Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Ends....

December, and the Old Year, ends and I'm finally getting round to posting something here. It's been a pleasingly, though at times a bit overwhelmingly, busy month from a poetry point-of-view - a slew of pre-Christmas performances, another Radio 4 Saturday Live slot (you can listen to the programme from 19th December here if you're interested in checking out the two poems I came up with) and quite a few deadlines to meet (the last of which is at 4 pm today!)

Also had my usual twice-weekly workshops to run, plenty of one-to-one tuition and mentoring, plus a scriptwriting session at Pontardawe Script Café for Peacock Vein Writing Group. This group contains quite a few students with whom I previously worked when teaching creative writing at Swansea University in the early years of this decade - it was so great to meet up with them again.

Another highlight of the month was visiting the Earth: Art of a Changing World exhibition at the Royal Academy, in which thirty leading contemporary artists from around the world present new and recent work in response to climate change. I'm still processing and thinking about all I saw and have several poems brewing in response to some of the work.

I'm heading down to West Wales for a few days over the New Year period for lots of walking and reading (Magnetic North by Sara Wheeler is top of my reading list) and will hopefully find some time to mull over all that went on in 2009 and all that I hope 2010 may contain.

Happy New Year - and thanks to everyone who's stopped by to read and/or post a comment here over the past twelve months.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

C Words - Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture

On Saturday, I went to the Arnolfini in Bristol for C Words, an investigation into carbon, climate, capital and culture, developed and implemented by the arts, social justice and ecology group PLATFORM and several other collaborating organisations. Over the past seven weeks, the Arnolfini has hosted a series of installations, workshops, actions, discussions and exhibitions leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen which opens on December 5th.

I first came across PLATFORM several years ago, at another event at the Arnolfini, when I performed some poems at a Remember Saro-Wiwa evening. One of these poems, Prudhoe Bay, had been published in Dance the Guns to Silence, an anthology focusing on social and ecological justice to mark the tenth anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution.

I was thrilled that this same poem, Prudhoe Bay, was chosen to be featured at the C Words exhibition over the past seven weeks - it was one of several poems to be chalked onto a huge blackboard in the foyer of the Arnolfini Gallery. I wish I'd had time to make lots of visits to Bristol so that I could have participated in the C Words season more fully, but at least I got a flavour of the inspiring environmental art and activism that's been going on.

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