Tag Archives: Kate Garrett

Nidavellir: ‘ Darkness and Gold’ 4/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

18 Mar

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 musicians, 1 Viking boat : a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Nidavellir (The Realm of the Dwarves)

Featuring:

Kate Garrett,  Mina Polen, Ross Beattie and Lydia Allison

 

Fenrir

by Kate Garrett

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give me your hand
he said,
jaws dripping with doubt
eyes sidelong
as they held out the bonds
no heavier than silk strands
 
and I knew my hand
was a small offering
as they wrapped him in chains
made of lost thoughts
made of movement and breath
made of the unseen
 
and all of these slipped
past his eyes, sidelong
and his jaws clenched
and my wrist ripped apart
and I knew this was a small gift
to the beast wrapped in chains.

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Fenrir

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Little they know

by Mina Polen 

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Petrol or spark
light or lime
…………little they know

sunshine and stone
magic and knowledge
…………little they know

work work work
………….little they know

hiding in the darkness
…………little they know

coming going knowing
………….little they know

creating binding transforming
………….little they know

now you see it, now you don’t
………….little they know

about all they know
………….little they know.

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What life is this?

by Ross Beattie

To become what I am I had to chew dead flesh from cold bone.
Only then was I strong enough to deserve a reason.
Below the ground I live my life in the dark.
Craving only the gold that is hidden beneath the surface.
This realm is mine but what life is this ?

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MP3 to come

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the dwarf

by Lydia Allison

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he’s the best
to ask. so much
more than people
think. imir knew him.

made an axe.
blade sharper than
people made. cut who made it.
Sliced space.
they made mistakes.
It shined like night
the lunar glow
none of them had seen.
they fell in love.

lightening cracked the lovely weapon’s face.
tarnished white shine. the dwarf obsessed.

hating the flashing of candles
heat of flames. he waited months
felt time swell.

climbed. saw dusty light.
creaked the last steps
cracks on hands glinting
silver. still and
sun-saturated as the moon.

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 You can read the overview of Nidavellir hereand read some Jotunheim poems here

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Find out more about Kate, Mina, Ross and Lydia:

Kate Garrett

kategarrettwrites.co.uk

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

Mina Polen

lulu.com/shop/mina-pole…

https://twitter.com/minapolen

Ross Beattie

ackpoemblues.weebly.com

https://twitter.com/blackpoemblues

Lydia Allison 

lydiaallison.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Vikings Ahoy! : The Nine Realms Update (February)

3 Feb

 

 

Vikings Ahoy!

I thought it was about time to let you all know the progress The Nine Realms has been making. Here’s what’s afoot!:

Funding Applications

I’m still in the midst of the funding applications. I sent off The Norfolk County Council application this last Thursday to help with the hire of Hanse House. I’m now onto the Arts Council England form which will go off in the middle of February. We shall hear from the County Council within 4-6 weeks, and from the Arts Council in early to Mid-April. Two trust letters are also being written to help with the costs of the hire of Hanse House and the schools’ day. The overall cost of the 5-day event will be  approximately £12, 008 and we are applying for a grant of approximately £10,000 from Arts Council England. What we are creating is a high quality arts event.

The Nine Realms Logo:

I’m also pleased to announce that our logo is nearly, nearly ready!  Illustrator and Artist Gary Caldwell has done a brilliant job, but there’s just one more tweak! It’s our take on the Yggdrasil tree and it incorporates 9 circles representing the nine realms. We have decided to call our 5 day event an ‘experience’ rather than an event, because of the way we are using the combined arts (6 art forms) plus lighting and music and lots of interaction and participation from the attendees. Our intention is to move attendees away from merely ‘attending’ to ‘participating’. This intention will feed into all our future projects from now on. We want to challenge perceptions through our large-scale work and shake things up a bit!

New Member of the ArtiPeeps Management Committee

I’m also very pleased to announce that Kate Garrett  has now formerly taken up the position of Secretary in the ArtiPeeps’ Management Committee- writing up and and managing our minutes, and Face-timing into our monthly meetings. It’s a pleasure for us that Kate is formerly on board!

 Crowdfunding

At the moment our crowdfunding campaign for Mark Crowley’s viking boat will more than likely start on Monday 20th April. This is before the majority of the artwork comes in, but I think it will be great to reveal the artwork as the campaign progresses. The AtiPeeps Management Committee had a meeting last week, and it is more than likely that we are going to move our campaign to Indiegogo, which may well be better for a voluntary organisation like us. We also confirmed some of the rewards which are going to range from a Viking Norse wooden medalion carved by Mark,  to a Rune poem, to having your initials carved on the boat. I’m going to get some feedback from the Viking participants and then I canrelease a full list in another update.

