No More Compassion For A While

IMG_0687Well, of course I should and shall still be trying to do my compassion meditation (although I am failing in dramatic style whenever I try to extend metta to Tories these days) – but what I mean is, that’s the end of this year’s tour for The Trouble With Compassion. Many thanks to all my venues and all my audience members. You can still buy the poetry collection from Burning Eye Books.

In the meantime, here is my scary-lovely alter ego Imelda, taking out her frustration and self-loathing on a party-sized chocolate cake.

And here are all the wonderful pieces of advice and encouragement given to Imelda via the Heart Of Hearts…

 

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After A Break, More Rogues

A big thank you to the lovely folk who came to see my show at Alphabetti Theatre and at Acklam Library recently – here are some of their mug shots for your viewing pleasure. I’m glad so many people are made happy by simple, achievable things, but I am a little concerned for the person who said ‘watching neighbours’ made him happy – I think he meant the Australian soap opera….

Penultimate show of this year’s tour is 7.30pm, 30th September as part of Jabberwocky Market Festival in Darlington – tickets here!

Moving On From Otters

Kirsten_KindnessContactSheet.jpgHail and gratitude to everyone who followed my otter madness throughout April! You will be pleased to know that I have celebrated my first successful NaPoWriMo by going to see real life otters at Blue Reef. They were adorable, and very, very stinky.

Now I enter another month of ridiculousness as I try to write a show to go with my poetry collection, including lots of research conversations, field trips, filming of poem films, and of course writing of blog posts.

The theme is – KINDNESS AND COMPASSION. Some may say I haven’t been very kind to myself by leaving myself with so little time to complete a show that is booked to start touring on 11th June. They would be very right. You can help me!! I have a little survey thingie here, it’s only four questions, fancy giving it a go?

I will posting up interesting web snippets as I go along, but if you’d like to keep abreast of performances then you could join me on Facebook.

The picture featured is the contact sheet from a great morning messing around with my friend and colleague Suzi Corker, who is a great photographer and will be doing my posters. Which photo do you like best? (Be kind, remember!)

 

A Teensy News Round-Up

IMG_0024Hello everyone! I haven’t said anything for a while, even though I’ve been thinking Thoughts. So here is just a bit of humblebragging about places you can check out my work…

So I have a poem in The Fat Damsel #4. This is a great online magazine set up by the very talented Jane Burn, with guest editors. You should absolutely follow them, they’re fellow WordPressers. This is ‘my’ edition.

I also have a poem about to appear in Magma #63, which has the theme of ‘Conversation’. I’d never submitted anything to Magma before, as it’s One Of The Biggies, but I happened to have three poems that fit in with the theme, so I gave it a go. I’m extraordinarily proud not only to have got in (with only a minor editorial cut of one line), but to have also been asked to read at the launch. I will be one of many contributors doing a quick 2-poem set, in an evening that features headline poets Jane Draycott and Daljit Nagra – HUGE! If you’d like to come, it’s at 7pm on Friday 30th October at the LRB Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL

Other gigs coming up are wildly varied! I have been asked by the lovely Jeff Price of Radikal Words if I would enter the Great North Slam at Northern Stage on Thursday 5th November, which is swiftly followed by me zipping down to the immensely posh Stowe School to deliver a private performance of my show, The Moon Cannot Be Stolen, to their sixth form English students. (Preceded by a three-course meal, not sure if that’s going to work in my favour…) Sorry, no public admittance to that one! But you can come and see me as one of eleven ‘alumni’ of the fabulous Free As A Bard nights in a big celebration gig happening on Sunday 29th November at The Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay. Many thanks for the invitation to fellow WordPresser Elaine Cusack, who co-programmes the night with Pete Mortimer of Iron Press.

Work continues in my voluntary role as Poet-In-Residence at ‘Heartbreak & Heroism’, the current project from the Hartlepool History Then And Now online community archive. I’m attending their library roadshow, listening to people recounting their family’s connection with military and merchant naval activity during WW1. The next roadshow is coming up on Friday 9th October at Seaton Carew library, 10am – 1pm. I hope we get some stories as good as the last one, all about a lighthouse keeper who had his leg torn off by a dredger, and who sent his 10-year old son into the Merchant Navy as an apprentice just 2 years before war broke out. Watch this space for the poem, when it gets posted up!

The other huge project is the finalisation of the manuscript for my first full collection, coming out with Burning Eye early next year. We have an internal structure, we have some choices for cover design (beautiful circular motifs designed by my talented father-in-law, and coloured in the best clashing style by designer Monica Tuffs), and we have some amazingly generous big-up quotes from my fellow poets for the back cover. What I also have is a growing idea for a residency + show tour, which yesterday I pitched to some likely venues at the very helpful biannual Meet the Programmers event. I am very excited to say that I have definite interest from The Witham in Barnard Castle and Jabberwocky Market Festival in Darlington, so yes, you guessed it, I can feel another Arts Council bid coming on…