A  JUNE WALK – THINKING ABOUT PROJECTIVE VERSE ,with The Garden Gate community project in Margate.

Sadly, I’ve just realised, having written this blog…I forgot to publish! Am now writing the blog for July’s walk….Hope you enjoy this enough to want to read about July.

The Walking with the Waste Land group in collaboration with members of the Garden Gate community in Margate have decided to embark on one walk a month in the garden and the surrounding area of Northdown Park. We started our walks in April, so this was our third walk.

For this walk we decided to try to experiment with projective verse.

An example of projective verse:

s h a d o w s ,  b i r d s,

wake up

birch trees
in the wind’s web

before what minutes, exposition
of mankind

stony light turned

how much
the number

the vague soon again

what change in the parts

© 1968, Larry Eigner, courtesy of the Eigner Estate
From: Poetry, Vol. 111, No. 6, March, 1968


about projective verse:
Olson argues against a lazy reliance on simile and description, which can drain a poem of energy, and proposes that syntax be shaped by sound rather than sense, with nuances of breath and motion to be conveyed to the reader through typographical means.


We began by walking and pausing to compile words associated with place. Charlotte acted as our scribe.

some  words:
cooing, concrete slabs,

chirping tall trees,
formal paper petals,
sundial, pom noms,
organised, wild berries, snappy
Green seagulls,
Grass sticks, funghi cones,
playing, baby sycamore puppies

lavender, blue,Lavsih  bees. ,

talking ladders, umbrella

tree, standing
drilling, fox poo, stones, car tracks, bench
view, high horizon,

dog swaying       2 crows
clock.       flea darts



using the sundial with many thanks to Margaret for her wonderful contribution (we walked past this in our last two walks and didn’t even notice it!) and also thanks to  Charlotte for brilliant participation.



blowing a dandelion


With many thanks to all who contributed to this walk. I hope you will join us on our next one,  July 12th. meet at the Garden Gate at 10am finish 12 pm.
If you have any ideas you would like to develop please feel free to suggest!

Walking with ‘The Waste Land’ is a community group founded by artist Elspeth Penfold in 2014. The group use walking as a research tool for locating TS Eliot’s The Waste Land and selected other poems in Margate. The group works closely with Turner Contemporary’s Waste Land Research Group who are developing Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’, Turner Contemporary’s first major exhibition of 2018, which will be on show from 3rd February – 20th May 2018, focused on connections between Eliot’s poem and the visual arts.

For more about the Garden Gate Community project please visit their Facebook page :https://www.facebook.com/TheGardenGateProject/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED













A few weeks ago I had a surprise walk with Jonathan Skinner, professor of eco poetry at Warwick University. Jonathan also happens to be a friend of Cecilia Vicuña’s which is another project I am working on #ThreadandWord.

Jonathan took me on a walk in the bluebell woods on the campus and shared some of the handouts he uses with his MA students.One of the entries was a quote from a Larry Eigner poem :

“ a poem can be like walking down a street and noticing things, extending itself without obscurity or too much effort”

On Jonathan’s handout this quote appears under the heading, WALKING.

I have been spending some of my time considering this line and researching Larry Eigner and the Black Mountain Poets who were associated with the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina. These poets, including Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and Robert Duncan, promoted a nontraditional poetics described by Olson in 1950 as “projective verse.”

Printed below is shadows, birds, by Larry Eigner.

s h a d o w s , b i r d s,

wake up

birch trees
in the wind’s web

before what minutes, exposition
of mankind

stony light turned

how much
the number

the vague soon again

what change in the parts

© 1968, Larry Eigner, courtesy of the Eigner Estate
From: Poetry, Vol. 111, No. 6, March, 1968

Olson advocated an improvisational, open-form approach to poetic composition, driven by the natural patterns of breath and utterance. Born with cerebral palsy, Eigner made use of a wheelchair throughout his life, he is associated with the Black Mountain Poets.

