later that year.

Disappointingly, that was not to be, it is even more difficult and competitive a climate for us to 

gain any arts funding than it was in 2010/11. As such I have reflected,  it is therefore likely the 
project will be put into abeyance for now. Until  the climate is more positive for arts funding, 
growth and sustainability.
For now, I will therefore continue work in my current roles for my company, as Vocal Coach, 

Music Director, Curator, more recently Consultant re: Culturally Diverse Music Education &
 Governance. Along with writing and performing poetry, and preparing a full collection for 
publication after the sell out success of my self published  debut chapbook The Declamations of
 Cool Eye a few years back. It is hoped I can find a further new role soon, that would offer new 
challenges, new experiences and work with new people to build on my skills and experience 
to date, so watch this space...


Monday 1 May 2017

Carol Leeming reads at Surrey Poetry Festival 2017

Dare to Diva company, is delighted to announce that its lead artist, Leicester based poet Carol Leeming, will be reading at the forthcoming Surrey Poetry Festival. This Festival is in conjunction with the New Writers Festival, and it takes place on Saturday May 6th 2017. The Festival runs from 12-5pm and is at the GLive Venue in Guildford. Carol will be reading from her debut Chapbook The Declamations of Cool Eye published by Dare to Diva Productions in 2016.

This book has almost sold out its first edition. Due to promotional reading events Carol has attended, it has been particularly well received by poetry fans and so called ‘non poetry’ people alike.

The Surrey Poetry Festival is in its seventh year and has a tradition of bringing together groundbreaking and spellbinding voices from the UK and other countries. The Festival line up each year also features readings, talks, and installations from the most exciting, thoughtful and questioning poets

The Declamations of Cool Eye chapbook, contains a selection of Carol’s shorter poems, both new and old, in the voice of a black woman poetical Enchanter. The poems reflect, city, natural, cosmic or spiritual spaces, seeking, to dispel the ravages and down pressure of an unkind society on a black woman.   

A film poem, (inspired by a silver sequined hat from Morocco North Africa) titled Enchanter produced by Dare to Diva productions, features the poem Drawing from the book, read by Carol. The film poem has also been screened, a number of times, and has been described by audiences, as ‘mesmerising’ and ‘mysterious’ clearly has also helped to promote the poetry chapbook. A wider release for the film poem is planned for later in the year.

Further information:
The Declamations of Cool Eye by Carol Leeming
Available now from the Author:
See Chapbook review:

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Review of The Declamations of Cool Eye Selected Poems By Carol Leeming

So here it is, the first review f the The Declamations of Cool Eye Selected poems by Carol Leemingvwritten by esteemed Poet Editor & Blogger Emma Lee

Thursday 18 August 2016

A Great Year Continues & Forthcoming Launch in September 2016 !!!! Brand New Promotional Video & Poetry Chapbook

Watch this space, as I will be launching a  new poetry music video, also print poetry chapbook in September 2016 at the Phoenix Digital Media Centre Leicester !!  This marks the beginning of a whole exciting chapter, on the back of fantastic year so far, that has seen also my new play VEX with themes of corruption in NGO's, Cultural Appropriation and Ethnic Cleaning, performed at Brighton Theatre, to a packed and thrilled audience as part of a production  of 12 Angry Women Writers in April 2016.

Earlier, this year as well as embarking on the second part of of the 2 Funky Project Live as Music Director. Whereby I was mentoring and preparing young talented Urban music artists for a career, in the Music Industry. In particular arranging their original songs and music for performance with a live band of professional sessional musicians, for an important Music Industry Showcase.  Part One of 2 Funky Arts Project Live  having successfully taken place in 2015. Thereby bringing music very much to the forefront of my work once again - a welcome return!. This is evidenced by me performing regularly across the country, as a guest singer  with the very popular  6 piece Funk Soul Collective Band . I have also been writing new songs for personal acoustic music project, audio recording and live performances for next year.

Finally, buzzing having recently been commissioned by the Artistic Director Amanda Leandro of  Cosmopolitan Festival, to write a new song to perform live at the Cosmopolitan Festival with a music ensemble, that includes Harp. Horns and World Percussion.  I would describe the new piece, as a song for people in troubling times, after the negative fall out of the Brexit Vote in the UK


Thursday 4 February 2016

A New Era - 2016 Going All Out New Choreopoem Published, An Award, Plays New Poetry & Appointments

So its been awhile... since last posting,so much good stuff has happened despite the fact they have been more Government cuts and redundancies etc in the arts creative sector  - but the arts goes on... I am so delighted this blog space has been of assistance and inspiration to others on their own journey in making their art. Since the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the great success of The Loneliness Of The Long Diva choreopoem has galvanized my arts creative career in so many positive ways.

I have written another monologue choreopoem, the second of the trilogy, it is titled Love the Life You Live... Live the Life You Love, set in Leicester in the 80's, with a hedonistic and promiscuous dual heritage gay male character Maz.  Maz has a life changing encounter with another character he meets Sidney, on a night out.  This choreopoem has been published, in  a poetry and prose anthology Hidden Stories  Affective Digital Histories, Leicester University, and it  is also abridged and featured on a phone app. I also received the Siobhan Logan Award for Listeners, for the work from the esteemed Leicester Writers Club.

Life has greatly changed for me, my profile status is considerably enhanced, as an innovative artist, a cultural leader.  . Appointments have followed as Music Director in Talent Development  for 2 Funky Arts, as Vocal Coach and Tutor at Sheehans Music Academy. Along with completing Film School at Phoenix digital Media Centre - Acting Directing Filmmaking. I have completed a writing a new play VEX, set on a war ravaged Caribbean Island, highlighting one woman's actions for justice, for an oppressed tribe, as part of the 12 Angry Women Project, commissioned by Inroads Productions for March 2016 Brighton Dome Theatre. Also a screen play What Trees Know, a dark narrative, of one women's obsession and extreme violence, is in progress, along with a debut poetry in preparation. 
2016 beckons with the begining of even more exciting and challenging arts media projects.