During the lockdown of 2020, unable to make my annual summer visit to Jersey where I grew up, I asked my school friend Lucy Allchurch to send me extracts from her swimming diaries. Lucy regularly swims in the bays, pools and gullies around the island’s coastline. The diary extracts became the starting points for poems which are presented in this exhibition alongside the diaries, as well as images from the local archives and the present day.
Jersey Museum and Art Gallery, 24 June 2020 – 31 December 2020
The Jersey Museum reopened its doors in June after restrictions were relaxed. The exhibition People Make Jersey is curated by Lucy Layton and explores the many different waves of immigration to Jersey, from the first settlers driven by climate change 7,000 years ago to the present day. The opening lines from my poem ‘Gers Ey’ (the old Norse words for ‘Jersey’) feature on one of the exhibition walls. You can read the full poem on my Poems page.
Hear me read my poem about conger eel soup, a Jersey delicacy, ‘La Soupe D’Andgulle’ from my collection Daylight of Seagulls as part of Guillemot Press’s celebration of the endangered European eel.
Listen to the reading (Warning: you have to scroll down a while until you get to my eel.)
For more eels, be sure to also visit the related site, A Suitcase of Eels.
Listen to me reading my poem Field, included in an exhibition of poems commemorating the Liberation of the Channel Islands.
Listen to the reading (Warning: you have to scroll down a little to reach my poem.)
As part of the 75th anniversary of Jersey’s liberation from occupying forces, Jersey Arts Centre commissioned 17 Island poets to respond to ideas of occupation, liberation and reconciliation. Originally intended to be a word exhibition on the walls of the Berni Gallery between 7 April – 2 May 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exhibition has been moved online.
The London launch for Daylight of Seagulls took place in the Music Room at 49 Great Ormond Street in January 2020. I was lucky to be able to launch the book at a ‘real’ event, with so many aspects of life shifting online during the following weeks. Over forty people gathered in close proximity in the wooden panelled rooms of this 17th century house, taking in the distilled fug of a live poetry event and, perhaps even more so, the Normandy cider that followed.
The Jersey launch has been postponed due to Covid 19 until 2021, date tbc.