I wanted to write a message
Wanted to scream my thoughts to the world
But they got stuck
tumbled over each other
Fighting for supremancy
Each wanting to be heard the most
Until I could not think
To put words to paper
And all those things
Those insightful things
Things that needed to be shared
They could all have been heard
If they had not barred each others way
I wanted to write a message
Autumn dates and activities:
Secret Singing London/Essex Sat 1st Oct. Contact me for details
Fun Palace Sun 2nd Oct starts 10:30 there will be my Cuddly Science workshop which will contain puppets, poetry, craft and science and Then there is a poetry and story slot later in the afternoon where I will also be performing with different stuff including some of the Found Poems of the Concrete.
Halloween Mini Mall Con: Sat 29th Oct 10-4 Gloucester free entry – will be selling The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry plus a few zines etc… the baby yeti will be there!
Purple Fest: Fri 18th Nov 7 pm Smokey Joes in Cheltenham tickets £6 – this is a comedy event so expect my performance poetry and possibly the puppets! It is also a charity gig.
There is also a couple of potential appearances at the Cheltenham Lit Fest and a couple of other things but I will announce those when they have been confirmed.
Apart from that I shall be taking part in Inktobre which was the drawing drive that really boosted the production of the pictures of Love: A Stranger Dream last year. Basically you try and do a picture each day which I find useful for the style of visual/illustrated poems I like to create.
I will also be taking part in Gothnowrimo and Nanowrimo but that is my fiction writing and not poetry. Then I will be doing Picture Book Idea Month as well but spending time trying to work on my kids books projects I already have going – yes this means The Little Books of Poetry and maybe the Advent poem I’ve been working on for the last few years etc…
I am also spending a big chunk of October acting hence the reduced number of poetry performances.
Back in the summer I took part in the True Believers Comic Festival mini-mall con. I took just Love: A Stranger Dream merchandise which was still quiet a lot of stuff from post cards, to key rings, to two types of mugs, to candles and t-shirts as well as framed prints, poetry cards and the actual book!
I should merchandise, I broke even, my family dressed up and ate cake, I did not sell any of the actual books thought some online sales mysteriously happened over the next few days!
I did get asked alot about weather I would do illustration work for people which is always nice and had lots of great conversations…. I also got denounced as the Devil by an american lady who was freaked out by the whole event. So as far as having edgy art work goes I think that is probably the best accolade!
Cate Blanchett and co created this heart hurting video poem to highlight the plight of refugees. The poem is hard hitting with a panic inducing rhythm.
This is the arts video I made of my non-lineal visual poem Love: A Stranger Dream. It is 18 minutes long to warn you before you embark on the watching odyssey.
I created felt backdrops, learnt to play two new instruments and did a hell of a lot of fuffing and yack shaving to get the video!
Love: A Stranger Dream is a non-linear visual poem on identity in the form of a colouring book that I have created.
Each year I have three standard Poem a Day challenges, these are Month of Poetry in January, World Poetry Writing Month in February which I run and National Poetry Writing Month in April. This writing challenges really help me focus and write down all the stuff that buzzes around my head. I then spend the months inbetween typing up and editing (or doing other stupid challenges such as writing a novel in a month or painting a picture everyday).
Sometimes I’ll add in extra challenges in October or November sometimes even December depending on what type of poetry I would like to write. I normally theme each challenge – sure there are helpful tutorials and writing stimuli on the websites of all these challenges but I like to set my own.
So one year I did Name a Face Poems which were visual poems where I literally drew faces using the letters of people names! Then I did one that was song writing, another that was mainly illustration as I’d written the poems but needed some pictures to go with them. I did environmetal poems and science poems, gothic poems and so on!
But I am currently still recovering from the head bang and I do have a visual poem that I have not yet finished from some made draw everyday challenge I took up in the autumn – so I plan to try and write a bit each day from pictures in magazines or off of pintrest and to work on A Stranger Dream which is the colouring book visual poem that came out of said art challenge.
I had wanted to finish it for Christmas but it just did not happen.
So that is what I shall be doing for the next month
My London, my city
Is falling through the cracks
Slipping down between glass
Squeezed into non existence
And no protection
It’s soul is dying
As all the things I knew
Crumble under callipers
And blue prints
Raised for respectability
Losing the unique
And the grotesque that was more
With edges of dire
My City, My London
Soon will be no more
The Maze Festival event was amazing, there were fab stories and I have got photos…. but… whilst getting out of our van and into the venue I was verbally insulted as was my daughter and then whilst we were in the venue our van was smeared in human poo.
I am very upset about this and have ended up talking to the police who have registered it as a hate crime. Since hitting my head I have been suffering with seizures, I ended up having one due to the extra stress and lack of sleep the clean up involved whilst trying to keep the kids safe and away from it.
Our van is a beaten up old transit which has been adapted to be a day/camper van. I love the van and we have called it The Tardis as it is blue and it is perfect for craft shows and festivals and staying over at performances – it is just what we need.
I grew up being bullied for “being a gypsy/piky/didiki” and so I tried to ignore the kids when they started shouting abuse to the didiki. My husband it turns out didn’t even know the word, he did not know piky either.
It was a horrible thing to happen, and I was angry that I had hoped not to inflame the situation by ignoring them as they wheeled around me but instead they smeared our van and tried to trick us into getting it all in the area where we would have to sleep.
I cried because part of me thought it was my fault for wearing my hair down, for not straightening it and making it neat, or because my youngest speaks what sounds like a foreign language and weather she was in danger. Once they realised my husband was a man they did not go near him and yes they were only kids but they were all as tall or taller than me and it wasn’t just stuff about gypsies that they were saying.
It made me feel sick but… it is part of what the visual poem A Stranger Dream is about. Here was an attack on two parts of my identity as I went to an event to tell the tale of how I’d written/drawn a book/poem on identity by getting lost and confused as to who I was.
All the anger of bullying suppression oozed to the surface and I thought about how their actions meant they were suffering within. How they fear an identity that they could be mistaken for, how people sometimes lash out to what is too close to home. And it made me realise that this world needs my book, it needs something to start undoing the damage of the bigots and the racists and the predatory pervs.
Sadly there is no way I could have identified them they were all white with brown hair of various lengths, one had some cuts but even if I saw them again I would not have been able to recognise them as the head injury has left me with face recognition problems even for people I know
As always I am turning the negative into positive by using the situation as the fuel for new works.
Not quiet poetry but it is related honest!
So Saffron Waldon has a Maze Festival and on the 19th of August they are having an opening event called “I Got Lost” at the football club. I am going to be telling a story about getting lost – I will give you a clue it is about how I ended up producing the book Love: A Stranger Dream which is of course a visual poem
I am also making a booklet and a dress!
I take too long to sign books! This is a photo of me during the launch day signing the books – these were special ones to be fair and I was going over board on decorating them – as in the “signature” was pretty much a page spread, hand drawn and personalised!
But I like doing them this way, I find it a bit souless when I go to book launches and get a scrawl. The idea of doing drawings was nicked unashamedly from Neil Gaiman who drew a dinosaur in my little girls copy of Fortunately the Milk.
I have a more books to sign and it is taking its time Oh well suppose I’d best get back to it all!