It has been a privilege to be part of it. Tears in the Fence Poetry Festival gathered this year a multitude of diverse and poignant poetic voices and discourses. With a challenging theme – The Politics of Engagement. This created an opportunity for new paths of poetic inquiry as well as an opportunity to explore the concept of art / poetry as a dynamic and potent channel engaged within, not removed from, the current socio-political issues.
This is a snapshot from a conversation I had with the festival organiser, David Caddy. A conversation which looked, briefly, at the tridimensional concept of a poet as a:
- ‘curse’ (placed in an uncomfortable position, with the duty to observe the reality and to reflect its imperfections),
- ‘marathon runner’ in search for a ‘language – house’; the complex relationship, and, to some extent, conflict, between a language and the poetic identity revealed by bilingualism,
- ‘subversive weapon’ (the inevitable duty and responsibility of an artist to challenge complacency, to question authority and to, finally, place himself/herself at the heart of what one defines the transformative power of change).
With many thanks to David Caddy and ‘Tears on the Fence’ group and magazine.
And so many other thanks to so many discovered friends: Valerie Bridge, Morag Kiziewicz, Gerald Killingworth, Peter J. King, Charlie Wilkinson, Steve Spence, Melisande Fitzsimons, Clive Gresswell, Aidan Semmens, Norman Jope, Mike Duggan, John Philips, Jo Waterworth, Camilla Nelson, Ric Hool, Sarah Alice, Nancy Gaffield, Anna Powney, Mandy Pannett and so many others.
Look forward to a bright future.
Another midnight storm washes away the cold poetry
born at the top floor.
I balance my whole weight
on long words;
frozen stones on my tongue.
I count the mistakes god has done with me,
just to pass the time.
The violent rain hid a blind dog
inside my very bone.
Here, upstairs, both of us in the same body,
awake and hungry,
©Maria Stadnicka, MMXVII
published in ‘Stride’ magazine, available here