Monday, May 15, 2006

Marketing and Madness

I aint been writing me blog, aint been writing anything, in fact can't be bovvered even to fink in decent English. Why? Cos I've just finished a massive project - creative juices all run out, brain shut down, aversion to writing desk and computer screen raging. Though this morning that's set me thinking: this drained-out fallow period is inevitable, even necessary - you need to sleep, dream, and there's the rub when you've got a whole marketing industry out there wanting a book a year to keep you 'hot' and to fill the supermarket-bookshop shelves like the next consignment of tubs of margarine. Well, we know what sleep deprivation can to do one's sanity... In other words, this whole cultural ethos of marketing and hype is antipathetic to the creative process, and what is that doing to our collective psyche? I've done my share of commissioned and commercial stuff, and to my shame know only too well the sick sense of selling out, suppressing my own insights and artistic aims for the sake of the 'market'. Ugh. Yuk. Aaargh...

But there's none of that with poetry. Last night I went to the Library Theatre and heard four fantastic poets on the last leg of the Great Women Poets tour: Sujata Bhatt, Vicky Feaver, Catherine Fisher and Jackie Kay. No artistic compromises there, just thoughtful, moving, funny and highly accomplished poems, yet the place was packed with an audience hungry for such stuff and hanging on their every word. What do those marketeers know?

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