Norwich Poetry Reading

 Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, (the most popular library in the UK…)

I had a great meeting with Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library in The Forum the week before last, and we have finalised the details of the poetry reading we are going to hold there on the Monday of our event. It’s going to be part of their Poetry Unbound Series and will run from approximately 5.45- 7.30 pm on Monday 14th September, with an open mic poetry session in the last half hour for the general public. They will be clearing space for us on the ground floor, and there is a maximum audience of 100. It is also being recorded by Future Radio and sections of it will be broadcast on one of their programmes. It’s going to be advertised in the library’s promotional material and The Forum’s, as well as The Writer’s Centre in Norwich. Poets and artists can also bring along their merchandise/books and sell them. There is a taster exhibition space in the foyer of the library and we can put examples of the poetry and art work there a week beforehand. We won’t be able to take the actual pictures from The King’s Lynn exhibition but we could put some giclees in…….

I’ve attached 3 pictures of the library to give you an idea of the space. It’s a beautiful building:

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Click on the images to enlarge.

 

I think that is it thus far! I’ll be back with another update soon. 

Thanks so much for your interest.

 

 Off to thaw my helmet  🙂

Viking Nicky

 

You can listen to The Nine Realms poetry here:

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Vanaheim: ‘ Magic & Wonder’ 1/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

18 Dec

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Asgard

Featuring:

Jim C. Mackintosh, Rebecca Audra Smith,

Kate Garrett and Nat Hall

 

Vanaheim

by Jim C. Mackintosh

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Somewhere in the folds of dreams, Vanaheim
Floats on ribbons of imagination; in time
To swallow heavens with magical disregard
For vain complexities born of human chaos
Banishing greed and fury to the grub of Utangard
 
No need for pale weakness in shabby human form. 
Though widening hollows struck its walls, a storm
Sparked by Odin’s scheme, of vengeful desire 
To suck wisdom’s juice from blackened earth
The mulch of trampled souls lost in bloody mire.
 
Breathless rivers pooled, their exhausted course
Amongst the crumble of once proud walls; a source
Of peace, a reluctant path worn across the middle plains
By sated Gods; a deal planted in shifting, bartered sands
But memories itch, to blister up amidst fractured stains.

The salted lick of revenge on Vanir wounds never far
In embroidered days of counselled grace, the precious star
Of Mimir’s wisdom doomed to fade in a severed blast,
Tossed in the saddle bag of bitter scorn at Odin’s feet
But in his weeping embrace, nurtured – spells yet to be cast

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Kvasir’s blood

by Rebecca Audra Smith

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Mix your battle-sweat
with your speech-tool.
Let your air-catchers breath.
Blend a bee’s love-making juice
with many worn out shoes.

Dip your glass to the vat, poets.

 

MP3 to come

Kvasir

Mead of Poetry

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The throats of giants

by Rebecca Audra Smith

 

FRIGG FRIGG
FUSS FEREA FEEL
FREYJA FARE

Build a world with paper and pen
Eat among the grey halls
Hail the giants who stalk our minds

FAIR FREYJA FIND FIT
FAIN FIRSTLY FRIGG

I’ll take no food unless it is with you
In the grey halls and the darkness of a giant’s shadow we kiss
And fling the matches of our passion into the dark to momentarily flare
And fail your hair catches alight within the circles my hands make
I will take no sustenance no draft my throat will not be wet
Unless your lips have taken mine and kissed them into shining

COUNSEL ME

I long for counsel the giant wise
The giant vice our wisdom only comes
Twice a year when we sit and sup with Freyja
Drinking down the dwarves concoction
She told me I was so small

FATE FOLK FRIGG FRIGG FRIGG
FIND FOUND FLAIL

I will take no sustenance no draft my throat will not be wet
In the grey halls and the darkness of a giant’s shadow we kiss
I’ll take no food unless it is with you
And fail your hair catches alight within the circles my hands make
Unless your lips have taken mine and kissed them into shining
Fling the matches of our passion into the dark to momentarily flare

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Frigg

Freyja

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Inspiration

by Kate Garrett

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sweet at the source with
star-dusted honey –
magic through the mouth
made of wise blood.
 
pray, let me pour
poems between my
fingers; you forget
flight, hit the earth.

