Across the backyards


Is there something you don't understand?
I expect there is.
There's nothing here for me, either
(least of all in these thudding heres and theres).

Unread books look good -
secondhand bargains, online deals.
I've been sorely tempted.

And then, outside the window,
angry magpies,
or, at risk of labouring the point,
a family, a story,
her nearly opaque features
at another address.

Rain falls,
determinedly indifferent.

Or determinedly different,
if that's the way you fancy it.

Tom Phillips 2012

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Christmas in Birmingham just wouldn't be the same without the hugely popular Frankfurt Christmas Market, this year enjoying its 10th anniversary. It's become a huge favourite with both residents and visitors to the city from all over the UK and Europe. Combined with the city’s own Christmas Craft Fair of local traders, it offers a total of over 180 stalls to browse and enjoy. So if you haven't visited yet, you only have until 22nd December!
The following paper is now available as open access

Kelman, I. and R. Dodds. 2009. "Developing a Code of Ethics for Disaster Tourism". International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters,
vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 272-296.

This paper provides a first discussion of the advantages and concerns of disaster tourism along with an initial step towards a code of ethics. Based on existing disaster and tourism codes, four guidelines are suggested and critiqued:
1. Priority in disasters should be given to the safety of disaster-affected people and responders, encompassing rescue and body recovery operations.
2. One individual should not put another individual at increased risk without consent.
3. The authorities in a disaster-affected area and their rules and regulations should be obeyed within reason. 4. Any donations or assistance offered to disaster-affected areas should be considered within the local context and should also involve nearby but non-disaster-affected communities.

Targets, training, monitoring, enforcement, and evaluation for the code are also discussed along with the need for consultative processes for further developing and implementing the code. Three main areas of disaster tourism research are proposed for further work: disaster recovery, convergence behaviour, and supporting disaster risk reduction rather than post-disaster actions.

TripAdvisor App Helps Businesses Boost Marketing Potential

“The TripAdvisor App for Facebook helps businesses showcase their reviews and accolades in front of Facebook’s massive community of one billion monthly active users”
Christine Petersen, president
TripAdvisor has announced a new app that gives hospitality business owners a quick and easy way to enhance their Facebook Pages with reviews, awards and other TripAdvisor content. The new app is designed to help businesses attract more guests with traveller feedback.

To install the TripAdvisor app, hotel, restaurant and attraction owners need to visit the TripAdvisor Widget Centre. Read more on this article here.

Search is On for Top Teen Chef

Teens, do you think you have what it takes to become Richmond’s next Top Teen Chef?  Test your skills in a program sponsored by the Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities on Saturday, December 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at T. B. Smith Community Center, located at 2015 Ruffin Road.

   The program will focus on healthy foods, and teens will be encouraged to share their knowledge of

13th December 2012 - One-Billionth Tourist!

Who will be the One-Billionth
tourist tomorrow?

Country by, in association with ABTA, have created a free online destination guide for the travel industry. This user-friendly resource offers useful travel information specific to each destination, including maps, advice, tips and facts. Destination articles, travel highlights, editors' picks, city guides and more will also be added to the website soon.

Open House set at Arts and Community Center

The department will hold an open house at its Pine Camp Arts and Community Center on Thursday, December 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

     The public is invited to tour the facility, located at 4901 Old Brook Road, and enjoy a holiday concert by the Richmond Boys Choir in the Pine Camp Theater. This holiday concert will be followed by a performance from the City Dance Theater, the department’s

First Tee of Richmond to Close for Holidays

The First Tee of Richmond, located at 400 West School Street, will be closed for an extended period over the upcoming holidays for a thorough cleaning of the facility and inventory maintenance. The facility, which is normally open seven days a week, will be closed from December 24 through January 11.

     First Tee of Richmond is a year-round golf practice facility that includes a driving

Guest Speaker - All Welcome!

Take off in Travel

"Travel is a unique industry for the simple reason that its products are the creation of people's dreams."
R. Branson, foreword  -'Take off in Travel' 

ABTA, in partnership with others in the industry, has launched a magazine which showcases the different types of companies and jobs available in travel. A digital version of the magazine can be viewed here. It’s a great resource for those wanting to find out how to get into the travel industry and read inspirational stories from people working in travel.

There is also a page dedicated to training from ABTA and other partners; a range of links to online training can be found here.

You can also follow ABTA on Twitter on @ABTATravel or on Facebook.

Department to Host Free Holiday Events

The department will host the following family friendly events for the enjoyment and entertainment of Richmond residents and visitors this holiday season.

     For the adults, the department will hold a free holiday concert featuring Bak N Da Day on Tuesday, December 18, from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Randolph Community Center, 1415 Grayland Avenue.

     Bak N Da Day is a popular local

Olson reading from 'Maximus'

Anyone who uses the word 'geography' in the opening line is fine by me ... and, then again, this also makes you wonder what you have to do to get a voice like this (other than smoking too many fags).

Free Holiday Performance Set for December 9 at Landmark

The department will present its annual holiday gift to the city, its free production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, at the Landmark Theater. 

