Rebecca Audra Smith and Anna Percy


Anna P and me perform some joint poetry….

Originally posted on First Draft:

Greetings, #FirstDraftFridays followers!

This week we’re sharing some poetry from Rebecca Audra Smith and Anna Percy, who have been working and writing together for a long time, and are the brains behind Manchester-based poetry group, Stirred Poetry. They performed a brilliant set at our 2nd birthday event, Two’s Company, sharing some of the poems that they’ve worked on together for another excellent double act.

They’re only little, so we’ve got TWO of them for you today, you lucky… things…

We’ll share the other poems from Rebecca and Anna’s set in due course.

We want more!

Do you? My goodness. Alright, calm down… Well, for starters, you can watch the videos from Two’s Company that we’ve shared so far here.

Find out more about Stirred Poetry, and go along to one of their brilliant events.

Follow Stirred Poetry, Rebecca, Anna and First Draft on Twitter

View original 12 more words


Always allways ekphrasis workshop

Today as part of Quimperfect Tense’s season of workshops I came up with some ways of responding to the MMU degree show, you can download the prompts here: Allways Ekphrasis Workshop

The first artwork we responded to was a cascading fall of black paper chains, we later switched our two line responses and free wrote from each other’s words, but here they are put together:

Ringlets tumbling from the sky, why? heaps of curls drawn from a giant plug hole (plug hole not included in exhibition). Black oil cadences from my throat, dripping simmering onto my flesh warping the skin It’s a factory churning out smoke, here it comes, unhinged at the neck and the throat is open, wide, a cigarette’s hope.



We used the photographs in the Link Gallery to find an artwork to fit with Esther Morgan’s poem titles. The starlings were really good for the titles:

The promise of snow/ Things left out all night/The China-mender’s daughter

A murmuration by Angharad Hughes

A murmuration by Angharad Hughes

Here’s a part of my piece inspired by that:

Her palms are cracked, black lined with the grime of a furnace and the taste of her own tongue wakes her up when the nights feel hot enough to fire china-she wakes, crawls to the window to watch starlings gather. Like thunder, they start up a murder of birds, a parliament of song, they dip and dive right through her. She is the ash that is never swept up.

The exhibition is on till next Wednesday, and it’s definitely worth checking out the variety of work, you can see online profiles of some of the work on the website here: http://degreeshow.mmu.ac.uk/


NoMorePage3Mcr: Stunner


NoMorePage3Mcr ran the first event today, Back in Time, at Manchester Art Gallery. We looked at Joana Vasconcelos and her artworks Big Booby #2 and Bond Girl, and explored what they meant to us in the context of society’s rhetoric partly symbolised by Page 3 and its placement in a popular high profile newspaper, The Sun.

Myself and Camilla Rostvik ran an activity around Bond Girl exploring her context in terms of art history and what our own reactions to the work were. Camilla explored further Pre-Raphaelite art and the term ‘Stunner’, used for the models of the artworks.

There is a lack of recognition of female artists in the Pre-Raphaelite movement which people are trying to address.

‘Likewise Jane Morris gets virtually no credit for leading the revival in needlework skills that became such an integral component of the arts and crafts movement of the 1870s and beyond.’

Famous model, not well known as an artist in her own right, is Jane Morris. A work of her (of her rather than by her) was directly next to Bond Girl which offered a great opportunity to discuss Stunners and representations of women.

Rossetti's painting of Jane Morris

Rossetti’s painting of Jane Morris

As a group we came up with a definition of ‘Stunner':

sexy, someone who is going to bash your brains in, heterosexual, white, plastic surgery, individual, limiting, shallow, landscape, bang knocked out, immediately good looking, gratifying, instant gratification, grotesque, phwoar, no further explanation or investigation needed. 

The finality of the last statement suggests the acceptance of these ideals of female beauty that society engineers. This acceptance is something NoMorePage3 resists, and the event today led to some really interesting discussions where we got to challenge these discourses, it was a real pleasure to work with everyone!

Here’s a short extract of me and Jane Bradley talking about Joana Vasconcelos and her work. I am still uploading the first half of the intro also!



