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I Am A Poem: Folkestone / 17 January 2012

Poet, artist and campaigner Vince Laws takes over Georges House Gallery, The Old High Street, Folkestone, from February 3-15. Expect visual poetry, text art, protest art, performances, events, and the chance to get involved.

I send greetings and solidarity to Folkstone LGBT History Month. It’s important to reclaim our hidden history and celebrate the huge contribution that LGBT people have made to human culture and civilisation. Knowing our history is crucial to understand who we are and to feel pride in our identity and community. This sense of self-worth is vital for our mental and emotional well-being.

Celebrating LGBT history starts local and goes global. Thank you for helping make it happen in Folkstone.
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

Celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Trans History Month at 12 noon in the gallery, on Friday 3 February. Those attending include The Mayor, Deputy Divisional Commander of Police Tim Smith, and Folkestone MP Damian Collins who will cut the pink ribbon.

“I think it is important that people are allowed to be themselves in a safe and secure community and I am very proud that this event is taking place at Georges House Gallery in Folkestone to highlight and celebrate LGBT History Month.”
Town Mayor, Councillor Sue Wallace

The Artistic Launch, 7-9pm the same day, will be opened by Tate Modern curator Marcus Dickey Horley, and will feature performance poetry and song from Vince Laws and guests. There will also be a site-specific text installation using coming-out stories and messages of support.

“This is truly a wonderful response to LGBT History Month, we are proud that the month calls forth such creativity and support. We can only hope that such work eradicates homophobia and transphobia and enables everyone to learn and celebrate the wealth of talent and diversity of our community.”
Sue Sanders Co Chair of LGBT History Month

On Saturday 4 February, from 1-4pm there’s a Human Library in the gallery, designed to combat prejudice, come and borrow a human ‘book’ and chat together for 20 minutes. Previous book titles have included HIV+, Blind, Bipolar, Wicca Priestess, Gay Christian, etc.

On Thursday 9 February, from 6.30pm there’s an invitation only performance of Vince’s poetry play The Small Frayed Knot.

On Saturday 11 from 12 noon there’s Pop-Up Pride, everyone welcome, poetry, song, speeches, and who knows what else. Queer calypsos guaranteed.

Finally, on Tuesday 14, there’s the St Valentine’s Day Poetry Massacre, details from the gallery.

All this, plus Adopt a Pansy, the Marcel Duchamp chess challenge, and Badger the dog, who will be exhibiting his homage to Tracey Emin!

All events are open to everyone. As Oscar Wilde said, “You don’t have to bat for us to admire our balls.” Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, (later for special events) all events are free.

Keywords: art,exhibition,gay and lesbian issues,poetry,visual art