The Wandsworth Heritage Festival, postponed from last year, kicked off at the end of May, and on the third of June we gave an online reading from our co-authored poetry collection London Undercurrents. We’d chosen poems that related in one way or another to the Festival’s theme of Homes and Housing, and accompanied each poem with one or two images. And although we hadn’t given a live reading together for quite some time, as soon as we started it all seemed to flow and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. More importantly, so did the audience! The reading was recorded and is available to view on Vimeo, thanks to the Battersea Society who hosted our event.
We are excited to be reading at this year’s Wandsworth Heritage Festival, which has a focus on homes and housing. Most of the events, including our reading, are free and there is a mix of online talks and in person walks.
Our event is on Thursday 3rd June at 7pm on Zoom, and is kindly hosted by the Battersea Society. We’ll be reading poems from our collection and discussing some of the inspirational women behind our closely researched work. To book please email email@example.com
Do check out the Festival programme to see what else is on offer.
In true Leslie Knope spirit, London Undercurrents grew out of, and deepened, a friendship between female pals. And when Holland Park Press published our joint poetry collection, two female friends became three – with the addition of the human dynamo that is Bernadette Jansen op de Haar, HPP’s founder.
Our book celebrates women’s resilience despite many different circumstances and it makes a great gift for this year’s pandemic-tainted Galentine’s Day. Gift it to those marvellous women in your life to say thanks; thanks for being there, for telling you you’re on mute on the Zoom call, for sending you silly cat videos to cheer you up.
After all, female friendships have prevailed despite everything and anything that life can throw at them, and that is worth celebrating. You can buy a copy here and Bernadette will post it to your galentine.
We’ve Zoomed, we’ve texted, emailed and chatted on the phone. But there’s nothing quite like shooting the breeze in person – face to face, albeit at a Covid safe distance. We’ve been busy individually with other work and projects, but the idea of working together on London Undercurrents mark 2, in whatever form that may end up taking, has been niggling away at both of us.
So we carved out some time and on Tuesday morning we made our separate ways into central London and met at Piccadilly Circus, where the wide pavements were uncluttered and Eros was tourist-free. We grabbed a takeaway coffee and headed to Golden Square.
After catching up on each other’s recent activities, conversation turned to London Undercurrents and where next. It was great to realise we’re both still keen to collaborate, and to feel the buzz that comes from sharing ideas and sparking off each other. There are endless women we could write about and plenty of different ways we could approach our new research and writing. For the moment, we’ll keep those under wraps while we explore our options. For the next couple of hours we walked and talked, exploring London’s West End in its semi-depopulated lockdown edit.
After admiring the tasteful Christmas decorations in Covent Garden we decided to walk down to Parliament Square, to see Gillian Wearing’s statue of Millicent Fawcett, which Joolz hadn’t seen in real life. It’s an imposing and inspiring statue, which also honours many other women who were involved in the struggle for women’s right to vote – their names and pictures are incorporated into the plinth. A fitting end to our day out in the West End. Then we bumped elbows and parted, Hilaire walking south and Joolz heading north, both of us buzzing with ideas.
A week of poetry kicks off on Monday 28 September, ending 2 October, online as part of Wandworth Library’s cultural events this year. We spoke to Kate Halbura, Library Manager at Wandsworth Town Library, and recorded ourselves reading some of our poems from London Undercurrents – which was great fun. Do tune in to their Facebook page from 8pm each night to hear and see some fantastic poetry. We’re up on Wednesday 30th September.
It feels wrong. It feels right. It’s with conflicted feelings that we’re posting here today to ask you to nominate us in the Best Collaborative Work category of the Saboteur Awards. Continue reading Nomination in the time of Covid-19
Joolz writes: Suzi Quatro burst onto the screen playing bass guitar, dressed like the guys, acting like the guys; the first rock front woman. Continue reading #IWD2020: Women who have inspired us