Judy Kendall
August 2013


Judy KendallJudy Kendall's poems are in the Forward Anthologies of Best Poems of 2007, of 2010 and of first decade of 21st century. She has published three collections with Cinnamon Press: The Drier The Brighter, Joy Change and Climbing Postcards. She often collaborates with other artists. She was one of twelve poets working with Alec Finlay on a public art project http://www.whitepeak-darkpeak.co.uk/ (shortlisted for the prestigious ALICE awards), and wrote text for Songs 'for my Grandmother' with multi-instrumentalist and composer Seaming To. Her monograph, Edward Thomas: The Origins of His Poetry appeared with University of Wales Press in 2012 and she has edited two volumes of Thomas's letters and poems: Edward Thomas's Poets with Carcanet, and Poet to Poet: Edward Thomas's Letters to De la Mare with Seren. For seven years, she worked as an English lecturer at Kanazawa University in Japan. Now she is senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Salford University, is writing vegetable poems as the incredible edible Poet Laureate of Todmorden, and also working on a sequence of visual bird poems as part of a collection of visual gardening poetry.

Statement of Poetics

Writing for me is more and more about silence, gaps, space, the ma of Japanese aesthetics, painting in or framed by the words and letters that drop unbidden out of my brain. Visual Text. Text that has visual impact. Visuals that are engraved upon text. Text and visuals that cannot be divided, that make, together, one.

I am always alert for new ways of by-passing that difficult and debilitating process we like to call thought. The more I can catch myself, and, perhaps, my readers (viewers?) unawares, the better. Jacques Derrida, James Joyce, Caryl Churchill these are my inspirers;  and Keith Johnstone's Impro is my battered bible. I am thrilled by the language, look and experience of battling through texts like Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, Adam Thirlwell's Kapow, Graham Rawle's Woman's World and the nightmarish textual shark in Raw Shark's Text enthralls, haunts and terrifies me.

Published and 'netted' on the net more than I would choose, I am turning, or re-turning, to paper, ink, pencil. Forget the cut and paste icons, bring on the scissors and the glue! As in Japanese sumi-e, what goes down stays down. A blot is not a mistake but an integral part of what I paint.

At my best I don't write poems, they come through me. They are perhaps not mine at all. They slip in from the edges when I am staring into space; when I am listening with nothing but my inner ear; when I am taking in the movements of my environment, the weather, the passers-by, the snatches of brilliancy that can illuminate the most everydayish speech. They slip in when I am feeling, being, the breath, the sensations, the pulsing of my body. It is these that suggest the mood, rhythm, objectness of what goes down on paper and of what does not.


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