‘I want the shape of the poem to be determined by the rhythm of walking — the measure of the step to shore up the measure of the line, alternating long Whitmanesque lines with the shorter, stepped lines of William Carlos Williams, undulating like the contours on the Ordnance Survey maps.’ In a new post for the Longbarrow Blog, Nancy Gaffield discusses the walking and writing of her new collection Meridian, with an emphasis on the origins of the project: her decision to engage with ‘the ideas, concepts and methods of psychogeography’, the adoption of the long poem as a space of dialogue, inclusion, and recovery, and the structure and direction provided by the Meridian and its mapping. Click here to read ‘The First Cut’. You can also find Ian Brinton’s review of Meridian (for the Tears in the Fence blog) here, and read a further excerpt from the book here.
‘The aesthetics of DIY production and the building of a community across distant locations, then, [are] linked aspects of a single process.’ On Saturday 4 May, Nancy Gaffield joins Longbarrow poet Pete Green for Words and Music at the Skep, a one-day event combining contemporary poetry and indie music, taking place in the grounds of Frensham Manor in Kent. A reflective essay by Pete Green, celebrating the ethics and achievements of the UK’s independent music and poetry communities, offers a preview of the all-dayer: you can read it here. Visit the event website for more information and to book tickets.
A few weeks later, the city of Sheffield hosts the inaugural Sheaf Poetry Festival (formerly the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival), which runs from 17—25 May. Longbarrow poets Nancy Gaffield and Mark Goodwin present a unique collaborative reading on Saturday 18 May, and Rob Hindle and Fay Musselwhite will close the festival with a poetry walk on Saturday 25 May. Further information will appear on the festival website in late March.
Finally, this year’s States of Independence one-day independent press fair takes place at De Montfort University, Leicester, on Saturday 23 March, (10.30am—4.30pm, admission free) with more than 70 writers presenting readings and workshops throughout the day, including an appearance from Mark Goodwin (reading from his new Longbarrow collection Rock as Gloss at 12.15pm). You are also welcome to visit the Longbarrow Press stall (with a full range of books and pamphlets). Click here to view the full programme.