IN LINE October 12

As part of the Greenwich Performs festival, in-words and The Greenwich Gallery joined forces to organise a ‘meeting of words and images’. The Gallery’s open exhibition of photographs on the theme of ‘lines’, all taken within the SE10 area, were the inspiration for members of the public, poets and year 6 students from James Wolfe Primary School to write short poems, ditties and…anything really. All the writings were posted on a board and most were read by the four established poets who participated in the afternoon event. Mick Delap, Jane McLaughlin, NJ Hynes and Susannah Hart also read their own works that had a relevance to lines – some were very much about Greenwich and the Meridian, others were about bus lines, train lines, shipping lines, cable lines under the ocean…and most were found, in one way or another, to have a connection with Greenwich.

It was an informal event, with people visiting the exhibition and staying to listen, or deciding not to, or even writing impromptu pieces, all in the lovely, friendly atmosphere created by Tony and Helen Othen at the gallery. Hopefully the first of many collaborations.

With thanks to Joseph Armson from James Wolfe School and all those who contributed. The children’s poems were truly impressive, and may be collated in a booklet. Photos to follow.

Events

‘Proper’ summer is finally here and, while I’m reluctant to start thinking about autumn, I am inevitably and joyfully beginning to plan the first event of the ‘new term’. The first thing I did was to look back at all the in-words events from the very first one in January 2017, and I realised that over five years I hosted 49 readings, including a number of lectures by Graham Fawcett. 49! What shall I do for the 50th? I’m thinking that, although it would limit the numbers in the audience, I would really love to have an in-person event at the West Greenwich Library, like ‘in the old days’. And you never know, I may even be able to get to grips with ‘hybrid’…. Of course, it will depend of many factors, and as soon as I can, I shall post a date if not a full programme.

I love the new animation at the top of my homepage. Thanks to Paul Kley for creating it. The words on the flying page are not a quotation but a whole poem, a favourite of mine, by the Italian hermetic poet Giuseppe Ungaretti. It is impossible to translate, though countless attempts have been made. I am sure you can guess its meaning and I leave you to create your own ‘translation’ of it. Ungaretti fought in the trenches and those two lines represent a moment one morning – pared down to a sense of the absolute, maybe also of possibilities?

As we emerge from a not-yet-over pandemic and wake up every morning feeling the dread of conflict but also aware of the beauty of spring and the blessing of nature and community, Ungaretti’s words are more than ever appropriate.

I am taking a break from organising things over the summer. Whether I will be as dynamic as the train above, or I’ll take time on a siding, I’m not yet sure.

Either way, I am always happy to hear from you with thoughts and ideas, and wish to thank you for your support so far.

Be well!