I’ve been involved, almost since its birth, with a Scottish arts organisation called conFAB, which was founded in January 2004. Over the years it has grown into a really strong, dynamic organisation, developing all kinds of new and exciting work in many different genres and art forms.
conFAB has a commitment to community and education-based work and in its productions both professional practitioners and community actors and performers work alongside each other. It is committed to inclusion and equality, providing access to the arts for everyone as audiences, as participants and as artists, and is always ready to explore new ideas.
Towards the end of 2019 the organisation celebrated its 15th year with a party in the Glad Café, Glasgow. This is what we were celebrating:
I was delighted to be invited to read a poem which was written for a project called Hidden City. There were several Hidden City projects, in which poets were invited to places around the city and invited to write whatever that place inspired. Almost all the places visited over the course of the project have now disappeared.
My poem, Thousands Pass Here Every Day, became the title poem in my first full collection of poetry published by Indigo Dreams – one of the many reasons I have for being grateful I am involved with conFAB.
I made a wee thank you speech at the party but totally forgot one of the things I wanted to say. I’d wanted to comment on the fact that my son had grown up with conFAB. He was thirteen when the organisation started and was dragged along to various events, then he came along willingly, and then he became involved himself in a project. He was at the celebratory party, listening to the songs and speeches – and to his mother reading a poem. I don’t think he was embarrassed!
And here I am reading my poem: