Since the new year, I have been working as writer-in-residence in Cushendall’s Curfew Tower on the Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland.
The tower’s stocky red walls seem to funnel up a great wash of myths and local rumours about themselves. Everyone knows someone who once lived in the tower – as a child, as an old man with a wooden leg, as a family of six, as a lone guardsman with a dungeon full of muskets – but no one seems to have actually ever been in the tower. They all ask if they can come in for tea sometime, poke about in the tower’s upper rooms, reminisce about the time one of the artists got onto the roof in the middle of the night and rang out the curfew bell like a man possessed.
The Curfew Tower is now owned by Bill Drummond, and Spike Island have been commissioned to curate a year of artists’ residencies. I am now leaving the tower to artist Marie Toseland who will be resident throughout February.
Residents are asked to leave something of their work or documentation of their practice in the tower. I have been writing a longer work which I will be bringing back with me to form the basis of some collaborative writing tests at Spike Island, where I am writer-in-residence for the rest of 2013. Come along to my first workshop, Hypotext, in March.
Alongside this, I have written a sequence of observational poems, little guides for looking at Cushendall, the tower. Printed onto translucent plastic. I will be producing copies for display in my studio in Spike Island, so drop by if you want to see the sights, smell the sounds.
Here is ‘Storm in January’, looking over Red Bay at dusk.