Sunday, January 1, 2017

About becoming a poet on 366 if that ain't too dramatic. Kerri Shying R

I started posting in July, having had the month of June to prepare myself. Thankfully I didn't take one second to google anyone. I never would have done it if I had.

I had seen Kit before at the launch of "A Slow Combusting Hymn" and loved the shed poem and his reading. I knew poets, I had a poem in an anthology, I won a little prize for one but I was a short fiction writer that was that. However, when the launch of his pocketbook was on at the Newcastle Poetry at the Pub, and Beth Spencer was introducing, I made this massive effort to get there and thus the invite.

It was terrifying and thrilling and my habit of sleeping with a notebook, the large piles of written over papers, all were exposed when Kit and Carol paid me a visit. I am told he still reels at my filing system ( large piles, everywhere).

The first week or so I was in a hotel, so that made it easier to grab a poem out of the air. Then it got harder. Then it got harder. I asked if I could outstay my month. The tempo of the six months in retrospect seems maddening fast. Of course, you could sift through all the coffee and grubbed up papers here and say it was years really, but it was increasingly difficult to not continue and then make decisions about REALLY continuing.

In the end poetry won. The praise was good. The no comments were also good, they told me which things needed to be redrafted, what was 'meh', or sometimes just what was internal to me and not yet ready to go fly. Another poet, the amazing Judy Johnson, was saying to me that daily writing makes drafts and this was a very pertinent comment. I need the drafts. I need the community to bounce them around on and not having a university, or a common space ( I have an isolating physical disability) to gather this electric common green was just my ticket in.


  1. a little drama goes a long way in a poem

  2. Lovely to hear how you came to be in the project Kerri and all about your filing system. I have so many piles I can't get into my work space any more (a job for 2017). I enjoyed your work very much and am actually re-reading some of them as we speak - sharp alive vivid!