Tuesday, 21 July 2015

More Hot Pots

I am delighted that I was able to be part of the Hot Pot Creative Writing activity at Aberystwyth University earlier this year.

There was a series of workshops run by writer and tutor Katherine Stansfield in the Ceramics Gallery at the University. A group of poets and prose writers studied the work of the potter Michael Cardew, which has an extensive exhibition there.

And we talked about the many pots and plates, how they were made and their uses. They are not just show pieces, they had a real life, as some of the amazing stories that came out of this project show. Through our meetings we talked about and shared our feelings about the process of creating new work, whether it be pots, poems or prose. And we created much!

Katherine's own poetry and the work of seven participants on the project is included in this publication, which formed part of the Programme/Brochure of the International Ceramics Conference, held at the University early in July 2015.There was also a public reading of our work.

More info on the Hot Pot project here:

and the link to the publication:

I also wrote abotu the project for an earlier blog:

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Paint them in gold

If we could worship the homeless people,
because they are strong,
because they have learned to live without walls,
because they have no boundaries to contain them,
and can exist on almost nothing,
because they can carry life in a bag,
with few possessions, because they are free,
if we worshipped them, how would the world be?

Their swept up lives exist in doorways
spiked with danger and zero tolerance,
relics in the dust and debris of our days.
If we could venerate them, revere them,
cover them in gold,
break out of the mantra of meanness,
if we were truly bold,
how would the world be?

If we worshipped the homeless people,
if we painted their portraits and decorated their images with jewels,
as the old icons were adorned,
and placed them so we could look upon them with reverence,
if we exalted them and made them saints,
if we gave them beautiful blankets to keep them warm,
if we lauded all the roaming people,
how would the world be?

Written after seeing ‘Man with a plaid blanket’,
by Thomas Ganter, right.
(first prize BP Portrait Awards 2014)