The Intimate Tour of Breasts – next stop, Birmingham! (and a few poetry links)




September, and a new development for the Intimate Tour of Breasts: I have been invited to create a Birmingham version of my walking tour as part of the exquisite Birmingham Still Walking festival, and also pre-empting the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition, Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender, and Identity, which opens in December. My walk takes place on Saturday 16th September, 12.45pm (with a second outing next Spring, dates tbc), I’ve discovered some really exciting Birmingham legends and landmarks. Here’s the blurb:

Artist, writer and breast cancer survivor, Claire Collison is your tour guide on this three-hour walk exploring multicultural mythologies surrounding breasts, and looking at their commodification throughout history to the present day – from religious martyrs to political activists, fine art to Page 3, nipple slip to slippery nipple. Engaging in conversations and activities en route, you will be unraveling the implications of all this on how women feel about their own breasts. This Birmingham Intimate Tour of Breasts is second in a series which began 2016 as part of the Walking Women festival in London.

An Intimate Tour of Breasts is supported by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and pre-empts the exhibition Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity opening on Saturday 2nd December. This major exhibition will feature over 80 modern and contemporary artworks by internationally renowned artists who explore themes of gender, sexuality and identity in art.

Booking and further info can be found here –

In other news, I apologise for being so completely rubbish at the regular upkeep of a blog (how do people do it?) so I am belatedly sharing this, a podcast of me reading my poem, The Ladies’ Pond, which was awarded second prize in the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2017. In an interview explaining how I came to write it, I said:

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I became acutely aware of the invisibility of other women who had chosen not to have reconstructive surgery. This invisibility not only signalled the pressure I was under to conform, it also meant I had no tangible evidence of women survivors. The Ladies’ Pond is both an institution and a secret – a natural oasis, hidden away on Hampstead Heath in London, where women swim year round. The chance encounter with an old woman that I describe in the poem really happened, thirty years ago, but it was only on my birthday, days before my own surgery, that I remembered her. I sometimes wonder now if she was a ghost from my future, come to reassure me all would be well.”–/2017-hippocrates-prize-for/readings-by-2017-hippocrate/2017-open-award-winner.html

And, while I’m at it, here are a few links to where poetry of mine can be found online…

Bare Fiction

(Keeping Borzoi was Highly Commended in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2016, as chosen by Helen Mort.)

The Compass Magazine

The Flambard Prize 2016


That’s plenty for now. If you’re in Birmingham, maybe see you on the 16th!

About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s