For those of us who are poets there’s nothing to beat the January blues than more poetry. It might be hard to drag ourselves away from our cosy sofas and face the biting winds and dull drab days. And it’s true, it is the longest month! But I’m determined to look ahead to the first events I’ll be taking part in over the next few months, starting with the launch on Saturday 25 Jan at the Deal Bookshop, of Christopher Hopkins’ haunting new poetry collection The Shape of a Tulip Bird. I was privileged to see these poems in the making and had the honour of endorsing them. There are quite a few of us who are in love with Chris’ luscious Welsh voice! Chris will be reading from his book over the coming months around Kent so look out for him! The Deal event will also include readings from Derek Sellen, Mary Anne Smith, Alice Gretton, Rosie Johnston and Callum Beasley.
Venue: Deal Bookshop, 52 High St, Deal, CT14 6HE, Sat 25 Jan 6pm.
Sunday 26th Jan is a big day for for me: I’m one of a trio of poets who will be performing at Guyana Speaks, a monthly spotlight of Guyanese culture and heritage in London. Not only will I be performing with my oldest school friend Elly Niland, (we both went to Berbice High School in our hometown New Amsterdam and Elly is also a Guyana prize winner with three books to her name), but joining us also is my cousin Brian Reid, who is a radio presenter and dj, poet and mc. Brian’s parents both hail from Guyana and I’m enormously excited to be sharing this event with him.
Venue: The Classic, 28 Upper Tooting Road, London S17 7PG. 2-5pm £5
In the months leading up to Christmas, I’ve been recording some of my Caribbean poems with Andre Mckenzie, ( Megabite) an up and coming artist/music producer and videographer who’s doing some amazing things with film and music in Margate, and the result is Mother Tongue. With guest appearances and collaborations from Kanisia Mounty and some of the members of Margate Stanza, namely Jessica Taggart, Val Tyler, Cathy Chilly and Sarah Tait, the album also includes Mark Holihan and Angela Dye reading their own poems.
Mother Tongue is available from me, just get in touch!