Bloomsbury Festival
Launch Event and First Day
Writer In Residence – Margaret Kenna

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet?
Asks my husband,
Sounding like a (very large) child on a school trip.
And yes, we are technically here
But not yet “arrived at our destination”
Because it is practically impossible to decide
What to do first
This little street is transformed
Into a vibrant, cacophony of carnival holiday
People ignore the autumn wind
Flapping the food stall covers
And relax on striped green deckchairs,
As though it is mid summer
They listen to singers
Doing Marvn Gaye covers
Join in the Greek dancing
And visit the Zen garden
With lighting powered by hydrogen cells, from UCL
Do you know
There is a Trans-Siberian Marching band, Asian dancers, light projection, performance poetry and spoken word
In shops and buildings all along the street?
How lucky are we
To be right here, right now
Says the teen, sounding like a (small and very wise, if slightly sarcastic)
Philosophical adult
And indeed we are
Lucky to be here
You can be lucky too
You just have to come along here, to Store St
Peruse the programme
And choose one of the many wonderful things
Available to do
You can give us a wave
We’ll be the ones over there
On a deckchair, arguing
About whether we are actually
really here yet
I mean, they say it is better to
Travel, than to arrive
And there are just so many options

Margaret Kenna attended the Festival Opening Launch Event at The Building Centre, looked round the 26 Inspirations Exhibition, watched the light projection of “A Language of SHAPES” and talked to one of the scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who had worked on the film. She also enjoyed a variety of street performances from musicians, singers and dancers, ate French food from one of the stalls, and read a draft of “Are We There Yet” to Barra Fitzgibbon, live on Bloomsbury Radio. He said he liked it so she hasn’t changed anything.

Oh, and there were also lots of cool, light installations, built to move like plants, lighting up Alfred Place Gardens, near the Zen Garden.


> Back to 26 Writers In Residence 2022

DAY 1 (Fri 14 Oct): Margaret Kenna