No More Compassion For A While

IMG_0687Well, of course I should and shall still be trying to do my compassion meditation (although I am failing in dramatic style whenever I try to extend metta to Tories these days) – but what I mean is, that’s the end of this year’s tour for The Trouble With Compassion. Many thanks to all my venues and all my audience members. You can still buy the poetry collection from Burning Eye Books.

In the meantime, here is my scary-lovely alter ego Imelda, taking out her frustration and self-loathing on a party-sized chocolate cake.

And here are all the wonderful pieces of advice and encouragement given to Imelda via the Heart Of Hearts…


How To Make A Perfect Day

2013-03-02 11.01.10.jpgHello, welcome, come in. What’s your name?

Ok, this is how it works. For the next five to ten minutes, you’re going to describe to me your perfect day. Anything at all is allowed in your perfect day. I may ask some questions, for clarification, but mostly I will just listen, with all of my attention, with my heart open to everything you are saying, and to everything you’re not saying.

Then, for the next fifteen to twenty minutes, you can close your eyes and relax as I describe your perfect day back to you, in the present tense, as if you are living it. I will use all my powers as a poet to bring your day alive with details. And I will record it.

Later, I will transcribe and re-record the piece, a process that takes sixty to ninety minutes, and then my sound engineer will add on an ambient soundscape using a special app. Then I will send it all to you, as your personalised, bespoke relaxation tape.

I’m doing this because I don’t want to perform a show about compassion without making the effort to offer active, useful compassion to my audience. Today one of my Perfect Day participants came up to me and said she’d had a horrible couple of weeks, but she was soothing herself to sleep every night by re-imagining my voice describing her perfect day. I haven’t even finished her tape yet.

If you’d like a Perfect Day, I will be at Queen’s Hall, Hexham this Saturday 9th July with slots available at 10.00am, 10.45am, 11.30am and 11.45am. The show then starts at 2pm.

I will also be at Alphabetti Theatre on Monday 11th July with slots at 1.00pm, 1.45pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm and 4.00pm. The show is on Thursday 14th July at 7.30pm.

To book a Perfect Day, please email me at Thanks xx


Rogues Gallery!

An hour is a fair length of time to listen to spoken word, even when there are films and funny bits. Which is why, halfway through my show, we all take a break to listen to some music from my tracks-donated-by-the-public Compassion playlist while we draw happy stick-people portraits of one another. Oh, and it’s sort of about getting to know strangers so you can feel kindly towards them.

Here are some of the magnificent drawings produced by the compassionate punters of Hartlepool on Tuesday, complete with doodles representing what makes the sitter happy. May they be well, may they be happy, may they be free from suffering!

The last Teesside show is tonight at ARC, Stockton – 5.30pm, pay what you decide, buy a book for a tenner. More coming next month in Newcastle and Hexham.