Gertrude & Jemima is a poetry music duo by myself and UK poet & drummer Remi Graves. We’re exploring the relationship between words, music and silence through experimental and improvised sound, and interactive performances that use the digital space as a way to engage with our audience.
Here To Listen is an interactive poetry installation that invites people to share a story, a question, something that has moved or puzzled them and have these captured and responded to, with a poem written in the moment.
Poems are places of deep listening – both for the writer and the reader. In this interactive poetry installation, I aim to give people the chance to experience that uninterrupted, deep listening in a tangible way. The installation is inspired by environmentalist Dr John Francis’ 17 years of silence, and draws on my auto-ethnographic study, “Stepping into Silence”, in which I stopped speaking for 12 days, to explore how this might impact my writing practice. Building on this, and inspired by Marina Abramovic’s work The Artist is Present, for Here to Listen, I will once again stop speaking, this time with the aim of creating spaces in which people are able to share without interruption or judgment.
I am seated at a table with a second, open, chair. People are invited to sit down and simply have someone listen to them. There are no restrictions on what you may share – it could be a true story or fiction, it could an idea or question, something you saw or read that day, something you overheard – anything that you want to talk about. I listen without speaking. I do not ask clarifying questions, or offer advice, or even speak in agreement.
After each person leaves, I write short poems – either one-liners, a few stanzas or full-length poems – in response to what they have said, and what I have heard. These are instinctual responses, rather than crafted poems; a way of capturing the stories. Then, I peg the poems to lines strung up around the table and room, as a visual representation of the stories.
03. Poetic Diasporas, Goldsmiths College
In celebration of its 33rd anniversary, the Centre for Caribbean Studies at Goldsmiths, College will re-launch as the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies. The event includes an inaugural lecture by Professor Joan Anim-Addo, entitled: ‘Groundings: Visionaries, Books, Bridges and Feeling the Rain’.
As part of the celebration there will be an exhibition reflecting on the centre’s history as well as
Poetic Diasporas – an exhibition by 14 black poets at Goldsmiths, University of London. The exhibition features Professor Joan Anim-Addo, Raymond Antrobus, Dean Atta, Malika Booker, Rachel Long, Keith Jarret, Anthony Joseph (Pictured), Dr Olumide Popoola, Jacob Sam-La Rose, Toni Stuart, Michelle Tiwo, Ardashir Vakil, Indigo Williams and Belinda Zhawi.
Launch and Exhibition Opening
Date: Thursday October 15 (exhibition runs until Wednesday October 28)
Venue: Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths University of London
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The event is free but booking is essential, you can do so here.
PHOTO CREDIT: E Hamben
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07. @jtaylortrash performs I Am The Last Poet Standing at #nationalpoetryday at @southbankcentre #livelikeapoet #poetry #london
08. @iamgreeds doing a smashing job of hosting #nationalpoetryday at @southbankcentre #livelikeapoet #poetry #london
09. @robertmontgomeryghost at @southbankcentre for #nationalpoetryday #livelikeapoet #poetry #london
10. @malikabooker at @southbankcentre for #nationalpoetryday #poetry #london #livelikeapoet #actlikeapoet