Only in 2020 Part 6: Stand Up For The Artists

from Today's Calls: Pandemic Pieces on BBC Radio Devon by Kimwei



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This installment marks 6 months of this project running! Here's What Sarah Gosling is saying about Kimwei's Immediate Writing Project "Today's Calls/Only in 2020"

“Kimwei has been creating some beautiful and powerful and empowering art out of this (time)”

“You look at where we are right now and we have that weird privilege and also terrifying thing of living through history. This is a period that our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren will be answering exam questions on.. One of my favourite ways that the time we’re living in is being memorialised is by the Grand Bard of Exeter Kimwei McCarthy, he has such a knack of taking the mundane experiences of the everyday and making them into something fittingly poetic and also very profound.”

“What is amazing about this [series] is that Kimwei is only coming up with these poems the afternoon before he sends them to me. So, Kimwei will not do anything (maybe jot down a couple of notes but nothing big) until Wednesday afternoon, and without doubt, without fail, I get it Wednesday evening. He’s amazing and the poems are as well.”

“I don’t know if Kimwei is aware of this, I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but it honestly really helps me gain a different perspective and a kind of objectivity on what has been happening in the past few weeks.”

“It’s astonishing and constantly surprising work that Kimwei has been doing… for just this show… I don’t know how he does it but every fortnight Kimwei comes through with another amalgamation of everyone’s experiences in beautiful poetry. That is why he is the Grand Bard of Exeter and why I am so delighted that this Today’s Calls series is ongoing”

“[Kimwei is] such a gem in our crown or culture down here in Devon”


There is a ballerina,
Hanging her shoes up by the door.
There is an empty theatre where she used to dance,
Where we once cried for more.

She is our art, our culture:
Here is our heart, our life, our blood.
Only in 2020 could it all be lost,
Too late, too far, too long.

Music and song,
Please don’t be gone.

Stand up for the artists -
We need em’ more in a crisis than ever before.
Stand up for the ones who make us
Cry and laugh and hope.
Stand up for the creative ones.
Sing a song for the singers we adore.
Stand up for the ones who make us
Cry and laugh and love.

There is a songwriter,
With his guitar under his bed.
There is an empty venue where he used to sing,
Where he sang when we first met.

These are the words,
That need to be heard.




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