Kirsty is an author, professor, journalist, writer of letters, poems, songs, stories of fact and fiction, but for the past eon it’s been mainly status updates. She is also the Off The Floor editor of the arts on DJMag, and publisher and editor of Cold Lips.
This feels like writing a long-awaited obit.
First published as a journalist in the style press as a teenager, after working in pirate radio at 14, Kirsty was TV presenting on ITV and internationally in her early 20s, but stopped when told to get a tit job by an agent. I know you’re looking at my tits now – stop it. And no, you can’t see some of those B-roll tapes, last heard to be residing in a garage in the States somewhere. These “lost deadline years” included getting sacked as a contributing editor on a magazine for crashing out in the fashion cupboard after the editor nicked a poem especially scribed for her by Tracey Emin. This period is explored in her long-awaited debut novel, which has taken a fuck of a long time to get published, largely because she is a she, and She’s don’t traditionally write about drugs or as viscerally about the subject of the 90s patriarchy, but also because independent publishers are artists and numerically dyspraxic when it comes to filling out Arts Council forms. The book is called PSYCHOMACHIA after a Latin poem that she found in the British Library, exploring the battle between vices and virtues.
Writing about music, Kirsty was sent the best new releases, which led to DJing at the most infamous clubs in the world with writers such as Irvine Welsh, Howard Marks and Kris Needs. Also working on a national tabloid, getting the poetic patter down, instead of going to university, or extending her time at art college, she learnt to tolerate wringing stories out of people who hadn’t got much to say, which prepared her for current times. She resigned from such duties after subeditors repeatedly (twice) changed her copy on a column called Born To Be Wild. Even The Sunday Times don’t do that – only removing an anti-war T-shirt reference.
After “getting into yoga”, she produced award-winning radio documentaries within BBC Current Affairs, and received first class honours in a belated degree, which led her to teach and support many new writers and createurs. The film she co-produced in India with a man she married in Vegas and divorced in Shoreditch, won awards and distribution. To support that, she worked as creative director for various fashion brands whilst writing a book for the influential Red Gallery.
First performing poetry in 2012, to break up the style of commercial writing, she ran a blog picturing a different outfit each day and found it received more attention than poetry, a precursor to Selfie annihilation of now, she explored this digital existentialism in a couple of poetry films that played at the Tate. This is an ongoing theme of essays, poetry, and other art. All the time, she’s been published widely, and pays the bills consulting with top level people. There’s more, and repetition, in the About pages, which need attention.
Initiating The Sylvia Plath Fan Club before poetry was the last remaining freedom of expression it seems to be currently, propping up every profit monster on the planet, the night explored poetry and lyric, with various singers and writers. Cold Lips was born from that, at London Fashion Week in 2016. There have been seven publications, and she’s also created two hand-sewn poetry collections.
In 2015 Carl Loben at DJMag appointed her the Off The Floor editor, where she edits three pages of arts, films and books a month.
In 2017 she performed her poetry with the genius drummer Dave Barbarossa, which has developed into her collaborations with Gil De Ray, the music project she’s been working on since 2018: Vagrant Lovers. He made music to accompany a poem she’d chalked up around NOLA, and they made a film of it which premiered in New York, and showed with a performance at Gallery 46 in London’s Whitechapel.
Kirsty gets called a punk. Kirsty’s been called many things. But Kirsty is a writer first. And now she is dead, maybe it’s time for a new name.
A ZILLION OTHER FEATURES HERE THAT ARE PDFs rather than JPEGS.