THIS FRIDAY! A TOP SECRET event. In a world where poetry is prohibited, we are forced to huddle together in gin-soaked hideaways. Madam Scarlet’s is a Poetry Speakeasy, where lovers of ribald rhymes and soul-stirring stanzas can finally get some relief. I’m playing Drama Lil from Stamford Hill, and I’m looking forward to it very, very much. For the best deal, get a ticket in advance- book now and receive the secret location and password!
See you Friday, you decadent, debauched fiends!
Lovely day with The Poetry Takeaway today at Wimbledon Book Festival (my second year in a row!) Met some wonderful people and a very special dog called Miko. Toasty-warm, cracking poems served up all day by Laurie, Aisling and Keith.
Thanks again to the wonderful Alex Waespi for these super shots of Beastly Battles on Sunday at OvalHouse Fun Palace. Alex is a brilliant portrait photographer and doing some exciting work with us on a TOP SECRET PROJECT. But more of that to come… Mwa ha ha!
Some photos from Beastly Battles at the OvalHouse Fun Palace last weekend with the marvellous Keithy J. The performances were so fun, and the anarchic element that children always bring was just brilliant.
Well Versed is edited by JODY PORTER
A thing I wrote a while back has been featured in The Morning Star’s Well Versed column.
This weekend, I’ll be here with Keith Jarrett, as part of the Oval House’s Fun Palace weekend. The idea of a Fun Palace was conceived by Joan Osborne, a way of opening up spaces and allowing people to engage with art and science, in a playful way.
For that reason, it’s completely FREE to take part, so come along and walk around. The Oval House are calling it:
"a glorious mix of FREE hands-on fun and theatrical encounters for both big and little people. There’ll be crafts, music, fun and games, theatre, art events, workshops, eating, discussions, chance encounters, dancing, science, improvising, cycling…"
We will be creating BEASTLY BATTLES, an interactive spoken word corner, with beastly bars and monstrous metre…
(Illustration by Emily Medley).
“When did we become so small and so apologetic? Why do we apologize for our humanity? Love what you love, and make no apologies. This is your identity. The most horrendous suspensions of freedom are self-imposed. We imprison ourselves daily, hourly.
We have one life, one shot at all the glorious things of life, and we walk about constricted, apologetic, afraid. We have so little time; we have so little space upon which to spread our love and our talents and our kindness. Run toward life fulsomely and freely.
It runs from us so quickly, like a frightened dog or youth or daylight. Chase it and care for it.
Of course art should be about something big. Something terribly big must be at stake. I don’t see this anymore. Our art is becoming terribly polite and apologetic, much like us. It slinks away like a sagging breast, empty of milk or promise or comfort.
We need to get very fervent again. We need to get jacked up.”
Tennessee Williams, ‘We Have one Life’
At #WiseWordsFestival, Canterbury, on Saturday 13th, with Dan Simpson, Paula Varjack, Peter Hayhoe, and joined by Becci Louise and Helen Seymour.
When the spaceships first appeared
The sky was dark shapes looming
And the streets were people standing still,
And when the first buildings exploded
We were still there
Trying to get the best shot
But as the rubble fell around us
We let our phablets drop
Into the dust
And held each other
And looked deep
Into the eyes of strangers.
When you left
You left the front door
An arctic wind
Blew icy gusts all through the house
Rattled every window pane
And in the morning
The sun came up
And the door swung slightly shut
Til it was no more than a rippling breeze
Tipping the cards off the mantelpiece
And the next day I cam downstairs
To find the door was closed.
The house was still, and warm.
That’s that then, I thought.
That’s what they mean by “closure’.
But even now from time to time
I feel a draft on the back of my neck
And a shiver makes me hunch
And I turn
I just saw some tired people struggling with rucksacks, the last vestiges of glitter and neon paint still visible at the edges of their weary faces. Ah, back from Bestival, I thought. Which marks the end of the season, really, so please feel free to reminisce whilst listening to this poem.
My favourite passage from Beloved.
McDonalds was a safe bet
Now Dad’s asking questions
Though a plastic toy’s distracting
His elder sister shuffles in the pleather seat
She rolls her eyes a little
Picks at the last few chips.
And the other VERY EXCITING thing coming up is that I am going to Leicester (Yes Sir!) to perform at the lovely Jess Green's night, Find The Right Words. I’m performing with Hannah Silva, who I’m excited about seeing as she does all sorts of clever things with loop pedals. 17th September, The Western, Leicester.