It’s March already, and my year as Poet Laureate is into its final quarter. The time has passed so quickly – I can’t believe it’s coming to an end! My aim this year has been to celebrate the creativity of Worcestershire people and to form links between writers, artists and performers on the local scene, breaking the boundaries and divisions between the disciplines. I didn’t anticipate last June that my attempts to break boundaries down would happen at a time when so much of the political discourse would be about building new boundaries and re-enforcing old divisions, so it’s been an interesting experience!
I’ve had two commissions for the Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery, one for a poem and performance for the opening of the Jeremy Deller – ‘Battle of Orgreave’ film and exhibition, and (by complete contrast) one for a poem to accompany the current exhibition, ‘David Cox and his Contemporaries’ – visitors to the gallery can see the enigmatic nineteenth century landscape paintings and read my poem in the leaflet.
My monthly broadcasts on BBC Hereford and Worcester and my articles in SlapMag have been successful, and I’m continuing to network with members of the music, film and visual arts communities, as well as working in my role as Poet in Residence at the Museum of Royal Worcester. However the major event of my laureateship came from one of those odd random late-night ideas that don’t really seem practical and usually get forgotten by the morning. Somehow this one survived the onslaught of daytime common sense, and turned into the Poetry Ballroom – a collaboration between LitFest and Dancefest for an evening of poetry and dance – poets performing work inspired by dance, dancers performing work inspired by poetry. It’s surprising how well the two art-forms work together! The dance rehearsals have been going on for a while now, and it has been fascinating to sit in on them and watch a piece come together from its first inception to its finished form. This is going to be an evening like no other! It takes place on April 2nd, at the Angel Centre in Worcester, at 7.30pm.
What happens after that? Well, the remaining weeks of my laureateship may be flying by at a horrible speed, but there is one final project I have been working on. I can’t say too much about it yet, but having brought poetry and dance together, my next challenge involves . . . poetry and sculpture!