 

MP3 to come

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Njord and Skadi

by Nat Hall

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Still dream of Vernal Equinox

He who sees through
seer’s jet black 
eyes will
ascend as 
high as skylarks to
watch lush land beyond 
twilight;
pines’
many branches,
mysteries,
where
grey owls
whose yellow 
eyes flick without 
sound,
where spirits 
shine to show your
way.
Here,
where north 
sky heaves & fills with birds,
in between worlds
jeer messengers
feasting on
both sides of
old ice,
each morning 
brings new carrion…
Far* – he-father,
tamer of
salt, wind & world waves, in
Noatun**,
home of clinker***,
tar & rivets –
where 
ships gather
and black backs**** act as
alarm clocks;
Mor***** – she-mother,
the great huntress,
who favours
snowflakes on high ground,
sap’s scent from fir trees in her hair,
she came to
him from her mountains 
to bear new fruits for the Vanir.

© Nat Hall 2014

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Notes:

* Far – Norwegian for “father”
** Noatun – Njord’s dwelling place, that translates as “enclosure of ships”
*** clinker – Norse boat building technique, consisting of external planks overlapping & secured with clinched nails/rivets. 
**** Black backs – referring to a species of gulls, commonly known as Great Black-backed Gulls.
***** Mor – Norwegian for “mother”

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You can read the overview of Vanaheim here , and see some Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Jim, Rebecca, Kate and Nat:

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

Rebecca Audra Smith

beccaaudra.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/BeccaAudra

Kate Garrett

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

Nat Hall

 nordicblackbird.weebly.com/index.html

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Asgard: ‘Warriors and Ravens’ 5/5′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

11 Dec

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Asgard

Featuring:

Karin Heyer, Kate Garrett and Mina Polen

 

Northern Lights

by Karin Heyer

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Green magic light rushed
through the deep blue northern night,
when Odin, Allfather
stood at the roots of Yggdrasill
thirsting
for the secrets of the universe,
he gives his one eye
for knowing all —

He built a throne
high up in the crown of Yggdrasill,
best of trees,
world tree,
its roots to survey all realms,
Odin recalls the creation.

When

fire furious fills the air
crashing ice creates,
when life-licking cow
conjures woman and man,
sun, moon and stars in one,
a dread flame of power
never-ceasing creation,
eternal wind a-blowing —

Yet

Yggdrasill still stands solid
for ever North – South,
green, yellow lights
luminous, amazing,
burning, blazing
in the sky, even now!

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Harvest

by Kate Garrett

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i sneak, i reap

i am a trick of the light

light from a golden crop

of wheat-silk soft
& mine with one swipe
of scythe

break my fingers
break my toes
one by one by one

i provide, i scheme

i push you into motion

motion of worlds beneath

so panic – panic until
back & forth & back
the needle swings

threading this voice
you fear down into
my throat

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* Based on the myth of Thor’s hammer, specifically the part where Loki steals Sif’s hair and is punished for it. The difference between physical power (Thor) and one type of mental power (Loki).

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Alone and afraid

by Mina Polen

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All alone
…………..smashing stones
…………..carving wood
…………..playing with gold

all alone
…………..behind a broken wall
…………..waiting for another spell

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all afraid

…………..that the world might change
…………..that more giants might come

all afraid

……………and the wolf is howling
……………and the serpent is rattling
……………and they can hear the giants’ steps

all alone
all afraid.

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You can read the overview of Asgard here and see more of the Asgard poems here

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Find out more about Karin, Kate and Mina:

Karin Heyer

No website, as yet. Contact ArtiPeeps.

Kate Garrett

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

Mina Polen

 http://www.lulu.com/shop/mina-polen/scylla-and-charybdis/paperback/product-21019437.html

https://twitter.com/minapolen

 

Watch out for Vanaheim (the realm of the giants) poetry next week!

As always, thank you for your interest. 

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‘Joy, Calm and a Blessing’: Little one, I’m sorry by Kate Garrett (FreeSpace 3)

21 May

abstract-painting-780-1-1.jpg!Blog

Joy, Calm and a Blessing

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Welcome to poet and writer Kate Garrett’s final FreeSpace and last poem: 

‘The sequence ‘Joy, Calm and a Blessing’ consists of four poems exploring the experiences of four generations of women concerning pregnancy / maternity, bodily autonomy and choice (or lack thereof).

