Andrew Fusek Peters
Poet on the Gas Platform

Poet on a gas platform? You must be joking! Have pen, let's flambé a residency! First, the safety course - capsized in a helicopter under water, on my knees in a smoke filled chamber with breathing apparatus, glad it was practise. Then the real helicopter, with Anglia News keen to film the silly bard, cheerful filler after war reports. Saw ten platforms from the air, shining steel pearls strung on a web of waves. In the locker room, loads of lads staring at me. Oh God, I want to go home. But I am up for the crack, curious about the stuff that pours from cookers. Hospitality fab, piss taking par for the course. Get shown around, become obsessed with machinery when I make a home video, sound like a trainspotter - gorgeous pipes, look at that flange, oh my what a valve! Fall in love with language, Meg and Teg, Hydrate Suppression, Mudders and Cementers. I learn the tragedy of Piper Alpha and dream of the man who flew like mercury from the helideck as his boots were melting. I listen to another way of life, two weeks on, two weeks off, twelve hour days - I was knackered. Made some mates, got them mining for metaphors, surprised at their own lyricism. They even made their own didgeridoos! I was inspired.

Andrew Fusek Peters

Andrew Fusek Peters is an Anglo-Czech writer, storyteller, poet and didgeridoo player with many years' experience of working in schools, libraries and performance venues. His work has been on Poetry Please, Kaleidoscope, The Big Breakfast and Blue Peter. He was presenter/writer for BBC1's poetry series Wham Bam Strawberry Jam. Andrew has just edited Sheep Don't Go To School - a Bloodaxe book of East European Children's poetry, out in June. His teenage collection Poems With Attitude, written with Polly Peters, comes out with Wayland in January 2000.

Poems from Gas Platform Workers

Iron Oak

Poems from schoolchildren involved in the project

Sand Dunes
An Oil Absorber
The Sea
Dancing Dolphine

Young Poets Network