Kiddy Kamarade: “Crackling Hot in Pans Sometimes”

Category: Hive, Residency
Written by: Sophie Mayer on May 19, 2014

Kiddy Kamarade

Welcome to Kiddy Kamarade! The Archive of the Now and Rich Mix invite you to join our carousel of poets, providing ideas and inspiration for making word-art together with your children. Try out our imaginative techniques — and have a chance to show off what you create!


Station 1: Sarah Crewe and Chris McCabe – Poem Post Office

Sarah and Chris had a stack of postcards with mystery recipients (including Roald Dahl, Mr. Tumble and the Pope) written on one side – it was up to you to send them a message that might describe them before you knew who they were! The message you wrote was a description of something you could see in Venue 2, the long, sunny upstairs bar where the event was taking place.


I was describing the event itself – but there was a magical, funny collision with the recipient who was revealed to be:


I like to think She enjoyed it. Especially the glitter… of which more at Station 3: Poetry Potions!

But first, Station 2: Tim Atkins – Wonderful Day Haiku Station


Tim posted this haiku by Shiki Masaoka (in English and Japanese!) and invited us to imagine our wonderful day in brilliant colour! the delicious array of food treats available around the venue (including bagels) was a popular theme – as was the event itself…


The bright colours continued at Station 3, where Tom Jenks had poetry potions…


There was lots of magic here, with potions that (like poems) could be and do anything at all. Superpowers of all kinds were a popular option: here’s Pavel in the lab with Tom – and then showing off the muscles and superstrength that resulted!



There were also some inventive and evocative poetic spellings of pousun/poshen.


More spells and spelling next door at Jeff Hilson‘s ACROSTIC station, where we were asked to make our names into poems that described us, writing one word for each letter. One food item took the time to participate, inventing a new poetic form: the ACROSCHIP.


At Station 5, in the middle of the floor, Giles Goodland had us playing the classic Surrealist game of Exquisite Corpse – with a twist! Each new line was inspired by a random find from the dictionary, creating a dazzling cascade of words and tricksy storytelling…

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Even trickier in performance – but Giles and Stefan gave a brilliant reading, with cheers as audience members recognised their own lines:


There were more random gems and story generators at Station 6, where Lucy Sheerman was leading fearless astronauts on Your Chance to Go to the Moon. Using a dice game to choose page and sentence numbers from a collection of books about space, Lucy and her collaborators cut and pasted ten one-minute chapters about a very strange and wonderful journey…


and then they recorded them and we used iMovie to turn the recording into a soundtrack for a famous short film, Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon, which is over 100 years old!

Kiddy Kamarade tells A Trip to the Moon from Sophie Mayer on Vimeo.

You can see it playing here, over another project that produced a report from a wonderful journey, Lucy Harvest Clarke‘s A Visit to the Ocean:


Lucy found all the BLUE crayons, pencils, markers and chalks that we had, ranging from the palest pastel to darkest deepest midnight. We unrolled a roll of wallpaper along the floor (it’s lucky it was such a LONG venue!), blue-tacked it down, and everyone drew and wrote their ideas of the sea. Octopi, mermaids, plankton, boats, fish, and one confused Totoro later…

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Look at the vastness of the ocean unfurled here behind Tim Atkins’ performance of a section from “Fathers & Daughters”!


A huge thank you to all the Station chiefs and their families who made Kiddy Kamarade such a brilliant event – and to all the young poets and artists who contributed their imaginations and energy. Phew! Time to visit…

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The all-important Chill Out Zone / beanbag crash pad. This was perfectly soundtracked by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett‘s long sound poem “Exotic Birds,” curated by Emily Critchley. Poetry naps all round!


Poster art and much else besides on the day by the fabulous Archive of the Now intern team! Big thanks to Francisco, Jesse (who also took most of the photos used here – all the good ones!), Kester and Lawrence for everything.