As you may have seen, on Friday I announced a tour/pilgrimage that I’ll be undertaking (weak pun intended) in October with Mark Grist and MC Mixy. The idea is to visit as many famous poets’ graves as we can, across the UK. We start in Bristol, on Sunday October 6th, and we end sometime after Wednesday October 16th, somewhere in the north. We’ve left it to the last minute because we don’t want to book a conventional tour, taking a polished show round Arts Centres (which is lovely, sure, but not really in the spirit of a ‘quest’). All the performances and strange readings and encounters we’ll be doing all come from people – like you – who have emailed or tweeted or phoned us, offering us a platform.
Already, the response has been mental. When we announced the tour, I had this sudden anxiety – wait, will anybody care? So you’re going to travel round a bunch of churchyards in a car. Why is that exciting?
But it seems like you folks are as crazy as we are. I want to hold back on announcing some of the dates and gigs we’re starting to sort out, just so I don’t spoil the surprise, but some of them are batshit. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know in plenty of time so if you’re in the area, you can come support us/hurl abuse/come to terms with your mortality, etc. Check the original link for a rough timetable of where we’ll be, and please continue to get in touch if you’ve got a proposition for us – we’re (theoretically) up for anything: lunchtime gigs, workshops, home visits, challenges, commissions, whatever you can think of. We’ll be taking offers right up until the day – if we get a tempting tweet on the afternoon we’re there, who knows? We might swing by!
We also need places to crash each night – again, we’ve had some fantastic, generous offers so far. Anyone live in a haunted house/pub?
The whole project is about thinking about what it means to be poets – or at least to call yourself a ‘poet’ – and about what it means to die. I’m a bit afraid of death, and so I try not to think about it. On this tour, we’ll be speaking to lots of people about the subject, learning about poets past, and contemplating our own deaths. Any particularly morbid offers are welcome!
Areas Of Particular Interest
On Saturday 12th of October we’re visiting Shakespeare’s grave in Stratford-upon-Avon and Byron’s grave in Hucknall Torkard. If you’re based in Nottinghamshire or Warwickshire – or you know anyone who is – get in touch. Any gigs we do don’t have to be particularly close, but it’d be lovely to do some kind of performance in the region. We’re following up some clues sent to us by helpful members of the public, but do get in touch if you think of something, no matter how bizarre!
We’re thinking of visiting Robert Burns’ masoleum in Dumfries on the 16th or 17th of October, which are the Wednesday or Thursday. It seems fitting to end the tour with such a glorious poet, and to balance out the heavy English bias with Scotland’s finest wordsmith. Are any of you based in Scotland, in or near Dumfries? Again, we’re keen to do gigs wherever, with whoever. It’s about the experience, learning, taking risks, and having an adventure.
Get in touch, either in the comments, or via the ‘Contact Me’ link on the right. Thanks so much to everyone who has been in touch so far. I don’t want to jinx it, but by the looks of it, this is going to be such an exciting journey, you guys. I’ll keep you updated, and I hope as many of you as possible can join us and be involved.