I tried to be poetic…

Don’t forget to keep checking out BadRobot Poetry.  Also, submit to my project. Put it on your to-do list. Start a to-do list in Excel. Put it on a post-it note. Put in on a mini-white-board. A chalk-board. Write it in your diary. Better yet, do it now. SUBMIT! SUBMIT TO ME!!!

Check out my review by Koel Mukherjee for Sabotage for my event, Carmina’s Poetry Tease (read it? See – I am good! Submit! Be a part of the next event!)

On Saturday I am going to my first workshop for Word’s A Stage, a project run by Apples & Snakes (who I seem to have to thank for a majority of my poetic success thus far). November 21st – keep the date in your diary. I will also be looking for people to eat dinner/Nando’s with. Or not. Because I will be incredibly nervous.

Now, on a more serious note, I just got informed via email of Amanda Todd’s suicide, as a result of cyber bullying. I cried at what she had to go through, and the knowledge of how common this reality is for teenagers in the age of technology. Not only does it highlight the issue of cyber bullying, but also that of slut-shaming, which is a massive problem that exists in society as a whole.

I know that, at school, I was turned against by certain individuals for being lonely and confiding in a friend, for publicly writing in an online-diary when my family life was hard and I felt I didn’t know who to talk to, for wanting to be normal around boys after five years of isolation from them and not knowing how. Wanting to be liked as a person but being seen for purely the physical.

When you’re a teenager, you get called a slut by boys and others girls because you gave a guy a blow-job once (and I’m talking over the age of consent here, 16+). When you’re an adult, you know that most women do give blow-jobs.  And you also know that any decent man will return the favour.

Part of this problem is that young people need more education on the emotional side of sex.  And speaking of emotions, we need to stop pretending that men don’t have any – this just leads to repression and a false idea of masculinity. And we need to stop acting like girls who express their emotions are crazy, that there’s something wrong with them.

Another issue is that in the adult world slut-shaming is still rife. And that’s why, mainstream songs, like Christina Aguilera’s Can’t Hold us Down, are important. There are double standards and they need addressing. This is confirmed by those commenting on Amanda Todd’s case, saying she ‘deserved it’. No. Nobody deserves to feel like life is not worth living.

Frightened Robot Gun

Time is short and I have wasted a lot of the day after celebrating a friend’s birthday until the early hours. I’m going swimming soon but I’m already ready for bed. It’s been eventful so without further ado, I’ll let you know what’s been going on.

Firtsly, I went to see Frightened Rabbit back in September. Aside from annoying crowd members and post-work tiredness, it was a great gig. They didn’t play all the songs I would have liked but ‘Poke’ was amazing to see live and the highlight of the gig.

The week after I took a surreal trip to Norwich after work to perform at the launch of internet poetry – Bad Robot, an event organised by Catherine Woodward. Ross Sutherland was performing but sadly I didn’t get to speak to him. I spoke to Russell J Turner who was the surprise guest of the evening and had me itching to do his Googleseed poems. James Sykes was also reading and having not seen him before, I was really impressed, with his deadpan humour, he reminded me a bit of Tao Lin’s poetry. Thom James was seen, rather appropriately, in digital form. Unfortunately, not quite a hologram, but a really cool video flickering poetry across a screen.

I stayed in a hotel, *cough* B&B *cough*, nearby the station as I had to get up at like 5.30am or something ridiculous. They didn’t even have any tea:

Skip ahead to the following week and I finally went to Bang Said the Gun. It was all very exciting, entering the room to the likes of Billy Bragg pumping out of the speakers, monochrome scribbles of the event name all over the walls, and an animation reel for the stage backdrop. Not to mention the cool shakers used for applause. Although, after a day at work, shaking it to more than one song as a build up to the start was a bit like giving a never-ending hand-job. Some white stuff came out and got on my bag. But it has to be said, these guys know what they’re doing and put on a cracking poetry (or anti-poetry) night.

Also, Peter Hayhoe kind of remembered my surname, and having not officially met, this made me happy. He also performed a set himself, of which I particularly enjoyed a collaboration with a female guitarist about pulling girls in 1998, dressing up in the actual shirt of his heyday. Dan Cockrill was a great host, and I particularly like the way he step-touched to the music in between acts. Martin Galton also read some funny poems from a book of hate, along with a heart-warming poem of love about his son.

I didn’t get on the open mic as this event is so popular, the next space wasn’t until 25th October, so I’ll be back then. To be honest, I enjoyed the event so much, I would happily be there every week if I could. One of the main reasons for this was the performance from resident poet, Maria Ferguson (and she references Sarah Kane in this video!). She delivered a narrative poem, that really got me gripped and so I’d probably have to say she was my favourite of the evening.Though it’s hard picking favourites with such an array of talent, and diverse talent at that.

