Laurels, but not resting

I haven’t posted since winning a word-thing last year, so what have I been doing? Sitting upon a palanquin, surrounded by the ensuing riches? Giving up for nothing can top that? Not at all, naturally, though there have been changes. The main one is that I have shifted more towards being a professional writer, so fewer open mics, more bookings, and more of a focus on getting funded/paid, whether for performance or by applying for commissions, residencies and the like. Lots of background work, beaucoup admin, norra lorra blogging.

This period also saw me set up Ghost River, a Hampshire-based poetry collective with a few fellow versifiers. This is a commissions-based endeavour focusing on heritage- and place-specific writing and performance. Our first job was a piece for the launch phase of Mayflower 400 where we performed in the round, each of us personifying a different aspect – the sea, the ship, the Wampanoag people who were already living there…

After that, NST City called and led to our Southampton Stories poetry promenade around the city. And so on to applications, meetings, discussions. Nothing like an application to take stock and reflect. So, Ghost River will be at Eastleigh Unwrapped this summer (yes, it’ll be called Eastleigh Stories), with more maybes being planned, and I’m working on solo projects. I’ve shifted away from overtly political satire (even if that was a winner) as it’s something of a creative cul de sac in a world more ridiculous than my imaginings. I’d rather use my energies to celebrate what delights, explore linguistic diversity and delve into experimental writing. So, cue an N+7 Oulipo based on a sailing map, a univocal summary of Lord of the Rings and a dive into ecopoetry, writing from non-human perspectives. Snrf-snf-snf, laughed the shark.