Pens & Lens, Guernsey

Pens & Lens is great. I flew over to read at the opening, and it was the first event in Guernsey that I have been to with such a literary buzz. The newly formed Guernsey Arts Commission are behind it, and with any luck it can only spark something of a literary burgeoning in the island. Lots of really good work there, in a great location in St Peter Port.

I’m personally very pleased too. Not only did I get to read my poems, but they are using my work as part of the exhibit. I feel like I have been writing literary love letters to the island for many years, and dear old Sarnia has finally winked back.

salmagundi days

The daywork for your favourite scribe has been a bit of a melange lately. Here are just some of the things I have been up to…

A spot of agency freelancing again in London agency, writing about IT. This is familiar ground for me, having spent years working for IBM and Dell. The language of everyday IT B2B (business to business) marketing has not changed – there’s still talk of “systems” and stilted promises about technologies for the future of your business. I’ve always envied those working on cool IT accounts such as Apple, who have long realised that talking to people like they were humans actually pays off. When there is such a clear exemplar in the field, I’ve always wondered why other companies don’t try to warm up a bit. Dell almost disregards its brand altogether. I’ve always thought Dell is a business model which happens to assemble rather good computers, rather than an out and out technology company like IBM.

They’ve sat me under a motivational poster that says Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together and illustrated by small dotted cutouts of the agency’s staff. At first I thought this was risible management guff, but now I’m finding it makes a weird kind of sense in an I Ching sort of way.

Doing some speculative concept work about sustainability and the sea. Meanwhile, on the front cover of The Brighton and Hove lLeader was Natasha Coverdale who has designed an eco-bag, and Deputy Council Leader Denise Cobb brandishing the bags on the pebbles. This is good news as the sea hates plastic bags, and, I know there is an ambition for Brighton to eliminate them altogether. However these are being sold at just three locations in Brighton and Hove for £1.49 a pop. They should be in every shop.

Also working on a big presentation about sustainability and rail travel for the ON TRACK publishers. The task with any presentation is to make it as single minded as possible. Or at the very least possessed of a messaging hierarchy. Otherwise reading it is like sitting in a room being spoken to by a dozen people all at once. Decide what’s the most important thing, then say it as clearly as possible in one voice.

And as if to remind myself that I am a proper writer too, I am off shortly to my beloved island of Guernsey to read my poems at an event there called Pens & Lens, which matches art and film and poetry. And is supported by the newly formed Guernsey Arts Commission. Can’t wait to find out what they are all about.