I see dead people

..that’s the most recent addition to the Havku, which has lately gone a bit Hallowe’en; Jane pitching in with ghostly knitted benches and spooky rashers and me batting back with cross-stitched hassocks.

It’s also what I said to a slightly bemused Terry Powell during a radio interview last week. What I meant was, there are so many extraordinary Havant tales. Not knowing the place until now, I’m walking the streets and mentally rerunning the stories I’ve been gathering – from Canute to Her Serene sherry guzzling Highness on Hayling, from the thousands of Spanish Civil War refugee kids playing football and the one armed auntie knitting in her railway carriage caravan, to the tanks nibbling at the kerb, Neville Shute proposing to Flora Twort, Wodehouse maybe taking the vicar of Warblington as the seed of an idea for the betting on the longest sermon wheeze. The place is in a constant state of All Soul’s night, albeit a very jolly one. Or maybe if I’d done the residency in spring, say, everything would have been different. Less spooky.


About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
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