This week the Walking with The Waste Land group had their May walk in collaboration with the Garden Gate community in Margate.For more about this walk,A walk in May with The Garden Gate

I had the good fortune to spend some time walking with Charlotte. Breath is one of the things we were speaking about during our walk. Charlotte explained to me that she has cerebral palsy, she had walked from Broadstairs to the Garden Gate to join us for the walk. Charlotte also explained that she finds walking calming. We spoke about Larry Eigner and it has led us both on a wonderful trail of discovery.

We hope to make some poetry with the group on our next walk on June 8th, meeting at the Garden Gate at 10 am. Let me know if you’d like to join us!


“Let’s Talk about Vivienne”

A walk , by the Walking with the Waste Land group at the Turner Contemporary.

Saturday March 11th.

A Photo Diary, creating new encounters.

A performance by Jill Rock

Turner Contemporary

Invoking Vivienne,
through the Sybil

From the Epigraph
The Waste Land
Identifying Eliot’s Ghost women

Keith Grossmith

Harbour Wall

reads :Sophie (after JMWT)
written by Keith Grossmith

We include a Turner woman of her time in our walk, referencing the Gallery.

‘Elspeth Penfold

Information Centre

Sonia Overall’s
The Art of Walking

contained, linear
( Walking – Method )

Judy Dermott


View point

‘Lido becomes
Burnt Norton’

Emily Hale, but now Let’s Talk about Vivienne.

‘Elspeth Penfold

Walpole Bay Shelter.


T.S. Eliot , famous clairvoyant.
Tim Dean

Eliot’s demeaning portrayals of his ghost women.

Judy Dermott

Walpole Bay Hotel
(wonderful tea and scones).


‘Tom and Vivienne’s
letters from Margate.’

Julia Riddiough


Walpole Bay Hotel.


‘The Vivienne Haigh-Wood Headlines’

Judy Dermott


Tom Thumb

looking towards
the old site of the
Albermore Hotel

Reads: ‘Poor wretched clever child.’

Richard Turney

in the gardens

‘Death of a Duchess’

An image of Vivienne. She sits at her dressing table, hairbrush motionless in her hand, bare arms fixed, waiting for a question from Tom…

And if I said ‘I love you’ should we breathe?

Keith Grossmith

reads his poem:

Near, bright stars.

Richard Turney

A Game of Chess

lines added to
and edited from
the Waste Land
at Vivienne’s behest.

Judy Dermott


The Old Kent Market

reads: ‘The Eliot’s go to the Cinema’.


A screening


Sally Waterman’s

‘In the Cage”.

Wrapping up!

With many thanks to Jennifer Deakin for photography and to the members of the Walking with the Waste Land group for their hard work and support.

For details of readings and performances:http://www.elspeth-billie-penfold.com/let-s-talk-about-vivienne-readings-flyers-and-some-images


This walk includes a performance by Jill Rock, inspired by the Epigraph to the Wasteland, ‘Sybil”

A small intervention by Elspeth Penfold at the Nayland Rock Shelter.’Menstrual Discord’.

Referencing Cecilia Vicuña’s ‘Quipu Menstrual’

With words by Judy Dermott accompanied by music from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Poetry written and performed by Keith Grossmith

The Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot Headlines Read by Artist Julia Riddiough and Reported from The Walpole Bay Hotel Margate

Following his successful walk for the Folkestone book Festival with ‘Margate is weird. We do not dislike it’ – T. S. Eliot in Margate, Richard Turney is walking in Vivienne’s footsteps from the Tom Thumb Theatre.

and we have a screening of Sally Waterman’s ‘In the Cage’, at The Old Kent Market,

and there is much more!

We are all looking forward to it and to celebrating the life of Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot with those who have tickets for the walk, now sold out.


Thoughts that developed as a result of our field trip on February 9th.


