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 the discussion with David Caddy, the festival director. A conversation which looked at the tridimensional concept of a poet as a:
- curse – he assumes the duty to observe the reality of current socio-economic developments and creatively responds to its imperfections.
- marathon runner– he is preoccupied with expressing his vision through long-term exploration of linguistic possibilities. Further, he identifies tensions between his conscience and the world.
- subversive weapon – he recognises the artist’s responsibility to challenge complacency, to question authority and to, finally, place himself at the heart of what one defines the transformative power of change.
With many thanks to David Caddy and Tears in the Fence group and magazine.
And so many thanks to so many new 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.
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