“LET YOUR LEFT HAND SING”
“Kevin Fegan calls his Let Your Left Hand Sing a long poem, but I wish it were ten times as long. I’ve known him as a true poet of the people for many years. He speaks for himself clearly and passionately. But he also clears the stage and gives all sorts of other people the chance to sing the songs of their lives. In this cold, dark age – his words are full of warm courage – and so are the people whose words he records.”
(the late ADRIAN MITCHELL 2008)
“The Singing Tree” (Corby Community Arts 2012)
Commission to write a collection of 13 poems, “The Singing Tree”, reflecting the diverse communities of Corby. Published within the “Our Corby” book by Corby Community Arts.
“Away Pitch” (The Brewhouse Burton-on-Trent 2011)
Commission by The Brewhouse, Burton-on-Trent, as part of the nationwide Cultural Olympiad programme, to write a collection of poems about sports and arts, with photos by artist Vitor Azevedo. Twenty sports people were asked to host a painting by twenty regional artists in their homes for a few months and record their responses to the artwork in interviews with me. I created a total of 20 poems from their responses and Vitor created a total of 20 photographs to accompany the poems. “Away Pitch” was published as a limited edition souvenir collection in 2011 to accompany a touring exhibition of the work in the East Midlands from 2010 – 2012. Winner of an Inspire Mark Award.
“Let Your Left Hand Sing” (Five Leaves 1st edition 2002, 2nd edition 2008)
Published by Five Leaves. Commissioned by The Long Journey Home Festival as part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme in the East Midlands, exploring the theme of migration. A book-length long poem, followed by regional and national reading tours.
“Kevin Fegan is a truly epic writer, who understands the broad sweeps of history and how they can be illuminated to dazzling effect by personal stories. In this age of soundbites and txt msgs we need writers like him who can see and describe the bigger picture.”
“A Will of Iron” (Amber Valley Artery Project 2004)
A poetry collection commissioned and published by the Amber Valley Artery Project to celebrate the village of Ironville in Derbyshire.
“Iron in the Blood” (Amber Valley Artery Project 2005)
sequel to my poetry collection, “A Will of Iron”. Co-written with Roy Bainton. Poetry & prose collection of life stories from the village of Ironville in Derbyshire. Commissioned and published by Amber Valley Artery Project.
“Blast” (Five Leaves/BBC Radio 4/ Manchester Litertaure Festival 2002-4)
A book-length dramatic poem about a Sheffield steelworker (performed by Paul Copley), which was originally commissioned & broadcast by BBC Radio 4 (nominated for Sony Award for Best Drama), followed by a subsequent stage version at Contact Theatre, which was a Manchester Literature Festival Airport Commission 2004. Published by Five Leaves.
“The sort of play you have to sit in the car and finish listening to… the best programme this week” – Pick of The Week, BBC Radio 4
“Blast is impeccably staged. Adapted from its original Radio 4 incarnation, Kevin Fegan’s lyrical dramatisation of the decline of the steel industry is both an education and an elegy. The story of one retired Yorkshireman, it’s all at once a chronicle of community and humanity against a background of heavy metal. Fegan’s rhythmic, colloquial verse neatly melds the elements of earth, fire, air and water into a double-narrative about the visceral nature of steel-making and life itself” – Manchester Evening News
“Racer” (Five Leaves/BBC Radio4 2003)
Commissioned & broadcast by BBC Radio 4 (performed by Paul McGann). A book-length dramatic poem about The Isle of Man motorcycle TT racing. Published by Five Leaves.
“I thought Racer was brilliant … We produce a lot of BBC radio shows and we know a good show when we hear it. Please could you let me have a CD of it so that I can play it to one or two people in our organisation and show them what a fabulous programme it was. One of the people I want to play your show to is my business partner Bob Geldof, who I just know will love the style of it”.
Alex Connock, Ten Alps TV
“Matey Boy” (Iron Press/ Welfare State International 1990-92)
Commissioned by Welfare State International and published by Iron Press. A book-length dramatic poem about a Trident shipyard worker in Barrow-in-Furness, inspired by my work as Arts Council Resident Dramatist with Welfare State, which I performed at literature & theatre venues on two national tours.
“Thanks very much for coming to perform Matey Boy for us. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it worked really well in the Voice Box, which you managed to make very atmospheric – not an easy task.”
Maura Dooley, Literature Officer, The South Bank Centre.
“An epic poem written and performed by Kevin Fegan. His verse is as tough, topical and streetwise as any disco rap.” The Guardian.
“The Space Between Us” (A Twist in the Tail 1991)
A poetry collection.
“The Blue Balloon” (The Amazing Colossal Press 1988 & 1990) A collection of poems inspired by my work as Writer-in-Residence at Stocken Prison in 1987-88.
“Bess – the Commoner Queen” (Playdead Press 2017)
script of my stage play about Bess of Hardwick, commissioned by First Art and performed at The Guildhall Theatre Derby.
“The Ruck” (Playdead Press 2017)
script of my stage play about girls rugby league, commissioned by Creative scene and produced by Lawrence Batley theatre Huddersfield.
“Obama the Mamba, President of the Slums” (Playdead Press 2012)
Script of my stage play, co-produced by Curve Theare Leicester & The Lowry Salford in association with Artbuilding Projects, about the life of Barack Obama’s Kenyan half-brother, George Hussein Obama.
“Wan2tlk?” (Methuen Drama 2008)
my stage play for young people (originally produced at Everyman Theatre Liverpool) in the “Six Ensemble Plays For Young Actors”
“The Sympathy Card” (John Murray 1990)
Commissioned play for schools as part of the Themescripts Series, “Taboos”.
