Sunday, 27 June 2010

Karen McCarthy's Open Notebooks

The poet Karen McCarthy will be launching her groundbreaking Open Notebooks project this Wednesday 30 June 6.30 – 8.30pm at The Photographers Gallery 16 – 18 Ramillies St, London W1F7 LW. This fascinating online project was commissioned by the literature development agency Spread the Word and explores how writers use the notebook as part of the creative process. Karen interviewed me while I was writing What the Water Gave Me – Poems after Frida Kahlo and has made a video about my drafting process on Open Notebooks:

Pascale Petit on What the Water Gave Me for Open Notebooks
from Karen McCarthy on Vimeo.

Karen is also one of the ten poets selected for The Complete Works, a two-year project to support talented Black and Asian poets, and will be included in the much awaited anthology Ten, edited by Bernardine Evaristo and Daljit Nagra, to be published by Bloodaxe and launched Friday 17 September, 7pm 8.30pm at The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London, W11 2AY, tickets £7.
This much needed anthology reflects the truly multicultural make-up of contemporary Britain and contemporary poets.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Ruth Padel reviews What the Water Gave Me in the Guardian

Ruth Padel has reviewed What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo in today's Guardian. I didn't know it was to be reviewed so it's a lovely surprise. Here is an extract:

'Petit's collection is not a verse biography, but a hard-hitting, palette-knife evocation of the effect that bus crash had on Kahlo's life and work. "And this is how I started painting. / Time stretched out its spectrum / and screeched its brakes." WH Auden, in his elegy for Yeats, tells the Irish poet: "Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry." Petit's collection, exploring the way trauma hurts an artist into creation, celebrates the rebarbative energy with which Kahlo redeemed pain and transformed it into paint.'

This is the painting on the cover of my collection. Six title poems 'What the Water Gave Me' are threaded through the book and respond to Kahlo's  surreal painting What the Water Gave Me or What I Saw in the Water, where images from her life and paintings float around her in the bath. The floating scenes refer especially to the devastating bus accident she suffered as a teenager and its traumatic aftermath which she countered with art. 

I'm busy preparing for the second session of my Tate course Poetry from Art this weekend, when we'll be in Mike Nelson's powerful installation The Coral Reef at Tate Britain, then Seren will launch my book at The Horse Hospital this Thursday.


Friday, 11 June 2010

Five poems recorded by PoetCasting

Alex Pryce has just published recordings of five of my poems on PoetCasting. Three are from What the Water Gave Me – Poems after Frida Kahlo: 'What the Water Gave Me (VI)', 'The Little Deer' and 'Remembrance of an Open Wound'.  I'll be reading these and others from the book at my London launch this Thursday, 17th June, at The Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury, London, together with a slideshow of the paintings. I'll also give an illustrated reading at Lancaster Litfest on 23 June. As well as the three poems from my new collection, Alex recorded two from The Zoo Father: 'The Strait-Jackets' and 'Self-Portrait with Fire Ants'.

PoetCasting is a poetry podcasting project which works with poets throughout the United Kingdom. The project features published, performance, emerging and established poets reading their own work online and out loud.