     The one-act family musical composed by Gian Carlo Minotti was commissioned by NBC and broadcast live for the premiere of Hallmark Hall of Fame on Dec. 24, 1951. A heart-warming holiday classic that will charm both

Let Richmond's Children Start Your Holiday Season

Catch the holiday spirit with Carols at Noon in the lobby of City Hall beginning Wednesday, December 5. The program, brought to you by Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities in conjunction with Richmond Public Schools, features free lunchtime performances by Richmond school children’s choirs and musical ensembles. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday December 5th - Henderson Middle School

UNWTO News Issue 11

Contents from UNWTO's latest newsletter:

One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities - new UNWTO campaign calls on one billion tourists to make their actions count
Small changes in travel behavior can contribute to positive change throughout the world. With one billion tourists traveling the world in a single year in 2012, transforming these one billion tourists into one billion opportunities is at the heart of the online campaign launched by UNWTO to celebrate this historic milestone. Read more +

International tourism strong despite uncertain economy
International tourist arrivals grew by 4% between January and August 2012 compared to the same period of 2011. The resilience of international tourism in a continuing uncertain economy is further confirmed by the positive data on tourism earnings and expenditure. Read more +

Ministers of Tourism call for intra-governmental coordination to address visas and air connectivity
Ministers of Tourism gathered in London for the 6th UNWTO/World Travel Market (WTM) Ministers’ Summit concluded that complicated visa processes and policies that limit air connectivity continue to present major barriers to the growth of travel and tourism. Ministers and representatives from major tour operators and airlines further called for increased intra-governmental cooperation and support from the highest levels of government to break such barriers (London, United Kingdom, 6 November 2012). Read more +

Christmas is coming

"Now that sounds crazy too. Carrying Mr Vukaj through snowdrifts, over mountains, down valleys and up the great looping staircase of hairpin bends, over the pass and down to the city ... But that’s that. Decided. For the sake of the village. For the sake of our honour. This is what they must do."
A short extract from Prella's Gift, my short piece based on an Albanian Christmas tale soon to debut as part of Show of Strength theatre company's Christmas show at the Southville Centre in Bristol (15-16 & 22-23 Dec): see ffi.


Excerpt from work-in-progress

And so there we have it: bench creaks
and shutter clicks, unmuffled.
Shameless adoration.

Tourist congestion
around the Botticelli.

We’re trying to make this up
as we go along.

Amongst the art-junkies
in the café on the roof
of the Uffizi, sparrows
do at least not shit
in cups of over-priced coffee.
In the photograph,
I almost look happy.

Over at the Accademia,
there's Byron’s head on a shelf.

We could drink cocktails all night,
for ten Euros.

In the drafty yard
of the Strozzi Palace,
Sarra’s got the bit between her teeth:
she's typing, pigeon-style,
on a Remington portable,
140 characters – a retro-Tweet.

It goes on. It’s cold
and we should go back
to the hotel. Sometimes
that’s what happens.

Tom Phillips 2012 

Venice & Cruise Tourism

Residents in Venice, Rome are voicing their concerns over the number of cruise ships visiting the city; there has been a dramatic rise in the number of ships bringing tourists, from 206 in 1997 to 655 in 2011. This recent BBC article reports on the issue and more on this has been written by Travel Weekly

Earlier this year, UNESCO had asked Italy to limit cruise ships to the area.

Cruise Industry News

The Cruise Industry News website has an extensive range of information relating to cruising; this includes the latest cruise news, an annual report and feature articles from their magazine; readers can also sign up for their newsletter.

A special report produced by CIN on the Asia-Pacific can be found here.

World Travel Market 2012

The World Travel Market which took place recently, drew over 40,000 people to visit ExCel in London for the annual event, a higher number than the previous year. In case you missed it, the news and events have been well-documented in the WTM blog

The website is packed full of news, pictures and videos taken over the three days; this includes the events offered, press and PR, insight and opinion. Reports produced can be found on this page.
WTM TV  features short videos of key speakers at the event.

WTM Global Trends Report 2012

Euromonitor, in association with the World Travel Market, have helped compile a new report this month, which takes a look at  global travel trends; contents are as follows:

Americas: The Attraction of Forbidden Lands
Previously off-limit countries welcome more Americans.
UK: Tingo Rips up the Rule Book
Tingo offers customers the best hotel rates.
Europe: BRICs' Grand Shopping Tour
Brazil, Russia, India and China turn to luxury shopping in Europe.
Travel Technology: The Power of Smart TVs
Smart TVs integrate TV, internet and social media with opportunities for travel brands.
Middle East: Rise of Shopping Hotels
As popularity of shopping rises, hotels locate closer to shopping malls.
Africa: Destination Nollywood
Nigeria’s booming film industry draws intra-regional visitors.
Global Village: Digital Detox
Hotels offer detox holidays to help device-addicted consumers de-stress.
Asia: Luxury Car Brands Take on Hotels
Luxury car brands which are popular across Asia, now make inroads in the hotel sector.
India: Gold Rush on Low Cost
Indians’ take advantage of low-cost fares to travel to the Middle East's gold souks

The report can be viewed in GMID (Athens) 
or can be downloaded here ( registration required)

Celebrating World Responsible Tourism Day 2012

To support and promote World Responsible Tourism Day 2012, Routledge have collated a selection of articles relating to sustainable development in tourism destinations and are offering free access to these up to 31st December 2012. View the collection here.

Youth Recreational Football, Soccer Championship Games Scheduled for this Weekend, Next

The department will hold its 2012 youth football and soccer championship games November 10 and November 17. 

         The Football Championship Games will be played Nov. 10 at the City Stadium, 600 McCloy St. The teams are organized around the department’s community centers and by the age of participating children.