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Little one, I’m sorry – (2004)

by Kate Garrett

 
if I am given the slender
choice between feeding
you from a bottle & hearing
from the midwife that “breast
is best”, shamed like a boisterous
child flaunting the rules,
or subjecting you to the secret
fear-bellows bred from the mouth
of your father, who panics
and claims my breasts belong
to him (they are mine) & feeding
you with them is forbidden
under his roof (it is also mine),
I will take comfort
in merely holding you close,
in our pocket of silence, offering
this replacement of plastic, rubber,
to your little elfin lips,
though tears stream down
your tiny chipmunk cheeks
and you nuzzle for the warm
scent of milk & love that leaks
from the skin of your mother.

—–

You can find out more about Kate and her work here:

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

 

*If you missed Kate’s other poems in this series you can find them here.

 

ArtiPeeps will be filled with poetry from the pupils of Milllfield School in Somerset tomorrow. We’re lucky!

 If you’d like to get involved with any of our opportunities or collaborations do get in touch via the contact form on the ‘What’s On’ Page or via @ArtiPeeps

The Found Poetry Collaboration #4, featuring: Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Gidding, Joanna Lee

24 Apr

Words

The Found Poetry Collaboration 2014

For the last 4 weeks poets Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Giddings and Joanna Lee have been writing 1 piece of found poetry per fortnight:

A found poem is created when words in an existing piece of writing are lifted from that writing and rearranged to create a greater emotional response. A found poem is shaped from a collection of words or phrases found in one text or a selection of texts to shape an entirely new poem.  

The poets were free to use any texts they like, and I  have thrown in one found text of my choice per fortnight just to mix it up a bit. For the Week 4 poem I chose a section from a  novel by Iain Banks called ‘The Bridge’ (you’ll find the section at the bottom of the post, should you wish to read it). 

 

the physiology of bursting

by Joanna Lee

 

a threshold is not a point
down-river,
a huge handless clockface
formed by stone-remembered
rooms full of whispering
glass. test the walls,
no matter how close.
the thick, white-
tiled passages
converge like
fast current: rapt &
rusted. lightwells hold
to the saddle,
to the boundary defining
a patient shadow
cleaning a window full
of the damp footfall’ed equilibria
who refuse to leave.
if the precise initial condition
is a cradle’s pulse,
small perturbations
will certainly push
the limit cross grimed flags
to one side or the other.
find the keyholes.
dust the hinges.
walk spiking and
of great length. glow.

 

found from
a section of The Bridge by Iain Banks

and

Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience: The Geometry of Excitability and Bursting by Eugene M. Izhikevich. Section 4.3.2: “Stable/Unstable Manifolds”

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To leave the cradle

by Kate Garrett

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I ran away and joined a group of gypsies
pawned silver beneath apple hung branches
safe from respectable society, and wrapped
forged letters in half a Romany scarf. I had
a lover of uncertain temper, no greater rogue –

he rubbed gunpowder into his wounds,
twisted, like a shipwrecked smallpox victim.
His sins caused this plague. Our rickety
dwelling sold, his throat cut. I was taken
by wandering monks from the tangled woodland.

I cheated the hangman’s noose
not once but three times –
between stone-remembered messages
my ghost haunts many places: open moor,
wild heathland, ancient passages,
a patch of light in a house called maudlin.

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Source texts:
The Bridge by Iain Banks
Strange Stories from Devon by Rosemary Ann Lauder & Michael Williams
Cornwall: Land of Legend by Joy Wilson

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 The earth

by Lydia Allison

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Beneath the ancient age-grimed flags,
between the niches
its sheer physical variety is dry and open.

Stone-officials, whispering clerks,
pass under a complex jigsaw.
Dim white-tiled lightwells,
rickety cross-corridors,
keyholes whose floors are deep in dust.

Test the doors, the hinges.
Living and non-living matter.
Living things are thinly scattered,
they fill the space.
A corridor. A large round patch of light
glows ahead, broadens out.
The air, I’d swear, forming
complex webs of life.

A length of wall which ought to hold
lush forests, mountains, rainfall.
The patch of floor has a rainshadow
I don’t recall.

I reach the great round river
polishing the glass with a rag.

