Poetry Lunch with Kirsten Luckins

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Byre Theatre [Studio Theatre], St Andrews
4th March

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By way of preamble (hello StAnza 2016!), I have just seen a group of people sit down in the lounge at the Byre Theatre, at a table on which were free poetry books. Every single one of them took out a lap-top or a mobile device, busied themselves with it, and ignored the books. However is this any wonder? Where do most of us come across poetry – or any words – these days except on line…

‘Kirsten’, by the way, is pronounced ‘Shirsten’, or so she tells us. Cards on the table: whenever I come to StAnza I come away with at least one major poetry crush. First up Kirsten Luckins, enter my poetry crush for the year. Kirsten is originally from Hartlepool, but her performance takes us on a journey via London, Varanasi, Hong Kong, and Goa. She tells us she has a ‘monstrously big ego’ and that therefore we must clap after every poem. We do. We can’t help it. Her first poem ‘Inkless’, marvelously physical in delivery, channels all the frustration of a poet with writer’s block sneering with envy and bile at ‘some other poet’ who doesn’t. It has wonderful lines like:

a word that might bring a posse

between shopping lists and suicide notes

that’s what ‘some other poet’ would say. Only better…

Her voice changes with the mood, the voice, the intensity of each line of each poem, whether the poetry is about washing a corpse in the Ganges (actually rather a beautiful image!) or eulogising the Star Ferry in Hong Kong:

Dock to dock
the Star Ferry rolls her hips
birthing passengers like lotus pips
Ten thousand things and all of them plastic…

Kirsten describes her personal philosophy as ‘Buddhish’, and takes the mickey out of herself by describing how irritated she was with a ‘girl from London’ on a mindfulness retreat:

… I took out my gun and opened her third eye…

Her final poem was quiet. She can do quiet. Words repeated became the sound of raindrops bouncing off all things Goan. Oh my, oh my, over too quickly, you have to follow her and find her. Every star a five.

Reviewer: Paul Thompson

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One thought on “Poetry Lunch with Kirsten Luckins

    […] and hashtag poetry. (By the way, my set -collection launch went very well. There are reviews here and here, which I don’t expect anyone but my mum to actually read. Hi […]

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