I am a poet, critic, ’conversationalist, personal shopper, siren, and housemaid to the gods – at least they think they’re gods’. So it said when this blog first opened back in 2006. Since then the little gods have grown up and are becoming quite impressive, no one does shopping any more, and I’m frankly too tired to be much of a siren; and yet Baroque in Hackney has a life of its own.
The blog is now a website, and encompasses my poetry, critical and tutoring life as well. It was shortlisted for the 2012 George Orwell Prize for political writing, based on my coverage of the riots, protests & cuts, Ai Weiwei’s arrest, the death of Vaclav Havel, and other related topics.
This year the blog category in the Orwell Prize is suspended; but Baroque carries on.
Born in New York City, I have lived in London since I was 19, and know no better. I have worked variously in the Penguin Bookshop, for Tower Hamlets Council, on a housing estate in Stepney, as a nanny, as a full-time mum, and once, for a brief unhappy spell long ago, at Liberty. (The shop,which bears no resemblance to the civil rights organisation of the same name.) After more than a decade in corporate communications – to wit: copywriting & editorial, press & publicity, publications management, and comms manager – I am now a freelance writer, tutor and facilitator, and general communications bod. I am more than happy to discuss consultancies and projects; my other website, katyevansbush.com, explains my services (though be warned, it badly needs updating; if in doubt, email me).
Aside from all that, there are many colourful family stories: my maternal grandmother was both a song-and-dance girl in the 1920s and an honorary Blackfoot Indian princess, and Myrna Loy apparently fancied my grandfather – who, in turn, is rumoured to have been a witness of Queen Victoria’s funeral procession. We are descended on one side from the Boones, whose most famous son was the explorer Daniel; and, through them, from John Milton himself. (This became something of a joke in the family when my glaucoma was added into the mix. Oh the laffs.) On the other side, our ancestors included the first man to be hanged for murder in the New World, off the Mayflower. The ignominy persists; there are places where I gather we would not be welcome to show our faces.
I have lived in Stoke Newington (for a time straddling Hackney Central) for the past 20 years. These days I mostly just share Baroque Mansions with Frank O’Hara and Chet Baker, the two hippest guinea pigs this side of the Village.
See the navigation bar and drop-downs for information on my poetry, poems online; criticism and prose online; teaching, tutoring, and creative-writing editing; and events coming up.
And follow me on Twitter @KatyEvansBush