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A review of The Fox’s Wedding and a Manchester reading with fellow Emma Press poets
We are hanging, right now, on the horns of a new moon. Rosh Hashanah just past, and the autumn equinox just ahead. I hope the months since my last post have treated you well…
As always, summer passed in a blur of activity — most recently a visit to the south-east to celebrate my little sister’s 50th birthday, and to the south-west for a Poetry and Care conference at the University of Plymouth.
My notes and doodles from two days of conferencing jog my memory to recall how I learnt about the ‘roaming gaze’, and the ‘colliding aspects of collaboration’; how sometimes ‘a poem is a wound’, and how in making public art there must be an ‘ambition for the poem to also speak for itself’. In a great blaze of late-summer sunshine, and by the sea with a quandary of poets, bookended by train strikes, I had an unexpectedly enjoyable time. The panel I presented on both marked the end of my research fellowship, and also pointed the way forward to future work. And I was grateful for the support of my fellow-panelists John McAuliffe and Chris Seymour, as we discussed practice-based research and co-creating poetry within Manchester’s NHS Trust. One question that came up was whether art-based health and wellbeing interventions are beneficial for everyone. (And the related danger of seeing poetry as a somehow inherent ‘vehicle for empathy’.) The quick answer to the question is no; but a more nuanced consideration of the shadow-side of art for health is something I’d like to explore further.
It is hard to think of a writer more alive to the animal in us than Rebecca Hurst,
in her striking first pamphlet, The Fox’s Wedding.
Earlier on in the summer Alison Brackenbury reviewed The Fox’s Wedding on the Nine Arches Press blog (the review first appeared in the excellent magazine Under the Radar, Issue 29). It was such an honour to have my pamphlet read by Alison, and considered alongside work by poets Naush Sabah (Litanies), Shash Trevett (From a Borrowed Land) and Maya C. Popa (Dear Life).
Alison’s words are insightful and generous, and if they whet your appetite for more foxy poetry then please come along to Blackwell’s in Manchester on Monday 25 September at 6.30pm, where I will be reading from The Fox’s Wedding alongside two other Emma Press poets. This will be my first time reading to a live audience since my pamphlet was published in February 2022! And I’m thrilled to be joining Charlotte Wetton and Kirstie Millar as they celebrate the launch of their pamphlets, Accessioning and The Strange Egg.
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