Poems Underwater is a project exploring mermaids and mermaid-figures.
Half fish and half human, mermaids are figures that might be unwanted and harmed, vehemently desired or at least the object of fascinated attention, and yet they are rendered unacceptable all because of their hybrid nature. They are anchored, without the prospect of escape, in two or more communities and yet has its needs completely met by neither.
We were intrigued by these ideas and decided to explore them by composing poems, taking photos and blogging about our experiences going into rivers and waterways in three carefully chosen locations in the East of England – Longstanton, Orford and the Thames and Medway Canal, all of which were places of hybridity or merging in one way or another.
Then we opened the project up to others to contribute their own thoughts. We’re collecting these in our online gallery and we published selected works in a standalone anthology, which is now available to purchase.
We followed this up with a month-long residency at Deptford’s Undercurrents Gallery in October 2013.