I am currently preparing for a talk I will be giving this Thursday, 22nd June at Quay Arts, the Isle of Wight’s leading art gallery and venue for live events. I was thrilled to be invited to speak about my poetry map, Over the Fields, as part of the events and activities taking place around Richard Long’s show, The Isle of Wight as Six Walks, 8th April – 1st July.
I will be talking about how and why I came to make the map. Regular readers of my (somewhat irregular) blog will know that this was a process of going for walks with my Dad and my son, over 18 months, beginning in January 2014, and ending in August 2015. The map was self-published after being beautifully designed by my best mate, and printed and folded into a pocket-sized A6 fold out full colour working map, with poems on one side and photos and map on the other.
Since then the map and I have been on quite a journey, and I have been able to achieve some of the aims I had for it, and other things have happened which were unexpected but equally wonderful.
I will talk about this tiny piece of greenbelt, and the impact it continues to have on my family. I hope you can join me for a walk through the poems and a chance to think about memory, family and place. And walking itself, and why it continues to inspire creativity.
Blossom to Fruit: A writing workshop to explore our relationship with fruit and trees, their histories and our memories…
Write about your favourite pear tree, your grandma’s apple pie, be inspired by our local history of orchards and fruit-growing; is there a particular variety of apple you would like to pay homage to? We will explore all these possibilities and more at the start of Kingston Environment Centre’s Apple Day.
£10 per place- this will be a donation towards raising funds for a leaflet about the Borough’s Apple Story. More about Alison’s fundraising here. This is an important part of our local heritage and I am hoping we can help Alison achieve her aim by having fun writing about our relationships with fruit and trees!
12 places available- please book in advance to secure your place!
Lucy 07859997617 or Alison 07867507086
Time: 10.30-12 midday
Please come! This will be the start of a wonderful day of apple and orchard related talks and activities.
In January 2015 I went to speak about my writing, especially the poetry maps, Amniotic City, and the then still-in-development Over the Fields, at Sutton Writers. I met Bernard Jacobs after my talk, a local writer, who was inspired to write poems about Nonsuch Park, near to where he lives in Surrey.
The Park, originally much larger than it is now, was created in 1538 by Henry VIII to celebrate the 30th year of his accession and the birth of his son, the future Edward VI. It came very close to ‘Over the Fields’ territory, and there is a possibility that Henry hunted across the land that I have been exploring in my new map. James I certainly laid claim to some of it during his reign.
It has been great to hear of Bernard’s progress with this project, and now to see it published. This lovely book is the result. It is a mixture of fine poems, each written in a different form, and the historical context of each, providing readers with both a creative and historical narrative about this fascinating place.
I am going to take my copy to Nonsuch Park and read it again in situ.
This Thursday, 18th December, I will be speaking with Dr Alison Baverstock, as part of a Cultural Histories at Kingston University double feature, titled: “That’s not how I remember it.”
Dr Baverstock, associate professor of publishing at Kingston University, will be speaking about her extensive research into self-publishing and in particular the processes of externalising the internal, and how this impacts on both writer and those offering associated publishing services. She has recently written an ebook for The Guardian about how to negotiate highly personal writing projects – and what to do with them once you have finished. Should they be shared or left in a drawer for others to discover in future?
I will be speaking the effect that place has on us; in particular how where you grow up affects you at the time – and impacts on your life in future. I will also talk about the writing of memoirs in relation to place and the memories we hold, and offer a scholarly analysis of how other writers have approached and handled these issues.
I am drafting poems for my MFA dissertation. The general theme is place, as with most of my writing in recent years. This week I have been transported to France, Italy, Germany, Ethiopa and am currently visiting the Cherokee Nation. It’s cheaper (and more fun) than flying. Some of this ‘mental travel’ is to revisit places I have already been to, some of it is vicarious, via maps and online resources…some of it is imaginary/visionary.
I’ve been reading William Blake’s The Mental Traveller this morning, seeing as I am on this strange journey with my poems- although the subject matter would seem to be more mental travail than travel…it is, like all his work, thought-provoking, beautiful, troubling and magickal:
And these are the gems of the human soul: The rubies and pearls of a lovesick eye, The countless gold of an aching heart, The martyr’s groan, and the lover’s sigh.