These books are the culmination of D.J. Kirkby‘s time as Writer in Residence for the Portsmouth Libraries. There are three in each pack: a collection of stories written by the adults of Portsmouth, a collection of stories written by the children of Portsmouth, and Denyse’s own Realand, which evolved from the short story – The Box of Broken Things – that she wrote for them in return.
My contribution to the project was very small in comparison to that of everyone else: I took the photograph that’s on the front cover of the children’s anthology. Early last year, Denyse asked for people to interpret The Box of Broken Things using different media. She had someone to draw a picture, someone to write a poem, someone to write some music. I offered to take a photograph, and this is the result of my efforts:
Denyse kindly invited me to last night’s book launch and asked me to give a short talk about working on this collaborative project as a photographer. Which I did. The best bit of the evening, though, was meeting some of the other contributors. Carol Burns, the artist, was there, as was Sam Cox, Portsmouth Poet Laureate, as were some of the authors whose stories have been included in the books and, of course, Denyse herself. I always enjoy meeting other creative people in person because it’s so easy to fall into conversation with them. We ask each other probing art-related questions and we understand each other’s gabbling, over-excited replies. They always leave me fired-up and ready to give my next project good go.