Monthly Archives:

April 2021

books creating Europe politics travel

An international book

April 21, 2021

My work has always been political. How can an artist create and not speak to the wider context of community or land?  One of the (many) reasons we moved into the van was in protest at Britain’s Brexit vote. We still very much feel European, and in times like these I believe we should be opening our borders to help those in need, not locking ourselves away to fight it out on this tiny island.  I wanted The MthR Trilogy…

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books creating poetry

On characters and shapeshifting

April 19, 2021

The most elaborate character development I undertook for the new novel, The Madness of Sara Mansfield, was with Alex/Crow. They began life as an hour-long sound/spoken word performance piece, CRØWOMAN. I only performed this twice before realising that this character is Trans and that they need to live in the novel, not on stage. As I’ve written before, the titular character has my initials because all of the characters in the novel are potential reflections of my Self: I am…

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books creating feature poetry

Learning to be okay with being misunderstood

April 17, 2021

My new novel, The Madness of Sara Mansfield, is out on 1st May 2021. It’s a strange feeling sending this book out into the world. Especially as I’ve never spent so long on a single piece of writing in the past. Over six years I’ve agonised over endless lines as if it were an 88,000 word poem.  One of the elements I‘ve struggle with is worrying how people might perceive some of the political themes. Perhaps because in the past…

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The unnameable essence of being

April 15, 2021

I am so in love with my body right now I want to swim in every glorious moment, feel it visceral and wild against skin. Yesterday I blasted uphill fireroads on the bike, lungs sucking in mouthfuls of spring, forest air. Then long swooping singletrack descents had me stood on pedals until the fronts of thighs burned like crazy, eyes focussed on the trail ahead. Slowly I’m remembering how to ride, the movement of body with bike, muscle memory calling…

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On Welsh myth and Cretian landscapes

April 13, 2021

One of the elements of the new novel, The Madness of Sara Mansfield, that’s important to me is the nature writing. Although this sci-fi trilogy nods towards dystopia, there’s also hope, and for me, the potential for new dreams always flows from nature.After wars, or in derelict places, wild plants grow, reclaiming the space, rejoicing in their fecundity. Nature knows how to heal the scars of our making. I think this is why I find books like McCarthy’s The Road…

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The poet affects great change

April 11, 2021

Text reads: The poet affects great change in the hearts of people so that those people can affect great change in the world.  Lines from The Madness of Sara Mansfield,  first book in the MthR Trilogy.  Out as digital download on 1st May 2021 from SophieMcKeand.com.…

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Making everybody welcome

April 6, 2021

Since we began travelling across Europe we’ve become much more aware of how hard British communities work to keep travellers out. Height restriction barriers, No Overnight Parking signs, even Flintshire’s recycling centres now demand proof that you have an address in Flintshire before they’ll let you take your rubbish and recycling there – what on Earth do they think people will do with it if refused entry? They can’t eat it. So you’ll end up with roadside dumps and another…

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Wisdoms from the river and the trees

April 5, 2021

Yesterday we hiked to the source of the Severn River. We stood at the small swampy bog that is the origins of this vast and tumbling body of water that becomes so large the Severn Bridge was constructed so that we might cross.  A reminder that the humblest beginnings can grow into the most unexpected forces of nature.  Later I spoke with the trees there, who do not think of humans as friends, and I apologised for the mess we’ve…

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