I ask my students, ‘Why do you want to be a writer?’ They offer up lots of good reasons, ranging from catharsis, compulsion and straightforward ambition. One thing that drives me is leaving something behind after you die. The thought that even if one poem is read, or one novel enjoyed, you never really die.
I still remember being scared as child about the thought of death and the nothingness of it. It was around the same age I decided what my future would be: a writer. I was reading books by authors long-dead, and as I read their books, they still lived. It was a simple plan. I will grow up and write something that will hopefully live on.
One of our own, Kieran Davis, a Worcester writer, died recently. There has been a lot of shock and tears at the news of his death; Worcester isn’t full of enough water to reflect the loss of him, even with the current floods filling our city like a lake. He was a much-loved person. Even in passing, as our relationship was, at open mics and brief snatches of conversation in pubs, Kieran always took the time to fill me full of confidence, to pass on good will and encouragement. Kieran always promoted and supported other writers.
That is the way to live life: always do the generous and kind thing.
Kieran’s latest collection of poetry is full of the thought of what is left behind. He begins with an introduction discussing the title Legacy, and what that means to him. He packed the collection full of poems and reading them now is painful, but vital, because that is what Kieran wanted: his poems to live on long after him. He also had four splendid children that he adored, who are also his legacy.
Local spoken word night, 42, are cancelling the planned theme for Tuesday 25 February and will dedicate the evening to memories of Kieran Davis. Come along to hear poems by Kieran and his friends stories about him.
that I am your last memory
of the evening,
the ghost of my performance,
lingering as you seek your sleep.
The absence of ignorance, for me,
shows I know the host
was leaving me until last
to leave you with a lasting
impression. The digestion
of free-form, the audience
understands that their applause
demands, one day,
I shall once again – perform.