Sunday, 29 November 2020

SPECIAL OFFER poetic jewellery in aid of Galway COPE

 Gunilla Andersson, whose photograph features on the cover of Kevin's latest book, has made some jewellery – brooches, earrings, and necklaces  - featuring lines from Kevin’s poems. This jewellery is now on sale, with 100% of the proceeds going to Galway Cope Homeless Services.  Below is a short artistic statement from Gunilla about the jewellery.

“On a misty day just before Christmas 2019 at the shores of Lake Vanern in Sweden inspiration struck. It was one of those magical days when everything is beautiful and wherever you swing your camera there is a Hallmark moment, only grey and dreary, drizzling with fog. Later, during the Covid lockdown, some of the pictures got a digital transformation and I worked them into brooches, necklaces and earrings.

I met Kevin at a poetry reading in a wine cellar in Galway late 90s when I was spending a summer working with Macnas, preparing for the Arts Festival. We have been friends ever since and somehow now was the time for a collaboration. He needed a cover picture for his latest poetry bundle and I suggested randomly adding his words to my pictures, printing them out, and cutting them up to see what happened. This jewelry is the result.” 

Gunilla Andersson was born in Sweden. Exploring art and different techniques, she realized that theatre was the right direction for her to pursue. She spent a lot of time in her 20s in the Kinnegad area of County Westmeath, where she found her big love and worked as a waitress at Mother Hubbards. She collaborated with a number of different theatre companies in Sweden, later studying at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. For the past 20 years she has lived in Amsterdam where she has her own décor studio and works with theatres, museums, on film and other arts events. 

We are selling each brooch, necklace, and pair of earrings for €20.This offer is specifically available to those in Galway and surrounding counties as you must contact Kevin on 087-6431748 to make an appointment to choose and collect your favourite necklace, pair of earrings, or brooch. As well as being something you might wear, these could become collector's items for poetry afficionados. 

To purchase a piece of the jewellery, and a copy of Kevin's book see below. You will receive the book in the post but should arrange collection of the jewellery with Kevin on 087-6431748.

Jewellery PLUS poetry book

Saturday, 7 November 2020

The perfect stocking filler for Chistmas 2020: Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020

The perfect stocking filler for Christmas 2020

In a mix of poetry and prose Kevin Higgins takes a darkly humorous approach to finding himself designated one of the “vulnerable” during the year in which plague again stalked the Earth. He also, as is his way, finds time to drop acerbic comment on the heads of the ungood and the ungreat, and to comment in a fairly unrestrained fashion on world affairs. This is the ideal Christmas or Birthday present for Irish Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan and for those who, when the time comes, hope to be invited to Kevin’s funeral. It is also the perfect gift for the posh liberal in your life.

Just published by Nuascéalta.

 Buy a copy directly from Kevin here


Thursday, 23 January 2020

Joint Statement from Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins

When faced with the choice, we side with those who don’t have power rather than those who wield it.  That said, it would not be appropriate for us to comment about any of the issues surrounding #WakeUpIrishPoetry. 
Except to say this: the issue has been raised as to what redress individual artists and arts workers have when faced with a possible abuse of power situation of any sort. The complaints procedures within most arts organisations are in reality heavily biased in favour of those who have power and against those who don’t. They are often not worth bothering with. The arts sector has hardly any trade union representation and the artistic world is, sadly, an extremely individualistic place. In our experience, people don’t tend to stick together. So what is one to do when faced with power being wielded inappropriately against you in the arts sector?  

            Each situation is different. But we would recommend that artists and arts workers faced with such a situation consider doing the following: contact a left wing TD and supply them with details of your case, which you can do in absolute confidentiality, and ask them to put in a written question to the relevant government minister about your case. Written questions must be answered and cannot be waffled around in the way that oral questions asked in the Dáil often are.
The TD can frame the question in general terms and supply additional specific details pertaining to your case to the relevant minister and her or his departmental officials. You need not be named in the question. When selecting which TD to approach, do not bother with any of the establishment parties as they will likely not support you. But most left wing TDs will, even if you do not live in their constituency. Remember, TDs are national, not local, representatives and are meant to represent the whole country. 

            Well over a decade ago, we briefly worked for a (now defunct) arts organisation where there were issues regarding late payment of wages, lack of contracts for employees, and related matters. We left after working there for less than a year. During the decade that followed, this organisation continued to intermittently post hostile commentary about us and our work on its official website and social media. This only stopped when we approached a left wing TD, supplying them with details, and they put a written question to the relevant minister. We were invited to meet with top officials in the relevant government department locally and we supplied them with detailed evidence. The hostile commentary ceased. The arts organisation in question no longer exists, while we continue to work happily in the sector. 
           The approach we took may not suit everyone. But we think it could help many. TDs’ email addresses are available on the Oireachtas website.