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politics

India poetry politics Wales

Black history matters

June 8, 2020

Earlier this year I had a poetry residency at the National Trust’s Chirk Castle in North Wales, with the aim of engaging with the natural environment and the grounds surrounding the castle. It’s the second time I’ve worked on a project there, the first being a few years earlier when I was invited to work with groups of young people from the local school to write poetry in response to the castle. On both occasions I felt a deep need…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature feature nature politics

Where is your freedom?

June 1, 2020

How much freedom do we have, if we’re completely honest with ourselves? Every choice come with conditions: buy a home, and agree to trade an extortionate amount of debt for comfort and security; focus on your career, and know that the more successes you have the greater the compulsion to compete, the need to remain current and relevant; choose a family, and be enfolded in love, but also all the drama. What is the price for absolute freedom? To live…

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Cymraeg dailyconnectionwithnature feature field recordings politics Wales

on borders and ecosystems

February 17, 2020

 Sophie McKeandIn response to a week-long creative residency at the National Trust’s Chirk Castle, Jan/Feb 2020 To ascend the steep, tree-lined, bird-song-filled lane and face Chirk Castle’s imposing portcullis entrance, is to do no less than to hike through centuries of time. Multifaceted layers hang like bright linen sheets in the morning fog of these borderlands, of y ffîn, so that if you slow down for long enough you might feel a slight caress on the cheek, or a brush…

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creating Europe feminism politics

Chasing waterfalls

January 13, 2020

I have ambitions to be a great writer. There. I said it. And every single one of those words scares the shit out of me. Where I come from ambition (especially in young women) was celebrated. Because although some of us had big ambitions, maybe a lot of us didn’t; and even if we did, our ambitions were perhaps more relationship focussed than creative. Then I discovered the world of art and literature and for the first time in my…

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creating feminism Mental Health politics

Letting go of guilt

December 25, 2019

I‘ve been thinking of the ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ mindset a lot lately, but honestly – I don’t think most women are afraid. Fuck. We give birth, or don’t. Which is equally as brave. We hold communities together, or set out solo across the world. We love so fucking hard for so many people without fear. What holds us back, what keeps us ‘in our place’ is guilt. Guilt that we shouldn’t be: so loud, so large,…

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Cymraeg Europe feature politics

Walking the borderlands of Y Mers

September 10, 2019

Sophie McKeand Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.Walt Whitman I am in love with swallows. They have become the mascot of our travels as we follow their migratory paths: north for summer, south for winter. Standing at the borderlands of Y Mers (The Welsh Marches in south Wales) with fellow collaborator Mark Daman-Thomas, we watch summer swallows swing determined arcs from farmhouse roofs out across ankle-high grasses to take flying insects on the wing then sling-shot…

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