Tag Archives: performance

Reviews

griffin close up

Writing

[on Lune]: “It quietly pushes the reader to imagine the sea under the cover of night, which in turn brings the lines about the sun or light forward into a startling glow. It’s interesting to mention that the darkness of the poem doesn’t come from the night sky, but emerges into it from a jet black sea. This is one of the overarching motifs that help to drive home the ideas of the work. The narrator of the poem looks out to the sea for answers, but the sea exists as an unknown, and repeatedly what the sea casts back is a command to look inside oneself. This dichotomy between the mysterious expanse of the sea and the tiny intimacy of the self is something that Hymas has managed to capture perfectly without being saccharine. If anything, the closeness that she conjures is one of melancholy.” Nick Murray Annexe Magazine

[on Lune]: “Lune is a rich addition to this contemporary pastoral tradition: part narrative, part evocation of land- and sea-scape, part metaphysical meditation on what the world is and what it is to be in that world. The title in the first instance derives from the river, but the other definitions of lune that I referred to in the opening paragraph of this review all seemed to me to come to bear on the poem as I read it. The sea is a leash, limiting the walker’s range of movement, the pull of the moon is what creates that intertidal space, the bay’s crescent is formed by sea and land intersecting, and these are all things the poem brings to our mental vision.The poem is driven by a need to see, in every sense of the word. And it recognises, or Hymas recognises, the difficulty of this project.” Billy Mills, Sabotage

[on Bedrock] “The poetry is earthy and takes a no-nonsense approach to setting out their journey from community-based god-fearing and pious, through to the complexity, toughness and verging on faithlessness, of modernity. These vignettes suggest a narrative that could make a substantial novel or play” Anne Stewart in Artemis

[on Host]
” I recommend the collection, especially for readers looking for a fresh slant on the domestic lyric, or just a very enjoyable verse narrative. Host is well worth their while, and bodes well for Hymas’ future.” Mark Burnhope on Ink Sweat & Tears

“… excellent at capturing social and religious codes of behaviour, with the acuity of Austen or Alice Munro … Host is a tactile and muscular collection, rooted in the complexities and textures of the physical world. Hymas has created fresh and exuberant work that, at its best, captures the awe of being alive.” Sarah Westcott reviews Host on Eyewear, here

” … These poems do not just host or reside; they make a connection, a highway of energy between the physical, the limits of the body and the indefinable other. The thing I like most about this collection is the so-much-more-than landscape they offer: more, they are a being-in-ness, being-of-ness, that I very much enjoy.”Anna McKerrow

“I read Host four times through and, by the last reading, it felt like a pair of hands about my face shushing my over-caffeinated brain.” Peter Wild, Bookmunch

“Her language is bold, lively and richly textured and her characters’ voices are powerfully brought to life so that their passions, ambitions and disappointments are vividly heard and imagined.” Bernardine Evaristo

“These tersely written poems are rich in well-observed characters and phraseology, witty in the serious sense.They are a feast of defamiliarisation and significant foregrounding, a nourishing image of lives and landscapes.” Herbert Lomas

“Sarah Hymas’ confident language and vivid imagery gives an unusual vitality to this collection. In Bedrock four generations speak of their lives in a sequence that pays homage to the institution of the family. A clear eye for period detail and an ear for the inner voice bring the characters to life, their particular fears and pleasures, conflicts and tensions.
Elsewhere in the book, in poems of travel, people, sailing and self-reflection, she shows the same robust awareness of life’s underlying currents and quests together with a will to embrace its fun and poignancy. It’s good to be in such wholehearted company.” Mike Barlow

Performance

“Sarah’s short imagistic verse is harder to judge in reading than on the page, unlike much comic verse. Where she succeeds is with her lissom presence, literally dancing her poems. Sea imagery predominates but the sustained metaphor of The Midland Hotel as a glamorous, sexy movie starlet was effective.” The Lunecy Review

“I thought your performance of your exquisite and elevated poems was masterly, magnificent.”

“Listening to you and your poems is like listening to music.”

“I just wanted to thank you for a brilliant afternoon yesterday. It created a real buzz with those that attended, they were still talking about it when I saw them in the evening! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.” Ansdell Library

Recent Work

spottydogsarah

I live by Morecambe Bay and this influences most of what I write. It has developed my sense of sound, and interest in the discreet rhythms of speech and language. The best place to get a feel of my current creative work is Echo Soundings

As well as the single collections, I’ve had poems published in magazines including, New Writing 15, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry Wales, Warwick Review, Washington Square Review, Stand, Tadeeb, Keystone, Iota, Staple, Tears in the Fence, Rain Dog, The Leeds Guide, Orbis, Agenda, The Slab, Smiths Knoll, Shadowtrain, Cadenza, Raconteur. My work has also appeared in multimedia exhibits, dance videos, theatre programmes, pamphlets, public installations and used as lyrics.

In June 2017 Recovery was shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz prize for Creative Experiment. I’m currently working on an artistbook of the piece.

 

 

Hymas&Lewis

Sealegs pic

Poet&Musician combo Hymas&Lewis invite you to
experience the expanse of the ocean and the confines of an
onboard cabin, under the guiding stars of maritime heroes.

In this frontier of tattooes, jackspeak and drownings, Hymas recalls how she, as a twenty year old landlubber, first went to sea, tied herself in knots, learnt to navigate and distinguished spray from fog, ultimately reaping the reward of adventure.

Lewis’s sung voice, acoustic guitar, concertina and shrutibox, and environmental sampling mix with Hymas’s poems, neo-shanties and candid storytelling of personal experiences.

It is a turbulent, joyous 50 minute performance, consuming and illusory, ghostly and enchanting, an experience once felt not forgotten.

Simply staged, Sealegs can be performed it in a variety of settings, with amplification. If required it can be presented in a shorter form.

Visual excerpts

“Sealegs was warm but bracing, humorous, lyrical, compelling. The blend of vivid words with soundscape and distinctive live music made for a delightfully multi-faceted experience. A splendidly approachable demonstration of cross-artform performance.”
Chris Bridgeman, Producer Lancaster Litfest

Audio extracts

You can hear more extracts on Soundcloud
What our audiences have said

You took me beyond the solid edge of things into the rhythms of the sea.
It is a wonderfully hybrid form that I can’t easily compare to anything else I’ve seen.
As a confirmed landlubber I wasn’t sure how much it would speak to me, but it was entrancing and hypnotic. I loved the way you wove your personal story with the myths and cultural associations of the sea.
I felt I’d been on a journey, eerie at first – my hair stood up on the back of my neck – then terror at being lost then the realisation that it’s okay to be lost.
What a great partnership. There’s an unspoken sense of synchronicity.
I’ve never heard anything like it.
Absolutely brilliant. I forgot totally where I was.

We’re touring in 2014/15. Please get in touch if you’d like to book us or find out where we’ll be. We’re happy to discuss fees and technical specs, which are not complex.

Previous Hymas&Lewis Collaborations 
We’ve performed around the North West, including at the Manchester Museum, Lost Voice, Liverpool, Manchester Green Room, Preston Harris Museum. More information on our past can be found here