I’m thrilled to announce that my first book chapter has not only been published, but the groundbreaking book “Non-Binary Lives” which collects the stories of non-binary transgender people, has been picked by The Independent as their number one LGBTQ+ book for 2020.
This beautifully curated collection of essays is a welcome tonic in a cultural climate that seems hellbent on misunderstanding and misrepresenting those who do not fall into gender binaries. With a focus on intersections, this anthology specifically aims to examine the ways in which a person’s other identities – such as being a parent, having a faith, being black or having a disability – intersect with their non-binary identity.
Click here to read the full article!
For the past 14 weeks I have produced a spoken word piece every 2 weeks for Sarah Gosling’s Arts show on BBC Radio Devon. After working with the title “Today’s Calls” for the first 6 pieces, last week I changed to “Only in 2020”, because this year is such a unique one. I think most people will think of their lives in years to come in terms of ‘pre-2020’ and ‘post-2020’. I’m keen to keep representing Devon’s experiences as this unusual and historic year goes on.
Catch the latest piece and interview here:
Wishing you all as well as you can be wishes in these times of Covid 19 and lockdown.
You’ll find me on BBC Radio Devon, every other Thursday on Sarah Gosling’s Arts show (Evenings on BBC Radio Devon) reading Pandemic inspired poems which honour some of the various varied experiences that we are all having in lockdown – from disconnection to connection, from beauty to loss to joy.
I am currently in Lockdown in Exmouth, Devon, teaching BA and Masters students in Music through AMSonline which has been at the forefront of Higher Education in Music online since 2015. Check out their life-changing courses here
I’m also beginning to provide independent coaching for musicians, writers and creatives through Skype, or for those looking to teach online themselves. Email me to arrange a preliminary call if this interests you.
Warmest of wishes
-Kimwei (he/him), Grand Bard of Exeter
Each year BBC Local Radio teams up with specially chosen poets to create sparkling new poems for broadcast on National Poetry Day. This year, I was chosen to represent Devon, to write a poem that challenges stereotypes and celebrates the delights of the County.
Because You Invited Me (full version)
by Kimwei McCarthy
Home Truths poem for Devon
Invite me over to your favourite cafe
somewhere on the river Dart
where it trickles between our past and our future,
or invite me to your house
where it rests like a barnacle on a hilltop
near a stone circle
where we shall take tea together.
In ancient times you moved the earth
turning woodland to moorland,
clearing pastures for grazing
just so you could live together,
allowing the wildness of gorse and heather
to care for itself
whilst caring for you.
Then, you stopped being so careful
and began building cities,
cutting through this county,
cutting through each other with big ideas
until you were burning and hanging women,
Now you are sorry
and honour those killed
and welcome magic back
and remember who you were before that all started
with every moment that you invite me in.
Bring out your finest china
and tell me the story of an outcast wife
who won back her family
by returning from exile
with the secret of clotted cream –
tell me to remind me that this place is my home,
as you take up the butter-knife,
spread a cloud on a scone,
place it in my hand.
I hold it up to the window,
so it seems to twin a cloud in the sky
and I think how similar two things can be and how different
and yet how right they can look next to each other.
How startling it is when we can belong together
because you invited me.
I’m Kimwei and I’m The Grand Bard of Exeter – I have taken an oath to the land and the people and I’m asking for your support to go to London this October, to protest to protect our home, the earth. If you believe in me and are willing to support me and the work I’m doing in protesting, please donate here!!!!!!!!!!
As a musician and poet, I can bring a lot to a protest. Leading drumming. Singing with a crowd. Performing music and words. If you offer me financial support, I can do more and more. Together we can make governments listen and act to save our future. We need to act now! Thank you for supporting me and for being a part of this journey.
Why Protest For Climate Justice?
I am totally sure that non-violent protest is now the only way to create the change needed. Although I am a Bard, not a scientist, until a few years ago I lived with one of Exeter Met Office’s Expert Climate Scientists, who also worked as Advisor to The Minister to Climate and through her I learned both that we are in a Climate Emergency, that Governments are not doing enough. Protest is the only way forward. Climatologists in my life, Extinction Rebellion, and my wonderful partner, the science communicator Dr. Emily Grossman, all continue to update me on the latest – the crisis is worse than ever.
Why Do I Need Money?
After performing, drumming and leading drumming in the Extinction Rebellion Spring (XR) demonstrations I discovered that food and tube fares alone can add up to hundreds, as well as other costs*.
I’d encourage anyone with the means to support Climate Justice to donate to XR itself here: https://rebellion.earth/donate … but if you’d specifically like to support ME and the work I’m doing in the protests, it would help me SO MUCH if you would put in some cash to help get me through the October Rebellion (7th-19th) – it would make a huge difference to me.
I’ve estimated a figure based on my costs from the Spring Rebellion, earlier this year, but the more you can donate the better equipped I’ll be and the better a job I can do. If the target is exceeded I can even provide a little for my band of drummers, where needed. Thank you for believing in me and trusting me.
I will post daily updates from London on facebook so you can follow my story.
Lots of love warm wishes (but not 1.5C too warm)
*other costs – breakdown of funds needed and predicted spending available on request.
I’m thrilled to have been selected as BBC Devon’s Home Truths Poet for National Poetry day this year – Read more on the National Poetry Day Website. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day (October 3rd 2019) I will be writing and performing a poem that represents Devon. There are 13 poets in total and the project aims to give a voice to the true nature of each region.
The world is warming, and we are the cause. What can we do? Here are 7 pieces filmed and produced by Molly Clarke and Matthew Haddock for XTV, in which I invite your to explore how we could live to create a more sustainable future in the face of impending climate change.
Stay tuned for my next video – “When I Lived With A Climate Scientist”, to be released by XTV on Saturday June 23rd.
The annual competition for citizens of Exeter to elect their next Bard took place on Sunday 28th April at Exeter Phoenix.
Wordsmiths of all kinds competed by delivering a performance of their own work and presenting their vision for the Bardship. Tim King, Peter Roe, Adam Skerrett, Richard Green, James Turner all presented enthralling offerings and the evening concluded with inspirational poet Melanie Crump being appointed as the new Bard.
In her Manifesto, Melanie pointed to the underrepresentation of women in spoken word and over the next year she aims to support female artists, as well as putting energy into the existing poetry scene and running educational workshops.
Exeter is one of only a small group of cities with the right to appoint a bard, in a tradition that dates back 200 years. The role is kept for one year and a day and the Bard is said to represent the land and the people of the territory.
To conclude the evening, outgoing Bard Kimwei McCarthy was also awarded the role of Grand Bard by outgoing Grand Bard Jackie Juno. This role is 7 years and Jackie has notably organised the record breaking Grand Witches Tea Party at Rougemont each year under the role. The coming year will tell what Kimwei will do as Grand Bard.
If you missed the campaign the album can still be pre-ordered here: PRE-ORDER Nothing’s Binary