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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Good Presence, or The Hayfever Season Update (achoo!): 5 things

A lot's been happening behind the scenes, so here's a quick run down...

1. Good Presence

So, I'm counting down with less than a month to go for my new work-in-progress show, Good Presence, part of the Last Word Festival at the Roundhouse

I'm a little nervous and excited, and I've dared myself to write things that are uncomfortable.  
I've got more of a handle on what it's about (faith, fear, freedom, friendship... all the F words) and I've found a few other surprises as I've been writing (I'll just leave that hanging...).

Over the next week or so, I'll have finished writing a draft of the whole thing, then the following week I'll be looking more at the movement and music side of it, then I get to start on the decoration (thinking about sound, space, that kind of S word), with just a couple of days to practice and memorise what I can.

I promised in the blurb to deliver belly laughs, alongside a dark exploration of faith, so that's what I'm aiming for. I'd love to have as many friendly faces there as possible... so come!

I'll be plugging it more over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, check out the rest of the Last Word Programme. I'm hoping to reach a handful of shows, which is, sadly, all I can manage time-wise!

Speaking of, there's extra brownie points - you literally get a discount - for coming to see Estamos Presente, a little earlier on, showcasing the work of a new British Latinx writing collective I'm really excited to be working with.

2. 3MT

Things are also ticking over on the academic side. I'm still working on my novel, still teaching (and learning) and still managing the balance of theory and writing practice.

For reasons unknown, I decided to venture into the domain of competitive thesis presentations and oh.. my... word!

A lot of universities have signed up to 3MT - or Three Minute Thesis, for the uninitiated - encouraging research students to present their work to a mixed crowd in just 3 minutes (a quick YouTube search reveals the broadest range of topics imaginable).

I didn't realise how much of a challenge it would be to synthesise my thesis, my approach to research and my creative writing practice, and the specifics of my findings, all into three minutes - oh, and in a jargon-free, enthusiastic, low-tech way. But once I did, I was keen to get involved.

This year's competition took place just a couple of days ago, and I'm still buzzing with energy. More on the results of the night here.

3. Coming Up! Housman's - June 6th

I'll be joining Richard Scott (his poetry collection, Soho, is bold and beautiful*) and Housman's Bookshop poet-in-residence Eleanor Penny for some poems and conversation. The topic is Sex, Shame & Problematic Ancestry in Queer Poetry and we'll be discussing all of that, plus more, in between reading out some of our work.

*hold on, wasn't Bold and Beautiful also the title of a 90s American soap? Or am I making this up?

4. More coming up...

I have a few other events forthcoming, including this at the British Museum on June 29th, where I'll be performing a commissioned poem for the Rodin exhibition. I'll update beforehand - I promise! - so keep checking back here.

5. Writing, Reading, Listening

Meanwhile, I've been:

- writing more poems
- progressing with the novel
- working on a couple of unrelated essays
- trying to keep plugged in to new stuff. There's a lot to keep up with!

I was particularly blown over by Nine Night at the National Theatre the other day, which just closed tonight. I hope it comes back soon so I can go again!

I'm also still raving about James M'Kay's Very Friendly Weapon, which deserves another post.

I'll do a separate post about other stuff I'm reading when I've got the energy... right now I want to get back to the reading!

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