I have a background in English (with Creative Writing) and Drama. I have written poetry since the age of eight and have performed my own work at various festivals in Brighton and Mid Sussex. In 1999 I won third prize in the ‘Write for Life’ cancer research poetry competition and travelled to Borders bookshop in Oxford Street to receive my prize from the author Penelope Lively. In 2005 I was one of the top 100 poets of the year in a Forward Press competition which attracted 50,000 entries. In 2009 one of my poems ‘Mermaids Could Not Play’ (included in my book ‘Singular Voices’) was chosen to be performed by Live Canon, a performance poetry group for their event at the Greenwich Theatre, London.
Though they can be and have been separate interests I believe that for me, performance, poetry and astrology have come together in my forthcoming book ‘Singular Voices’.
Singular Voices is an original and creative way of looking at astrology, with evocative images by Bradley Jay. At a time when nothing in the physical world is certain I wanted to emphasise the power of the individual, his or her inner life, resources and capabilities.
Part One of this book is composed of twelve different character studies; twelve different roles designed to entertain as well as inform, bringing every star sign to life for the reader. Each sign has its own different way of looking at the world. All kinds of personalities are here, so the reader can recognise themselves, their partner, friend, relative or colleague somewhere in the poetry.
In Part Two, the poetry reflects the characteristics and energy of various astrological signs, without being about them directly. They show how the subject has inspired me to write and may encourage others to learn more about astrology through the impact and power of words, in verse. I also hope that other writers interested in astrology may find this book helpful when looking for ideas. Sometimes humorous, dramatic, thoughtful and hopefully illuminating, these are a series of poems for a new age. I hope it will attract a new kind of reader and, as they are designed also to be performed, a new kind of audience.
It is available direct from the publisher (Matador) as well as through Amazon.
"These poems have a wonderful variety of styles, some fun, some intriguing and most rewarding some thought and reflection after reading...."
John Green, former editor of The Astrological Journal, Jan/Feb 2013 edition
"This is a thoughtful, perceptive collection of astrology-influenced prose. Nicola explores her subject with a deep and enlightened insight..."Self Publishing Magazine, Summer 2013
I have recently had one of my astrological poems about Pisces 'Heaven Sent', from 'Singular Voices' published in one of the leading alternative and spiritual magazines "Kindred Spirit" (Jan/Feb edition). You can read the poem here.
I feel that these are poems written to be performed as well as read, so I have recorded the following poems from my book.
Here are two examples of performances I have been involved with:
July 2009 – London
I was part of Antony Gormley’s visionary project, ‘One and Other’ where the Fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square was occupied twenty four hours a day for three months. I chose to read my poems here because it was such a unique venue. With astrology as the theme I noticed that on the day all four elements were present. Fire: The poetry itself, creativity, and a Leo in the centre of something, being watched.Earth: On a platform, fenced in and standing on something solid. Air: Being outdoors in the open air, over 20 ft up! Water: This is British weather so it rained. Luckily I had an umbrella and read through the downpour.
June 2011 – Brighton Book Festival
This was the first ever festival of its kind so I was in at the beginning. Appropriately for poems inspired by astrology it was performed above Hocus Pocus, a shop which sells tarot cards, books, jewellery and sacred statues among other things. The Iambic Arts Theatre was small but intimate and between readings I answered questions. A week or so later I got some positive feedback from the Festival Director Ian Jones: ‘Many thanks for being part of the Festival. I really enjoyed your work and the way you delivered it. I hope that you will be part of next year’s Festival.’