Kimwei Reflects on The Pandemic for BBC Spotlight

My poem “Pandemic Reflections” was featured on BBC Spotlight to celebrate a year of my “artist in residence” creative work for Sarah Gosling’s Arts and Culture show on BBC Radio Devon as the Grand Bard of Exeter.
“Kimwei McCarthy, who is the Grand Bard of Exeter, created a series of Pandemic Pieces for BBC Radio Devon’s Arts and Culture Show [presented by Sarah Gosling]. Well, 12 months into that process he’s compiled a spoken word reflection on a year unlike any other.” Thanks to Sarah for your ongoing support, and to John Danks for doing an amazing job of shooting and editing this item.
-Kimwei (he/him)

Kimwei and Dr Emily Grossman at The Embodiment Conference

I so enjoyed presenting a session on Embodied Activism at this amazing event, the likes of which have never been seen before. Over 1000 sessions ran over the course of 12 days and I was thrilled to attend several transformative sessions and I’m sure I’ll be working through the bank of recorded sessions for months to come. There were keynote sessions from some of the planet’s best teachers – such as Peter Levine, Tara Brach, Dr. Gabor Maté, Ken Wilber, Stephen Porges, Charles Eisenstein, Betty Martin, Jack Kornfield and many more.

Emily and I presented a session we designed specifically for the conference: “Emergency on Planet Earth: Guiding Environmental Activists through Environmental Crises in an Embodied Way”

Here’s how we described the session:
Let’s move from panic to power – and use the wisdom of our own bodies to be the most effective activists we can be and stay healthy
With all that we face in 2020, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and paralysed, or even to try to fix it all and burn out. In this free online session at the Embodiment Conference, , Kimwei and I will lead you through a process in which you can find your most empowered inner activist through harnessing the wisdom of your nervous system, grounding you in a state of both power and peace. You’ll learn more about the climate and ecological emergency and learn more about yourself and how you want to act in response.
If you’d like to have access to all the recordings from the embodiment conference, including ours, it’s available to buy through this link:

Wishing you an embodied Winter

-Kimwei (he/him)

Stand Up For The Artists – A New Song for BBC Radio Devon

This song was written for BBC Radio Devon, Oct 15th 2020, as an anthem for the arts which are suffering at the moment.

Buy track

So many of the key moments in my life took place at a live performance of some kind, from seeing a busker to seeing a huge concert or a play. Its so important that we support our creatives so that they can support us. That’s all I have to say – the song says the rest…


with love

-Kimwei (he/him)

Non-Binary Lives is The Independent’s “Top Pick For Pride Month”

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!

Only in 2020 – on BBC Radio Devon

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:

-Kimwei (he/him)


Pandemic Pieces

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.

Tune in at BBC Radio Devon’s Listen Live page or listen afterwards from my bandcamp album Pandemic Pieces on BBC Radio Devon

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.

Watch out for updates on as spoken word events continue to grow and thrive online. Check out the Bard of Exeter What’s On page to find out how you can join in.

Warmest of wishes

-Kimwei (he/him), Grand Bard of Exeter

BBC Home Truths Devon Poem Video!

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.

Fund Kimwei to Protest for Climate Justice!

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: … 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)
-Kimwei (he/him)

*other costs – breakdown of funds needed and predicted spending available on request.

Home Truths for BBC Devon

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. 

Sustainable Future Spoken Word Video, Filmed by XTV

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.