“Totally Wired” (Plays International magazine 2000)
Stage play for Big Theatre at Contact Theatre Manchester
“Seven-Tenths” (Plays International magazine 1996)
Stage play for Walk the Plank Theatre Ship – British tour by sea.
“If We, In The Midst of Hell, Can Smile” (Junction Arts 2018) – a commemoration of the community of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, in The Great War. Featuring original poems and dramatic monologues by Kevin Fegan in response to research material presented in the book.
“Powered by Tea (and Coffee)” (First Story 2018) – editor of anthology by pupils from Lincoln Priory Academy.
“Around the World in 80 Pages” (First Story 2017) - editor of anthology by pupils from St.Paul’s RC School Leicester.
“Destination Imagination” (First Story 2016) - editor of anthology by pupils from Nottingham University Samworth Academy.
“Diversity and Unity” (First Story 2015) - editor of anthology by pupils from Queen Elizabeth’s Academy Mansfield.
“The Book of Requirements” (First Story 2014) - editor of anthology by pupils from Queen Elizabeth’s Academy Mansfield.
“Lights, Camera, Ransom” (First Story 2013) - editor of anthology by pupils from Nottingham Academy.
“#Trending” (First Story 2013) - editor of anthology by pupils from Bulwell Academy Notts.
“Held at Ransom” (First Story 2012) - editor of anthology by pupils at Nottingham Academy.
“Ellipses” (First Story 2012) - editor of anthology by pupils at Nottingham Academy.
“Fabulous” (People Express 2009) - compiler/editor of book commissioned and published by community arts organisation People Express, celebrating the women of South Derbyshire.
“The Fact of an Eye” (The Amazing Colossal Press 1995) - editor & publisher of individual collection by Pat Winslow.
“The Art of Being Late For Work” (The Amazing Colossal Press 1994) - editor & publisher of individual collection by C.J.Allen.
“An Ordinary Miracle” (Cheshire Arts & Libraries 1993) - editor of anthology of East Cheshire writers, as part of my post as Poet-in-Residence for Cheshire.
“On Legs Made For Flying” (Cheshire Arts & Libraries 1993) - editor of anthology of Warrington writers, as part of my post as Poet-in-Residence for Cheshire.
“Before the Legend” (Notts County Council Arts 1992) - editor of anthology of Nottingham writers.
“A Line on Stone” (Barrow & District Writers 1991) - editor of individual collection by Robert Drake.
“Lancaster Litfest Competition Anthology (1991) - Editor of anthology of national competition entries. I was co-judge of the competition.
“B.A.D. Writing” (Barrow & District Writers 1990) - editor of anthology of Furness writers.
“Around the Hemlock Stone” (Notts County Council Arts 1989) - editor of anthology of Nottingham writers.
“Dining Out” (East Midlands Shape 1988) - editor of anthology of prisoners’ poetry from my work as Writer-in-Residence at H.M.Prison Stocken.
My poetry has appeared in many magazines, including “The New Statesman” & “Index on Censorship”, and several anthologies (too many to list).
OTHER POETRY COMMISSIONS
“Memorial Garden” (2017) - commission by People Express to write a poem to mark the regeneration of the Diana Gardens in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
“People Who Are Not Me” (2011) – an exhibition of my selected dramatic poems at The Brewhouse Gallery, Burton-on-Trent.
“Amphitheatre” (2007) – I was commissioned by sculptor David Annand to write a poem which was incorporated into his stainless steel public artwork, “Amphitheatre”, in Mansfield town centre.
“A Tale of 3 Cities” (2005) - commission to write a poem for anthology celebrating Nottingham, Leicester & Derby as part of 3 Cities Festival.
“24:8” (2004) - commission to write a poem for East Midlands Literature Network readings tour of featured East Midlands writers.
READINGS AND PERFORMANCES INCLUDE:
In addition to 2 national tours of “Matey Boy” and nationwide performances of “Let Your Left Hand Sing”, “Blast” and “Racer”, I have given hundreds of poetry readings across the country at a wide variety of venues. I have read alongside Tony Harrison, Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay, Paul Durcan, Lemn Sissay, Ian McMillan, John Cooper Clarke, John Hegley, the late Adrian Mitchell and many others. I have been a guest poet at major venues, including The Voicebox (South Bank London), Index on Censorship’s Diaspora Literature Conference in London, The Poetry Olympics London, Apples and Snakes London, International Conference on Arts & Prisons Manchester University, Bath Literature Festival, Manchester Poetry Festival etc.
During the 1980’s I was a performance poet on the alternative cabaret circuit. I was co-producer of a national performance poetry venue, “Stand & Deliver” in Tameside, Manchester, and co-editor of “Zip” magazine which ran alongside the venue, both funded by North West Arts. I was one of two judges of the Lancaster Literature Festival national poetry competition and anthology in 1991.
NATIONAL TV & RADIO APPEARANCES AS A POET INCLUDES
(Too many local radio and television appearances to remember)
ITV international poetry series, “Word of Mouth” (presented by John Hegley) – I was a featured poet in this series in the early 1990’s.
Granada TV’s “Celebration”- featured my performance of “Matey Boy” in 1990
BBC Radio 4’s “Encyclopedia Poetica” – guest poet in this series in the mid 1990’s.
BBC 3’s “Whine Gums” (Baby Cow productions 2003) – guest poet in this spoken word series.
I have written plays for a wide variety of theatre, often in verse. I have also written verse plays for BBC Radio 4.
Please see full list of plays under my Work as a Playwright.