A walking field trip from Espacio Gallery on the Bethnal Green Rd. through Sculpture in the City at various locations ending at Leadenhall Market.

Participants: Veronika Marsh (Linguist, and artist)
Virginia Fitch. (Walking with The Waste Land)
Allan (Poet, writer , student of life)
Helen Peacock (Artist, currently exploring wires and tensions)
Jill Rock (Sculptor and performance artist)
Elspeth Penfold (Artist, weaver, exploring walking as research)

I have invited participants on these walks to take a leap of faith with me as we are never too sure how the walk will evolve or who will turn up on the day. When questioned about the route I say that there is a heartfelt aim that we will somehow arrive at our destination.

This is all very difficult to explain, hence the leap of faith.The following explanation might be helpful

Explaining Rhizomes

Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entryways. Likewise this walk has multiple entryways.


1. Threads an Exhibition at Espacio Gallery, including a piece of my own work “Quipu”.

Quipu was made during a residency at Sun Pier House in Chatham, last July from materials gathered during a walk organised with the Walking with The Waste Land group for The Writing Buildings symposium at The University of Kent.

It now seems clear that threads as a metaphor are looming large in this walk.

2. A second entry way is Palabra e Hilo, sited readings of a poem by Cecilia Vicuña, Thread and Word. Vicuña is a Chilean Poet and a walker who weaves words. Like TS Eliot, Vicuña’s writing is a stream of conscious thought with references to mythic ideas but hers are rooted in Andean culture rather than European.

The fragmentary introduction of poetry readings from different sources ties in well with another entry which is:
3. International Women’s month, celebrating the work of Sarah Lucas and Lizi Sanchez.

Kevin and Florian – Sarah Lucas

Lizi Sanchez is a Peruvian artist, whose work Cadenetas, paper chains, offers a different entry point to an engagement with the walk.

The fragmentary introduction of poetry readings and interventions as we walk plays with Cadenetas as we go spotting and discovering the copper chains installed along the site of Sculpture in the City.

Sculpture in the City

4.The exhibition Program of Sculpture in theCity offers a further entry point. Artists and walkers have chosen to engage with sculptures along the route.

4.Walking with The Waste Land is another entry point.

This is a walking group which is a part of Journeys with The Waste Land, at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.

The group have been using walking as research to explore the poem as a contribution to the wider Research group for an exhibition opening at The Turner contemporary in 2018.

Sited readings of The Waste Land by TS Eliot will take place along the route from Espacio to Leadenhall Market.

These readings engage with site and open ideas connected with Palabra e Hilo

5.If you enjoy walking as research you might like to join a walk I am organising in Margate, on March 11th, as a part of POW Thanet , Let’s Talk about Vivienne.

Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot has been seen variously as a femme

fatale who enticed Eliot into marriage or his muse without whom some of his most important work would never have been written.
for more about this: walk:http://www.powthanet.com/lets-talk-about-vivienne.html

So there we have it Rhizomes a useful tool to allow ourselves the freedom to engage creatively.

Ginger, botanical rhizome

These events are all threaded together by the people I have invited to participate in the walk from Espacio Gallery to Leadenhall Market. I am interested in people and what brings us together. I am delighted with the ideas and interventions that have already developed as a result of the field trips.

Using walking as a research tool to develop ideas and bring people together to collaborate creatively is proving to be incredibly rewarding. The metaphor of the Rhizome allows us not to close down opportunities for discovery, chance encounters and ideas.

Thinking about Rhizones, Ropes and the knots made by participants walking on Thursday

Our walk last Thursday was no exception.We were, in Ingold’s words, wayfaring rather than transporting.

The ropes I make and give to participants in the walks to document the experience by making knots play with this concept of wayfaring.

“Every place, then , is a knot in the meshwork , and the threads from which it is traced is a line of wayfaring”- Walking Threads, Threading Walk”; Weaving and Entangling Deleuze and Ingold with Threads

I am looking forward to our walk on March 5th!