I’m really very pleased to see my poem ‘Tom Palin at Cinderloo‘ published this week on Peter Reynard’s excellent blog, Proletarian Poetry.
‘Tom Palin at Cinderloo’ explores the story of a rising by ironworkers in 1821, as they protested against draconian pay cuts. It’s a classic tale of industrial abuse of labour, and it ended in the deaths of several of the strikers with many further injuries to women and children involved in the protest.
For the last eight months, I’ve been working on ‘Tom Palin’ (and another nearly twenty poems) in collaboration with the wonderful musicians of Whalebone – Steve Downs, Charlotte Watson and Sarah Ibberson. Whalebone create eclectic instrumental music with guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and fiddle – their work’s been described as ‘delightfully and defiantly guilty of trespass across musical borders’. Having now seen them make new music in response to a wide range of my poems, I’m in awe of their skill and imagination. It’s been perhaps my most satisfying and challenging ever collaboration.
What we’re working on is ‘Understories‘ – a brush with the new folklore of Shropshire. Here are both rural and urban myths, tales just out of living memory and tales re-told. They are the common uncommon.
We’ll be performing the show in 2019. Join us to discover Shropshire’s last wolves and cloggers, its haunted roundabouts, railway lines and oak trees, not to mention the boy who burrowed under a church.
We’ve got a final recording of ‘Tom Palin at Cinderloo’, which at the moment you can listen to via Proletarian Poetry. I’m trying to fix the tech…
4 thoughts on “‘Understories’ – my new collaborative project”
Your collaboration sounds exciting, Jean. I love the folk influences in the melody.
Thank you Jayne! It’s very exciting!
I’m not a fan of poetry (!) but, despite that, I attended your performance this morning at Wellington Library and enjoyed it very much. I like the way you combine local history and folklore with music (it reminded me of John Betjeman’s LPs of his poetry with music by Jim Parker). Your introductions were an essential part of the enjoyment. Thank you and I would recommend seeing your performance to anyone interested in our locality.
Thank you Alan! I’m really delighted you enjoyed it.