avatar A Memoir in Blackout Poetry

View my 2021 self-published book in 3D FlipBook format. Includes my introductory essay to the project, “An exposition” (written in April 2021) and 75 poems found within issues of The Observer Magazine printed between April 2016 and January 2018. Blackout images appear side by side with the written poem as it might appear on a traditional page.

I began experimenting seriously with blackout poetry in 2016, using only articles that appear in The Observer Magazine. It soon became clear to me that I was attempting to find myself in the pages. This was a search and scan for identity and meaning. Both in the words I selected to keep as my story, and in that visual sense of what was ‘blacked out’. So there is always an awareness of what is hidden, sitting beneath the blankness, just out of sight. Both here and not here. Could I write my memoir this way?

It seemed that I could. As I mined the pages of the magazine, selecting from the words, I somehow uncovered a version of me. more

avatar With a glint in my hair

Submitted 2006 for Crowning Glory, a collection of original writing about women and hair edited by Mandy Ross. The book has a great contents list but, unfortunately, still no publisher.

The story as I remember it is that when mum told my grandmother (her mother-in-law) I was a lesbian, gran didn’t seem fazed at all. “Well, she has always worn trousers,” gran said. I wasn’t there so I don’t know if this is all she said. But if she mentioned my shaved head, mum didn’t repeat that part to me. Perhaps, for my grandmother, trousers were the constant signifier. more

avatar Stories of Origins

29 September, 2006

I don’t know what light my early poems and drawings might shed on the woman and poet I am now, but I know I’m very glad that I’ve kept them. The Woman-Stirred women have been discussing our earlier lives this week, and wondering why we choose to share certain stories and images with each other. Are we simply looking to build connection, and sharing whatever aims to do that best? Or are we deliberately constructing a particular image, a preferred image for all the others to see? more

avatar Lesbian Legacies

8 September, 2005

I understand Mary’s delight in discovering Lillian Faderman’s commentaries and encyclopaedic knowledge of lesbian literature; plus Faderman’s understanding of writing which, if not always historically appropriate to claim as ‘lesbian’, certainly has resonances for a lesbian audience and inspires today’s reader with its Woman-Stirred background. more