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Texts:

Animal ed. David Burnie (2001) p.36

The Bridge by Iain Banks (1990) p.131

 

In The Café Of The Airport Next To My Psychiatrist’s

by James Giddings

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My wife is having an affair; it doesn’t feel like I thought
it would: rooms full of whispering, our telepathy
losing signal behind tall pot-plants, our shouting at each other
with the volume stuck on full. The carpet squelches
with each footfall. ‘Life is what you make it,’ the scratchy
tannoy says.  ‘Life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much
to smile about.’ Mr. Johnson stirs confetti into his coffee,
swallows a stale sandwich. Dr Joyce’s patient cleans
a patch of light on the window, polishes the shadow
from the glass at its centre with a rag. The air smells damp.
I drink so much my mouth tastes of pencils. ‘Over here Don
broke up with Emily for the second time; they were eating
omelettes with dry bread, sucking on cigarettes.’ Pretty much
all of them are going to break your heart: the atheist
in his chinos and well-fitted salmon shirt, the novelist
with her red-brick pencil skirt, her lap you want to nervously
rest your head on; how, in the light rain, they both love
and fail at everything. Just remember, some come, some go.
When her plane takes off my head swells; the weightless
moment usually makes her think about snow-globes,
white sugar landing softly, as if on the moon; she thinks
about sex, my hands being dropped ticket stubs fumbling
for loose change in a train station. She thinks about pancakes,
dreams rooftops on the seabed. She is submerging herself
in the pool of the pilots voice, how a toad might in cold water.
I deserve so much less than you. Don’t give up, Sweetie.

Extracts from:

The Bridge – Iain Banks
The Flat Battery of Flattery – Luke Kennard
The sunken Diner – Luke Kennard
Quote – Marilyn Monroe
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 To find out more about Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna please visit:

.

Lydia Allison:

http://lydiaallison.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

Kate Garrett:

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

James Giddings:

https://jamesgiddings.jux.com/

https://twitter.com/giddingstweets

Joanna Lee:

http://the-tenth-muse.com/

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

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Sadly the found poetry collaboration with Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna has concluded  but without a doubt you will be seeing them again in future collaborations on ArtiPeeps. It’s been a pleasure to work with all 4 of the foundlings. 

Tomorrow, you’ll find our Weekend Showcase featuring singer Beth Allen.  As always, thank you for your interest.

If you missed out on the previous found poems you can find them here.

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*Full text of the piece I sent the foundlings:

I walk beneath the ancient, age-grimed flags, between the niches occupied by stone-remembered officials, past rooms full of whispering, smartly uniformed clerks. I cross dim, white-tiled lightwells on rickety cross-corridors, peer through keyholes into locked, dark, deserted passages whose floors are inches deep in dust and debris. I test the doors, but the hinges have rusted.
Finally, I come to a familiar corridor. A large round patch of light glows on the carpet ahead, where the corridor broadens out. The air smells damp; I’d swear the thick, dark carpet squelches with each footfall. I can see tall pot-plants now, and a length of wall which ought to hold the entrance to the L-shaped lift. The patch of light on the floor has a shadow in the centre of it which I don’t recall. The shadow moves.
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I reach the light. The great round window is there, still staring down-river like a huge handless clock-face. The shadow is cast by Mr Johnson. Dr Joyce’s patient who refuses to leave the cradle. He is cleaning a window, polishing the glass at its centre with a rag, an expression of rapt concentration on his face. (131, published by Abacus, 1990)

 

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‘Joy, Calm and a Blessing’: Happy and Late by Kate Garrett (FreeSpace 2)

16 Apr

abstract-painting-780-1-1.jpg!Blog

Joy, Calm and a Blessing

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Welcome to poet and writer Kate Garrett’s second FreeSpace this time consisting of two poems: 

‘The sequence ‘Joy, Calm and a Blessing’ consists of four poems exploring the experiences of four generations of women concerning pregnancy / maternity, bodily autonomy and choice (or lack thereof).

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Happy (1961)

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She almost had a son –
they don’t talk about him anymore.
They have two baby girls now,
blessings, gifts, two years apart.
They fill her time with feeds
and changes, tears and giggles;
they need her every moment,
as she twirls back and forth between
the walls of her still-sparkling house.
The diapers, soft and ironed, stacked
neatly – one day for laundry; rows
of fresh bottles boiled clean –
one day for sterilising.
Sterilising, not a surface left sticky
or muddy, no cause for alarm, no harm
will come to anyone within this frame.
She bakes, she sews the clothes, her husband
arrives home to a kiss and his supper.
At night she makes sure the hollow
space in her throat doesn’t fill with tears.
Each new morning she rises, fresh,
with the sun. She is happy.
Of course she is happy.
What else on earth could she be?

*

Late (1979)

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My dad, he doesn’t cry,
but he did when he heard
the news; sat at the kitchen
table, put his head
in his hands, and cried.

I said, through my own tears,
don’t worry, Daddy, I won’t be keeping it,
everything will be fine.
He couldn’t look at me.

