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.