Gigs, gigs, gigs.

I love my job very much, and let it be know that I am not, and will never, complain about being given the opportunity to travel around the country and say poems at people. But my bed is in a mood with me. She shoots me evils when I walk in like she is my Mum and I’m a teenage boy with a new girlfriend. She’s all ‘where have YOU been, you treat this place like a hotel’ and I’m like ‘oh, actually I just came to get some clean knickers and I’m off again’.

I do get homesick though. I’ve slept in my own bed around three nights in the last two weeks and I’ve found myself sitting on trains fantasizing about nesting and reading books and watching Mad Men all day. Like I said, I’m not complaining, its just good to remember how important it is to go home and hang out with your mates. Especially when they are also all busy making magic in their lives.

Anyway, I’ve been away a lot because I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some cool stuff. I went to York to perform at a lovely night called Words & Whippets at York Theatre Royal, run by excellent poet and man, Henry Raby. All the poets were from Yorkshire and it was great to share a bill with loads of amazing home-grown poets.

After that I went to London to do Folly with Nuala in a beautiful garden for a lovley arts happening in Islington for two artist friends of ours. It was the first time we have done it unamplifed, which was nerve-wracking and a very different experience. The garden was delicious though, full of beautiful big plants and very tropical feeling. And they had draped the whole courtyard in huge white sheet. There’s a section at the beginning where we talk about a plane taking off, and there we were cacooned in this little ethereal white pod with the sound of planes taking off overhead. I loved it.

Then I went to Sheffield to read a poem an absolutely brilliant festival called Hidden Perspectives. It was an arts festival that aims to ‘open up interpretations of biblical narratives to underrepresented groups.’ In this case we were looking at things from an LBGTQ perpective, and it was a day filled with original, unusual, beautiful and challenging talks, discussions, art and literature. I saw a lecture looking at queer perspectives of Baroque music, interspersed with live performance. The person (CN Lester) giving the talk was a scholar but also a professional mezzo-soprano. It was beautiful. The talk included insights into castrati roles in opera, femaie Baroque composers (largely ignored by history) and queer perspectives on biblical narratives. There was also a brilliant poet called Sarah Thomasin who had written a sequence of poems called ‘Judas Escariot – A Love Story’ and an amazing story teller (who I remembered from when I lived in Sheffield, he ran a night called the Story Forge) called Tim Ralphs who told the story of Jonathan and David from the old testiment, interspersed with accounts of interviews he had carried out with gay people, who had, or had had faith at somepoint in their lives.

There was much more besides. Some really brilliant artwork and documentation of the history of gay people and the community in Sheffield with stories dating back to the turn of the last century! A funny, thought-provoking, interesting and beautiful festival that I was proud to be part of. I wrote a poem for the event which I’m gunna try to record and put up as soon as I am home for more then ten minutes.


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