“When people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the other strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language- and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers- a language powerful enough to say how it is.”
May is the best month! TWO bank holidays AND my birthday. MEGA!
11th May: An outdoor performance as part of the Dulwich Artists Open House weekend. Also featuring Bridget Minamore & Deanna Rodger. 182 Court Lane SE21 7EA
It will be lovely and posh, with jazz piano and cocktails.
24th May: Less posh as it involves Tim Wells. The Betsey Trotwood, Clerkenwell. Feat. the legendary Tim Wells, Ross Sutherland and more. And it’s free!
New poems in the pipeline! Started a new teaching job this month, which has been manic, but good! Lots of ideas buzzing around my head- now need to set aside some writing time and get ‘em writ. See no. 29.
Photos courtesy of Zofia Walczak from the Word House, March 2013.
A storming line-up including Byron Vincent, Si Mole and Salena Godden.
Things to be excited about #1:
“GCSE” is to be featured in the next issue of inc magazine. The theme is ‘eyewitness’. Me and illustrator Jenny Jackson met at the romantic location of Chicken Cottage in Waterloo (needless to say, this was my suggestion). The chicken shop man was originally quite dismissive of activities such as drawing and poetry, (“no, no”) but we bought some chips and went ahead anyway! Trying to capture my flailing gesticulations would be a daunting task for most, but Jenny approached it fearlessly and I am very excited to see the results. I loved the above illustrations, from Phoebe May Halstead, on the inc magazine live poetry party- it’s a great dialogue between words and visuals.
My first ever gig at a burlesque/ cabaret night. The Fainting Couch promises to be full of glamour, feathers, starlets, opera, dancing, singing, laughter and, yes, poetry! The gig is on the 28th of March (and the next day is a day off, so no excuses).
Antislam Photos Courtesy of ex-Antislam champ Raymond Antrobus.
The Antislam was a masterclass in entertainingly bad poetry. We had all the horrible, awful things that you might see or hear at a performance poetry night, from losing your place in the poem, to cringey forced rhymes, relentless self promotion (Keith Jarrett’s brilliant ‘The Consciousness’ barely even started his poem!); to misguided political messages (Katie Bonna’s Cici had ‘discovered’ what feminism was all about); to terrifying insights into a person’s love/sex life (both the Amys, McAllister and Acre, did this superbly with their characters), and the downright delusional (Peter Hayhoe’s Taylor Swift song was just magically bad). All in the capable hands of Antislam veteran Paula Varjack and the lovely Dan Simpson.
I somehow made it into the final with the intimidatingly genius Amy Acre and Amy McAllister. We had to write a poem involving audience suggestions of Abergavenny, Piers Morgan, a wedding and a potato peeler. Amy McAllister came up with a batshit crazy, clever and entertainingly terrible poem and took the deserved title of antislam champ! A great night.
To see Random Acts: GCSE, made by the Mob Film Co. and Bang Said The Gun, go here. It was very exciting watching it on the telly the other night and seeing the finished cut! My *actual* drama GCSE class were all great.
Tomorrow: Channel 4, 12:20am (technically that’s the day after tomorrow, but you know.) Me plus my year 11 GCSE drama class acting out the poem “GCSE” for Random Acts. Made by the Mob Film co for Bang Said The Gun. It’s on too late for most people with standard working hours, but I expect ALL freelancers/poets/writers/layabouts to tune in! Thank you please x
New Video: Mr Fox
Me performing a poem about the Fearless Urban Fox at the BSTG Fred Foundation special last November.