Today I am about to start contacting potential supervisors for my dream PhD project and I’m celebrating in a corny way… by posting about a poem being published by Ink, Sweat and Tears (@IS&T).
The poem is one from my MA manuscript that features poetry about being Anglo-Romany, being in state run children’s homes and by West Indian extended family – there’s nothing like having a complicated life is there?
This has been the foundation that has inspired my PhD proposal. I am researching the role of multilingualism, especially ‘in-group’ language / slang / covert dialogues in shaping our chosen identities and bond groups. I’m hoping to find a suitable Uni and supervisor but it’s a lot of work finding one who is also amenable to poetry! I’ll battle on!
So, here is my poem published by Ink, Sweat and Tears and I hope the delight of seeing it on such a great site keeps me going through the long slog of finding the right place for the next stage of my academic journey.
I haven’t been posting for a while – I blame the rigours of an MA at the totally awesome Corsham Court campus of Bath Spa University. However, I wanted to post this poem, written some months ago and published at: https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2019/09/karen-downs-barton.html The Otolith. It was written for a friend, Reuben Woolly, who sadly died last week after an unsuccessful transplant operation. Reuben was an amazing humanitarian and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. His heart and soul were too big for one body.
A Line from the Impromptu
In response to Reuben Woolley
If I could explain your poetry I’d say it
reminds me of Francis Alÿs, his journeys – sometimes
pushing a block of ice, sometimes leaving a Green Line -
your mind / his line are unspooled in liquid threads, splashes
and pools or thin streamed, unlocked between
borders, crossing oceans and continents, creating
novel peripheries, lyrically. It
reminds me of photography: photos of Alÿs walking, always
away, walking through wildernesses, past
sentry box coffins of bemused men – always men – in
uniform, guarding continents and blind alleys. Challenging. Your
green lines are verdant, Pollock-ally-potent, drawing on
a lineage that includes Siqueiros, Miro, your words
are pareidolia asserting themselves over the page,
confronting bordered con-
vention: a lexicon, thoughts, sometimes hung,
cliff-edged with space or offering breath paused or
clotted – each reader their own interpreter of your
invitation to hesitate, think, walk on, or freefall
from your brink.
I have been absent from the wonders of a posting for a while as I had a thesis to create/submit, a masters place to apply for, taken on babysitting duties for one pretty active two year old and am nursing an abandoned cat back to happiness.
However, I have now completed my BA (Hons) with a first, been offered a place at the only university I applied to ( Bath Spa University ) on the Masters Creative Writing course of my choice and have got my head around the wonders of little boys with more energy than a whirlwind in full whirl. So I have no excuse to be absent from the world of words for any longer. It feels really strange to be at the end of one era and the beginning of another and I hope it will be a fantastic opportunity and adventure.
In fact, today I heard that the folks at Clarendon House Publications have accepted a poem of mine – a contemporary sonnet – for publication in their forthcoming anthology. Wonderful news and another step along this new path!
All of the above celebrated with a cocktail suitably called ‘Pen and Ink’!
Unnaturally still in summer clothes; the control such motionless-
ness must take. Balancing disks of blossom heads tempting flights
of fancy hats. Coronated, I’m answering an inner buzz, barely
concealing the furry fuzzing from shoulders, age whiskering
my face. Perhaps I’m barbed, poised, flight ready, a wings
whisk away from the useless drone of mustachioed males.
Our ideal industrious family, zealously building bigger and better
broods, workers for factories with geometrically pleasing cells.
Yet, I hear hymnals, wild sisters fizzling shrubbery serenades, pull
my netting close I’m assuming a disapproving bee keepers face.