Willibrord Poetry Pamphlet

Making, Poems, Writings

Our new issue of the Willibrord poetry pamphlet is out along with a series of talks on “Poetry and Faith” led by Kate Banks. It has been a pleasure to curate this pamphlet and have the joy of reading so many wonderful pieces.

Click on the image to view the pamphlet

Poetry gives me a chance to see the world for a moment through a different lens. In Kate’s ‘Poetry and Faith’ discussions she asks each of the participants a series of questions which I repeat here because they are such good questions and ones which I have never been asked before.

Questions:

*Do you read poetry?
*How do you read poetry?
*In Biographia Literaria, Coleridge’s first mark of a good poem is one that is “returned to with pleasure”. What poems do you return to out of joy rather than necessity?
*Has a poem ever changed the way you think or the way you orient your life?
* What does poetry do that other forms of thinking don’t?
* Do you see a relationship or connection between poetry and your faith?
* Can you give me one or two lines of poetry that capture something vitally important for you?
* What is religious poetry?
*Have you ever written poetry?
*What kind of comparison can be drawn between poetry and prayer?
* Are there problems with reading poetry as theological thinking?
* What can poetry help us to know?
* There seems to be a natural/assumed relationship for people between poetry and mysticism in Christian tradition. How do you make sense of that relationship?
* Is poetry essential to a life of faith?
* Can you recite a poem off by heart?
* In Protagoras and The Republic, Plato sees an inherent dishonesty and misleading ambiguity in poetry and poets. Should we share his caution before thinking of poetry as a vehicle for truth?

The pamphlet did not ask for a response to these questions, but putting the pieces together, I found myself pondering the question of poetry and prayer. How language makes our world, and what world do we make with it? The different voices and reflections which these poems present is, for me, the sacred in the everyday. They give pause for reflection and snippets of them come as ear worms to my mind.

Thank you to all the contributors:

Kate banks
Gabriel Akamo
Jack Noutch
Rosa Lewis
Rosie Milne
Theodore Shack
Thomas Chacko
Fiona Contatto
Alexandra Friedeberg

To hear more about Willibrord go to https://willibrord.squarespace.com/wbsheet

A winding walk of connections/ why I am making this site.

Writings

A winding walk of connections

or

why I made this website.

I read The Golden Notebook (Lessing 1962) when I was about 17. It was recommended to me by my great Aunt’s friend who with us with at the time. She was of Lessing’s era and one of the true radicals of post-war England. Perhaps she gave it to me because of the war for women’s rights or a glimpse into the politics of the 50/60’s, perhaps she saw I was not a conformist and hoped that this novel would give me confidence in that. Maybe, she just thought this was a book that as an avid reader I was likely to devour.

I did and it is an excellent book. It pushes the form of a novel away from a neat story into a collage of experience, multiple voices pushing up against each other and constantly jostling. In the novel, Anna Wulf uses four separate notebooks to record a different aspect of her life. Although outwardly, she is a writer (with writer’s block), a mother, an activist, a 1960’s woman, a person trying to get by, none of these labels fit and at the heart of it, she is not quite sure who she is. The notebooks, Black, Red, Yellow & Blue, are ‘an attempt to separate things off from one another,’ to solidify aspects of her being. The Black notebook contains her thoughts and fears. The Red, politics and current affairs of the ’50s. The Yellow, her ideas for a novel and The Blue the minutiae of events, a factual record of what happened.

Eventually, it becomes clear that none of these books are really doing the job. It is something of a shock to find that a day which is a record of everything that happened does not necessarily make sense of the day. There is the recognition that the life she lives lacks a neat coherency, it is messy and full of non-sequiturs and contradictions. She has fragmented herself into parts and none of them are her. Cue ‘The Golden Notebook’, the novel which holds all these parts bringing them together through their differences, and also, confusingly another notebook inside the book where the divisions of the Black, Red, Yellow, and Blue books are dissolved into each other. Unity comes through disparity, through breaking down the false categories that she had set in her attempt to write herself as a neat story. This is what has stayed with me about that novel. It is a recognition that living is complicated and the complexity at the heart of the novel is the realisation that ‘we must not divide things off, must not compartmentalise’.

This thought struck me because for me everything feels connected and yet nothing I write comes out as a neat story. Part of this is my lack of craft, and part is that I enjoy writing down observations and experiences as moments, glimpses and connections none of which need to be anything more than what they are. After reading Lessing, I set about trying to write in a way that did not compartmentalise, which tried to reflect the way life was lived. In curating various bits and pieces on this website I am attempting to continue a collage of documentation that I have been accumulating for some time.

About

Writings

Version 1.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked at an interview ‘What makes you, you?’ I did not think much of it as a question as at that moment I did not have the words to connect the various, often disparate parts of my being. The result was a mumble of incoherency.  ‘Show not tell, and even better, be’ seems a good mantra and so, with hope here are some piles of words, some working through’s, some experiments and collages of an Antonia, living life slightly outside the box.

Version 2.

Antonia is an Actor, Theatre – Maker, Creative Producer, and Facilitator. She also works in teaching and publishing. She plays all kinds of musical instruments including the cello and sings. She loves walking up hills in the wind. She capitalises any words she thinks is important.

Version 3.

DNA?