My first paid work as a poet was hosting a great open-mike event in Hastings called Other Words. I did this every month for six years and loved being part of a community event which encouraged everybody and anybody (and a lot of great poets and performers) to share their work. I continue to enjoy performing, writing and workshopping in community and educational settings and over the last twenty years have worked with people of all ages in libraries, day centres, residential homes, moored ships, steam trains, street corners, shopping malls and even a sitting room made entirely out of newspaper. Here are a few of my more recent workshops and residences...
Nazereth House - Hen Power Project
Slightly related to comedians We were named after our Dad General Gordon of Khartoum! And after our Grandfather A pantomime dame And after our grandmother A film-star Princess Moon-Pearl (Oh Gord! I was nothing like a princess!)
Writing a group poem with residents of Nazereth House using cut and paste techniques. The poem was later exhibited at The Beecroft Gallery, Southend.
Poetry Is A Horse
at Palace House, The National Horse Racing Museum with All Saints Primary School
Poetry is a horse we all can ride Poetry is a horse with a rhythmical stride Poetry is a horse with drumming hooves Poetry is a horse with funky grooves Poetry is a horse A horse that moves us. With Year 6 Pupils at All Saints School.
I worked with Palace House and teachers and pupils from Years 2, 4 and 6 at All Saints School on a literacy project which creatively explored links between poetry and horseracing using the visual, textual and oral stimulus provided by the museum. The climax to the project was a fantastic Poetry Promanade Performance at Palace House. I wrote an educational resource which has details of some of the games and poetry writing exercises and stimulus we used. You can find it here
Southend - Our Friend
Southend, we salute you You’re a seaside rose garden From the loooooongest pier in the world To our adventure island
I spent an ejoyable few days this summer with a group of great young people from Turning Tides. Together with the staff from The Forum library and the talented filmmakers Signals we created and recorded a film poem all about where we live, Southend.