Monday 31 October 2005

In Italy

I'm in Italy for three weeks from tomorrow! I'll try to update this during the International Playbus Congress, which has loads of interesting workshops on environmental activities worth blogging (if my Italian is good enough to understand what's going on!) I'm less likely to update during my holiday! Ciao!

Sunday 30 October 2005

Malawi Drought

Malawi is a small landlocked country in southern Africa. Currently the country is facing drought and severe food shortages. For more information, including how you can help, visit Oxfam's Southern Africa pages:

I lived in Malawi from 2000 - 2002, teaching sciences in a Girls School in Malindi, on the shores of Lake Malawi. My poetry pamphlet 'Bougainvillea Dancing' was published in response to the last Malawian drought.

Friday 28 October 2005

Recycled Art at the International Playbus Congress

I’m running a workshop on environmental art at the International Playbus Congress in Turin on Saturday 5 November. This workshop will explore recycling and reuse in collage work and the wider potential of collage in community work.

Participants have been asked to bring some materials, which combined with materials provided by the organisers, can be used in collages. In this first half we'll make greetings cards, bookmarks, notepaper and envelopes. After the creative work, we'll look at each others work and discuss how we approached the collage.

In the second half, participants will work in small groups to explore how they could use collage in their work. For example, children can make collages to show what they want included in a new play area; collage can be used in consultation work with children; people who have learning difficulties or who are illiterate; collage can help discussion about difficult issues and of course can stimulate recycling!

For more about this workshop please visit:

Monday 17 October 2005

Harvest Moon

Never has the moon looked more yellow than in the last couple of days, particularly tonight. This haiku is perhaps a shorthand for the beginning of a longer poem:

Glowing yellow disk
rising from a bank of cloud
harvest moon teasing

Friday 14 October 2005

My First Altered Book!

I've become fascinated with altered books - old books used as a base for making art journals or other pieces of art. This book is a 1970s collection of articles from Italian newspapers and magazines, with notes in English. It is probably too out of date to be much use to anyone (I certainly prefer reading the current issue of Oggi!). So this will be my first altered book - a journal of my three weeks in Italy. I'll draw on the blank pages, paste in momentoes and photos and pick out found poetry from the text. Plus I'll leave in some of the cartoons, which are the best thing in here!

It may not work, but I'm sure it will be fun trying! I'll post my progress here!

Saturday 8 October 2005


Passionate colours
red autumn leaves flying
the wind carries them.