What the water gave me

Hey everyone in the world,

I’ve had a few different ideas to get my head around lately so that’s been interesting seeing what will happen next. I wanted to share a short Frida Kahlo inspired poem which is somewhat experimental (for me) although I can’t show the line breaks at the minute (I’ve run out of energy).

what the water gave me, 1938

what the water gave me, 1938

Pascale Petit has written a collection after Frida Kahlo’s work called What the water gave me, title of one of Frida’s paintings. I wanted to rift off this line:

What the water gave me

Water what it gave

Me, gave me the water

What it water me

Water gave me it

What the


The water the water

What the water gave

Me me me me me me

Gave me gave the water


Water gave me the

Water me what the


What the water gave me

Was the strength to swim



Stirred flyer


Heart Poems for Children’s Heart Week – Day Three


Find my heart song for a watch for Children’s Heart week on this blog post along with other excellent poems :)

Originally posted on Rebecca Goss:


Rebecca Goss writes: My daughter Ella was diagnosed with Severe Ebstein’s Anomaly 36 hours after birth. Until then, I thought my daughter was a healthy baby.  The shock of discovering she was ill, just  as I was about to take her home, added to the trauma of Ella’s first days and my early hours as a parent. A simple check could test every newborn for possible heart conditions. That is why I’m supporting the Pulse Oximetry Campaign: 

The Children’s Heart Federation (CHF) is campaigning for the introduction of Pulse Oximetry screening for all newborn babies in the UK. The test measures the oxygen levels in the blood and evidence shows it is an effective test in detecting three quarters of congenital heart conditions. The CHF is leading this campaign and pushing for its inclusion in the national screening programme of all newborns. To sign the…

View original 815 more words


NaPo: No! (Frida Kahlo: yes)

So, what happened with me this year? After Day three I completely let go of the NaPo bandwagon, I didn’t even attempt to cling to the sides. I think I may have froze, partly because I wanted to keep going with the 52 prompts which are weekly poetic prompts. So I wanted to do one prompt a day, one prompt a week, for a month, plus writing my own stuff, plus writing in workshops for Stirred and preparing guest slot for Poets and Players. It just wasn’t going to happen.

I’ve managed to complete it two years in a row though, playing fast and loose with the rules but completing in time. I did that Frida Kahlo influenced sequence which is now appropriate as Stirred: Frida is upcoming.

Monday 26th May @3MT

Monday 26th May @3MT

I am kind of annoyed with myself for missing all the great prompts. I always feel like I learn a lot through NaPoWriMo as I get to test my writing style and push my writing in different directions using different techniques, and I always find a fun form that I can return to outside of NaPo. On the other hand most of the poems I write during NaPo just become fodder for the blog machine that eats my not as good as it could be poetry. Not sad about that part.

It’s hard lately because I look at what I write and it doesn’t seem to be saying the things I want it to. I went through a stage where I looked at it and the words were translucent, they let in the gaze and the meaning was there. At the moment, they look really murky and sludgy and there’s no clarity of vision. It’s frustrating. But I think I will try and force my writing, a bit every day, just to try. Here’s a bit of forced writing in response to this Frida Kahlo painting, which is our image for Stirred: Frida:


The poppy bright fushia lit sheen of my subconscious

which crawls like a skeleton on the ground of my heart

It crawls like my heart in the cage of a skeleton

Frida and pain: Why write?

Anna Percy wears Frida Kahlo 




View image on Twitter

Boko Haram. This name stands for an Islamic militant group in Nigeria who have waged a violent campaign in the north-west for five years now. Due to one of their attacks the airport was closed, making travel difficult and isolation and miscommunication highly likely.

Boko Haram stands for ‘Western education is a sin’, and they often kidnap school children or attack schools, police stations, killing thousands. They are fighting for an Islamic state, they do not want ‘Western influence’.

On 14th April they kidnapped over two hundred girls (reports vary, 234/276) from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in north east Nigeria. Today it is the 5th May, and the president of Nigeria has publicly responded to the crisis as of 4th May. The slowness of reaction has led to a loss of faith that anything will be done to recover these girls. Fifty five of them have escaped by themselves, two have died of snake bites, it is rumoured some of them have been sold in mass wedding ceremonies to their abductors. The army released news that they had rescued all but eight of the girls, a statement they had to withdraw. 

The scale of their fear and the loss, even if they are recovered, is too much for my brain to take in. There’s a vigil tomorrow at 5pm in Piccadilly Gardens which I’ll be attending. By flight I am six hours and forty seven minutes away from Nigeria, and two thousand and forty two miles away. But for accident of time and place I could have been one of those girls. #BringBackOurGirls.

