Fly High… Shedding Feathers – Gill McEvoy & Skylark

Gill McEvoy in conversation with Skylark, poetry in conversation with music and song, it was an evening of energetic beauty, and as Keat says, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”  Keats spent some time in Teignmouth, and thus only fitting to refer to him when reviewing the Teignmouth Poetry Festival 2019 launch.

It was a delightful evening, such communal joy and collaboration. All five of the organizers stood up and introduced the Festival, each one sharing their part, before introducing the performers.

Gill McEvoy is a local poet who writes about her personal experience with cancer and the death of her husband, the difficult terrain of rape, and lovely nature poems.

Skylark is a all female group of four friends brought together because of their love of music. Jane is the lead singer, who also plays mandolin and percussion; Caroline is the fiddler; Clare is the flutist; and Anna is the guitarist.

Skylark played an absolute variety of tunes from Spirituals and Blues to Carole King and Ceilidh tunes (they also perform as a Ceilidh band), while Gill responded with short, puncturing poetry that captured such emotion and experience, funny and mesmerizing. They interwove their performances, wrapping around language and theme.

Her poem “End of Relationship” made me chuckle in the timelessness of breakups, and the inconsideration of men.



(originally published on Sentinel Poetry- read here)

“Give it time,” they said

and so she did: she gave it

minutes, hours, days.

He never gave it

a second thought.


Another poem I absolutely loved was “Sometimes All It Takes.” – you can listen to it yourself and read it at the Poetry Exchange.

Overall it was a splendid way to start the festival, and hinted at all the poetry that was to come.