Thursday 3 May 2012

Guest Blog from Cardinal Cox, Poet-in-Residence at St John the Baptist Chruch, Peterborough

Earlier in the year I heard that I had been appointed the Poet-in-Residence of the early-15th century church of St. John the Baptist in the heart of Peterborough. The post is to run from Easter 2012 through to Easter 2013. Having some lead-in time I could visit the church on some Saturday mornings when they have a coffee shop open. So in advance of taking up the post I wrote a couple of initial poems, including one for the coffee shop. We also produced an initial press release to go out to the dozen-or-so listings magazines that cover Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.
When I took up the position I started to write in earnest, looking towards forthcoming events that the church was hosting (very much a community hub since recent redevelopment of the area). So in the first few weeks I have had one poem (about the church clock) printed in a newsletter for the congregation and another (inspired by a Jazz concert) printed in the citys daily newspaper.  I also did two interviews on local radio that were (to be honest) less than successful. On the Peterborough Breakfast Show (on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire) the DJ started an argument about the correct pronunciation of scone. I then read my poem to the coffee shop. The following weekend I was then interviewed on Radio Cambridgeshires Sunday Breakfast religious affairs show. Do you have a faith? the presenter asked. No, Im an Atheist,” I replied. Then she moved on with, “Youre not actually in residence at the church, are you?, No,” I retorted, they take a dim view of me sleeping in the porch at night!”. I then read a poem for the craft fair that is held at the church once a month.

So thats before my first month has been completed. I have some rough ideas for the rest of the year. Whether I get a chance to do them, well, I hope I get to let you know!

Cardinal Cox

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