bat for lashes

Honouring Women

24974393973_00efb80acd_m A grand old time!

There has been a lot of emphasis on women since the beginning of the year and more often than not, thankfully in a positive light. In Ireland anyway we’ve learned so much about the important roles played by women in the rising of 1916 and beyond, as the country struggled for independence. Studying history in school in the 1980’s however, we were led to believe it was a male only revolution but thankfully women are now getting the recognition they deserve. Women of all generations are flourishing in the arts, in politics and business and although it’s difficult to believe in 2016, we still have a long way to go to achieve the gender equality to which we are so rightly entitled.
Gender discrimination in terms of education, employment, pay, human rights etc., is ubiquitous, battles are hard-won in the West but women living in developing or dictatorial countries haven’t even been invited to the war.
In honour of International Women’s Day and in this Women In History Month, today’s show is all about the ladies. We’ll have poetry from Sharon Olds, Lucille Clifton and Radmila Lazic and music from Kate Bush, India Arie and Natasha Khan. We think of our Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Neice’s all over the world fighting battles from the personal to the political; we think of women who broke the barriers, cleared the path and led the way from Sappho to Simone de Beauvoir, Harriet Beecher-Stowe to Benazir Bhutto, Mirabai to Malala Yousafzai. Warriors, nurturers, lovers and friends – we are every woman!



WestWords Perfect Pair!

A forgotten gem from my show about Mirrors & Reflections: Scottish poet, Doctor and performer Gael Turnbull. Born in Edinburgh in 1928, he grew up in the North of England and in Canada. He founded the Migrant Press in 1957 which featured many transatlantic poets. His books include: A Gathering Of Poems and Rattle Of Scree and his collected poems There Are Words was published by Shearsman Books in 2006. He was a prolific writer and was read by a wide circle of Admirers. He died in Herefordshire in 2004. This is:
By Gael Turnbull

It was as if she couldn’t know herself. Only other persons could
Do that. When she searched for her image, there was always the
Reminder: one green eye, one brown. Her mother had tried to
Reassure that it made her attractive, interesting, that it was an asset,
Not a defect

Which wasn’t what troubled, or even the lack of symmetry, but that
when she looked in the mirror, she was always reversed, with her
Green eye on the left, her brown on the right. Only others saw her
As she was. Only others might make the affirmation, ‘You are’. For
Her, it was always the reflection, ‘Am I?’