A brand new UK tour of poetry & performance – from Lydia Towsey, Shruti Chauhan and Jean Binta Breeze MBE

LU Arts / Poems / Babies & Photographs

Two weeks on from our last post and the final part of our latest tour and ‘Three the Hard Way – Part 2’  has drawn to a mighty close. We had such a wonderful time at our last three dates – and across the tour as a whole. It’s amazing to reflect on how much the concept, reach and content of what we’ve been able to share has grown since we first set out  with ‘Three the Hard Way – Part One’; from the way we’ve developed it formally, building up and varying our ensemble performance, to the conversation we’ve been in a position to begin, across three continents and three generations, exploring where we meet and where most comfortable or uncomfortable. We’re currently in the midst of very exciting discussions as we plan our next steps – so watch this website space for more detail and courtesy of Andrew Lee Productions, some on-tour poem trailers . . .

Meanwhile, we of course have more to tell you about this leg of things. Our finale date was in Loughborough, hosted by LU Arts at Loughborough University’s Student Union…

The space was particularly packed out, perhaps a combination of it being our last date and Shruti being a first class honours, English Lit returning hero Alumni! One gentleman was actually seeing the show for a second time, having enjoyed it so much on his first go, in Birmingham. Compering was done by the effortlessly capable, Kerry Featherstone – creative writing lecturer at the university, poet and translator.

It was a really good one for us, for my part (Lydia) with that weird feeling of finale-ism (last time we’ll do this show, in this way) running from one poem to the next. In a strange contrast of endings and beginning, Ruby Rose, my new born, turned 3 months old that night and came as close as ever to seeing it through to the end…if only due to the fact that the back of the space backed out onto a broader set of bars, into which she was able to (pram)rock/loiter-in-arms with my mother-in-law. Of course, generally speaking, we’re certain the show has had a profound effect on her…

Our LU Arts show was opened for us by two exceptionally talented university students, Ralph and Malika – who’d attended our workshop. The standard of workshop writing was all round impressive, so all power to Loughborough Uni and it’s Creative Writing Department. Below are some pieces from just a couple of the attendees.

More again to follow soon – meantime, see here for some lovely on-tour pictures (the professional equivalent of holiday photos and who doesn’t love them, #WhenFacebookisnotEnough) Looking at them again, I can’t help thinking of a lovely piece on photographs by Margaret Atwood, in her wonderful book of tales and essays, The Tent – a book I referred to a couple of times during 3THW workshops – to quote a little:

‘No more photos. Surely there are enough. No more
shadows of myself thrown by light onto pieces of paper,
onto squares of plastic. No more eyes, mouths,
noses, moods, bad angles. No more yawns, teeth, wrinkles
I suffer from my own multiplicity…’

Our teeth and wrinkles, noses and angles await your generous attention.

It has required, may I say, a mythological effort to not smuggle in any baby photographs #WhenFacebookisnotEnough, #IntheFuture, #NoPromises, #It’saDisease.

 

Now for those wonderful workshop pieces…

 

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Fay Banks/ Lost Synonym

Lost Synonym

Home is my mum filling in a Saturday crossword
Blowing the strands that stray from her fringe
and furrowing her brow
It is watching as she recalls the vast knowledge of her memory
Dragging words from her past to the here and the now
Home is my mum filling in a Saturday crossword
and my dad sat confused with his smartphone again,
Using his finger like a pen on the screen and
Ringing his sister for the eighth time that day
Home is my mum filling in a Saturday crossword
Clutching at words that are trying to hide
Fighting against all those small blank white squares
With an old OED and the dog at her side
Home is my mum filling in a Saturday crossword
and searching for a lost synonym
in the backlog of her memory
It’s in there,
she knows it
But time has erased too much.

 

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Naomi Riley-Dudley Friend / i/you / home

 

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Friend

they should be there for you when something’s

not how it used to be, not push you into

doing things that are sad and nostalgic

 

in front of them everything changed

 

but don’t be afraid, even if

you have both good and bad memories

not in the ways you hoped

 

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i/you

 

i expect too much from myself

you are not to be regarded as an object of thought or action

 

i like baking

you think things made are separate parts put together

 

i wish i could sleep better

you are fundamentally clear and pure

 

i write poetry

you don’t like trusting our memories or trusting the mind to act on its own

 

i find it hard to make decisions

you are more like the thought process.

 

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home

 

home is where I eat my dinner late at night

my silver knife and fork scraping on

the square plate, contemplating the day

I’ve had wondering what to do next

 

home is where I eat my dinner late at night

the place where all my thoughts have grown

opening the front door and wiping my feet

on the grey mat

 

home is where I eat my dinner late at night

when the room is quiet and I can hear the buzz

from the glass light above my head

home is where I eat my dinner late at night

 

and peak behind velvet curtains to look

at the moon in the sky, and down the street

at the dimly lit houses

 

home is where I eat my dinner late at night.

 

 

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