It seems I have done half of a degree since I last posted here -apologies to the various friends who have asked me if I was ever going to update my blog again! I’ve been hesitant to post poetry because most of my writing this year – *good writing that is – has been for assessments, and I wasn’t sure if TurnItIn (?) would allow work that had already been on the internet. (Not a feeble excuse. Nope.)
I hope to have a few more things to post here over the next few months, especially as I’m making a half-hearted attempt at NaPoWriMo (I’m counting editing as valid for 1 day’s work). Over the next few weeks, I will be reading poetry at two events in Norwich, which any local readers are cordially invited to attend. Tomorrow you will be able to find me at Café Writers, supporting the winners of their 2014 Pamphlet Competition, Jay Bernard and Jonathan Morley. I’m very excited (and not a little nervous) about this, and hearing excerpts from Jay and Jonathan’s work! This opportunity has come to me as a result of the Ink, Sweat and Tears Scholarship, and I am very grateful for the support and friendship of Kate Birch, who endows the IS&T scholarship. The second event I will be reading at is the launch night of the UEA Poetics festival, which is traditionally planned, run and performed at by the MA cohort. The reading is called Between Us, and will be at 7pm on the 22nd of April at the Moosey Art Gallery in Norwich. I’m very proud to be reading alongside so many talented poets. Turn up early, grab seats, and in five years you can claim to have heard them before they became famous.
As this is, hypothetically, my online portfolio, I’ll close this with a poem I wrote for last term’s workshop.
At first, I was a timid chick
in the water. I swam determined
up-lane, rested: hatchlings
tire quick, they have soft down.
But soft was no good
with watching eyes. So I changed
became an eel, all shape
and sinew, and for a while
anger cut swathes in the water,
and I was fast and sleek.
But there was too much thought
in being an eel, so I began
to dream of being a woman,
and woman I looped bare arms
along the lane markers, and their tension
cut. And I could not do it.
So last I became a sea turtle.
Let my hands drop in the water and fuse
into trapezoid flippers,
my head dip in the stroke,
and the carapace close
round my head and back.
Full changed, though I kept
it quiet, barely above surface, and
so powerful. It tore into my gut
to heave myself out, and revolve back
into my own skin, which had started
to forget itself.