Giving voice to the void

An image from Void Voices

March was an important month for me. On Friday 15th I joined Paul Hawkins, Sarah Cave and Pascal O’Loughlin at Storysmith Books in Bristol for a reading of experimental poetry, as part of the Bristol Poetry Festival. We had a great turn-out, and it was good to see some familiar faces there. Paul, Sarah and Pascal demonstrated their brilliance as poets, all receiving enthusiastic responses from the audience. I read some new pieces, kicking off with Cockroach (a true story about my birth), followed by some selections from the first three parts of Void Voices, including this excerpt:

To my surprise, several people asked me to sign copies of Void Voices, which made me feel like a total fraud, masquerading as a proper author. I think I managed to keep up the act though, and I won’t pretend I didn’t enjoy it! Huge thanks to Paul Hawkins for organising the event, and to Emily and Dan at Storysmith Books for being such welcoming hosts.

At the end of the month, something even more wonderful happened. Poet and artist ReVerse Butcher, in collaboration with COLLAGE, performed extracts from Void Voices in Melbourne. COLLAGE is: Roger Alsop – Guitar; Kylie Supski – Poet + Photographer; Sophie Manual Breathing Rose – Vocals + Throat Singing; Ozlem Kesik – Multi-Instrumentalist; Eiichi Tosaki – Multi-Instrumentalist + Bimanual Coordination Drawing; ReVerse Butcher – Performance of Excerpts from Void Voices.

“Men behind glass make notes on our appearance, our social networks, our sex lives. One points at you with a finger that looks like a gun.” – ReVerse Butcher performing an excerpt from Void Voices in Melbourne.

The COLLAGE event was filmed, so you can see how my work was interpreted and performed. Here are all three parts:

It was a great honour to have my work performed so sensitively and imaginatively. One day, I’ll have to visit Melbourne and buy a beer for everyone involved!

March was an important month for another reason too. Emma Miles wrote a beautiful creative review of Void Voices for minor literature(s), in which she played on (or with) the poem’s erotic qualities. It was the most engaged written response to Void Voices I have read. Please check it out here!

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