         In the Junior Division, for age 12 to 14, the Battery Park team will

Tourism Review

The latest issue of the Tourism Review Online Magazine can be viewed here. Articles cover:

  • Heritage: Where on Earth Is That? 
  • Professional: Have Fun! Travel with Kids 
  • Adventure: Go Deeper for Breathtaking Dives 
  • Ethical: Faith Tourism - Rich Religious Heritage 
  • Destination: Saint Petersburg - The Imperial Capital of Russia

The Adventure Trade Travel Association (ATTA) provides a research page on their website which has various reports published by the organisation, many of which can be downloaded in full. One of these is the Adventure Tourism Development Index,  a ranking of adventure tourism potential for countries around the world, based on principles of sustainable adventure tourism. The index gauges a country's potential to be competitive in adventure tourism, based on the ATDI foundational principles of supporting holistic tourism policy and planning, with an industry goal of economic, as well as environmental and cultural, sustainability.

Cheerleading Jamboree to Showcase More Than 600 Cheerleaders

The department will hold its annual Cheerleading Jamboree on Thursday, November 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Richmond Coliseum. Approximately 600 cheerleaders from the department’s community centers and area high schools and colleges will perform during the event.

     Tickets for the event are $4.50 for children 11 and younger and $7 for children 12 and older and adults. They are available from

Photo Exhibit Captures City’s Youth Boxing Program

The department will host an art exhibit featuring the photographs of select youth from the Battery Park Community Center, who were chosen to creatively capture photos of members of the Richmond Cobras, the department’s youth boxing team. The exhibit, titled “The Sweet Science: Boxing Through the Lens of a Child,” will open with a reception on Friday, November 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the
The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) is an organisation with over 100 member companies from across the world who are dedicated to appropriate, safe and environmentally-sound, private-sector travel to the Antarctic.

The website includes guidelines, resources and articles. Detailed tourism statistics of visits to the continent from 2000 upto the present, can also be found here.

Several Rec Centers Open Today

The department has opened the following recreation centers for today, Oct. 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., to provide activities while Richmond Public Schools are closed. All department centers and facilities will resume regular hours of operation tomorrow, Oct. 31.  

Ann Hardy Plaza Community Center

3300 First Ave.


Battery Park Community Center

2803 Dupont Circle


Social Media

This article discusses outcomes from a panel at the 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit looking at future trends in marketing; conclusions were that the humble video is now very much the new ‘big thing’ in social media marketing. They use the case study of an online travel company Airbnb, to illustrate the point; they successfully launched their Air TV channel, using videos to show potential customers the types of accommodation on offer.
Rob Torres, Google’s head of travel, gives his perspective on the power of 
adventure travel content.

Book launch: 'Recreation Ground', Thunderbolt, Bristol, Wed 7 Nov

"We're delighted to welcome poet Tom Phillips to Word of Mouth where he will be joined by a Special Guest.

Tom will be reading from his new anthology Recreation Ground as well as treating us to some of the old favourites. 

He is best known as a performance poet with a sneering deadpan delivery firing broadsides at hypocrisy and material aspirations, but in Recreation Ground, Tom adopts a different style.

The work is more lyrical, the rhythms more complex and the settings tend to be rural rather than urban. Bristol Review of Books described Tom as a 'very special talent.' 

Don't miss him at Word of Mouth."

Review: Ian Brinton (ed.), 'An Andrew Crozier Reader'

