Fiona Ritchie Walker

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Fiona World

Are you called Fiona? Even if you are not, welcome to my Fiona page! I like my name, and so it seems do a lot of Fionas, including this one in Austria, Fiona Rukschcio, who has set up a project photographing Fionas. I had my photo taken outside the Baltic in Gateshead after she sent me an email before her trawl of UK Fionas last year. It's part of a project she's working on, whenever she has the time and money, so will keep you posted about her progress.

This is also the page where you can read the original version of Richard Price's poem, The Fionas. I first came across this when it was poem of the day in the Independent (same year as one of my poems made it, I think!) and I cut it out, put it on the fridge, and have often read it while waiting for the kettle to boil, or taking a break from cleaning up exploding porridge from the roof of the microwave (common occurrence, should wear my glasses when setting the timer).

I say 'original version' because the poem has now changed to The Kirstys, but I've got permission from Richard to share the original (and, in my totally biased, Fiona view, the best) version with you on this page. Of course, if your name is Kirsty, or you want to compare them you'll be keen to visit Richard's website, www.Hydrohotel.net to read the later version which is also in Greenfields (Carcanet, 2007). Happy reading!

The Fionas

 

'Fiona,' that's a name

so Scottish, so

compelling.

 

The Fionas I love,

and used to love (a swingpark

in that comfortable housing estate,

colours of their anoraks), the low

voices of Fionas in their teens,

intimate as the flirts

my elder brothers were,

the fights, the neatness

of the jeans of Fionas,

the lazy ache of too much –

the taste of her mouth is the taste

in the mouth – French kissing,

the scent of a girl

on your lambswool sweater

those miles after parting.

 

Fiona, Fiona, Fiona.