Acoustic Night May 2009


Why I'm Here

In the summer of 2007 performance poet Lucy English and photographer Sally Mundy travelled across Somerset. They asked they people they met a simple question, "Why are you here?" The answers were sometimes unexpected and often moving. This collection explores the notion of 'special places'. Why do people visit certain locations?  Is it natural beauty, literary associations or personal connections? This cycle of poems and photographs tries to find some answers.

The book arose out of conversation about what makes places ‘special’. Why are people drawn to particular places? Is it love of nature, comfort, association with memory, or a more complex mixture of feelings? We decided to use locations in Somerset because we felt that this extraordinary county is often overlooked by the popularity of Devon and Dorset.

Over three days in the summer of 2007 we travelled across Somerset going to ‘special places’; beaches, churches, cafes, villages and city benches. We talked to the people we met and asked them a simple question, “Why are you here?” The photographs and the cycle of poems are based on their responses.

"A sense of place, a subtle sensitivilty to the nuances of people and places - these are rare gifts. Lucy and Sally have found poetry in the normal"     Alastair Sawday.

"The poems..often take word and image beyond themselves into an altogether different kind of aesthetic space...the photographs are extended by the poems and the poems extended by the photographs."     Tim Liardet.