On Sunday evening I’ll be live-streaming on twitch, reading some of my favourite poems. I’ll start at 6pm GMT, and will go for about an hour.
I don’t expect me reading poetry over the internet to be a huge draw, but one of the things I love about twitch is the intimacy of tiny audiences, the feeling of presence. And it’s been fun digging through my shelves, handling the books, and realising how many memories are attached to them.
My sudden twitch obsession comes via DJ Kate St Shields. Kate has been looking at different places to host her DJ sets and has recently settled on Twitch. The service has been about for around 9 years, but I’d only heard of it as a video-game streaming service. There is so much more. I can watch a dog called Leyla on her walks. I watched sea-otters, swimming in the rain, near to Canada – Great! Watching cars move through an anonymous intersection in Russia might have been one of the most moving things I have seen.
It’s like something from a sci-fi novel. There are all these little interactive TV stations, whose graphics are almost as good as some of the little stations on cable in the late-90s Essex. I can watch a ship docking, or someone sewing. I can watch a self-proclaimed redneck and ex-con doing a delivery round, the chat questions repeated to him by a gadget as he drives. It’s like the few times I caught a pirate radio station when living in Essex – the chat between the tracks was the most interesting thing.
Poetry, for me, has always been about the capture of little moments (which is a poor, reductive definition for poetry, but it’s what I like about it). I love how the particular way this art captures moments, and the ephemerality of twitch seems the perfect place for such moments.If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list