The first decade or so of the twenty-first century has seen the recovery of several marginalised or entirely ‘lost’ poets. Perhaps, as the twentieth century recedes into history, a desire not to leave its poetic record misaligned, unjustified, is at work. Bloodaxe’s publication of J. H. Prynne’s Poems in 2005 queried the canonical version of that record by producing a major body of work from what – for anyone naive enough to assume that the standard Larkin/Hughes/Heaney/Raine/Motion/Armitage reading list pretty much covered it – might just as well have been nowhere. Published by the same company in the same year, Roy Fisher’s The Long and the Short of It pulled another rabbit out of a neglected hat, while more recent posthumous collections by A. S. J. Tessimond and Bernard Spencer have helped disperse the illusion that the writings of poets shoe-horned into the artificial category of the ‘1940s generation’ can be safely filed between Auden and Larkin as ‘aberrant’ – or, at best, ‘transitional’ – minor work.
On the face of it, these recoveries have little in common – what has Prynne got to do with Fisher and what have either of them got to do with Spencer? – but what’s at stake in all cases is what happened to Modernism and, for want of better terms, experimentalism and the avant garde.
According to the canonical record, Modernism itself was an aberration, introduced into British poetry by foreigners (Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Joyce), and then successfully assimilated into it or excised from it by the return to form and native ‘common sense’ represented by Larkin and The Movement (and an almost criminal misreading of Hardy). As if in penance for this insular cutting-of-ties, the never-knowingly-internationalist 50s poets were succeeded by Hughes’ much-vaunted confessional generation – who had at least read contemporary American poets like Robert Lowell – who, in turn, gave way to Heaney and the Northern Irish ‘school’ (readers of Akhmatova, Brodsky, and Holub), Raine and The Martians, Motion, Armitage, Duffy, Zephaniah et al.
By the early 2000s, the canon had been extended to incorporate what seems to be a multiplicity of voices, from Geoffrey Hill on the one hand to Patience Agbabi on the other. Over the course of sixty years, in other words, the official version of British poetry was free to settle on a diversity and adventurousness which The Movement – or at least the version of The Movement described by Robert Conquest in his introduction to 1956 anthology New Lines – closed down and rejected. This diversity and adventurousness, however, owes nothing to Modernism or any engagement with Modernism; it’s presented as being wholly self-generated, self-invented. Paradoxically, this version of multi-culturalism springs not from an internationalism born of the interwar, pluralist avant garde with roots in Vienna, Berlin, Prague, but from the tabula rasa of Larkin’s return to Englishness: it conveniently does away with American, Indian, Caribbean, Italian, Russian and other poetries which were seeking their own routes away from the monolithic 1920s way before New Lines.
The connection between today’s conservative multi-culturalism and Larkin’s privations is one made by Andrew Crozier in his essay ‘Resting on Laurels’. Born in 1943, Crozier published collections of poetry with small presses throughout his career, beginning with Loved Litter of Time Spent in 1967 and culminating – depending on your point of view – in The Veil Poem, High Zero or Free Running Bitch. He was also a keen advocate of poetry as a serious enterprise, founding publications like The English Intelligencer (that uniquely ad-hoc 1960s journal of poetic toing-and-froing amongst the likes of Riley, Raworth and Prynne) and championing those – like Americans Carl Rakosi and George Oppen – who glimmered in the late Modernist twilight. Charles Olson and Ed Dorn were significant influences, and Crozier was unashamedly interested in the ‘line’ which arises in William Carlos Williams and wells up into the work of the Black Mountain poets and beyond – a line which only the most foolhardy of post-2000 British poets so much as dabble in if they don’t want to be written off as ‘weird’ and ‘eccentric’..
As such, Crozier had little time for the tepid surface distractions of the so-say English scene, its focus on the utterances of a self-aggrandizing, highly polished, lyrical self or ‘what we can all feel comfortable with, each in our own social exclusion zone’. The steady-drip of metaphorical utterance wasn’t Crozier’s bag at all, and in ‘Resting on Laurels’, he argues that post-war British poetry has been hemmed in and rendered dull by its firm insistence on a certain kind of poetic voice or ‘mental conceit’ supported by a limited repertoire of rhetorical figures. Since the booting out of Modernism in the 1950s, he argues, poets have been operating within the delusion that readers are interested in them, rather than in the work they produce. Crozier’s critique suggests that poets have been complicit in creating a spurious avant garde – a celebrity avant-garde – and become standard bearers of a culture which they’ve made great and spectacular but ingenuous efforts to reject.
Like Prynne and Fisher’s, Crozier’s own poetry is ostensibly resistant. Interpretation doesn’t come easily, and yet this apparent ‘difficulty’ transforms, through the experience of reading, into an invitation. Surely, the most democratic form of poetry (or any art) is one which says; ‘Well, here it is. I made this but don’t quite get it. Do you?’: don’t listen to my voice, just appraise the object (Crozier’s splendidly austere Williams-esque poem about a fan heater being a case in point). And once you’ve got over the nagging desire to understand everything or place every reference, it becomes clear that this is the invitation that Crozier’s making, whether that’s in the early anti-sentimental vignettes of Train Rides, the determinedly apersonal Printed Circuit or the more obviously tricky arithmetic of High Zeroand the hospital- and traffic light-inspired psychogeography of Free Running Bitch.
One of Crozier’s big things was the line – and he’s certainly a master of that. The Veil Poem – arguably his masterpiece – is full of remarkable examples, and elsewhere you’d be hard-pressed to better the aphoristic quality of Crozier at his most acute: ‘Time – there’s the rub – as wily as a sailor/With only one idea,’ he says in ‘Conversely’, or there’s ‘We can renounce all privilege, no one/can escape the ordeal of being with everything else/in the world’ from ‘The Life Class’. At the same time, the limpid early-ish poem ‘On Romney Marsh’ is a conventionally recognisable gem, the kind of work which could happily sit alongside Alun Lewis’s ‘All Day It Has Rained’ or Bernard Spencer’s ‘Boat Poem’ as an example of what twentieth-century poetry does best – and does better than the faux rhetorical tug of ‘Whitsun Weddings’, ‘The Thought Fox’ or ‘Very Simply Topping Up The Brake Fluid’.
In bringing together Crozier’s poetry and prose, Ian Brinton has done an incalculable service. To describe Crozier as ‘an interesting figure’ is to do nobody any good. Crozier’s combative attitude may not have won him many friends amongst the ungenerous, but as a poet and critic he was more hospitable than most and that, in many ways, is the point. Brinton’s Reader probably won’t win over those already sold on the Larkin-Armitage nexus, but since it also includes a judicious selection of valuable contextualising material (letters from Prynne, some of the postcards which inspired The Veil Poem and so on), it will open doors – and, within Crozier’s unique iconography, tear back veils – for those who are genuinely less deceived. What’s more, it might also help to underline the democratic, pluralist impulse behind the 60s/70s avant garde – the impulse which, beneath those surface difficulties, aimed to offer some alternative to what Prynne described in ‘L’Extase de M. Poher’ as ‘the/gallant lyricism of the select’. (Tom Phillips)

An Andrew Crozier Reader edited by Ian Brinton is published by Carcanet. Full details here.

This review originally appeared in Various Artists.

High Street Travel Agents are Back...


