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my life in poetry - 1

I began writing poetry on 4 May 1961 when I was living near Primrose Hill NW1, having graduated in English Language and Literature, University College, London.

I decided to use my first names PAULA CLAIRE in honour of John Clare the nature poet (1793 - 1846) because we are both from Northamptonshire. From the outset the sound of words and their relationship to music was paramount.  My major influence was Gerard Manley Hopkins whose powerful and idiosyncratic use of language I greatly admire. [Read My Poetry 1]
1. ATHENS - OXFORD
In 1968 I settled in Oxford after 4 years’ teaching EFL in Athens under the auspices of the British Council and published my first booklet: MOBILE POEMS, GREECE [Read My Poetry 2]  – ‘mobile’ because sections are to be improvised by all present– I do not use the term ‘audience’ because ever since I gave my first reading (London, November 1969) I have always invited vocal participation because I consider poetry an oral and communal art. I have devised 2 kinds of participation: ‘responsive voices’ are simple repetitions of key words and phrases when I indicate; ‘interactive voices’ involve everyone having a complex text which is ‘scored’ to create different densities of voices: solo, duo, quartet, octet, 2 groups and the massed voices of all, always including some sections to be improvised. [Read My Poetry 3] My outdoor performance in Broad Street, Oxford, 1979 an OXFAM event in aid of The Boat People invited everyone to respond to my key phrases as I improvised from my collage poem consisting of various newspaper cuttings.  [Photo 1]
 
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Paula Claire, POET, ARTIST, OXFORD
THE PAULA CLAIRE ARCHIVE from WORD to ART - International Poet Artists
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