4 June 2016
Postman delivers love letters to Yorkshire
Huddersfield postman Kevin Boniface uses his observations of life on his postal round to inspire his award winning blog and now his latest spoken word project has won him a major commission from the Yorkshire Festival.
Backed by Hebden Bridge Arts Festival the talented postie has created Recorded Delivery where he records his observations of what he hears on his rounds and trips to other towns listening to local folk.
"I started a blog of my writing six years ago which got a bit of a following and won an award at the Blog North awards," says Kevin. "The blog is basically me wandering about making hopefully amusing, and insightful, observations about what is going on. They are monologues rather than poetry."
"I was then asked by Helen Meller, who is the artistic director at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, to start this project so we got our heads together and agreed we should broaden it out to areas in the Yorkshire Festival."
Yorkshire Festival funding
Only 8 projects across the whole county won Yorkshire Festival funding, and it is unheard for a postal worker to win a commission from a major festival. But that support has allowed Kevin to take Recorded Delivery on the road to the Hebden Bridge, Grassington and Holmfirth Festivals.
Vignettes, riffs on life
"The recordings are little vignettes, riffs on life. I've always been interested in the everyday stuff that people tend to take for granted. It's like a collage, I'm mixing with all sorts of people in all sorts of places, so it's a big mash up of all that.
"Hebden, Holmfirth and Grassington arts festivals are all running concurrently with the county-wide Yorkshire Festival so we thought it would work to go out and do observations in these three towns, plus Huddersfield where I live.
"People will be able to access audio and video content from the project via QR internet codes which will be put on post boxes, in post offices, stations and other public spaces."
Kevin has been able to gather some of his material because postal workers on their daily round are one of these essential services that people almost ignore as they are such a part of the everyday lives and fabric of any community.
"I've always said that wearing a high-vis vest actually makes you less visible, rather than more visible, people tend to turn a blind eye to you," notes Kevin.
"I don't abuse my privileged access and I respect people's privacy. I wouldn't mention anything seen or heard on private property, it has to be from the public sphere."
Real life observations
One of the reasons Yorkshire Festival was so keen to back Recorded Delivery was all of the tales are based on real life observations that most people will be able to identify with.
"Hopefully, people across the festivals will empathise with these stories. When I write them I try not to be too judgmental. I'm just showing people rather than telling them. People identify more with stuff if they are not browbeaten with it; when there's a bit of space for the listener to figure out how it all works for them."
Meet the writer and filmmaker
Kevin's journey is being documented by filmmaker Ed Cotterill and there is a chance to meet both of them at a special Hebden Arts Festival screening of work in progress in the Town Hall on Monday 27 June.
Listen now to four short audio clips of Record Deliveries.
More info at www.hebdenbridgeartsfestival.co.uk and the box office is open daily at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.
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