Well! I was very pleased with the way the weekend went: I was happy, on the whole, with the way my poems were received, and there have been some favourable comments on Facebook: I also got inspiration from hearing others, which is of course one of the great things about sharing poetry. I think it’s great when we support each other and I’m really glad not to be part of a community like – oh, I don’t know – like, say, the world of ballet. What I’ve heard about the things ballet dancers have to put up with makes me blench: why is it that such a beautiful art-form brings out such spite and venom in people who practise it?
I used to know a yoga teacher who had been a ballet dancer and some of the things she told me would make your hair curl.
But we poets are always much more supportive of each other. Which is great. I meant to show Bobba’s book when I was performing, although come to think of it, I didn’t get a chance to do the Dungeness sonnet so it wouldn’t have fitted in. Bobba has a beautiful book about Derek Jarman’s garden:
which is mentioned in my poem, Dungeness Sonnet. But I was given the time-warning and so I skipped it and went straight to the Richard III poem. Always leave them wanting more – that’s the adage…
But speaking as we were a moment ago, of nastiness, I am on the offensive against the offensive – and more specifically, against vicious sexism. There’s a site where women can give examples of sexism that they’ve encountered. It is beyond horrifying that someone who merely campaigned to have a woman on a banknote – a fairly inoffensive thing to campaign for – should be subject to 50 rape threats an hour! And that’s not mentioning death threats. When I think about how women are treated the world over it makes me want to weep. But instead we need to fight back. So if you have any stories to report or if you want to read other women’s stories, you can go to the Everyday Sexism Project: