Born in Kilburn to Irish parents, poet Ian Duhig grew up with 10 siblings in a strong Irish community, working alongside some incredible characters that have inspired his work.
Retelling a story from a Kilburn pub Ian worked at in 1968, “He [Landlord, Butty Sugrue] persuaded one of his barmen, called Mick Meaney, to be buried alive. This was for the world record. It was like 65 or 66 days underground, and there was a big procession to a builder’s yard with Mick in his coffin.”
Named ‘the most original poet of his generation' by Carol Ann Duffy and having won the National Poetry Competition twice, Ian gives advice to Blueprint Collective member Savannah Mullings-Johnson for emerging poets.
“Take yourself seriously as a poet, and a poet in a larger world and enjoy it. Allow it to enrich your life. It does. If you allow it to enrich your life, you will end up writing the sort of poetry that enriches other peoples’ lives and they will want to read that.”
How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice?
In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective catch up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough to find out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we dig deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding.
This forms part of Brent 2020 Unlocked.