Sunday, 23 March 2014

Marching things...

1. Royal Festival Hall Organ

I've mentioned this project a few times and will do for one more week. Last Wednesday, I was on Radio 3's In Tune, talking about the organ and performing my poem for Pipes vs Mics, which is coming up next week Sunday. (3 days left to listen here, or tune into any of the other days, approx. 1 hour into the programme, to hear from the other poets involved). I also have a poem up in the Southbank Centre's main open space, as part of their exhibition.

I've enjoyed having a connection to something fairly removed from my experience (I can't remember when I last saw/heard a live pipe organ before this project - and, as much as I like Bach, you won't find his music on my phone). I've also enjoyed finding out about the controversy it caused, the names of the components and materials, and sought to find class and race issues within the structure - not really hard, given that it was installed in the 50s - and real meaty arguments that could be relevant to now.

Most of the poetry I write comes from within a defined (i.e. limited) space - and this has pushed me to research a bit more and bring that research into my own world. And the more I read, the more I see confirmed that writing is both an art and a science. I tend to write from gut feeling and not from calculated precision - and I still take some issue with people who write poetry to be clever (save that for cryptic crossword making) - you can spot them a mile off. Having said that, I really wanted to find some kind of structure and form for this project, and I think I almost achieved what I wanted. Anyway, it's just two poems which have made it into the public space as a result, so I'm not going to exaggerate and say it's changed my whole life. It has, however, been very cool working on this. And I'm looking forward to next Sunday's show!

2. Gay Poems

Last Sunday, I spent most of the day working on a film for my dear old friend, Gay Poem. That poem alone has taken me to a lot of unexpected places, physically and emotionally. Last week's destination: New Cross/Deptford. The sound is being mastered as we speak - and the whole process deserves another post, so look out for it between now and Wednesday when the film is released.

3. Identity Mix-Up

The Gay Poem film is being released as part of spoken word organisation Utter!'s 10th birthday celebrations. Utter! also hosted my debut show, Identity Mix-Up, in Edinburgh last year and, thanks to the funding it's received, I get to perform my show one last time at the Star of Kings on Sunday April 6th. I was really, really chuffed to have such a positive reaction to it (and here too) up in Edinburgh last year and, if I'm honest, I'm nervous about taking it back to my home turf, only a mile from home in Kings Cross. But I'm also excited about it, and hoping to see plenty of friendly faces.

There are four other great shows you get to see with the one ticket, so if you fancy coming, the details are here:

James McKay, Kirsten Luckins, Lee Nelson, me, Richard Tyrone Jones

Look out for more...

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