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Performance poetry

Barbican Shakespeare Weekender

I got to share a stage with some of my favourite people/poets and chat about Billy Wagger Dagger! I can’t take the credit for that nickname, I stole it from someone who performed at Hammer & Tongue a while ago. And then I got to do a poem about my relationship with the Bard and his works.

Aside: Did you know that I once spent a day in a window display with nothing but the complete works of Shakespeare as part of an art exhibit? 

My poem was about when the weight of Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy really hit me. To help me express that vulnerability, I sat on the edge of the stage and delivered the poem to the audience who were all sat on the floor, rather than talk over their heads. I held eye contact with people for uncomfortably long periods while I talked about suicide ideation. The feedback was pretty great and I know I need to push on with this sort of thing.

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Performance poetry

SpeakBeats

is a new poetry night in Reading and I put myself forward to be considered for a feature slot (sent Youtube vids and pages of poems) and I have been offered a (PAID) gig on May 21st!

More news as I get it!

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Performance poetry

Barbican Young Poets Showcase – March 23rd!

A lovely little email today confirming the date of the Barbican Young Poets showcase. This is like the highlight of my poetry calendar and now it can be yours as well! You can buy your tickets here. Hurry though, as they have been selling out fast these days!

It really is a great event, full of some of the best young poets on the scene at the moment and it’s been great at pulling more people into the programme. Several of the poets this year were people who came last year and wanted to get involved (which led to a little bit of artist recognition at the first session when I did plenty of blushing at people reciting lines back to me).

I’ve given you almost a month’s notice so no excuses!

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Performance poetry

Dialogue Aftermath

Dialogue was a tremendous experience and (dare I say it) I great success!

It was so enriching to see people from lots of different backgrounds responding to the same theme across a number of art forms. We had young people and children with special educational needs using music to show us how they experience the world on a day to day basis, immersing us in their reality of sensory overload.

The Messengers are a group of musicians made up of Guildhall students and people who have experienced homelessness – it’s done in collaboration with the charity St. Mungo’s Broadway (soon to be changed back to being called St. Mungo’s) as part of their recovery college. Again, for a festival themed around Outside/In, it was wonderful to see Barbican providing so many people who are made to feel like outsiders with the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Against that backdrop, I was quite nervous about performing, not to mention the fact that as I mentioned in my last post – I have a small fear of heights. It was a great place to be seated though as I was nestled in with the audience, much to the bemusement of the people sitting on either side of me when the spotlight was suddenly trained upon them and I started reciting from my seat. My poem was about going home to Manchester and feeling very much like a stranger in a city I thought I knew and tracing the history of the city back to Roman times.

Going forward, I want to try and do more odd placements of myself during performances as I felt it disrupted people’s expectations to not have their attention focused on a stage. I intend to chat to Jacob about this at a BYP session.

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Dialogue Festival

I’m performing tonight at an event that I have just found out is sold out! Dialogue Festival promises to be an exciting mixed media night and I am honoured to be a part of it.

I shall be reading a poem written in response to a photography exhibition that is to go up at the Barbican soon. I’ve got a 3 minute slot and I’m on a balcony. I’m also slightly scared of heights.

Wish me luck!

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Podcast recording

Today, I’m off to the Barbican Centre to take part in a podcast recording collaboration between the Barbican Young Poets and my wonderful friends, Post Everything.

Really excited to see what they have planned for us. Keep an eye out for the podcast when it’s complete!

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2016

So the tail end of 2015 saw me back with the Barbican Young Poets, doing a few spots with Burn After Reading and being invited to Deptford Cinema to do a reading as part of their superhero season. Oh, I also contended with rising rivers in my hometown.

I’ve been busy doing a lot of writing and reading (I finally have a poetry bookshelf!), especially around how to make a living from my craft. If I have a resolution it’s to try and push forward with my plan to turn what I do into a career.

February and March will see me collaborating with Barbican/Guildhall, firstly on their Dialogue Festival (to be held in Barking) and then at the Barbican Weekender. I’m thrilled to be taking part in these, simply because it’s going to give me a big push regarding collaboration with other poets/artists.

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The Wellcome Trust/Southbank Centre Sexology Project recording!

Well, despite the unwieldy title, this is actually going to be a short post.

The recording that I did as part of the Sex In The Afternoon collaboration is now up on Soundcloud for your enjoyment, along with the work of my talented friends!

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Rich Mix – Sun 2nd August – 18:30-20:30

Excitingly, I’ve been asked by Jacob Sam-La Rose to do a ten minute set at the event that he is curating on Sunday at Rich Mix.

Rich Mix has been running a number of youth takeover events and this poetry evening is just one exciting event in the programme.

Come and check it out if you can!

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Wellcome Trust Sexology Project

Exciting news! I have been invited to write a poem in response to the Wellcome Trust’s Sexology Exhibition. I’m recording the poem today and it’s going to be played at Sex In The Afternoon next Sunday.

I’m quite nervous to be included among such company. Malika Booker has made such a huge impact on my craft so to be in the same event as her is an honour.

If you can’t afford the ticket then I’m going to see what can be done about the recordings – would love to be able to link you to them or put them up.