I write from the heart of community …

… and community’s at the heart of everything I write.

Well, unlike a makeup tutorial on Youtube a blog written by someone who writes poems is unlikely to be a slick, how-to, affair. The best I can do is tell you how I spend my time during lockdown and how I spent it before. 

Nowadays I teach, give readings, am able to be poet-in-residence to organisations using Zoom, Teams or the other beam-me-up-Scottie methods which we’ve all learned to use as our face-at-the- sweet-shop-window devices now we’re shut out (for good reason) from the candy of life unmediated.

I used to go to festivals and classes, carrying poetry books, braille or large print versions (for my RNIB class), dressed from top-to-toe. Start interviews, give creative writing classes or readings in different geographies and atmospheres.

I’m under-exercised now and my work happens in top-half outfits. It’s time-looped. But it keeps happening. For me reading, writing, thinking’s a compulsion. The rest of life’s what has to be done as little of as possible. Reminding myself to look for beauty rather than experience it aurally is a constant. Hours can pass when I see nothing other than with my mind’s eye. Hear only my internal dialogue. 

Family, community and my husband ground me. My writing and reading are a given, deferred to, enabled by them, just as their undertakings are by me. But living among them informs it. My work’s parochial, I haven’t seen or understood universals close-up. But if they emerge they do through the limits of the prism of my own experience.