I've had a really busy summer doing community arts projects. I could blog about them as usual, but I think I probably need to give the whole website a complete overhaul and do it properly. I always struggle to know how to cover the art stuff and the writing stuff. Do I just have separate pages? Should I have separate sites? I need to think about who might want to look at the website and why - so I can consider how to help people find what they need easily. Let's face it - people who look me up with professional interest are unlikely to read the blog, but this is the only bit I make regular updates to! So if you do look at this website, please can you respond to this post to let me know why and what you think of it / what you were looking for and whether or not you found it? I would be very grateful.
On the writing front I was asked to be part of a residency alongside the Journeys with the Wasteland exhibition at the Herbert during October, to commemorate TS Eliot's writing of the poem. In response to this I have written a five chapter poem which is very personal and covers some of the same themes as Eliot's poem, bringing it up to date for my life in multi-cultural Coventry. I will be performing it at an event in November. More later.
Over the summer I worked on some performances with Mahendra Patel - a drummer. We have had lots of fun and I'll hopefully post a recording or two soon. It's come to my attention recently that there are people in the poetry cadre who are kind of sneering about such experimental things as having illustrations in a poetry book, mixing poetry and prose, or being accompanied by a percussionist. That is not going to stop me having as much fun as I can with my art - any of my arts, or fun with my collaborations either. What is the point of any of this if it is not as emotionally rich as I can make it, or if it stops being what I passionately want to do with my time?
An important thing I do with my time is reading. I read a lot of poetry. I buy a lot of poetry books. This month I have been mostly reading the 'Some Cannot be Caught' Anthology by Emma Press and 'Bella' by Nellie Cole. Both are fantastic. I have also, with the help of a friend, rediscovered Craig Raine. I studied 'A Martian Sends A Postcard Home' at University and I still find it inspiring. I think you might too. Who can't use a bit of defamiliarisation?!
Thanks for reading, Andrea