WHAT DOES POETRY ADD TO AN EVENT?
Poetry is freeing. We think we’re hearing poems with our mind and our intellect, but we’re also feeling them with our heart and our soul. Poetry frees the people to move with more awareness between spirituality and agenda. Many good, heart-driven events can end up merely as discussions. Poems can alter that balance and remind us of deeper reasons for our presence and our conviction.
DON'T POEMS SCARE SOME PEOPLE OFF?
Some people’s early experience of poems is of something inaccessible and irrelevant. That isn’t the case here. My poems always deal clearly with the subject at hand. The most frequent comments I get during – and after – events are: “I don’t like poetry, but I love yours!” and “You’ve made me think differently about something I thought I knew”. Not scary.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PERFORMANCE AND A RESIDENCY?
If you ask me along to perform, I’ll bring existing poems about the themes of your event; and (very probably) poems written for your specific gathering. Whereas, if you invite me for a Residency, I’ll observe the event itself, and then write and perform poems written as we go along. This can work beautifully at events lasting more than a day or two; it gives an outsider’s perspective on process as well as content.
WHAT DO YOU DO, TYPICALLY?
I don’t. Your event however big or small, is different from all others. I’ll work with you to make sure that the poetry I bring speaks with vitality to the people of your gathering. Interfaith folk, university folk, volunteers, congregations, denominations, assemblies, celebrations: everyone needs something different. So, the thing to do is get in touch and find out what I could do, specifically for you and yours.
WILL YOU WORK WITH SMALL GROUPS?
Yes. I love it.
HOW MUCH NOTICE DO YOU NEED?
The more the better. Not just because my diary fills up quite quickly, (which it can), but because it gives all of us time to prepare something really good for your event. If you’re thinking of using me, check my availability sooner rather than later. You’re not committing yourself.
DO YOU TEACH?
I can do. I run two kinds of workshops: Writing workshops which allow people to understand how to write their own prayers, poems, hymns, liturgy. And Belief and Mission workshops which explore our gut-theologies and how they promote our actions or apathies. Truly, I don’t so much teach as enquire and encourage. Most people don’t value their own experience highly. But our faith, experience, fear and hope are the very best materials.
DO YOU ONLY WORK WITH 'CHURCHY' GROUPS?
No. I work with any group interested in convictions, beliefs and world-views.
WOULD YOU PREACH FOR US?
I probably would, depending on your timing and my timetable. People sometimes book me for a weekend of performance-and-workshop, followed by preaching. I enjoy it very much.
DO YOU WORK WITH CHILDREN?
Yes. They’re initially more easy than grown-ups as they’re more prepared, generally, to have a go. They don’t automatically self-censor either. Mixed-age groups can be a bit complex as younger and older kids can’t always appreciate each other’s work…But generally I’ll work with anyone over nine years old and with any age combination.
HOW FAR WILL YOU TRAVEL?
To the ends of the earth if you cover my costs and give me enough notice.
In September 2016, Lucy joined us at the University of Roehampton for a one-day conference on Migration and Ministry. Her thought-provoking poems –beautifully delivered – closed the final session and brought the day to a spellbinding end. Lucy’s supportive, empathetic presence at the conference was a real gift to both the organisers and to the many participants she encountered that day.Susanna Wesley Foundation
I was thrilled and impressed, saddened and enlightened, filled with joy and given pause to think, when I was blessed to hear your poems at the recent Baptist Assembly in Motherwell. Many emotions ran through me on those two days via the professional and dedicated gift you share. Every word was a reaction, a memory and even an education in the passion you hold so dear to your own heart and to find those connections in the minds of all who sat to hear, who sat in Christian fellowship and we’re informed of the hard and sad times around the world within which we live. The good times also…..!David Stevenson
Every time Lucy has worked with us, her words of wisdom, grace and humanity have cut cleanly through the fug of grand designs, pet thoughts and lazy thinking. She is quite simply a gem – precious, rare and sparkling, from the inside out!Mark Craig
It was recently our honour and privilege to have Lucy as Resident Poet at our Programme Review Day. She captured our silence, our words, our concerns and our aspirations and gave it all back to us in very short and concise poetry, written spontaneously. She has left us feeling valued, acknowledged and affirmed….!David Jonathan
Heard your work for the first time, at church this morning, on the BMS video about Syria.
Brilliant, brilliant! Thank You.
I attended the recent Baptist Assembly in Scotland and really enjoyed, was challenged and inspired by your wonderful poetry. You have an amazing, I feel “prophetic” gift of speaking into the life of the church. Thank you.Gary Torbet
Thank you again for all that you brought – your contributions were profound. Poetry can be quite hit or miss for me – in fact let me confess that most of the time I just don’t get it – but your gift (along with those of Gerard Kelly and Adrian Plass) is exactly right to move, cheer or disturb me. May God bless you in your work. Grace and peace.Revd Ian K Gray
Lucy is a gifted public presenter whose presence and delivery – every bit as much as her content – can hold an auditorium spellbound and entranced.Lawrence Moore
Thank you so much for reading your poetry. The poetry was spectacular!!Steve
Thank you for your thought provoking poems at BU Scottish Assembly. Thanks & blessings.Mark