Guest Post: Joan Byrne

If you were at Peckham Festival 2016, chances are you probably saw the work of Joan Byrne in some form. Joan is an exciting photographer and poet who has exhibited widely and won multiple awards. She states, “a friend says I’m a Flaneuse. It sounds about right: I like to go walkabout, preferably with my camera.”

In this guest blog post she discusses her practice across the two disciplines and what poetry and photography mean to her.

At first glance poetry and photography may not appear to have much in common but each depends on a point of view. I exercise mine as both a photographer and a poet.

Take a Butchers

I have been doing street photography in Peckham for close on 20 years. When invited last year by Peckham Festival to exhibit work, I decided to show photos of the many zany butchers that dot Rye Lane. I called the exhibition ‘Take a Butchers’. You can get an idea of my Peckham images here.

K & K Butchers

The exhibition extended beyond Copeland Gallery into K & K Butchers (Rye Lane, corner of Choumert Road) when they agreed to exhibit some photos. This was not without incident. The boss spotted that in one photo the price of a goat carcass was cheaper than he could sell one for. I explained the photo was several years old and so too the price. The photo was removed. Another one mysteriously became dislodged from the wall. Still, four survived and one remains there to this day. It is a photo of K&K Butchers.

Rye Poets

Rye Poets appearing at the John the Unicorn. Left to right – Helen Adie, Joan Byrne, Pia Goddard.

And, now to poetry. I am a Rye Poet along with Helen Adie and Pia Goddard. We are called the Rye Poets because our poetry can be wry and we live near the Rye. We write our own poems but perform collectively, our voices interplaying with lines and verses. We have been compared to a Greek chorus, but without the lamentations! Last year, we performed at the John the Unicorn to a sizeable Peckham Festival audience. The session included an open mic. We look forward to performing and hosting another poetry bonanza this year.

If you would like to contact Joan about any of the above then shoot her a message here: [email protected] You can also find her on her website or Twitter.

To apply for Peckham Festival please follow this link.