Friday Feelings – Leeds Book Launch + back cover blurb

Friday Feelings is a collection of poetic thought, wit, wisdom and anecdote that takes the reader on a journey from dusty Huddersfield day-dreams to the heat of the Indian monsoon. This is Harry Jivenmukta’s debut poetry collection on paper following a prolific writing history that includes three novels, innumerable short stories and poetry collections (see www.loosewords.org) as well as 67 workbooks for KS3 and KS4.

Harry’s words are presented here together with newly commissioned and specially-selected artworks from the artist Janet Devine. In her abstract explorations of form and nature Janet’s art provides a bold, colourful yet subtle compliment to Harry’s poetry, allowing the reader to draw further metaphors and meaning from the text.

Written throughout a year of attendance at the Write Stuff writing group, the poems offer us a glimpse into the many lives and seasons of Harry Jivenmukta. From cold imaginings of a Russian winter via Dostoyevsky’s scratchy pen, to remembrances of life under the Panjabi sun, to fantastical encounters in Baku, Dal Lake, Kashmir, Mumbai, Moscow…

Harry has travelled far and his perceptive vision reminds us not to take life too seriously, to find pleasure in the ordinary. In Harry’s world: missing the bus becomes an opportunity to catch the rainbow; the late arrival of the Write Stuff facilitator offers a chance for existential philosophy; a common weed is heralded above the pampered rose; a pile of vomit is “a work of art from the night before”. Continue reading

Mental Fights #3: Climate Change Conversations. And Questions…

The TippingPoint Weatherfronts event posed certain questions:
What is the role of the writer in addressing climate change? What kind of story is climate change? And inspired more: Who gets to tell this story? Whose voices are negated? And how can we approach climate change from a climate justice and reparations angle?

From my latest Sable Litmag column:

Climate Change Conversations. And Questions…

 

Gambia boat

Friday Feelings – an incidental diary by Harry Jivenmukta

Friday Feelings by Harry Jivenmukta (featuring artwork by Janet Devine) is the very first individual collection of poetry to emerge from the Artists in Mind writing collective, The Write Stuff. Here’s the foreword I was asked to write for the book below.

FF book cover photo
Friday Feelings – Foreword

For two hours on occasional Fridays a group of people gather in a converted mill-building on the edge of Huddersfield town centre and create magic. The ritual begins with the setting out of tables in the centre of the room, chairs are assembled round the outside, the kettle is boiled, greetings are exchanged. As the last mug of steaming tea is delivered to the table, the sacred sacrament is passed around – crisp, white, blank sheets – take one, pass them along. Next, the magician’s wands: an assortment of biros – tools to connect thoughts direct from brain through body to fingers and out on to paper.

We create under the motto of AiM’s founder, John Holt: “Creativity is the immune system of the mind and the source of the mythic”. Continue reading

Tate à Tate – Ending Fossil Fuel Sponsorship of the Arts

Earlier this month I was invited to take part in a panel discussion on Resonance FM with , , , and on the subject of ‘Ending Fossil Fuel Sponsorhip of the Arts’.

The full broadcast below also features an alternative tour of London’s Tate galleries via guerilla audio guides from artists such as The Artist Taxi Driver, Ansuman Biswas, Isa Suarez. The panel discussion takes place in the last half hour beginning at 3 hrs 22:

For more on these oily issues check the work of PlatformLiberate Tate, End oil-sponsorship of the arts, BP or not BP.

Self-Reparations: Art, Activism & Well-being

Here’s a blogpost I wrote for Voices that Shake! (the youth arts & activism project I help to facilitate) following the latest 5-day intensive course we ran at the Stephen Lawrence Centre.

Once again I was shaken by the Shakers…

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I feel very honoured to be one of the facilitators on this project as the generosity, trust, desire to learn, share, give and work together for change is genuine and inspiring from all.

This is now the 5th Shake! intensive I’ve been a part of and each time we refine the formula with the feedback received in a collaborative process with the participants.

This latest Shake! had some very welcome additions – especially the ‘Well-being workshop’. Mental health and artist/activist burnout has been a topic that has arisen naturally in discussion on previous Shake!s so incorporating a dedicated space and time for us all to skill-share our experiences and feedback coping strategies was very welcome and proved extremely useful. It was important to build up a sense of trust and create a safe space during the week for these reflections to come forth. This list can serve as a resource we can all reference, add to, and develop in the future.

WELLBEING WORKSHOP LIST

There can be a lot of ego and foolishness in the arts world so it has been refreshing to work with such a giving team of artists/activists – it is a revitalising learning experience to be Continue reading

Refined Sugar

Much thanks to Sinclair from the prolific Poetical TV for the filming of this boiled down, re-processed version of my Tangled Roots memoir, Processed Sugar.

Props to Deanna & Dean and the Come Rhyme With Us fam for a most enjoyable, warm and flavoursome couple of gigs, and check the Poetical TV archive for lots more  poetry food – including the force that is Rhythm of Men. Tasty.

Tangled Roots anthology launch and performance

The Tangled Roots anthology was launched last night at Seven Arts, Leeds, accompanied by a performance of blended stories from five of the writers: Michelle Scally Clarke, Seni Seneviratne, Jane Steele, Adam Lowe, and myself.

Due to the fact that the theatre space roof had collapsed the night before, we were forced to improvise what would have been a more theatrical rehearsed piece in the café bar. We dubbed this performance, Tangled Roots: the Radio Play. It seemed to work. And with broadcaster Nick Ahad among the contributing writers perhaps a radio treatment could even be a possibility? (nudge nudge ;)).

The book itself features further writings on the subject of inter-racial Yorkshire love from Emily Midorikawa, Desiree Reynolds, Audrey Dewjee, Abiola Awojobi-Johnson, Chloë Anderson, Theeda Winter, Cassandra Henry, Eve Ahmed and project devisor/producer Katy Massey.

The book can be ordered from the website.

Happy World Book Day!

TROOTS cover