Thursday, April 25, 2013

Menopause - all you never learned

Menopause - a no-go zone
All four of us in the meeting are at different stages of menopause. We are planning an event at Brighton and Sussex Medical School that Dr Sue Eckstein's suggested for the Ethics in Performance series.

I'll read from Sweats, the menopause series that makes up a section of Woman's Head as Jug and Julia Montgomery, consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist and research fellow will talk about the science.

Sweats came out of a collaboration with artist Jane Fordham over a few days a few years ago at the idyllic Chesworth Arts Farm in Horsham and developed momentum from the experiences of friends going through menopause and my own rather haphazard and non-scientific research into the weirder aspects of menopause and then Moniza Alvi suggested paring it down to the bone.

It's a hotchpot and there are bits I've left out. Julia was keen to mention the positives - fewer mood swings (no PMT), wisdom, energy, release, the absence of migraines...but there are scores of other symptoms.  I wonder if there could be a Sweats part 2.

Most poetry editors I sent Sweats poems to were too squeamish (are blood clots, smears, wrinkles, grey hair a step too far?) Women's problems?  Brave Michael Hulse at Warwick Review published some, though but perhaps it's no coincidence Michael's one of the Hippocrates Prize for Medicine and symposium organisers.

12 June, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, evening (time to be confirmed).