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
04. Submissions open for 2014 Ingrid Jonker prize for English poetry
Submissions are now open for the 2014 Ingrid Jonker Prize for English poetry. To be considered for the prize, please submit three copies of any English poetry debut published in 2012 or 2013 for adjudication to:
Ingrid Jonker Prize Committee
c/o Finuala Dowling
Centre for Open Learning
University of Cape Town
The closing date for submissions is the 15th August 2014.
The winner will be announced during October 2014.
For more information, read this and for rules and regulations read this
05. Call for Submissions: Bridgewater International Poetry Festival 2015
The Bridgewater International Poetry Festival is a celebration of global poetry in English hosted at Bridgewater College in Virgnia, USA. It takes places from January 15-18, 2015.
The festival is currently accepting proposals from poets for a reading of 20 minutes from their original poetry. Submissions will be accepted through to December 31, 2014, or until all sessions full. No international submissions considered after October 15, 2014, unless visa is already in hand. Send 3-5 poems to one of the addresses below along with a brief biographical sketch of 200 words or less.
Scholars and Critics
A limited number of paired presentations will be considered wherein a poet presents his or her work along with a critic’s academic response to that work. These will be a joint proposal coming from the poet and scholar together for a presentation of 40 minutes.
Editors and Publishers
Representatives may request table space to meet with prospective authors or to display and sell materials: in addition to registration, half-table $30, whole table $50. A limited number of editor’s talks will be considered.
Bridgewater International Poetry Festival
c/o Stan Galloway
Bridgewater College Dept. of English
402 E. College St.
Bridgewater, VA 22812 USA
06. Commonwealth Poetry Postcards
As part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme, BBC Radio Scotland invited poets from each of the competing nations to submit poems for their Poetry Postcards series. You can listen to all the poems and download them, from the website
07. Book Launch: In the Heat of Shadows
08. July Performances
This month, I’ll be performing at Off the Wall Poetry for the first time in two years. I’m also excited to be returning to Glasgow for a short visit as part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme. This is where you can see me in July:
Monday July 21
Off the Wall Poetry 20:00
A Touch of Madness, Nuttal Road, Observatory
Thursday July 24
Launch of In the Heat of Shadows, South African Poetry 1996 – 2013 17:30 for 18:00
The Book Lounge, corner of Roeland & Buitenkant Streets, Cape Town
Thursday July 31
BBC Radio Scotland’s Commonwealth Poetry Postcards. 10:30
You can listen to my poetry postcard on the BBC Radio Scotland website here
Scottish Poetry Library’s Commonwealth Poets United 13:00
09. The Silence That Words Come From – final run for 2014
I’ll be running The Silence That Words Come From, once more this year in July and August. It is the last time that I will be running the writing workshop series for at least year. The next one will most likely be at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. If you would like to book, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Commonwealth Poetry Postcard
When I was in Edinburgh in April, I recorded one of my poems as part of the Commonwealth Poetry Postcard series produced by the BBC as part of their Commonwealth Cultural Programme. You can take a listen to the poem here: