Hello 2015

I’m currently typing up notes from BARcademy, a writing and professional development week with Burn After Reading that took place in August 2014. That was 6 months ago. There’s a little indication of how my life is going.

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So, I think it’s about time to have a look at the previous year and what I’m currently up to. One of my greatest achievements of 2014 (and my life) was being published by Nasty Little Press, and this was followed by an incredible summer of performing at a total of five festivals. I performed at Latitude, Secret Garden Party, Camp Bestival, In the Woods and Bestival. I also managed to fit in a sneaky four day holiday to Spain. I was ill for at least three weeks because of all this activity – just in time for the new term at work. I graduated from the Roundhouse Poetry Collective programme and formed Kid Glove. We now have a logo too – designed by Matthew Dickerson. We’re currently working a Twitter and a website… and on a show about adventure! This will be scratched at the Roundhouse’s Last Word Festival on Sunday 31st May at 1.30pm. Tickets are free, so book yourself a spot now. We’re resident artists at the Roundhouse this year, which is really cool.

KIDGLOVE_FINAL1-01This year has seen a bit of success so far (though I would like to be booked for more features, please). I am delighted to have had a poem accepted into Popshot Magazine! This will be available from 1st April and I’m thrilled to be in it after a lot of submissions in the past. I have also filmed my ‘Paradise’ poem with Guy Larsen, and I’m currently waiting to see it and show it to everyone, which should be by the end of the month – exciting! I will also be working with Joelle Taylor to produce a political poem in the run up to the election, which will be performed at the Festival of Ideas 2015 as part of Open Generation on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th April.

Lastly, make a note in your diaries for the next She Grrrowls event, taking place at Apples & Pears on Thursday 19th March. It will feature Maria Ferguson, Natacha Bryan, Kitten Killers and Cat Bear Tree. Join the event here. Please support these next two events – if we get a good turn out we will be able to confirm the next few months.

She Grrrowls Spring 2015-01

 

14.06.14 – ‘Writing in the Blackout’ Launch

blackoutI will be reading my ‘Vultures’ poem from the ‘Writing in the Blackout’ Anthology during its launch party at Keats House Museum, Saturday 14th June. I wrote the poem as a collaboration with Matthew Dickerson; his image was commissioned for the anthology. The anthology is a online zine that explores themes of censorship in the arts and freedom of expression. Carmina has had her work featured here and will be standing alongside other selected poets to perform their work. The launch will also have 25 limited edition copies of the anthology available to buy for just £5. For more event info, please visit the page here.

 

Circus Fest

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My poem ‘Monkey Bars’ is currently being displayed at the Roundhouse, along with poetry from some of the other members of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. They will be displayed throughout April as part of Circus Fest. I took these pictures whilst going to see ‘She Would Walk the SKy’, which finishes tomorrow. I was amazed by all the tricks they could do – my favourite was probably the ones where performers let themselves fall after entangling themselves in rope, but there were so many amazing parts, it’s hard to say. There was so much skill and strength in each act.

My piece was inspired by the festival, as well as my own experience pole dancing at university, where I won 1st place in a double routine (see above video). To me, the few skills I learnt during my time at pole dancing lessons was similar to circus skills. The poem was meant to be extended to any circus act, but I was thinking of a move in pole dancing where you push against the floor and hook your leg around into an inversion. I remembered how thrilling it felt to let go of the fear of going up-side-down, because that’s what it felt like – letting go of any fear or inhibitions. A lot of people talk about pole dancing being empowering and people tend to think it’s connected to sexuality, but for me it wasn’t to do with sexuality at all. I wanted to capture what pole dancing meant to me, in a way that also connected with different circus acts.

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I have recently been to Portugal on a writing residency called ‘First Impressions’ where I got a heavily discounted rate to stay at the apartments to write. In turn, I wrote a short story based on the name of the residency, which I still need to edit. I met up with a fellow UEA student, Silvia Rose, who was also staying there, and I was so thankful to have her there – not only because I was nervous to be in a non-English speaking country alone, but we had some fun times together too. We had a day at the beach and were able to take frequent ferries trips to Lisbon too.

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Find out more about my time at the Poetry Potting Shed with Michael Rosen and Niall O’Sullivan, with my blog posts – this is day one. Look out for my upcoming performances on my events page. The first is on Friday 25th April and it is a project working with Anchor House and You Press, where artists have been paired together with homeless residents from the centre in Canning Town, and we have created pieces about each person’s story. Mine is around 8-9 minutes long, and the night features lots of great performers, so I’m really excited to see everyone else. The next event also connects with social change, as Spoken Word London are working together with ‘Survival Guides’, putting on the opening night on Thursday 1st May. There are some great poets that will be down for that, plus there’s an open mic’ section. Fellow Roundhouse Poet, Chris Lawrence is also performing that night, and some of the other members of the group are taking part in NaPoWriMo this month. I’m cheating with pseudo-haikus and pictures, but I recommend the other poets’ work. Lastly, I also had a poem published alongside Matthew Dickerson’s illustration here, in the ‘Blackout’ anthology from Keats House Poets.

You Press Poster

Poetry&Paint Anthology Launch

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So relaxed I could run this with my eyes closed…

On Saturday 30th March, I launched the Poetry&Paint anthology. I set up the exhibition in the morning, with my boyfriend, and some of the other artists that feature in the anthology.

After a bad-boy burger from Giant Robot, we got back to the gallery. Soon people started to arrive, including some locals, one of which bought an anthology and provided interesting debate during the discussion as it steered away from the topic onto matters of Creative Entrepreneurship. I smoothed things over with the idea that one needs to have a balance between a five-point plan and not having a clue. As an artist, you always need to be reflective.

Exhibiting work were: Daniel Lehan, Natalie Cooper, Georgie Watts, Richard Potter, Steven Fraser, Verity Flute, Greta Healy and Alfie Simms.

Selina Nwulu kicked off the event with a lovely selection of poems, followed by the kinetic visual poetry of Daniel Lehan, before taking a commercial break. The final act filled the audience with a foreboding anxiety, as Robyn Comfort and Bill Vine presented their collaborative piece which combined light, sound and Robyn’s poetic darkness, against a black backdrop. It was great to have such a variety of exciting act.

The discussion was the last element and really interesting debate ensued from the following questions:

This project started from a fairly simple notion; a desire for a revival of illustrated books beyond children’s literature. However, it has expanded into a wide array of interpretations, which is fantastic. How do you see the concept of Poetry&Paint within your own artistic practice?

The relationship between words and the visual arts is nothing new, if we look at those such as poet, William Blake, who I’m a fan of… What are some of your favourite examples of the two working together? How do you envisage this concept for the 21st Century?

With the rise of digital reading via eBooks etc, you could argue that physical books need to offer consumers something more than simply words on a page; do you think that collaboration with the visual arts could revive people’s desire to buy books as objects? If so, how?

Thinking of those at the start of their career, it seems that writers need to think beyond the page. With the rise of live literature, it could it be said that this arena is comparable to the exhibition space of the visual artists. Within the arts the boundaries blur between literature, theatre, performance art, visual art and so on… yet there is a the problem of classification. But, does this really matter or is it a false dilemma?

Sadly Greta Healy couldn’t make the event and had to pull out of the discussion. Luckily, Daniel stepped in and provided extremely thought-provoking insight. He also told me about his inspiration, Kenneth Patchen, who I shall be looking up! Sadly, this made the discussion seem as though Selina was the only one to be left out, which provoked a rambled apology from me. I wish that I had recorded the evening because it was a great success and although sometimes the discussion got side-tracked, many an interesting comment was made about the concept of Poetry&Paint.

Next up: some discussions about what I’ve been reading and exhibition shizzle.

xxx