Then spree

poetry & diary by Nia Davies

Tag: music

Poetry from Shingle Street

Shingle Street coastguard cottages

Shingle Street coastguard cottages

Tomorrow I will be in London at the launch of the Poetry School’s Spring term. Myself and Amy Key will be reading and discussing poetry made at our residency at Shingle Street in Suffolk. Thanks to the Poetry School we spent a week there in November 2013 in one of the tiny coastguard cottages which are right out on the shingle beach in a remote but extremely atmospheric spot. The week was very creatively invigorating with lots of time to edit existing poems, write new work and also to discuss and think through ideas, techniques and poetics. We started with cut-up text exercises and moved on to discussing feeling, the problem with poetry of place, teen noir, friendship, childhood memory and more.

You can read our blogs which present drafts of poems and discuss their process on the Poetry School blog Campus. Firstly there is a Q&A, then there is my blog about ‘Feelings’ (with a poem draft and brief discussion of Clarice Lispector’s novel Near to the Wild Heart) and the poem draft and reflection ‘people on the beach’ which considers the shifting sense of place,  ‘nation’ and the militarised nature of the landscape. These poem drafts are very much works in process rather than finished articles, designed to open up the process for people to see inside it. Amy’s blogs include a reflection on writing poems in response to scent How I did it: Violet-among-the-harpsichord and a short interview about the residency which includes tips for poets who want to go on their own residencies.

And finally you can even listen to the music of our residency on this playlist! (Though unfortunately it lacks a vital contributor: Joanna Newsom, whose back catalogue we sang along to in the car on our various excursions around the Suffolk countryside).

The event takes place at the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall from 7pm.

Shingle Street residency

View from the coastguard’s cottage at Shingle Street

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‘Half-articulated wailings’ – a blog on the Electronic Voice Phenomena website

abney park cemetry

The first of two blogs for the Electronic Voice Phenomena project website explores ‘sinister resonance’, hearing voices and the work of David Toop and others.

Yorkshire is a Place. Yorkshire is a State of Mind – the Mighty Boosh

Me and the Devil

Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘Me and the Devil’ – Robert Johnson-inspired blues poetry. My current headphone love…

Christmas number one 1984

Band aid

They said
nothing ever grows
but everything comes up here
acacia honey, bees in their own juices,
and rain or rivers do flow,
do you know?

Awash, blue Nile, Omo
sunbirds in the wall, Lalibella –
the oldest Christmas of all.

they sung a parting gift
this gesture
a ticket
a hairy sheen,
wistful mouth dilations

It’s Christmas time,
and do you know?

lakes of tea, tilapia
crocodiles unseen in
the silt of the rift
any rift, our rift
do you know what you’re missing
at all?
at all?

shepherd slinging
meso meso
kumbala kumbala
yeah yo?
chewing-wads, green cheek,
glutinous smiles
and do you know?
for twenty five years

a three-pound song
untorn from its plastic
loosened guilt, was that all?
Twenty five years of missing the point, and
do you know anything about Ethiopia
At all?

Performed as part of Roddy Lumsden’s Christmas number one project at Betty Trotwood, Sunday 13th December.

© Nia Davies, 2009