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Posts Tagged ‘Jacqueline Saphra’

My début pamphlet, Small Change, received a wonderful welcome into the world at Keats House on 18 January 2013.

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As Nii Parkes of flipped eye publishing put it, London laid on a beautiful snow tribute:

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Karen McCarthy Woolf took this Narnian picture

Anjan Saha opened the evening with a lovely poem invoking Keats, who I’m certain was listening from the back. Two of my favourite poets, Jacqueline Saphra and Kayo Chinonyi also read, and Jacob Sam-La Rose was the wonderful host he always is. So many family and friends ploughed through the snow to be there, that it was a full house and we sold out of books! Look how happy I am:

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Jacqueline Saphra reads

Jacqueline Saphra reads

Kayo Chingonyi reads

Kayo Chingonyi reads

Animated question answering...

Animated question answering…

Book signing

Book signing

My heartfelt thanks to Keats House, London Literature Lounge, Spread the Word and flipped eye publishing for such an auspicious beginning for Small Change.

Small Change can be ordered from flipped eye publishing at a special discount price. It will also soon be available from WH Smith and Amazon.

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It’s always lovely to be asked back to an event. This time last year I performed a short set at The Shuffle, an acclaimed night at the Poetry Cafe, run by one of my favourite poets, Jacqueline Saphra and others. This Saturday I’m one of their featured poets, along with John Citizen and Rachel Smith. If you feel like a bit of poetry of a Saturday night, it’s a good place to be.

The Shuffle starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 27 March at The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BX. Tickets cost £5/£3.

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I had a very unusual Saturday. Together with Dzifa Benson, Jacqueline Saphra and Dominic O’Rourke, I took part in a poetry performance at Tate Britain as part of the Tate’s Going Public event series. Our piece, In The Undergrowth, was a response to David Hockney’s Bigger Trees Near Warter. We performed in front of the artwork itself – or rather, inside the artwork. The whole piece is a room hosting three images of the same enormous painting: a copse of sycamores in rural Yorkshire.

As we performed our poems, the paintings became backdrops and we became characters: experiencing, creating and interpreting the trees in our different ways. The audience responded brilliantly – some reading along with the In The Undergrowth pamphlet we published, which features ten poets from The Vineyard poetry collective.

It was wonderful to perform together in such an evocative setting. I particularly loved watching the children who came to the performance. Because I work mainly in secondary schools, I rarely get to perform for younger children, so seeing their mesmerized faces throughout the day will stick in my mind. It was also an exercise in stamina – we performed six times during the afternoon, and had to give everything of ourselves to keep the energy high. But that was what made it work so well. Each performance was different and by the end of it, I felt I’d learnt so much about performing, about the artworks themselves and about communicating with an audience in a dynamic setting.

I would love to see more work like this being commissioned. A gallery can make a powerful performance space. One of the best comments I heard from the audience was that our performance brought life to the paintings, and that as we spoke they perceived more and more layers to the images. A creative way to engage with and respond to art – well beyond the confines of the gallery lecture!

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A collaborative picture from the first Pistols & Pollinators workshop

Last year I was invited by poet Jacqueline Saphra to take part in Pistols & Pollinators, a project that brings visual artists and poets together to work on joint artworks, run by Accident & Emergence. Everyone on the project came together for a day in November, to share ideas, get to know each other and make some collaborative art and poetry. After that, artists and poets were paired. I’m collaborating with Anna Sexton, an artist, photographer, life-coach and lady-of-all-creative-trades. Currently, I’m in Geneva, working on my first poetry pamphlet (more about that soon), so our work is coming together through skype, parcels in the post and also our brand new shiny blog: CollaborARTing. Take a look for more…

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