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Performance poetry

Walthamstow Garden Party 2017

Another year, another Walthamstow Garden Party. It’s always a delight to be able to perform here as we are usually very lucky with the weather.

I was performing alongside a long list of amazing poets, starting with the latest crop of Barbican Junior Poets. The work these young people do is a credit to themselves and to those who work with them – they really blew us all away!

I went on representing the Barbican Young Poets, joined by friends and peers from Octavia and Poets’ Platform.

This performance saw me trying something a little bit different. I went down into the audience and sat among them, picking one person to perform each poem to, to help bring poetry away from a stage and less about being observed in a particular format.

The evening was rounded off by an incredible set from Kayo Chingonyi, who was one of my first poetry mentors, and Clean Shirt.

Categories
Personal poetry

An Invitation to St. Paul’s

The inbox today had a formal invitation for me to take part in a special round table poetry discussion held at St. Paul’s by Poet In The City. As with most of these things, I shall be attending as an ambassador of BYP.

I’m not entirely sure what form that is going to take but I accepted mainly because it gets me free entry into the Cathedral – I’ve long admired the building but have never been tempted enough to pay the extortionate entry fee.

The topic is going to be reclaiming London spaces. Given the Cathedral’s relationship with the Occupy movement, it’s an interesting forum for this discussion to say the least.

Categories
Performance poetry

How beautiful is this poster? Says all that needs to be said. Be there.

rapflyer

Categories
Performance poetry

SpeakBeats Update

Okay, so it seems that several poets were booked for the night in anticipation of one of us not being able to make it but since we all can, I’ve been bumped back to JUNE 18th

Categories
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.

Categories
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!

Categories
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!

Categories
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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Uncategorized

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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Uncategorized

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!