Tuesday 10 July 2012

Whit agitation.

I learnt the word whit when I was writing a poem and researching other words to describe dust particles hitting our atmosphere to make shooting stars. You've probably guessed by now that this is another Shake the Dust post. You'd be right. But it feels like dust shaking is all I ever talk about so I thought I'd mix it up a bit... and I've failed.

Last weekend was the epic Thursday-Sunday national finals and Shake the Dust weekend at the Southbank Centre, and boy was it a busy one! With workshops, evening events, travelling, meetings, eatings, rehearsals, letting-off-steams and all sorts of other bits and pieces to do with nine groups of eight 13-16 year-olds it was a hectic few days - made only more hectic by the fact that I did a reading at Ledbury Festival on Friday with five of the other Eric Gregory winners, travelling there and back in one day.

Needless to say, I'm knackered. But a good sort of knackered, full of enthusiasm for poetry and the 'new' generation (though who's to say when one generation begins and another ends) and current generation of performers and writers. One of the highlights was seeing Kate Tempest and Saul Williams on Thursday evening, performing their hearts out (albeit for a little too long, perhaps, though that's not their fault but a misjudgement in programming); another was the look on the faces of our Slamming Saints at their arrival in London and first sight of the big city. The main highlight though, of course, was seeing our two teams doing the best performance of their poems they've ever done, on the main stage at Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank. Wow. My heart bursts with pride for all of them - they really did themselves and the North East proud!

So now, I have sleep to catch up on (still) and ponderings to ponder about the performance of poetry vs. performance poetry. Perhaps I'll get back to you with some conclusions about that one later on. In the meantime, sleep tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite!

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