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A new collaboration with Wolfgang Dubieniec


" Good morning, good mourning,

Today I am sharing this new piece made in collaboration with Wolfgang Dubieniec. This is the first of our collaborations with film, music and poems. 

The poem While Justice Waits was written in the spring of 2020, following the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25th 2020 and the powerful international Black Lives Matter protests that followed. The audio performance of this poem was recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, at NYLON, Apples and Snakes, October 2023.

Backstory: At the height of the global pandemic, I made a version of this poem with music composed and performed by Anna Phoebe. Our lockdown collaborations were performed and filmed remotely and then shared at York Cathedral, York Festival. I remember the first time I ever shared and performed this poem live on stage, it was at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, reading alongside Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors as part of her OWN IT! London book tour in the spring of 2022. What an incredibly inspiring meeting that was. While Justice Waits was published in a special edition of Wasafari commissioned by guest editor Darren Chetty. While Justice Waitswas highly commended by The Forward Prize and published in The Forward Book Of Poetry Anthology 2024. You’ll find this poem in the hardback edition of ‘Pessimism is for Lightweights’. 

It is beautiful to me how poems change shape as the time passes. How certain lines in this particular poem hit differently to us today. Just four years since it was made. How this poem has travelled, each performance, each reading, taking on new meanings and extra layers. Thank you so much to Wolfgang for making this beautiful 2024 version of the poem. 

I love this image: the hand of a child playing and flying. The simple act of dancing in the wind, the fragility of one minute. The innocence of play, of feeling, of dance, of weightlessness, of daydreaming. How we are all living in this time, sharing our dreams and our nightmares, we rise and fall and rise again, wavering in pockets of air and light and shadow."

While Justice Waits

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