Sophie McKeand joined us on stage at The Good Life Experience … where she captivated the audience with her profound, mythological, musical poems that not only crossed borders but seemed to dismantle them entirely, collapsing time and space and merging visions of the past with narratives of the personal.
Caught By The River
Over the past fifteen years, I’ve been lucky enough to perform live at festivals, in woodlands, schools, conferences, coffeeshops, and on stages across Wales, Britain, Europe and beyond.
Since we chose to become fulltime van-nomads in November 2017, I’ve known that there’s the seed of a different way of working inside me. As we’ve travelled, I’ve had to wait patient for this idea to unfurl, for this new dream to emerge. The hardest part has been stepping away from much of what the capitalist model teaches us about being a poet. I’m not a machine, I don’t fit neatly into any one marketable box, and I am absolutely okay with that. Living this slow life in the van has allowed the time and space to truly step into my creativity without the pressures of commerce. Without this space I couldn’t have finished The Madness of Sara Mansfield, and find the resourced inside myself to continue dreaming The MthR Trilogy into being.
When I sat with the trees in Portugal, I was offered a vision, a new way of working. I remembered the bards of old who would travel between communities, bringing insights and poems, and I began to feel a deep need to return to this way of sharing the work as we travel across Europe. This time updated for the twenty first century with my own accommodation (the van), some great solar panels, all my tech gear, Instagram for online performances, and a web shop for ordering pamphlets and e-books.
In line with our Slow Living ethos, I have no plans to do a whistle-stop-tour of anywhere, instead I’m asking people if they may be interested in gathering a few friends and neighbours and inviting me to perform at a nearby outdoor space. This could be a local park, field, woodland, lakeside, mountain or beach. The world is our garden, and I want so very much to celebrate that with as many people as possible. Please email me: words [at] sophiemckeand [dot] com if you’d like to have a chat about this.
Finally, thank you for your interest in my work and support, this past year has been a tremendous strain on everyone and so I hope to bring a small burst of poetic joy to the places we visit.