According to the 2012 Consumer Travel Trends Survey, consumers are returning to the reassurance of booking with a high street travel agent, whilst at the same time recording a drop in online bookings.

Raised awareness of consumer protection issues following the recent collapse of online companies and the sometimes overwhelming information found on the internet, have been cited as a couple of reasons for the turnaround...  read more

VisitBritain eNews

VisitBritain have launched a new Travel Trade Strategy. The campaign requires travel trade partners to provide marketing support through in–store promotions, database and website marketing and participation in a new training programme called England Expert. This training programme is designed to help travel professionals learn more about holidays in England.

The Destination Intelligence System has been developed to provide tourism data for British destinations. This database brings together all the available tourism facts and figures about volume, value and market performance for English destinations, using data from national surveys and outputs from the Office for National Statistics.

Sections of a poem called 'Should Start Now'

He is Polish.
Those bulges are onions.
Or those bulges are bulges
onions body –

These onions only:
Spanish (at a guess),
exerting globular pressure,
shadows in plastic,
foamy surface, gossamer membrane,
cuts into them can make you cry.


Onions, these onions,
not equipment.

Should start now (really)
with letting go
it is not his being in here

but the fact of the fact
of his absence herein

language not fit for purpose
nominal inclemencies

he is not Polish
those are not onions

Tom Phillips 2012

Department offering fun and safe Halloween activities

The department is offering city children the following fun and safe activities to celebrate Halloween: 

Oct. 26, 6:30 – 9 p.m. – The Hickory Hill Harvest Carnival, Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 Belt Boulevard, 646-7934

            Children 12 and younger and their parents are invited to join the fun with music, games, candy, food, prizes and a His and Her Best Costume Contest. It’s

Gigs and things ...

Sat 20 Oct, 1pm, Leftbank Centre, Stokes Croft, Bristol, Bristol Festival of Literature gig - some poems from 'Recreation Ground'.
Wed 24 Oct, 5pm, Bristol Old Vic - supporting the Stepping Out book launch for Neil Gooding's new collection
Tue 30 Oct-Sat 3 Nov, 8m, Alma Tavern Theatre - '100 Miles North' is curtain raiser for 'Honest' in the Theatre West A-Z autumn season's production of Alice Nicholas's 'Honest'
Wed 7 Nov, Thunderbolt, Bristol - Word of Mouth, official launch of 'Recreation Ground' with v. special guest.
Following Abta's recent Travel Convention in Turkey, a number of speaker presentations and webcasts are now available to view here. Particularly useful for students are the statistics included in some of these.
Some of the specialist sessions were entitled:
  • All you need to know about mergers and acquisitions in the travel sector 
  • What drives the change in tourism flows
  • What will a new European Directive mean for the UK travel industry, for me and for my customers 

Don’t Miss “Scream Queens: The Musical”

PRCF and the Friends of Dogwood Dell join to bring you six performances of their production of “Scream Queens: The Musical” Oct. 26 through Nov. 4 at the department’s Pine Camp Theater.

     “Scream Queens” takes you into the world of B-rated horror films and the divas that populate them. The setting is a hotel ballroom outside of Cleveland, OH where GlamaGore ScreamiCon, the annual convention

Department to Hold Free Youth Tennis Clinic

The department hold a free tennis clinic for kids, ages 6 to 18, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, at the Byrd Park Tennis Complex on South Boulevard. 

     The clinic will introduce youth to the fundamentals of tennis using fun, innovative instructions. It is free of charge; however participants are asked to call 646-1208 or visit one of the department’s community centers to sign up

Belle Isle Parking Lot Public Notification

Construction on Richmond’s new street that will connect Second Street to Tredegar Street on the north side of the James River downtown will have a minimal effect on visitors to the James River Park’s Belle Isle who park in the Tredegar Street lot.                                                

     The first or eastern entrance to the lot on Tredegar Street will be closed effective Tuesday,

Good Tourist, Bad Tourist

Rachel Noble from Tourism Concern discusses her fears regarding the effects of tourism on different cultures. From tribes in Thailand to India, she questions whether the tourist industry is developmental or destructive in its relationship with developing countries. 

Mintel Launches Student Ambassador Programme

Mintel has launched an exciting new initiative offering students the opportunity of a year long programme, to gain real business skills and industry experience - invaluable in the ever more competitive graduate job market. Students can register their interest here. Applicants will then have the opportunity to apply for one of fifty ambassador roles via a selection process involving a creative project task. Find out more...

Playing football in Vermosh

The opening paragraph of the travel book's final chapter

The ball thumped against the churchyard wall and someone cheered. Nobody could remember the score, and we were probably losing, but that was incontrovertibly a goal for our team. I hadn’t had anything to do with it. I was bent double in the centre of the pitch, trying to catch my breath. We were a thousand metres above sea level, and football in Vermosh was fast and physical. I was also the oldest player on the field by nearly twenty years, and for most of those twenty years I’d been smoking half an ounce of tobacco a day. Both teams charged back down the slope, chasing the ball back towards our goal. I still couldn’t move. Nobody in the small crowd who’d gathered to watch the match showed any sign of volunteering to take my place. When someone tried to pass me the ball, more out of sympathy than need, and I toed it straight to one of our opponents, I decided that it was best for all concerned if I retired hurt. My absence wouldn’t affect the result. Lydia and Sam gave two loyal cheers as I limped off and hoisted myself over the churchyard gate.

