Leave a Comment · Posted on October 23, 2020
Happy to be included in this review of books about the Mixed Race experience – fiction and non fiction – thanks Bad Form Review.
Leave a Comment · Posted on September 19, 2020
I’m really looking forward to reading (via Zoom!) at the Poetry London launch with Romalyn Ante, Layla Benitez-James, Canisia Lubrin, Togara Muzanenhamo, and Sam Sax. TIme to try out a few sonnets from the new book…
Leave a Comment · Posted on September 11, 2020
Dash Arts have just realeased this podcast of myself, Zerritha Brown and two Turkish artists, Imran Ayata and Bulent Kullukcu, discussing/comparing the Windrush experience and that of ‘Gastarbeiter’ (German-Turkish migrant community). Listen out for the Gastarbeiter music, song lamenting the migrant experience n Germany, and Zerritha Brown talking about the lineage of reggae music from Jamaica to Britain. Recorded at Rich Mix last year @DASH_ARTS
Leave a Comment · Posted on August 31, 2020
I enjoyed writing about James Berry and Windrush for the Young Poet’s Network. It made me think about what young people might or might not know about the British Empire and its legacy – and how James’ work is as relevant today as it ever was.
Leave a Comment · Posted on July 28, 2020
I’m so pleased to be writing for this collaboration with the composer Sarah Angliss, a new work for voice, string quartet and live electronics. Through music and words, we’ll be exploring the UK’s deep connection with wind and tide – elemental forces that make up the UK’s defiantly porous border. We’ll excavate partial archives, half-memories, extant folklore, combining music and poetry to conjure all that’s been carried to our shores.
A Persistent Myth: Buying the Wind
The title of this project refers to the ancient sailors’ superstition of throwing a coin into water to assuage the spirits and bring a fair wind – a ritual that’s persisted for centuries. Sarah was inspired by some notes in Edward Lovett’s Magic in Modern London (1925). In his book, the folklorist and city explorer records sailors in Billingsgate nailing coins to the mast to bring a good passage. The former home of London’s fish market, Billingsgate was built on a Viking settlement. Lovett also writes about women on the East coast of Britain selling sailors ‘magical’ knotted string. The string could be untied, knot by knot, to vie for better sailing winds. Knotted string was also sold in Newfoundland, itself a Viking settlement. Arguably the ritual of ‘buying wind’ persists to this day, in disassociated form, every time we throw a coin into a fountain.
We are looking for other instances of ‘buying wind’ in books, poems folk tales or local folklore. If you know of an instance, we’d love to hear from you.
Leave a Comment · Posted on July 28, 2020
Leave a Comment · Posted on July 14, 2020
I’ll be teaching an intensive weekend course on memoir, November 7th and 8th. We’ll look at lots of different forms, from ‘traditional’ memoir to experiments with poetry and visual story-telling. Life writing has evolved into such an exciting form of story-telling so I’m really pleased to be able to explore the genre in depth. Details here: https://poetryschool.com/courses/x-lit-ways-into-memoir/
Leave a Comment · Posted on July 1, 2020
Teaching a few workshops for the PBS over the next week – tomorrow (2/07) 11am – 12.30pm and Wed 8/02 11.30am – 12.30pm and this saturday a whole morning with Liz Berry 9.30am – 1pm.
Leave a Comment · Posted on June 24, 2020
I *think* there might be a few more spaces open for this online workshop on Saturday 27th June 10.30 – 12.30…we’ll be looking at different strategies for writing about family, ancestry and heritage. Link below:
Leave a Comment · Posted on June 23, 2020
When the Home Office announced they’d ‘lost’ the landing cards of Caribbean people arriving to Britain, I started to think about the importance of other documentary evidence of arrival and more importantly, decades of settlement – from the passenger lists held at the National Archives, to personal archives – letters, photographs, diaries. My essay ‘Paperwork’ reproduced here is from ‘Mother Country’, edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff.