Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: On Poets’ Graves

Unless you have some species of rich and meaningful life occupying your waking hours, you can’t have failed to notice that, next month, from Sunday 6th October til (probably) Friday 18th, I am embarking on a pilgrimage around the final resting places of our nation’s most celebrated poets. I’ll be joining Mark Grist and MC Mixy as we seek to connect with the past, absorb the powers of bards ancient and modern, and engage squarely with our impending demises. As we make the journey, we’ll be learning about each of the poets, writing new work in response to what we find, and performing wherever we’re welcome.

We haven’t booked a series of cushy theatres and arts centres – we’re doing gigs and readings and workshops wherever we get offered them. That might involve a gig in your local pub, or popping into someone’s workplace at lunchtime, or a gig in your front room. We’ve had some weird and wonderful offers thus far – very, very soon I’ll post an update blog confirming some of the venues and times we’ll be appearing. We’re just waiting for the mad, lovely people who’ve offered us spaces to get back to us with definites. We’re still very much looking for performance opportunities – from big shows to 10 minute pit-stops. Death-related stuff is great, too. Maybe you’re an undertaker and can offer us a quick test-ride in one of the coffins; maybe you’re a medium who can connect with one of our long-departed poets; perhaps you have a special connection with a specific poet and would like to get involved.

It’s not all about us waffling at you, either. We’re up for conversations, encounters, workshops – perhaps you or your group have something relevant you’d like to perform to us.

In addition to the dates mentioned already, we want to visit Robert Burns’ grave in Dumfries after we’ve done Cumbria, on the Wednesday or Thursday. You can get in touch via the Comments box below, or by clicking the ‘Contact Me’ link to the right. Don’t worry if your idea seems too small or ridiculous. Try us! We’re flexible with locations and keen to challenge ourselves.

Even if you don’t live anywhere near the places we’ll be visiting, you can really help us out by posting links to this post or the original one on Twitter and Facebook, spreading the word. Thank you so, so much to all the dozens of people who have done so already. We’ve made some wicked, exciting contacts thanks to your help.

Of course, one of the best ways to support us will be coming out to see us when we head out on tour. I’ll update my Gigs listings with events as soon as they’re confirmed, but if you sign up to my mailing list I’ll send you an email at the beginning of October with details of when we’ll appear in your area.

I know I’m sounding a bit like a stuck record – sorry! I won’t be endlessly regurgitating gig details forever. I can already see this is going to be an ace experience, and I want to put the effort in so we can reach as many of you as possible and also so we don’t end up shivering in a cold car at 4am on a hard shoulder. That might still happen! The tour is a bit of an adventure and a bit of a risk. We might die in our quest to understand death. Pretty damn poetic, peeps.

So, in summary: watch this space, share this space, email me. Your suggestion might be the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Once (if!) the schedule starts to fall into place, I’ll begin posting about the various poets we’re due to visit. Be good to read or reread a couple of their poems and think about when they lived. I’ve already got a heap of library books by the side of my bed – I’m going through collections, acquainting myself with some of the folks we’re planning on paying our respects to.

Thanks for your support. So excited. A bit scared. Let’s rock.