Not so long ago I joined Twitter and connected with Jamie Cowperthwaite, a web developer from Hull, with a passion for poetry. Poetry is one of the things I do, so when he proposed putting together an online spoken word festival during the Covid19 pandemic and asked for poets to submit work for possible inclusion I was keen to take part. The Festival was developed as a fundraiser to support NHS Charities Together - even better!
I sent Jamie audio of two of my poems, Trees and These are Very Different Days. Trees was written a while ago. I am obsessed with trees. These are Very Different Days was written at the start of the pandemic. I often write my poems first thing in the morning as part of my regular practice of producing Morning Pages before I do anything else when I wake up. I LOVE Morning Pages, they are a great way to start the day and I've been amazed when occasionally poetry just seems to flow out of me, connecting me to the stuff that's in my head that I might not otherwise have known was there. It's very refreshing, energising and uplifting. LIke a there you are and I didn't know you were there and aren't you amazing, kind of experience.
The pandemic is extraordinary and we're just at the start of it. We are all adjusting and there will be more adjustments to come. None of us really know where this is heading or how life will look on the other side. We can but hope that as it's a global trauma, perhaps some good might come of it ultimately, Kitty O'Meara has written compelling of a healing process in her poem, which has gone viral, And the People Stayed Home and I feel instinctively that is possible. My optimistic soul wants to believe it. My poem is less certain, but suggests an imperative, we need to learn to dance to a different drum. I wonder if we will. Here's hoping.
I sent my poems of to Jamie and he was astonishingly kind about them. He shared them with Nathan Pidd of VIP Creative in Hull and to my astonishment Nathan responded by producing two outstandingly beautiful videos to accompany them. I didn't see the videos till the Festival went out live on the evening of 9th April 2020. I was stunned and it was being in the Festival that prompted me to finally build myself this little website. I owe huge thanks to both Jamie and Nathan.
The Festival as a whole was fabulous. Two hours of poetry from twenty different spoken word artists, including some high profile names including Julia Donaldson, author of the Gruffalo, Henry Normal, creator of Gavin and Stacey and Alan Partridge, actress Gemma Oaten, who performed a poem by Scottish author, Brian W Lavery.
You can watch the whole thing below: (I'm on 56 minutes in). Visit my portfolio, if you just want to see the videos of my two poems.
Thank you to those of you who have so kindly already supported the fundraising appeal for NHS Charities Together. It means the world.
Biggest thanks of course to everyone working so hard in our NHS to beat Covid19. You are our heroes.
Bee McCormack-Henderson is an emerging artist. A Scot, living in England. Curious, cheerful and sometimes challenging, her poetry has been described as 'wholesome' and 'quite lovely'. Her art flows freely from her mind's eye, her unique heritage and life experiences.