Howdy. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. All is grand here although I must confess the last couple of months have been manic around these parts, but at last I can finally see light at the end of the Poet Laureate tunnel.
In January I visited the Birmingham’s Children Hospital to share poetry, conversation and my award winning smile (just joking………. sort of). I’ve wanted to help out at the Children’s Hospital for a long time now and did actually enquire about doing some voluntary work there a few years back but nothing came of it. I shared a number of my poems with the children and they too shared their poetry with me which was a lovely experience to be a part of.
Towards the end of January I performed at Birmingham Town Hall as part of Holocaust Memorial Day. I had written a poem especially for the occasion and had the opportunity of reciting it in front of hundreds of people. The poem entitled ‘Building Bridges’ was well received by the gracious audience which was a big relief as I was keen to make a positive contribution. Sitting on stage next to Holocaust survivors, the Leader of Birmingham City Council and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham was extremely daunting and it took a great deal of concentration for me to act ‘normal’ throughout the service. I automatically regress back to childhood when placed in a formal situation where a high standard of protocol is expected of me and always seem to either need to scratch a part of my body, visit the toilet or randomly gaze around the room, gawping at the infrastructure like a vacant 5 year old at the Sea Life Centre. I managed to keep my composure during the service by intermittently sipping water and certainly felt privileged to be a fundamental part of the event.
At the moment my trusty sidekick Nikki and my good self are trying to generate funding for an exciting project we have in mind. For those of you that have pursued grants in the past you’ll know how challenging the whole process can be, especially given the state of the economy at present. In the interim I’m planning to traverse this city, stopping off anywhere from elderly homes to youth centres all in an effort to spread poetic positivity. The next couple of months should be very interesting so keep your eyes open and your ears pinned back (if they’re not already).