Youth Invited to Register for Tennis Tournament

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities invites boys and girls, ages six to eighteen, to register to participate in a tennis tournament, October 23 – 26 at the department’s Byrd Park Tennis Complex.

      Tournament matches will take place between 6 and 7:30 p.m., and the QuickStart format will be used for tournament players 6 years old to 8 years old. QuickStart Tennis

Better Tourism Photography Awards 2012

If you've taken some great pics during your travels recently, you may want to enter them for the Tourism Concern Photography Awards. It's  a competition set up to find the most inspiring travel and tourism photography from around the world. There will be prizes in the categories of people, wildlife and environment as well as one overall winner.

Images will form part of an exhibition and ongoing collection of work which will highlight Better Tourism –  tourism that benefits local people.

In addition to the prizes, winners and shortlisted entries will also be used to produce the 2013 Better Tourism calendar. Find out more here.

Auditions for holiday operetta announced

The department will hold auditions for its 51st annual production of the holiday operetta “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Wednesday, October 3, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Road. No appointment is necessary. 

     Director George Macklin, Jr. and Musical Director Diana Covington Greer seek a pre- or early-teenage boy soprano for the role

Hotel Energy Solutions - eToolkit

Hotel Energy Solutions (HES), is a UNWTO-initiated project, set up to deliver information on efficient energy usage and using renewable energy, with technical support and training for small/medium enterprises in the tourism and hospitality sector across Europe.

The etoolkit is a part of this project and can help hoteliers assess their own energy usage.

Some notes on the 'Recreation Ground' book

Following questions at launches for the book, here are some bits of information or 'info-bites':

Life After Wartime: a poem first published in 100 Poets Against The War (Salt, 2003) and then in Burning Omaha (Firewater Press, 2003) and Nagy Vilag (Budapest, 2003). Occasionally known as 'Life During Wartime' in reference to the Talking Heads track of the same name.

Burning Omaha: first published in Burning Omaha (Firewater Press, 2003) and In The Criminal's Cabinet (nthposition, 2004). Refers to a curious atmospheric phenomenon in the 1970s and takes its title from Billy Bragg's 'Help Save The Youth Of America'.

Just Before The Boat: set on the dockside in Corfu, August 2006.

Dubliners on the Adriatic: originally published in Poetry Scotland. Begun in Trieste, summer 2006. Maximilian set sail from the city to take up his ill-fated but Monet-documented role as Emperor of Mexico from Trieste. Trieste's Risiera was the site of the only fascist concentration camp on Italian soil. The last line is a would-be Joycean hotch-potch of Albanian, French, English etc.

In The Small Museum: the museum in question being Prague's Museum of Communism.

Moving East: set in the Slovakian town of Zilina, close to the Czech and Polish borders.

A Curious Friendship: refers to an incident in the citadel at Gjirokastra, southern Albania.

Ornithology in the Balkans: the northern Albanian city of Shkodra, 2009. Xhiro is the Albanian equivalent of the evening promenade. The legend of Rozafa - the woman immured in the walls of the castle to stop them falling down - is well-documented.

Here After All: a poem set in Parma, northern Italy, 2006.

European Union: a poem set in Brasov, Romania, 2009.

View Becoming A Poem: the setting here is Halifax, Yorkshire.

Found In The River: originally published in A Mutual Friend; concerns my great-grandfather who reputedly sold his art dealership to buy a boat in Margate.

Ellerker Gardens: an address in Richmond, Surrey, where my mother lived during the early part of WW2. 'Secret War' boffin Reginald V Jones lived in the same building and insisted that my mother go out with him into the Blitz to search for unexploded bombs.

The Air Display: at Kemble Air Show.

Wearing Thin: a walking-home-from-poem, almost certainly set at the pedestrian crossing beside Bristol Bridge.

Catching The Drift: a largely imagianry incident somewhere along the coast of NSW, most probably occurring in Sawtell or Coffs Harbour.

Almost There: the places mentioned are almost all in Salzburg.

City to Open New Bike Skills Training Area on Belle Isle

The department will open its new Belle Isle Bike Skills Area on Saturday, September 29, at 10 a.m. with a celebration that will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, demonstrations, and tours. The public is invited to attend and to bring their bicycles to try out the mountain bike training area.

     “I encourage residents and visitors to come discover the Belle Isle Bike Skills Training Area as

Guide to Freshers Week

 A big 'Welcome Back' to all of our students!
 a very warm 'Welcome' to all new students embarking on their first year with us!

For those of you new to Uni, here are a few tips from The Independent, 

to help you sail through that week!

Some recently published books

Three which have caught my eye anyway ...

Peter Robinson (ed.), Bernard Spencer: Essay on his Poetry & Life (Shearsman Books): a collection of essays about one of those mid-20th-century poets who have been routinely overlooked in the past. Spencer's published output in his lifetime was relatively small, but his original poems and translations (of Greek poet George Seferis, in particular) are well worth discovering. As well as their own intrinsic virtues, they cannot help but seem - with the benefit of hindsight - precursors for or, perhaps, tributaries into the post-war non-mainstream. for these essays - and for the poetry, translations and selected prose.

David Caddy, So Here We Are (Shearsman Books): another interesting-looking book of essays from Shearsman, this one bringing together the Tears In The Fence founding editor's Alistair Cooke-style letters on English poetry, from thematic studies of 'forests' and reflections on Caddy's own introduction to poetry to vignettes on individual poets such as JH Prynne and Andrew Crozier.

