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NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo #28 – Advice For My Daughter

So, this is an idea that I’ve had bubbling in my notebook for some time but a very dear friend of me told me that they had similar plans so it seemed like a sign to put something out there. Hopefully, they won’t think I’ve stolen their idea.


 

Plant your feet far apart
and dare the world to push you over.
You will not have to ask, your
existence will cause them to try.
Learn coyness from sequoias,
demand the sharpest axes cut you down,
remind them that you’ll bring the forest with you
and you will make a sound,
oh such a sound,
though they won’t be round to hear it.

I will teach you words and how to use them,
what to do when no-one listens.
The world should know your voice,
don’t leave silence as you stride your way right through.

There are people you will want to love,
they won’t know how to let you
so show patience, in the first place,
and wisdom when it comes to let things pass.

Drink water. Even if you have a life
much happier than mine,
you’re sure to cry – don’t be caught
down on supplies. Buy a handkerchief,
it’s the kindest way to cry
when whole forests are cut down.

You matter, not because you’re mine but
cause you are made of matter
that decided to give life another try.
Make every moment matter
so that atoms speak about you
’til they all come spinning to a stop.

By Cameron Holleran - Poet, Facilitator and Performer

I only started to get into poetry in Sixth Form where I had some wonderful teachers who put me onto Tony Harrison and John Agard – they were two poets that just stuck in my head as people using the language that they spoke to create poetry. With Harrison, we'd looked at V and it wasn't the swearing that resonated with me, it was the fact he'd used the word 'mam'.

Between that a lifelong love of music, I just really loved using words in different ways and having fun with language. I felt brave enough after a few months of writing to try giving performing ago, so started doing open mics around Manchester (I'm from Salford) in 2009 and won some local slams.

When I moved to London in 2011, my mental health took a bit of a dive and I couldn't deal with performing again. In 2014, I'd got talking to a friend on my degree course (who was and remains an amazing and accomplished poet) and showed her some of my writing – she encouraged me to apply for the Barbican Young Poets and I got on and was part of the programme from 2014 to 2016. BYP was an incredible experience and remains one of the happiest periods of my life and I made lots of new friends and came on a lot as a poet, thanks to the support and mentoring of Jacob Sam-La Rose, Kayo Chinonyi, Jasmine Cooray, and Rachel Long

In that time, I performed at a lot of venues in addition to the Barbican Centre, including the Southbank Centre, People's Palace, Rich Mix and Tate Modern, as well as a number of festivals such as Curious Festival (where I wrote a poem in Anglo-Saxon which was backed by a jazz quartet), the Barbican Weekender, Walthamstow Garden Party. I was part of the team responsible for curating National Poetry Day 2014 at the Southbank Centre, performed at Inua Ellams RAP Party, and worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on a commission which formed part of the the BBC's Centenary commemorations.

I've been published in a few places such as the Barbican anthologies, Watermarks anthology and Marble Poetry, longlisted for the erbacce prize, and nominated for the first Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship.

I am the current poet-in-residence for the Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL. My work here is used to highlight and complement the research that is being done by the institute, providing a different way for people to interact with their work.

Other things that are important to know about me are that I'm non-binary (they/them/their pronouns), I love cats and Pepsi, and I like to box.

One reply on “NaPoWriMo #28 – Advice For My Daughter”

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