The Roundhouse Slam Champions performed and although I can’t remember their names, I wish I could because they were amazing. In turn, I felt wholly inadequate and old. One guy, who described himself as looking a bit like Sideshow Bob, gave a performance that mixed the comedic and the tragic, with some very poignant lines. Another guy gave a highly performative piece that incorporated subtle physical movements and voice control, giving the effect of cut-up text.

The female of the group had me welling up with  her poetry about mental illness, along with her sweet, soft voice, she came across as an emblem of strength and fragility. I hope I didn’t miss anyone from the group as I didn’t make any notes on the night!

The Ruby Kid was the last before the open mic (where I had to dash off). Back in the day he had complimented my poetry over MySpace, and I even performed alongside him at Speech Motion. I knew I would enjoy his set, but he was even better than I remembered. My favourite was ‘205 Panorama’ which had some really clicky lines – you know what I mean – lines that give you goosebumps and make your ears prick up. Sadly, I can’t find this one online so you’re going to have to see him live. It looks like he’s going to be running a night called ‘Howl’ in Shoreditch so I’ll have to check that out in the future.

The event also had some rather desultory activities such as throwing a balloon across the room to win a drink, and having a massive ‘bang’ hat. I wish I lived in Zone 2 and was like a full-time poet and writer, then I would be able to go to Bang every time.

In other news, my poem The Movement of Hands will be published in Issue 9 of Artemis Poetry Magazine. I’ve been sending out lots of submissions and I said to myself that I would be happy if even just one was accepted so I am very pleased! I’ve also got an exciting project in the pipeline for Novemeber 21st, with Apples & Snakes. Keep the date in your diary!

xxx

 

25.09.12 – Bad Robot Poetry

 Tuesday 25th September Bad Robot Poetry Launch

Carmina’s Poetry Tease: The Film

To Endings and New Beginnings

On Wednesday 22nd August I organised my first solo poetry event called ‘Carmina’s Poetry Tease’. Featuring alongside me were Catherine Woodward (the emerging artist) and Rosy Carrick (the inspirational professional). It all managed to run rather smoothly and I was very pleased with how it turned out.

I had been building up my nerves all day, waiting in Craft Central with just a couple of people wanting to look in (to be fair the chairs were all laid out expectantly). I was there from about 10am, so by the time people started arriving, just before 7pm, it was all a bit surreal. The room ended up being packed out, with around 30 people, the 26 chairs ran out and people were forced to stand.

This was great but I felt incredibly overwhelmed by it all, and probably said ‘thank you’ a tad too much. Other than inevitably talking too fast when on stage (a small white ‘soapbox’) everything when just as I had imagined. It looked just how I had visualised (the power of the mind, eh?)
So, all in all, it was a great evening. I am currently uploading the video recording onto YouTube and will post that in a separate update.

As you can see from the pictures, there was a strong visual element to the event as well. I managed to sell a few things and get a bit of money from that and possibly by some donations as well. I obviously made a loss but I wanted to do this event as a kind of celebration for completing my poetry collection (the print of which has come in the post and I love it, need a publisher!)

Like I said at the event, I was once told by a history teacher at secondary school that I would never be the ‘life and soul’ of the party. Well, this was my party, and I hoped the audience could find both life and soul during their time there.

I wanted to showcase my work, but also present a poet who inspires me, as well as someone to represent the future of poetry as an example of those who are just starting out, like myself.

Another important aspect of the event was my desire to pay the artists, in order to show that I value their work. I’ve now launched a project called ‘Poetry & Paint’ where I hope to do more of the same on a much larger scale. I will need quite a bit of funding in order to do this, and most of the money would be going directly to artists that get involved; again these would be a mix of both new-comers and established artists. I have started up a funding page at We Fund to raise money.

xxx



Carmina’s Poetry Tease

 

Less than a week away now! I’m excited about the event and a little bit nervous. I think it should run smoothly but you never know. I’m probably more nervous about socialising and performing myself rather than all the other parts. My worries over audience have subsided slightly as I know a few people are coming but I would love for people I don’t actually know to turn up and enjoy the evening.

I’ll be at the venue from 10am trying to tempt people to come back for the evening. There will be a visual display so if you want more time to enjoy that aspect of the event then I’d recommend coming between 6.30pm and 7pm. Performances will start at 8pm sharp, allowing time at the beginning for drinks, nibbles and mingling. Performances are from Rosy Carrick and Catherine Woodward and I’m most looking forward to what they will be doing! After the poetry there should be some time for more of that, as well as buying anything – I’ve got badges, books, stickers, bookmarks, CD’s, t-shirts and paintings!

I’ll keep this update short and sweet as I’m at a crucial stage of my MA and have lots of work to do. I also noticed I haven’t updated July for artist of the month, let alone August!

xxx

 

22.08.12 – Carmina’s Poetry Tease

Part of the Cultural Olympiad.