On Thursday, I was asked to take part in an event at short notice as one of the poets was unwell. Flow! is a project by Gemma Connell where a poet is teamed up with a dancer. The dancer knows nothing about what the poet will read and has to react spontaneously. The best way to explain it is by watching part of Thursday’s event:
The first poet in this video was the fabulous Amy Gilbrook. She performs most of her work from memory and makes excellent use of internal rhyme. I’d met her before, but I wasn’t acquainted with the dancers.
There are challenges to complete throughout the night, including a section where audience members are invited to writes phrases on pieces of paper. The poets then must assemble these into a new poem, then read it out there and then.
Each dancer and each poet is allowed to take part in no more than three Flow! events, so there’s a potential to take part in two more, and I would happily oblige.
However, it occurs to me that I’m neglecting someone. Prose. When I started out, she was the one I followed, the one I allowed to infiltrate my body of work. But along the way, Poetry surfaced, showed me her possibilities within her boundaries for which Prose has no equivalent.
Now it’s time to go back and find a balance between her and Poetry. Yet there will be no grovelling; there will be the knowledge that Poetry bestowed upon me: how to stretch myself, how to structure, how to affect an audience. And I’ll approach Prose with a renewed enthusiasm, a new sense of purpose, and challenge her to help me produce something to make Poetry jealous.
To that end, I’m going to worship Prose tonight at Hotchpotch, an open-mike night for writers. Anyone can come along and read out their work – or even that of a published author – with no judgement or criticism. If you happen to be in Dundee tonight, it’s at the Burgh Coffeehouse on Commercial Street, and the readings begin at 7pm.