Updated: Mar 9
Now I've found my voice, there's so much I want to say.
Since poetry grabbed my scruff, other than hanging with my family, there's nothing I'd rather be doing.
Today, International Women's Day 2020, was incredible. I read at St Mary de Crypt, a twelfth century church in the centre of Gloucester, alongside women poets I'd never have cause to meet otherwise: a Buddhist monk, a grieving refugee, a food addict, a shrink...
There was a poem about a forget-me-not that was so beautiful in its simplicity and depth that I'm still crying now.
Our local poetry scene is not very female friendly - unless you're funny, then you're allowed in. There was something about this space held by women and the men in the audience that was so empowering and enriching - no one-upmanship, no edge, just warmth and laughter and respect and a space to hear and be heard that was so deeply moving. We were Muslim, Christian, agnostic, faithless, black, brown, mixed race, white, Latina, disabled, enabled, LGBTQiA, rich, skint, mainstream and no-stream... and none of that mattered flaps: true democracy.
There was some honestly excellent work too that may never reach a wider audience because the poet is some kind of uncool older woman or sth who doesn't fit the brief of a poetry world run by hipsters. It's 💯 a big old shame.
Someone said to me the other day I'll probably run out of material soon and dry up, but check how ranty I am. Can't see it happening myself 🤭
Happy #internationalwomensday kids!