Ruth has performed in venues including the Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre and British Library. In the summer of 2012 she worked as a Young Producer for the Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus Festival. She has worked at the Barbican Centre as an assistant for their experimental theatre scheme, ‘Pit Lab’ and as a volunteer for an English Immersion Camp in Spain, where she helped Spanish children write poetry. As a result of her work as a young ambassador for the Southbank Centre’s ‘Woman of the World’ Festival in 2013 she was invited to speak on a panel about young people and feminism with the poet Caroline Bird.
She has shadowed Jacob Sam-La Rose on a school project in Chelsea and Jasmine Cooray on a poetry and mental health workshop at the Dragon Cafe. Ruth was a participant in the Barbican Young Poets scheme (2011-2012) and the National Theatre’s ‘New Views’ playwriting scheme (2012-2013), for which she wrote a thirty minute play. As an Editor for Spinebreakers.co.uk, she reviews books, interviews authors and reports on literary events. She is a member of the London-based poetry collective Burn After Reading, and often participates in their monthly performances at The Gallery Cafe. She recently won an Ideastap brief to participate in the National Theatre’s ‘Young Studio’ where she will work with a variety of theatre practitioners.
Ruth will be studying English Literature at University College London from September 2014.
Publish and be Damned
I want to publish you.
I want to put you out there
so you can see,
in the curve of the ink of the black text
on the dead tree,
what I know you to be.
I want you to read yourself
and touch your lines and arcs
with the tips of your thumbs
without drawing blood.
I want to ease your tongue against enamel
to form the phrases you worried were clichéd
but were not.
I want to publish you
in hardback. Mine, the first edition
signed, not with kisses, but with
the lining of your throat.
Print paperbacks for future readers,
second, third editions for slow movers,
your name on the spine. Mine?
The absent dedication.
Still, read you now as if
you’re a first draft, advance copy:
proof, for when you no longer choose,
can’t, punctuate my every sentence.
I’ll send you to the printers.
Watch them turn you over in their hands
doubting they’ll understand
the sweet balance of your letters
sure as hell.
I know that I’ll never put you down.
written by Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes