Halloween

October 31, 2015

Staring down the chasm
of the space between the garage
and the side of the house,
a skull shaped meteorite
flashes past the planet;
fireworks screech
like seagulls flying
in the night.

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For the last month I’ve been UK touring, Three the Hard Way – Part 2: a brand new show featuring Jean Binta Breeze, Shruti Chauhan and I, 3 women of 3 continents and 3 generations.

Part 2 is of course the second part of a show that Jean and I first embarked on in 2014, with Shruti joining us this time around; it’s hard to overstate the progress we’ve all made together, in terms of both the show’s increased experimentation and the conversation our different backgrounds have allowed us to have.

One of the joys of the 3 The Hard Way format is the way in which it has allowed us to adapt and develop our approach and material in response to each others’, the space and ongoing contemporary events as we’ve toured. In this way, no two shows have been the same and the process of listening to each other and audiences have allowed the work to shift and develop in some very interesting directions. From round table rehearsals, where we’ve sat over tea and pakora answering poetry with poetry…to long distance car journeys coming back from shows, reflecting and unfolding new ideas stimulated by each others’ experience and the evening and audience met.

One personal outcome has been the creation of a new piece, on the subject of Englishness – a tricky subject I feel I’ve been building up to approach for a number of years but which the Three the Hard Way process has finally helped me write. Beginning to read around the subject, starting with Simon Featherstone’s excellent, ‘Englishness’ – recommended to me by Ms Breeze, I’m looking forward to deepening my research and thinking, in the context of my broader experience and in ongoing, lucky conversation with Jean and Shruti. The work unpacked by both throughout our tour has been inspiring to say the least.

This latest piece, produced as a result of all the above, debuted in Birmingham at the excellent Drum a couple of nights ago. It had it’s second outing last night in Northampton and I’ll be doing it for the last time – as part of this particular tour – this Monday in Loughborough at our finale tour date.

Meanwhile here’s our third trailer, with thanks to Andrew Lee. Featuring a different piece, taken from my full length collection, The Venus Papers (Burning Eye Books, 2015) – this nonetheless connects, in being sort of on the subject of Englishness – and sort of not…

Having recently discovered the ‘reblog’ button on wordpress I am pressing it again. See below for an interview with Hollie Poetry and I, chatting poetry and gender with Burning Eye Books…

Source: Of Gender and Poetry: Lydia Towsey & Hollie Poetry

On the Road

October 14, 2015

Two weeks on and four shows in and Three the Hard Way – Part Two is well and truly now on tour, which in part explains my turn for the quiet on here. Jean Binta Breeze, Shruti Chauhan and I have several more shows this week kicking off with one at Free Word tomorrow, then in Brighton on Saturday and Manchester on Tuesday – so we’ll do a proper update with pictures and thoughts and stuff after that – probably over on http://www.3thehardwaypoets.wordpress.com and before heading on to the rest – but meanwhile, here are a couple of trailers. More to follow from Shruti and I. It would be super unicorn cool to see you at one of this week’s show – come and say hello if you can make it. Thanks to filmmaker, Andrew Lee for these lovely things…

Thanks to Emma Lee for this lovely review of The Venus Papers’ launch event. Power and blessings to her elbows.

Emma Lee's Blog

Lydia Towsey The Venus PapersAttenborough Centre, Leicester University, Lancaster Road Leicester 29 September 2015.

Lydia Towsey is already well-known in Leicester as a spoken word artist, coordinator for Word!, Leicester’s spoken word evening, for being one of Three The Hard Way, lead of workshops in the NHS and tutor for Writing East Midlands. So it seemed an anomaly that a first collection seemed to be a long time coming. “The Venus Papers” falls into two sections, her poetry sequence “The Venus Papers”, looking at modern life through the eyes of a 15th century goddess who moves from innocence to experience, and the non-Venus poems which explore similar themes, looking at families, relationships and friendships with a wry wit and compassion. In picking poems to read at her launch, Lydia was spoilt for choice.

Jonathan Taylor, novelist, poetic, publisher and lecturer at Leicester University’s Centre for Creative Writing, introduced Lydia Towsey’s work emphasising how her…

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