Kate Behrens, The Beholder (Two Rivers Press): the opening salvo of Two Rivers' series of debut full-length poetry collections - and an impeccably fine piece of work, full of insight, compassion and wit (in the proper sense of the word). Poems about nature, family, love, sex which, for all their apparent 'difficulty' - i.e. slip-slidy grammar, ellipses and lacunae - have attracted endorsements from the likes of Brian Patten and John Hegley.

Spotlight Gallery to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the City’s Department of Parks Recreation and Community Facilities will host an art exhibit featuring the works of local artist, Helene Ruiz. The exhibit, titled “Sabor Feminina” (Feminine Flavor), will open with a reception on Friday, September 21 from 6 to 8p.m. at the Spotlight Gallery, which is located within the department’s Pine Camp Arts and

Autumnal clicking

Like buses, weblinks seems to come along in batches. Here are a few recent ones:

Feature in the Bristol Post re: our involvement with the B3P Summer Programme in Vermosh, Albania, this year:

Films from the B3P Summer Programme in Vermosh - the first two from our English/Drama classes, the third made by American Peace Corps volunteers:

Film from this summer's Miss Accursed Mountains competition in Lepushe, northern Albania:

And, from closer to home, film of the Augmented Reality project as part of The Future Cemetery at Arnos Vale in Bristol, with Doug Francis of Invisible Circus and Jeremy Routledge et al from Calling The Shots:

And, finally, info about my short play 100 Miles North of Timbuktu - programmed as a curtain-raiser for Alice Nicholas' Honest in Theatre West's autumn season (and here if you scroll down a bit):

England Tourism Factsheet

Do you know…

• What tourism is worth in England?
• How much more people spent on domestic tourism this year than last?
• What the top five holiday destinations are?
• Which nation spends most on trips to England?

VisitEngland have produced the new England Tourism Factsheet which aims to answer these questions -  bringing together all the key tourism numbers in one place.

Slum Tourism

A  growing number of tourists are choosing to visit slums and favelas as the sole reason for, or as part of, their holiday; it is understood that this is to experience for themselves people living in poverty. There is an argument that slum residents benefit from tourism to these areas but others state that this doesn't always happen and the right to dignity and privacy for these people needs to be considered.

This article by Tourism Concern, asks the question, 'Is it ever right for tour operators to offer excursions to slums?'  and includes a case study of the largest favela in Brazil.
Registration now open -

2012 ATHE Annual Conference
Selwyn College Cambridge
6-7 December 2012

Find out more and register, 

Department Introduces Exciting, New After School Program with Open House

Are you looking for an after school program that children will love? If so, consider the new program sponsored by Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities in area elementary schools.

     “We’ve enhanced our program significantly to include a sports and art component,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the department. “We know that kids love sports, and at this young

Tourism Society

The Tourism Society Annual Conference 2012, entitled People, Places, Profit took place on 12th July 2012; slides from the event can be viewed here.

Recreation Ground reviewed

Ian Brinton's review of Recreation Ground, the book, was circulated by Various Artists yesterday and is now available on line at the Two Rivers Press website, along with details of the launch event in Reading on Friday (7 Sept): 

In the meantime ...

Here's what we did this summer: a film and photo montage of the Balkans Peace Park Project summer programme in Vermosh, northern Albania:

Readings for 'Recreation Ground'

Published this summer by Two Rivers Press (, Recreation Ground is now available in book form. The book collects nearly 40 poems written over the last decade or so, including those published in anthologies such as 100 Poets Against The War (Salt, 2003), Babylon Burning (nthposition, 2008) and A Mutual Friend (Two Rivers Press, 2012), as well as material only previously published in magazines or online.
To launch the book, I will be doing a series of readings over the next few months. Dates so far include:

Fri 7 Sept 'The Time of Our Lives', Waterstone's, 89A Broad, St, Reading, 6.30pm, free (but adv booking req'd), with other Two Rivers Press poets including: Adrian Blamires, Samuel Burgess, Elvira Rivers, Kate Behrens, A. F. Harrold, Ian House, Jean Watkins hosted by Peter Robinson. To book a ticket, call 0118 9581270.

Wed 26 Sept The Berkeley Square Poetry Review Show, The Square Club, Berkeley Sq, Clifton, Bristol, 8.30pm, £3 - readings from the book together with a short Q&A.

Mon 1 Oct Alchemy, Napa Bar & Art Gallery, Prokopska 8, Mala Strana, Prague 1, 7.30pm - with Peter Robinson. Ffi:

Wed 7 Nov Word of Mouth, The Thunderbolt, Bath Rd, Bristol (details tbc). Ffi:

Copies of the book will be available at all these events or can be ordered from, Amazon, Waterstone's and elsewhere.

Also forthcoming: an interview in Bristol Review of Books ( this autumn and an appearance on the Oxford Brookes University Poetry Centre website (

Tom Phillips’ first full-length collection navigates terrains which range from Eastern Europe, Australia and the Home Counties to his own back garden in Bristol. From the different perspectives these vantage points offer, it unearths connections between chance meetings and ‘big history’, family stories and the state we’re in. It also looks at poetry itself as a ground on which to recreate – and negotiate with – one thing that nobody can change: the past.

