she opens the kitchen door

after the rain,

the garden is fresh

the air is sweet and clean.

she smells the soil,

the berries are bright.

As the dead leaves are blown away

to leave a clear white sky.

she adjusts her energy

and wants to grow 

What is the Creatrix in Residence of Hadrian’s Wall about?

Well Women’s Walking Workshop, 2020

Inclusion in the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival is open to anyone who wishes to celebrate the 1900 years of the building of Hadrian’s Wall anniversary. There is an official form that needs to be completed and then you get the official seal of approval to begin. Then the event or activity is included on the festivals website.

This is what I wrote in my application, really not knowing what I was going to write when I came to the page:

Activity Description (long version): “The Creative Way is a process of gathering the bones and then breathing life into them”.

Taken from the text, Creatrix: she who makes by Lucy H Pearce, The Creatrix in Residence of Hadrian’s Wall aims to explore two vital components within this project.

The first is to be like a Palaeontologist, digging down into the different social, cultural, political and physical strata of Hadrian’s Wall to unearth the hidden bones of stories yet to be told a round creative women and people of colour. The second it to getting down to the bones of the creative process itself; documenting the magic that happens when an individual decides to accept the invitation to embark on the journey of creativity, into the labyrinth of the bodymind.

“For women poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. […] Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.” Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

Running parallel will be a shifting through the bones; the bones of lives from the past, lived lived along Hadrian’s Wall along with the bones of creativity so a more solid and understandable shape will emerge around the process of owning the power to create and transform.

From April, for a year, the Creatrix in Residence of Hadrian’s Wall will claim space and time at different places, sites and events for a minimum of two Wednesdays per month. In addition to these visitations, public walks, workshops and creative events will take place to share stories, practice and the Creative Way.

Activity Description (short version): Creatrix in Residence of Hadrian’s Wall is a experimental, experiential creative project exploring the strata of life, shifting through the bones in connection to the Wall as well as The Creative Way itself.  

The Terzanelle – The Gaze

Too often we refuse to gaze
on something unpleasant to see.
Rubs against us all the wrong ways.

I don’t like to see an oak tree,
feel my neck snap. And my heart breaks
when there ‘s something unpleasant to see.

My words, a soundtrack for those taken;
blackmen whipped, flesh-eating scars, pain,
felt my neck snap and my heart broken.

Dead eyes and flashbulb smiles at the slain.
Who wants to look at these photographs?
Black guys, whipped, flesh-eating scars, pain.

Who has to deal with the aftermath
of bodies reshaped by tragedy?
Who wants to look at these photographs?

Callous grins surround,
too often we refuse to look.
Their bodies reshaped by tragedy
rubs us up the wrong way.

Nature Writing Workshop

I’m finishing up my residency with Northumberland National Park this year with a Nature Writing Workshop.

Filled with readings and prompts, writings and sharings, we aim to generate new creations inspired by nature.

Happening Thursday 25 November from 10am – 12pm (GMT) all on zoom. and for free.

Head on over here to grab a ticket before they’re all gone.

An Alternative Narrative

As mentioned in my last post, we have the Black Nature In Residence Showcase coming up on the evening of 28 October.

This is the first event in a series that identity on tyne through their Earth Sea Love project are collaborating with Northumberland National Park to host.

Other events offered as an alternative to the Future Landscape Programme that will run at the same tine at COP26 in Glasgow, will provide diverse voices to the environmental and conservation movement and makes those all important links between the local and global in terms of the climate crisis.

Starting on 11 November, 7.30-8.30pm – Decolonising the Environmental Movement

I’ll be hosting a conversation with Sarah Hussain and Serayna Solanki

Through their projects and research, both Sarah Hussain and Serayna
Solanki are providing spaces for marginalised communities and people of
colour to engage with nature as a means of changing the narrative around
who has a say in the Climate Change Movement. They are working within
education and research, community and organisational partnerships, to create
and highlight dialogue around climate justice through personal and community

Then 18 November, 7-8pm, Nature Writing Reading

Join me , as host again, with Jo Clement and Zakiya McKenzie for a reading and discussion of literature which explores place, environment, belonging and identity as both writers read from and talk about their recent collections.

Then on 22 November, 7-8pm – A keynote lecture with Grace Hull, Holistic Sustainability

What is holistic sustainability?

Grace Hull created Green Grace Soul to share her journey to living sustainably in a holistic way. Grace attempts to balance the food she eats, the products she uses and the things she buys with the most beneficial outcomes for her health, the health of the planet, and the others living on it.

Sustainable living and Climate Change activism have many faces, and by centring holistic sustainability Grace engages with intersectionality and the social and historical context of climate change through the reflections of her journey that she shares on her website, podcast and DIY projects.

This will be a keynote lecture followed by a Q and A.

Black nature in residence showcase

You might not know it but I’ve been writer in residence for Northumberland National Park. It was part of a project called Black Nature in Residence.

Led by identity on tyne, four Black writers were in residence across the North-East. As our time comes to an end, we’re ready to share about our experiences.

Come join us for an evening of words and images at our online showcase. Thursday 28 October, 6.30-8pm.

You can find our more about the project here.

And you can grab yourself a ticket for the event here.

When the wife leaves Without closing the door

In the shape of a tree,

my scar is painted with code.

Through the letting of blood, I wait

for the sound of my screams.

But what I do not plan for

is the mashed up sycamore spinners,

the trampled copper conkers

and the singed bramble bushes.

Graceless and broken,

I get high on the thoughts

of owning myself; the plumage

of starlings embroidered

on an intimate mind.