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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Big Break Diaries: The poet
BBC News Online's Big Break Diaries follow a group of people hunting for their big break in the arts and entertainment world.

This week, poet Jackie Wills, finds her muse again after the summer holidays and looks ahead to National Poetry Day.


24 August

I'm in a film. Brighton beach and ruined West Pier in the background, I talk about why business should take poetry seriously.

I'm most concerned about why Jane's filming my back as I walk up the pebbles and how big my bum will look but I say something about taking risks and the creative effort a poem requires.

The sound man's worried about the volleyball pitch behind us.
Jackie Wills
Jackie Wills: Planning her poetry campaign

I feel that would be infinitely more interesting.


31 August

Writing, after a summer of fitting in work with amusing the children. Massive relief that at least something's been happening in my subconscious while shopping for picnics.

I go through my notebook, picking out lines, paragraphs, taking them further, shaping them. It feels like sorting out a kitchen cupboard.


8 September

The painter, Antoni Malinowski has an exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. I'm running a workshop to go with it. On the phone, he tells me about pigments. There's a painting called Indian Yellow.

He says the pigment's dried urine of cows fed on rotten mango leaves. I love it. He's passionate about pigments and light. Look at poems by Pauline Stainer.


12 September

My daughter's birthday. The day after the World Trade Center is attacked. While she's at school I meet a friend to write in a cafe in Lewes.

Everything we write is sinister. Try to find a poem to email for Lever Faberge residency. I look through Sassoon, Auden, eventually chose one by Peter Reading, Lucretian. He's a genius. My mother's brought tea. She tells me how she felt during the Cuban missile crisis.


17 September

Nearly end of the residency. We plan National Poetry Day on 4 October - a poetry wall and poems read aloud in Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, German. It's an international team which should rise to the theme of the day - journeys.


20 September

I've been working with Will, a letter carver, on Unspoken Words,a proposal for a literary trail along Brighton seafront - poems and prose carved in pavements and walls, on benches, in glass, ending in a poetry park.

Will's carved a quote about Brighton by DH Lawrence into stone. I've researched writers who've lived here. Today we hand it all to the council.

Like everyone else, go back to the papers, TV, radio, appalled by what could happen next.

Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.


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