Mom said maybe I’d like
to have a baby after all? She
said she had four, wouldn’t trade
us for anything. But then,
she was married, she was twenty five,
a housewife, it was different.
Her tongue burned:
Why was I so stupid
to sleep with a boy who’s still
in school? But it doesn’t matter;
why not keep the baby?

I’m still not sure why anyone
would think having one of these is a good idea.
It just screams –
dirty bottles, diapers piling up.
I have work in the morning. Mom
has to take it from me at 2am
because I want to shake it until it shuts up.

I don’t even want it.
It’s a mistake I can’t erase.
He forgot to bring a rubber. Just this once,
we thought. Nothing would happen
just the once, but it did.

And his mother said, give the baby
to us, we’ll take care of it. And my mother
said, we’ll keep it, don’t come round here
or I’ll deck you, and my father cried at the table,
and I never wanted it.

*

 

You can find out more about Kate and her work here:

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

 

*If you missed Kate’s first poem in this series you can find it here.

 

Kate will be back with the final poem in her exploration of women’s experiences of autonomy and pregnancy on Wednesday 21st May.

There will be an ArtiPeeps Update post tomorrow, full of good news.

 If you’d like to get involved with any of our opportunities or collaborations do get in touch via the contact form on the ‘What’s On’ Page or via @ArtiPeeps

The Found Poetry Collaboration #3, featuring: Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Gidding, Joanna Lee

8 Apr

Words

The Found Poetry Collaboration 2014

For the next 4 weeks poets Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Giddings and Joanna Lee will be writing 1 piece of found poetry per fortnight:

A found poem is created when words in an existing piece of writing are lifted from that writing and rearranged to create a greater emotional response. A found poem is shaped from a collection of words or phrases found in one text or a selection of texts to shape an entirely new poem.  

The poets are free to use any texts they like, and I throw in one found text of my choice per fortnight just to mix it up a bit. For the Week 3 poem I chose a section from a  short story by Hermann Hesse called ‘Strange News From Another Star’ (you’ll find the section at the bottom of the post, should you wish to read it). 

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Living Without The Bright Gods

by James Giddings

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He just couldn’t deal with love, didn’t know how
to love us, too fucked up, wearing pink shoes and asking

for money, mystery. It seemed to him altogether too painful
to answer, and all the same laughable and silly; our prayers

in all their boring pageantry, our shining fashion of errands,
receipts and dirty dishes. I want a life that pops and sizzles:

I want to eat ripe tomatoes, sing out loud in the car with the windows open, paint my walls the exact same colour of the sky right now.

I’ve begun worshipping the sun. I formerly offered it a weeping
madonna, the face of Christ in a ciabatta roll, the cold tangerines

from the fridge. Greeting cards tell us that everybody deserves
love. No. Not all the time. Everybody deserves clean water.

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Created using extracts from:

– Hermann Hesse, Strange News From Another Star
― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
– Zadie Smith, White Teeth
– George Carlin, Brain Droppings

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knight of cups

by Kate Garrett

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this knight
is a troubadour
brings madness
of emotion
with the grace
of a fish.

this star
is an experience:
self-contained
dread of error
questioning the path
of the heart.

this sorrow
is laughable
your waking life
a lower order –
warmhearted mischance
of physical love.

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source texts: 

Hermann Hesse, ‘Strange News from Another Star’ (37-38)
Trish MacGregor & Phyllis Vega, Power Tarot (‘Knight of Cups’ 102-103)

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pi e zo elec tric i ty

noun:  electricity due to pressure, especially in a crystalline substance

by Joanna Lee

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–they slew one another in masses

 

In astonishment at death, youth
muscles its pathway out
from deep and terrible sorrow.
Its spinal cord cleft by

passively composed spikes,
it is desensitized to
the way of life on this cruel star,
to equilibrium clamped

by the dread of bright gods,
to the vivid currents of disturbing
and volatile things
that saturate the retina. And yet

the laughable output of a single
neuron is enough to affect
the whole body, to ask bitterly
in the dark the crucial why.
Under physiological confessions,
madness is shining still,
a compelling anesthetic
to the real, evolved, pain of failure.

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text from “Strange News From Another Star” by Hermann Hesse and Molecular and Cellular Physiology of Neurons by Gordon L. Fain, chapter 10, “Inhibitory Transmission.”

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the youth

by Lydia Allison

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the young man listened, astounded
at the madness and difficulty
the sadness and gravity
in the people.

he had a sense that he knew
he would never grasp
the complex context
of these terrifying, terrible, obscure,
dark things.
he felt no desire,
no wish to understand.

these sorrowful, pitiable people were creatures,
creatures of a lower order,
they had not been blessed by bright
gods. the light of the gods .
they were ruled by demons, some mischance,
mishap, some horrid error.
the course of life seemed too painful.

