Hey there folks,
How are you doing? The world is pretty scary right now. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy in this surreal, worrisome time.
I’m so grateful right now for the healthcare workers and emergency services working flat-out to get us through this crisis. It seems strange and somewhat selfish to think about anything other than health at this moment; to consider the economy, income, the monetary effect of this virus. But it can’t be ignored that one of the effects of COVID-19 is the decimation of industries which rely on live gatherings of people: tourism, entertainment, the arts, etc. I’ve built (well, am always actively building) my career in the arts through writing and performing as a poet, working for various organisations as an arts administrator, and researching and teaching the arts in educational settings. Chaotic as it often is, I love this life: it is fulfilling and inspiring, allowing me to be part of a wider community of creative folk.
However, right now that community is struggling. I am by far not the worst affected, but in the past week I’ve seen all of my upcoming freelance work cancelled/postponed, my organisation I Am Loud Productions‘ upcoming live events called off, and half of my monthly income eliminated as one of my jobs has just been axed. The cancellation of live gatherings is of course the right thing to do to prioritise public health, and I’m grateful to the organisations working to pay cancellation fees and provide whatever security they can through this. However, even with those measures, this is a financially challenging time for people in the arts.
We are accustomed to a level of precarity, and we will get through this. But we can’t do it alone. If you have the means, please consider supporting a self-employed person or small business during this time. One of the best ways to do this is by buying their work: many folks (myself included) are still able to mail out books, CDs, art, etc. Lots of artists also have Patreon or Ko-Fi accounts through which you can pledge regular amounts or give one-off donations. Below I’ve shared links where you can buy my poetry pamphlet Homing, buy me a coffee (or more realistically ramen!) on Ko-Fi through a £3 donation, and support I Am Loud Productions’ Patreon channel (we’re currently revamping this channel, so sign up now and stay tuned!). Any help you can provide is greatly, greatly appreciated. Together we will support each other through this.
I’ll leave you with a poem. This is a video that we filmed almost exactly two years ago at the Gosforth Civic Theatre in Newcastle while Loud Poets was touring the U.K. Perry Jonsson shot it with Sam Thorne and Jack Hinks accompanying me musically. It’s a piece I wrote years ago but feels resonant today in this isolation. We may be separate now, but we’re always connected. Wishing you and yours all my best. K