A Stick and a Sculpture Park made me a Poet


I recently attended an audition – just because I thought I should. If, I decided, I call myself a writer, I really should gain as much experience in as many fields of writing as possible. I tried to be a poet under Mahendra Solanki at NTU, he is very strict and sometimes scathing. I told him at the end of my studies that I doubted I would write another poem for quite some time, the process is so hard, at least to achieve anywhere close to what I wanted to achieve. All my poems seem to be a kind of snapshot on life, a time or a place or a thought that crossed my mind for a moment.

Anyway, the audition was to find seven perfomance poets who could work together towards a performance of poetry at an evening to celebrate the Special Olympics this year in Leicester. The project is called Heritage and the poems are to be written in response to museum artifacts from the Leicester museums. The organisers spent an afternoon trawling through the museum stores choosing 25 objects to spark the chosen poets’ imagination. What a great job, wish I could have been there.

I went to the audition with a couple of fellow writers, all nervous and uncertain, armed with sheaves of paper covered with a variety of poems to deliver. The place – The Y Theatre, Leicester, was packed and they were turning away budding poets who had not registered to audition before the night. We were asked to keep it brief and deliver about 3 minutes of poetry each, due to the massive turn out. The poets commenced, speaking and ranting and whispering, few of them reading, most of them delivering their pieces by heart. Young people, old people, men, women. We three sat quietly, sending glances back and forth, silently crying, ‘Oh my God! How do we compete with this?’ I shuffled and re-shuffled my papers and decided to give them STICK and SCULPTURE PARK. The atmosphere was charged and I found myself giving it all I had – all nerves and embarrassment went. They have an open mic night every month at The Y and we all came away determined to attend each month. Writing didn’t seem such a quiet and lonely obsession after all.

The best news is that I have been selected along with one of my friends to be part of the Heritage project – we have to attend six workshops before the final performance, mentored by Kevin Fegan, poet and playwright. Can’t wait – although it is a bit daunting as I’ll have to deliver the goods now. So maybe I am a poet after all.

Both poems can be found on my ‘writing page’ on tabs next to this page.


1 comment so far

  1. craftypeople on

    YES you definitely are a poet, I never doubted that for a moment. You are also a novel writer, writing just the sort of book that I enjoy reading. You don’t patronise the reader by explaining everything. You leave us to do a little of the work to bring something of ourselves to the reading of your book. When I read fiction I don’t want reams and reams of explanation. i don’t want footnotes I want to use my intelligence to get as much as possible out of it.
    If I feel there was more to learn then I can go off and research the main subject of the book and come back and read with new-found knowledge.

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