It’s been a while! Handing out poems on the street, which I’d been doing regularly for four years, came abruptly to an end last year. The libraries closed, and we all stayed at home. And my local library is still closed, a year later, despite weekly read-ins and campaigns for the council to reopen all Glasgow libraries.
During the first lockdown, I found out that my debut poetry pamphlet was going to be published by Broken Sleep Books. It came out during the third/forth (I’ve lost count) lockdown on March 31st and I couldn’t be happier with it! The launch for my pamphlet was virtual, so you can watch it online.
And I’ve had to go virtual in other ways too: working with local charities – Apex Scotland and Enable Glasgow – to run online poetry workshops with, or send poems to, people who may have barriers to accessing culture, such as people who are in prison/have previous convictions, and people with learning disabilities.
I’ve also had time to apply for arts council funding, something I’ve been wanting to do for so long but didn’t know where to start. On my second attempt, after some very constructive feedback, I have received funding from Creative Scotland to make a Time for one Poem Podcast, aimed at complete beginners to poetry, which will come out later this year!
To make the podcast, I am looking for people to take part who have little/no experience of reading poetry; who may have liked it in school but not done any since; who have tried but don’t seem to be able to understand poetry; or who feel that they don’t have time, or aren’t intelligent enough to read poetry. Taking part will involve a 20-minute Zoom interview in August/September, where we will read one poem together.
If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please send an email – including your name, age, and a bit about yourself/your experience of reading poetry – to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is 24th May. Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone who you think might be interested!