17.07.15 – 18.07.15 – Lovebox Festival

Apples & Snakes : The Writing Room

Legendary spoken word promoters Apples and Snakes present an epic line-up of raising stars, and new voices from the Writing Room programme share the stage with the most dynamic wordsmiths the capital has to offer. Poetry with bite.

Roundhouse – The Last Word, with Kid Glove

Spoken word, storytelling and live performance on the road…

The Roundhouse is a breeding ground of spoken word talent, producing some of the best poetry stars on the scene today. Join us for an afternoon of fresh emerging talent, featuring new voices and rising stars. Not to be missed!

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Festival News

Fling Festival: 4th July

My first festival will be on 4t July in Chelmsford at Fling Festival. It marks a summer that is sure to be just as busy as last year. I’ll be performing a 20 minute set and facilitating a workshop on poetry and activism. I’ll be at a few new festivals this year, including…

Lovebox: 17th & 18th July

I’ll be performing on the Voicebox stage as a solo artist with Apples and Snakes on Friday 17th as part of The Writing Room. On the Saturday, I’ll be performing as part of Kid Glove for The Roundhouse’s Last Word section. Joining me will be Rose Swainston and Joel Auterson.KIDGLOVE_FINAL1-01

Larmer Tree: 18th-20th July

I last performed at Larmer Tree Festival in 2013 and am returning this year and hoping for the same beautiful sun! Sadly, I won’t be running a workshop this time, but I’m looking forward to bringing a mixture of old and new material to the festival.

Boom Town: 13th-17th August

I’m really excited to be performing at Boom Town this year, especially as the wonderful Sophie Fenella (also part of Kid Glove) will be there. I’ll be doing a couple of sets over the weekend.

BBC Fringe Festival Slam: 26th-29th August

I put my name in the hat for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival BBC Slam and I was the last name to be announced! I’m there for about five days and have just been planning all the shows I’m going to see and there’s about thirty shows in my calendar now, so it’s going to be pretty intense. It feels like a bit of an adventure as I’m going alone and staying in a dorm with seven other people.

Trauma Genes

I’ve had the honour of being part of Sammy Brough’s ‘Trauma Genes’ Home Cooking Podcast, which you can listen to here. I was interested in the topic as it made me think of Dr Joy Leary’s research on Post Traumatic Slave Disorder, below.

My poem was based on research that I amalgamated in poetic form, using first person, and a ‘telephone’ sound to give a sense of distance to reinforce the idea of trauma being passed through history.

On 1st June, I performed a piece I wrote for You Press on a project called ‘Voices of Redemption’, where artists were paired with ex-offenders to tell their story. My particular story questioned the line between victim and perpetrator, and although I didn’t realise this would be a common theme, it was surprising to see the amount of injustice within the justice system. Yet, I also wanted the poem to recognise the crime committed, to move on from that, and other than impacting the audience, I wanted the person I was paired with to get something positive from the experience. It was a challenging project, simply because it is quite daunting to have someone else’s life and write a poem about it. There’s a recording of the previous project ‘One Story: Our Voice’ I was involved with, and I hope this will also be recorded as it was such a unique and important event.

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I have also performed at The Last Word Festival with Kid Glove at The Roundhouse. It has been a long and difficult few months building up to the show, and we’re yet to decided where we will take the show. Practically, it may be unrealistic to be able to perform it in the way we may have had in our mind at the start, but it has been a massive learning experience and I think we accomplished a great scratch show in the end, being such an ambitious project. I mean, one of us lives in Germany! I think everyone deserves a massive pat on the back for pulling it off and I’m sure we’ve all learnt a lot about ourselves from it.

I’m reading a few books at the moment – one that stands out is The Ice Cream Empire, by Kit Poulson, and it very much reminds me of the writing from ‘Dear Adventure’ and has made me think that we could do something with text, or even sound, as a way forward with the show idea. I’ve also been listening to a few things on the radio…

1. BBC Radio 1Xtra are doing special features on poetry/spoken word and some of my fellow poets have been involved so far. Hopefully more on this later!

2. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock has been featured on BBC Radio 4 and features lovely people like Kayo Chingonyi and Emmy the Great.

My next performance is at The Chocolate Poetry Club. Thank you to the mystery person who recommended me. I’ve only had one other paid gig this year, so it really cheered me up to have this to look forward to!

Feminism in London Conference: Part 4

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At the end of the conference we gathered for the final speeches and the Emma Humphreys memorial prize giving. Much of it was very moving, as well as being informative on some of the work that is happening with regard to violence against women. I didn’t feel it packed a punch in the way that other moments of the day had for me, but this was probably just because the opening talk had been so important and eye-opening for me. Along with the talks on shadeism and men’s role in Feminism, I’m now looking to build upon areas where there are gaps in my knowledge and experience, as opposed to reinforcing what we already know. That said, it is always needed to rally up support with speeches like this where there is a resurgence of energy, to keep us going, to keep us fighting.

I also really enjoyed Sabrina Mahfouz’s poem, which incorporated different parts of the day that she had experienced. Possibly out of paranoia, I had been wondering why I was not seeing the successes of some other poets, and worried that maybe I have been to vocal about my views, that I was being labelled to extreme. In person, I have faced little opposition, but still some opposition, to She Grrrowls – I’ve been told that the logo is scary and off-putting, that I’m creating a problem in what is already an equal community, simply for featuring women in the arts at my event. So, it really helped me to see Sabrina Mahfouz up there, proud to be a Feminist, yet also managing to be an extremely successful poet, amongst other things. Since feeling this fear that I would be jeopardising my career by being so outwardly Feminist (a fear that was expressed in the conference to explain why women would not use the label), I cannot express fully my gratitude at seeing Mahfouz take to the stage and be involved in the Feminism in London conference.

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After the conference, we headed to the SU bar for the after party. I was joined by Rose Swainston and Maeve Scullion (pictured above) to represent Kid Glove. Kate Smurthwaite was also featuring; I mentioned something I found problematic in my earlier post, but other than that, she was the performer I most enjoyed that evening. I also enjoyed the other poetry act, Mabel, and the women who sang Spanish and English songs on her guitar. I felt proud after knowing ‘mujer’ meant ‘woman’ (sadly, due to Duo Lingo, not my Spanish heritage). Without wanting to dwell on negatives, I was really taken aback by a woman who, after a poem on personal experience of a rape-joke, called out ‘I’m not clapping to that, it was awful.’ And soon after, said to another woman ‘are we going?’ She was very near the stage and she didn’t try to hide what she was saying – quite the opposite. I felt close to tears, but as we were rotating poems between the three of us, I had to put it to the back of my mind and tell myself she must not have understood the poem. I stayed for a bit of the Stepney Sisters, but left early as I was tired and had a long journey to go back to the suburbs. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference and wonder where I will be on the journey of Feminism then.

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