equality

Verse Matters Wednesday 7th March In Celebration of International Womens Day

on March 5, 2018 No comments

I am excited to be speaking some of my own poetry at Verse Matters this Wednesday 7th March at the Theatre Deli Sheffield.

This is the description from their website –

Verse Matters is an intersectional feminist arts collective based in Sheffield, founded by Rachel Bower. Verse Matters runs events at The Moor Theatre Deli in Sheffield and provides a supportive space for poetry, spoken word, storytelling, music and comedy, showcasing the work of talented people in a friendly, safe environment. Each event has a mix of experienced and new performers.

Events are always open to all. Each night includes two featured artists, and an open mic session with six performers (five minutes each). The structure is non-hierarchical, and door profits are split between performers.

Verse Matters was set up to attest to the structural inequalities in society and the arts. To remember that ‘women’s rights’ are diminished without racial equality and economic justice. To bring people together in solidarity. To create a forum for debate, challenge and pleasure.

Some of our performers tell stories that have been erased by society: refugees, detainees, prisoners. Others might read a page of their favourite book, speaking in public for the first time. Others are experienced poets, puppeteers, dramatists and performers. All are respected and appreciated.

These times call for solidarity and for resistance. We need outlets through which to articulate our anger, our sadness, our joy. Verse Matters exists to provide this space.

This is a special Verse Matters in collaboration with SHE Fest a fringe festival in Sheffield that celebrates International Women’s Day and I am delighted to be involved.

Come down and bring your friends.

 

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Carly MountainVerse Matters Wednesday 7th March In Celebration of International Womens Day

Coming out as…grey

on March 14, 2014 No comments

For 20 years no less, I have polluted my system with hair dye.

I’m done. I am taking my masks off. I do not want to pollute my system or our water with those chemicals anymore. I am done with the violence of the beauty industry, to the earth, to animals and to myself.

Change is life. And to age is a privilege.

If we are to walk a life of meaning we must do just that, walk it. And there are many ways to do that. We are after all transmitters and I find myself asking everyday “What do I want my transmission to say?”. So many people have said “you are so brave”. But isn’t it odd, that it is brave to be natural, to be seen as I am? I have finally realised that to let the earth shine through me is the most beautiful I could ever be. It’s not conventional, it requires a letting go of looking to those ideals for a sense of worth.

Ultimately we hold the keys to our own cages. Age brings wisdom. Women as they ripen into the autumn and winter of life are often mocked for being menopausal, or are “traded in for a younger model”, get the sack whilst their male counterparts work on in their distinguished gentlemanly aging. And we perpetuate it with surgery, hair dye, dieting, grasping outwardly for some resemblance of summer that we think will make us desirable, empower us and make us feel we have a place. I am not saying that enjoying looking after our appearance is wrong, it can be a beautiful way of taking care of ourselves. But, it is worth checking in with who we are doing it for and what our choices are based on.

You can’t grasp power from outside, you tap into it from the inside. We are abundant, we are earth, we are love.

So enter the reign of the wolf, the wild, the free.

Grow old with grace. And be the change you wish to see.

* Since writing this post I have re-dyed my hair. I was grey for about 3 years and it felt really important to make the statement. I still believe much of what I say in this piece. I would love to see more ageing women feel comfortable in their grey hair. But I also realise the importance for freedom to change and freedom to choose. I am still not happy to put chemicals on my head or in the water….but I am human and imperfect so sometimes I make selfish choices.

Here is to freedom of expression in all it’s forms and embracing our imperfections as compassionately as we can. 

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Carly MountainComing out as…grey