He was sorry for these, who lived
in dread of death
lived in gloom and killed and slew each other.
ignoble faces, crude
expressions of deep, terrible sorrow
caused him pain.
their disturbing shining fashion
almost ridiculous, almost laughable –
ridiculous and disturbing, laughable and silly
shameful and foolish.

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* I have used the provided text, along with a different translation of the same story, “Strange news from another planet” from The Fairytales of Hermann Hesse, translated by Jack Zipes (1995: Bantam Books)

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 To find out more about Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna please visit:

.

Lydia Allison:

http://lydiaallison.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

Kate Garrett:

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

James Giddings:

https://jamesgiddings.jux.com/

https://twitter.com/giddingstweets

Joanna Lee:

http://the-tenth-muse.com/

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

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Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna will be back on  Thursday 24th April with their last pieces of found poetry. Tomorrow, you’ll find Ben Cooper our creative resident with another piece of his work.  Thank you for your interest. 

If you missed out on the previous found poems you can find them here.

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*Full text of the piece I sent the foundlings:

The youth listened to all this in astonishment at the madness and difficulty of the people’s way of life on this star. He would have liked to ask many more questions, but he knew with certainty that he would never understand the whole context of these dark and terrifying things; indeed, he felt no real wish to understand them.  Either these pitiable creatures belonged to a lower order, were still without the bright gods and were ruled by demons, or some unique mischance, some horrid error, prevailed on this star. And it seemed to him altogether too painful and cruel to go on questioning this king, compelling him to answers and confessions which could only be bitterly humiliating. These people who lived in the dark dread of death and yet slew one another in masses, whose faces were composed with such ignoble coarseness as that of the farmer or with such deep and terrible sorrow as that of the King, they caused him pain, and yet in their disturbing and shining fashion they seemed to him so strange as to be almost laughable, laughable and silly. (Strange News From Another Star and Other Stories, Penguin Twentieth Century Classics, 37-38).

‘Joy, Calm and a Blessing’: Granny Woman by Kate Garrett (FreeSpace 1)

26 Mar

abstract-painting-780-1-1.jpg!Blog

Joy, Calm and a Blessing

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Welcome to poet and writer Kate Garrett’s first FreeSpace: 

‘The sequence ‘Joy, Calm and a Blessing’ consists of four poems exploring the experiences of four generations of women concerning pregnancy / maternity, bodily autonomy and choice (or lack thereof).

The first poem in the sequence, ‘Granny Woman’, is a fictional poem based on stories of my great-grandmother, Ida Rich Garrett, who served her community as a “granny woman” in northern Tennessee from the 1920s to 1940s. She was also mother to 17 children of her own, though only 14 of them survived beyond infancy – her youngest son was my grandfather.’

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Granny Woman (1922)

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The men leave us be; at times
like this they take themselves
out to the porch with pipes
and tin cups. Everyone trusts

the granny woman. She knows
best, walks for miles when
there’s a baby coming, brings
her bag along. The bottles

of green-smelling whiskey,
fat leaves smooth and big
as her hand, rolled into jars,
rattle next to mud bases

for the poultice. She eases
the pains away, welcomes
every life into the wild world,
soothes swollen breasts so new

young uns can feed. Now and then
she brews up roots and stems
for some silly girl with a problem.
I’d say the men on the porch

never know much about that.
Some must believe they’re lucky.
They never say anyhow. They don’t see
what we see: the other side

of the granny woman, when she
doesn’t bring joy, calm and a blessing,
when she carries pain in her bag,
cramps, red blood, and a flat relief.

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*Until the middle of the 20th century, rural communities in the southern Appalachian region of the USA were served by “granny women”. These women were essentially midwives who used knowledge of herbal-based folk remedies to assist women in childbirth, and, less extensively, with terminations and contraception.

 

You can find out more about Kate and her work here:

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

 

Kate will be back with the second poem in her exploration of women’s experiences of autonomy and pregnancy on Wednesday 16th April.

 

There will be a second posting of Transformations poems this afternoon featuring the poets Karin Heyer and Eleanor Perry. Tomorrow you’ll see the next instalment of our collaborative short story initiative Hot Potato featuring poet and writer Michael Schmidt.  You can see the first section written by Steve Harris  here.

