Poet & Narrative Author – Kathy Gee
Ma, you ask me who will have to go, and I say me and Bert and Harry, lads from farms and factories, from schools and shops and offices. You fold your hands and sigh ‘you’ll have to fight some other mother’s son’ and I say ‘yes’.
Extract. Kathy Gee. (Suite for the fallen soldier)
About The Poet
An archaeologist and curator by training, Kathy Gee’s career in the heritage world included museums, industrial archaeology, landscape and the built environment. In 2013 she was awarded an MBE for services to culture and heritage. She is also a trained leadership coach and a published poet. Her first poetry collection – Book of Bones – was published by V. Press in May 2016.
Kathy has lived in Feckenham since 1990. As one of the Feckenham WW1 Commemoration Group she was involved commissioning ‘Suite for the fallen soldier’ and wrote the six spoken sequences that weave through the choral music.
“Our soldier represents a generation of grandfathers. He is not a real person but his story has been created from real stories, from contemporary journals and letters, from books and research.
I have been inspired by the landscape of the rural Midlands and, in particular, the names on the Feckenham War Memorial, but our man’s story could be located anywhere. Similarly, while we tend to think immediately of the Somme, I wanted to find experiences that would resonate with modern listeners whose ancestors may have had a very different war.
Collaborating with Phil Mountford was a fascinating process and my writing has had to evolve as the music evolved. I’ve wrestled with both the characters and the tone of the narrative, trying to create voices that are authentic but still modern, highly emotional but not clichéd. Real men and women did extraordinary things in the Great War and, in this fictional sequence of prose poems, I’ve tried to catch an echo of their lives.”
Kathy Gee, Oct 2016