Links to articles used to put together these statistics:

Azeenarh Mohammed: Why I’m joining the million women march for the missing Nigerian girls. 

Aljazeera: Nigeria leader seeks help over missing girls 

Farouk Chothia: Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists? 

BBC: Nigeria Missing Girls: President makes first comments. 

Your Community Blog: #BringBackOurGirls sheds light on missing Nigerian school girls.


Poem For Becca At John Ryland’s


Sweet thoughts from Anna Percy on the Poets and Players reading.

Originally posted on Mostly Nocturnal Scribbler:

Becca read with the wonderful Mebdh McGuckian at the weekend and I wrote this:


I am late and sweating cider the city hall clock announces it surround sound and I realise I have never before heard it peal. I get lost in our city and pass half moon street then finally I hear your familiar tones reverberate down the steps among the bulb flowers and I am so proud and want to tell how when I reached the room there was a woman who sat as in prayer hands clasped who closed her eyes in absolute peace each time you opened a poem and how now you give your words the shape they need hanging them out perfectly spaced in the air.

View original


Artipeeps: Transformation

Hey all,

You may have happened upon some of my and others Ovid response poems that are floating around the internet, they are all pulled together and inspired by Nicky Mortlock’s website Artipeeps. I’ve been really happily involved with responding to art works through Artipeeps as well as Ovid, and also took part in the Recovery project which I’m really proud of.

Today is the launch of the kickstarter to fund the exhibition which will be put on in September of this year. It’s really exciting to be involved in a multi-media, collaborative project like this and I’m looking forward to being part of the exhibition. I’ve offered to create a small prize myself if you are so lovely as to donate some money to the project for us, you can see Nicky speaking further about it if you click on the image:


If you are inspired by this project and feel intrigued by the prizes then do click through here and above to donate to our cause!
If you are feminist inclined and want to encourage men and women to produce feminist art, I would also recommend you spend some pennies here at Patreon, you can give as little as $2 and it’s a great way to invest in the arts and see what happens next. This fundraising site also doesn’t take any money off you until we publish an issue, so you are investing in the future rather than the present!
There is a week left to support Media Diversified, a really worthwhile project also, aiming to promote Writers of Colour in the UK Media.



WWEOT: Prose Poem

Hey all,

So I’ve been researching the Women who eat on Tubes phenomenon, what’s that all about? London Tubes, facebook group of 23, 294 members as of today, all admiring stealth photos taken of women eating on tubes. The guy who came up with this idea says its because he noticed more women than men were eating on the tube. Huge backlash, but the group is still in existence and opinion articles are battling it out.

I’d just like to share a prose poem I wrote in reaction to this, also I’ve been reading up on the defence of the group, (I’m afraid that included an awful Daily Mail article, where he basically said shut up to all people who have a problem with the WWEOT group, not great). So this has been written from different reactions to the group. Some of it is taken from comments on facebook pages, some of it from news articles. I assure you I am reliable. Enjoy your meal.



What are you talking about, the sandwich isn’t that big? well if that’s how you’re being-
Obviously you misjudged the time and the place for this snack.
Make it stop? Well the tube does stop anyway so-it’ll be over by then but not
Ended, moments have a way of stretching out, the internet has many eyes and they’re not all
Nice some of them are going to judge you.

What’s with the feminist reaction anyway? They’re basically trolls it’s just
Harmless fun, like studying animals in a zoo,
Or a bird in a cage, look at them peck and chew like large mice.

Enough of that, keep your jokes non-obscene, keep it PC
All these misreactions, I didn’t mean,
That it’s only women is weird? But that’s why it’s funny, because women should

Only eat at lunchtime, or home not on public transport
Neither should men really, it’s a dirty habit, intrusive to eat in public.

That’s not what we’re saying, it’s just funny, an honest moment in our lives of
Untruths, women especially they fake it all over the place, look at them, falling off the pedestal
Banal really isn’t it, bananas and McDonalds, no oral fixation.
Even if we are still taking the pictures we’re not calling the

News Articles

Campaigners hold Eating Protest against Women who eat on tubes facebook group

Why Shaving and Snacking are Feminist Issues 

Founder of Women Who eat on Tubes