Like Starlings

I’m lucky enough to have been invited to take part in Like Starlings – a poetry project organised by that very nice man Caleb Klaces. The project teams up pairs of poets in a kind of collaborative game of Chinese whispers – a creative two-step with no fixed outcomes.

Tonight Like Starlings became Live Starlings at The Betsey Trotwood, Farringdon. Fascinating performances by lots of people involved in the project, including outrageously good collaborations between Luke Kennard and Richard Price, and Claire Crowther and Chris McCabe. Some poets were without their partners for the night, so read solo (George Ttoouli was excellent, with a poem I knew already but which grew even darker in performance). Well done to Caleb for pulling together such an interesting and open-minded group.

I read last, with Emily Berry, my poet-buddy for the project. We’re only a couple of poems into our collaboration, so just read what we’d done so far. I’m really excited to be working with Emily as her work is very different from mine, and I really admire it. As I mentioned tonight, I read her first poem as a weirdly personal accusation, so my response became a sort of apology. When I raised this with Emily, she said that her ‘accusatory’ poem was in fact an apology. And in some ways, mine is actually quite aggressive… So there you go, in knots already! I can’t wait for her next instalment! In due course, the whole set will be online at the Like Starlings website (which has just been renovated, don’t cha know).

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