14 November 2011
As part of this year's Write Queer London we've commissioned three poets to search the collections of three London museums, choose an object or a theme and write a poem. All three poets have just begun their commissions now, and we wait with baited breath to see what interests them and what they come up with. You can hear them at our Valentine's Night party, where we'll also be announcing the winners of the WQL competition.
The poets will also be giving workshops as part of the programme.
John McCullough is author of the Frost Fairs, which includes many poems about London history. When we contacted him about a commission for Write Queer London we discovered that he had already been hanging about the British Museum with intent to write verse. He says "with such a wide range of objects and time periods, the British Museum is a naturally inspiring place for writers and artists. I love just walking round it taking notes. I'm really enjoying working on my commission piece so far - I hope I can do my chosen exhibit justice."
He'll be talking about the process and leading a free workshop for everyone at the British Museum on 19th January. Begins at 1.15 with a talk by museum curator Richard Parkinson on the museum's LGBT collections.
Peter Daniels poem bringing together flowers, lamposts and a post-Apocalyptic London, Shoreditch Orchid, won the Arvon Poetry Prize in 2008. Now he is sifting through the more organised remains of previous versions of this city at London Metropolitan Archive. He says that his search for gay people in the past 'makes me realise how much of the record is about people's invisibility slipping and getting on the wrong side of the law - imagining the rest of the iceberg is the creative part!'
Rommi Smith was the first poet in residence at the Houses of Parliament in 2008 and her books include Moveable Type. Her spoken word performances are accompanied by a three person band. She is just beginning to choose something to write about at the Museum of London.