 

If you’d like to get involved with any of our opportunities or collaborations do get in touch via the contact form on the ‘What’s On’ Page or via @ArtiPeeps

The Found Poetry Collaboration #2, featuring: Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Gidding, Joanna Lee

24 Mar

Words

The Found Poetry Collaboration 2014

For the next 4 weeks poets Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Giddings and Joanna Lee will be writing 1 piece of found poetry per fortnight:

A found poem is created when words in an existing piece of writing are lifted from that writing and rearranged to create a greater emotional response. A found poem is shaped from a collection of words or phrases found in one text or a selection of texts to shape an entirely new poem.  

The poets are free to use any texts they like, and I throw in one found text of my choice per fortnight just to mix it up a bit. For the Week 2 poem I chose a section of a  letter from a former patient of Jung quoted in Anthony Storr’s Solitude (you’ll find the section at the bottom of the post, should you wish to read it). 

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on the pathology of nihilism

by Joanna Lee

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with clammy skin the heart cascades
much as a mass of cold knowledge
falls from the gut: septic, humoral,

jugular; a clot of air in the lungs blue-
highlighted with the less
clinically obvious algorithms

of life. i titrate swelling
mortality with strokes of fever,
and ought accept the loss i was,

a distal necessary pulse
with a dropped
mask and muscled jaw.

forever is a bedside curve
of sun and shadow, not
as i wanted it to be but

dissolved to a heavier,
taller, younger equilibration.
only fools demand nothing.

i could never have imagined
our thrust was the resuscitation
of ordinary activities such

as breathing, to force
reality like a balloon
into the femoral vein,

precisely keeping
the bleeding quiet but
biochemically alive.

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Text from

part of a letter from a patient of Carl Jung, quoted in Solitude by Anthony Storr and Fundamentals of Surgery by John E. Niederhuber, chapter 15, “Shock and Resuscitation,” by Adam Siever, MD

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Out of evil

by Lydia Allison

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much good has come to me
quiet, attentive, accepting

reality – they are, and not to be
such as could before.
When we accepted things they overpowered us.

I intend to play in this way accepting everything.
What I was:
force, thought.

Keeping nothing remaining,
taking things as I want them,
doing all this – unusual knowledge,

unusual powers I have imagined.
I always thought in some way or other
to be true towards the game

of life – receptive whatever –
good, bad, sun, shadow – forever,
my nature side’s alive.

Fool! How I tried
to go according to the way
I ought to.

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*Created solely from the words from Jung’s letter.

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I’m the girl who is lost in space

by James Giddings

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forever fading away by keeping quiet,
by accepting reality and taking things
as they are: some party someplace, or

some picnic in the park, the Soviet Union.
Ideas and feelings are fast and frequent
as shooting stars. The fast ideas

are far too fast, and unusual knowledge
has come to me; the right words and gestures
are suddenly there like the Cheshire cat:

the warm artificial smile, clownish curve,
the kind you see on villains in Disney movies.
You find interests in uninteresting people.

I intend to play the game of life – sun and shadow
forever alternating – everything more alive.
You never knew those caves were there.

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Texts:

Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Part of a letter from a patient of Carl Jung, quoted in Solitude by Anthony Storr

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Transmitters

by Kate Garrett

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unusual knowledge
overpowered me
in darkness –

receptive to evil
i can’t tell
the difference.

sun/shadow
good/bad
alternating forever

in a cage
with a wire screen
hallucinate effigies

to starve your beauty.
beware the first
principle of anti-choice:

bland words, no life,
accepting torn sex
as your birthright.

 

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Poem – title included – created solely from words found in an extract from Solitude by Anthony Storr, and the songs ‘No Love Lost’ by Joy Division & ‘PCP’ by Manic Street Preachers.

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…….

 To find out more about Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna please visit:

.

Lydia Allison:

http://lydiaallison.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/LydiaAllison13

Kate Garrett:

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/kate_garrett

James Giddings:

https://jamesgiddings.jux.com/

https://twitter.com/giddingstweets

Joanna Lee:

http://the-tenth-muse.com/

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

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Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna will be back on Tuesday 8th April  with some more great found poetry. Tomorrow, you’ll find Poet Lauren Coulson’s final poem in her nest series (with audio).  Thank you for your interest. 

If you missed out on the first round of found poems you can find them here.

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*Full text of the piece I sent the foundlings:

Out of evil, much good has come to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality-taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be- by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before. I always thought that when we accepted things they overpowered us in some way or other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume an attitude towards them. So now I intend to play the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good or bad, sun and shadow forever alternating, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was. How I tried to force everything to go according to the way I thought it ought to! (195)

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