“In Tom Phillips' work, the world is unsettlingly close, whether the poem is set in his home town or at the other end of Europe. Other times, too, are alongside in the present, and echoes of conflict or loss disturb the surfaces of life, which are nonetheless carefully, caringly observed in these intelligent and watchful poems.” Philip Gross

“The landscape of Tom Phillips’s poetry is an ‘unexpected geography’ within the contours of which we are reawakened to recognition that meaning amid a world of war and confusion is to be discovered in the unchanging nature of small things.” Ian Brinton

"Those who have followed Tom Phillips’ steady progression over nearly 30 years value him as, in some real sense, the quietly spoken voice of a generation.’ Tony Lewis-Jones

“Tom Phillips reveals that the distance between oneself and elsewhere is both geographical and ontological. Recreation Ground provides  a poet’s map; there are no shortages of frontiers and the means of travel are various but the journeying out is a way of coming home, a way of measuring the ways in which we occupy place and a recognition that this occupation is mysterious as well as pragmatic. Travelling - both near and  far - opens the senses and defines the traveller. ‘Not Really Climbing the Malvern  Hills’  is full of Larkinesque gesture: ‘Aiming to get away early,/not from everything exactly,/…/we made the first train out of Temple Meads/barely noticing where it would take us:/the slow, stopping service to Malvern.’  The travellers stumble upon an ‘unexpected geography’ whose un-lyrical  conglomeration of ‘stockaded new towns’ and ‘gated gravel driveways’ carve up middle England.
"Donald Davie’s ‘exiguous island’ has long replaced John of Gaunt’s ‘blessed plot’ and Phillips is skilful at donning a poetic veil of modesty, which can be lifted or not accordingly. A view of hills, in ‘Miles Away’ is ‘bisected  by the Londontrain’; earlier ‘the bus never came’ and a walk across the Downsleads to a canny re-evaluation  rather than easy effusion: ‘So much for moving on or growing away./Somehow I’m always partly on the stairs.’ These poems are infinitely resourceful; their poetic readiness allows attenuated gesture to tap into parallel existences and rewarding, if quietly heralded, dislocation. Phillips is good at getting hold of an English psychological  terrain, and this is complemented by his journeys further afield. England/abroad is less a binary opposite than a set of inter-related conversations. Joyce’s Trieste becomes a study of imperial tristesse (‘Dubliners on the Adriatic’), and  in ‘Here After All’  the poet asks, under ‘pink stucco facades’ and almost unexpectedly at ease, as he watches the  passing trams, whether it’s time ‘to turn for home?’ Home, too, is merely a geographical  expression and Recreation Ground is not about leisure, it’s about the frisson of existence.” Julian Stannard

Terrific Townies

Brandi LeTourneau

Sims 3 Exchange Download
MediaFire Download

"Gender: Female
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: None
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Bookworm, Mean Spirited, Neat, Neurotic, Inappropriate

Brandi has no Bio, but she loves the colour pink, loves eating pancakes and loves electronica. "

Benjamin Long 

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MediaFire Download

"Gender: Male
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: Fit
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Slob, Athletic, Good Sense Of Humor, Friendly, Bookworm

Benjamin doesn't have a bio, but he loves the colour blue, waffles and indie music! "

Sandy Bruty

"Gender: Female
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Friendly, Childish, Easily Impressed, Flirty, Clumsy

Sandy has no bio, but she loves Lime Green, Indie and Hotdogs, some even say that she is the female Goopy! "

Ricky Cormier

"Gender: Male
Age: Teen
Fitness: Ripped
Weight: Boney
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Loser, Bookworm, Hopeless Romantic, Friendly

Ricky has no bio but he does love the colour red and stu surprise! "

Meadow Thayer

"Gender: Female
Age: Teen
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Good, Family-Oriented, Lucky, Hopeless Romantic

Meadow has no bio but her favourite colour is white and she loves pop music! "

Marylena Hamilton

"Gender: Female
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Workaholic, Athletic, Schmoozer, Loves The Outdoors, Family-Oriented

Marylena has no bio but she likes eating Dim Sum and her favourite colour is red! "

Marsha Bruenig 

"Gender: Female
Age: Child
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Boney
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Inappropriate, Kleptomaniac, Evil

Marsha has no bio, but she is a evil little girl who likes to call up random sims for fun, she loves the colour yellow and Mac & Cheese "

Marisa Benett

"Gender: Female
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: Trim
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Artistic, Ambitious, Genius, Unflirty, Charismatic

Marisa has no bio but she loves the colour pink and grilled cheese! "

Ivy Copur

"Gender: Female
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Loves The Outdoors, Perfectionist, Coward, Vegetarian, Athletic

Ivy has no bio, but she loves blue! Indie and Peanut Butter Jelly (time) as her favourite meal! "

Christy Stratton 

"Gender: Female
Age: Young Adult
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Boney
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Brave, Loner, Couch Potato, Handy, Snob

Christy has no bio but she does love Lilac, S;aghetti and Pop Music! "

Tosha Go

"Gender: Female
Age: Teen
Fitness: Trim
Weight: Thin
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Party Animal, Excitable, Daredevil, Childish

Tosha doesn't have a bio but she loves the colour Violet, Cookies and Kids Music "

Orlando Centowski

"Gender: Male
Age: Teen
Fitness: Lanky
Weight: Boney
Sub Type: Human 
Traits: Family-Oriented, Loner, Schmoozer, Hopeless Romantic

Orlando has no bio, but he loves the colour green and fish & Chips "