Blooming June

First for some exciting news that I’ve been bursting to post about… I’m performing and giving a workshop at Larmer Tree Festival! I’m pleased to be just one of former MACE students (that’s the MA in Creative Entrepreneurship dontchaknow) as Andi Michael will also be there talking about her new book, Wine Dark, Sea Blue, which I am itching to read after/during my Proust mission.

I’m also happy to be involved with Kingston’s International Youth Arts Festival. This time, I’m giving a workshop ‘From Page to Stage’ on the theme of Loss, at Studio 22 on Saturday 6th July. The hour-long workshop is just £10 – with a half price option for students/JSA/OAP. Members of the group will also get the opportunity to perform their work with some food at Las Iguanas. I’m also managing the spoken word event this year, which will be an off-shoot from the She Grrrowls Feminist group, featuring a lineup of female talent, and an open mic’ section for everyone! Entry for the event is just £5 and it will take place at the Ram Jam Club at The Grey Horse pub on 22nd July from 6pm.

she grrrowls flyer juneShe Grrrowls Spoken Word will feature Tabby Farrar, Nikki Marrone, A.L.Michael, Bisha Ali and Robyn-Astrid. There will be poetry, prose, comedy and music a it’s going to be amazing! Book your tickets now either online or by phone: 020 8549 2120. The She Grrrowls team are currently looking for venues and artists for future events, so please come along to support female talent in the arts and make this first night increible for everyone! All ticket sales will be divided by IYAF, the producers and directly paying the artists performing for you.

For those that missed out, I did a set at the new arts night S.W.A.M&P – a night featuring spoken word, acoustic music and poetry (geddit?) I had the pleasure of getting to see some amazing performers intimately, had the chance to chat to them as well and some clever lady shared a bottle of wine with us. Taking us from darkness towards the light of the stars was poet Paloma Heindorff, and there was some beautiful music from Tonia Thorne and friends. Closing the night was Chalie Dupre who gave us a solo rap battle history lesson about Shakespeare and Marlowe, plus a retelling of Macbeth through the three witches.

I’m also taking part in Apples & Snakes’ Writing Room, where I’m workshopping a piece in a pair and performing it after being put through my paces by a series of mentors. The piece came out of my first session with Dead Poets: Mark Grist and Mixy. I’m thrilled I can make the dates it will run for and excited to be able to work on the piece I’ve developed with Ben all those weeks ago. I also got to sit in and help out at workshops with Kayo Chingonyi at the school where I work, which was a pretty cool perk! The last thing I need to mention is that my poem ‘Ladybird’ is in ‘Words for Wide Skies’ which is being launched on 21st June. All profits will go towards the conservation work at WWT Welney.

To wrap things up, here are some events I’m hoping to get down to over the next couple of months:

Friday 28th June – Come Rhyme with Me

Friday 5th July – The Tea Box, Poetry Jam

Monday 8th July – Kid, I wrote back

Tuesday 16th July – Poetry Unplugged

Oh, and one more thing. The second issue of Poetry&Paint is out now! You can buy your copy of the ‘weather’ issue as ahardcopy or in PDF format. It is recommended to buy the full-colour version, but for those wanting to save some pennies, you can now buy Poetry&Paint in black and white. All copies of Poetry&Paint are available through the Lulu website.

The Month Flew By Like A Bird

I can’t believe a month has gone arrghhhh! I’ve been really busy with these things:

– Graduating

– Celebrating

– Going to New York

– The Boyfriend

Whilst in New York, I went to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.  I wanted to perform in the open mic but my parents wanted to leave before midnight and the slam didn’t start until after then and the whole thing ended at 2am!!  Another thing that was different to a lot of the UK events is its popularity – I have never seen a poetry event so packed.  It’s a lot louder as well, with people clicking and making noises like ‘umm hmm!’ at certain lines as the audience show their appreciation.  The host killed time as one of the feature acts was late by asking where people were from, my mum shouting ‘England’ with a hilarious amount of pride in her voice, and also made everyone dance 80’s style to flashing lights and music, which was so bizarre you couldn’t help but laugh along, attempting to move slightly in the crush of the crowd.

The performers were enjoyable, typically American, humourous, intelligent and passionate.  Although we left early, I got a feel for the night, along with books and a t-shirt.

me in my NPC t-shirt... just washed my hair

While away, I did a lot of reading and finished Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey, Bossypants by Tina Fey, and How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (long post response to follow). I recommend them all.  I’m now reading Laura Dockrill’s Echoes.  It’s like Roald Dahl for adults… or kids who swear.

Last night I went to The Tea Box and did the open mic, apologising for anyone who may have wanted to see me the last time (when I had to pull out ON THE DAY because of my stupid eye ulcer).  Sadly, the owners weren’t there for me to apologise to in person.  I went on quite early and was glad to be able to relax and enjoy the likes of Anna Le, Amy Acre, and Harriet Cramer (and also Peter Hayhoe earlier on) plus many other acts I didn’t know the name of.  Donall Dempsey and Janice Windle did a great job hosting as well.  Harrie got very drunk which amused most people.  She said stuff such as wanting tits, but the link says she has the same size as me but skinnier, but then I sometimes say the same thing about myself, especially when drink, and especially when my friend Helen is there.  I’m shocked to see my waist is the same… I guess that’s the difference being 6 inches taller affords.  Anyway, she is a beautiful, talented, lovely lady with hilarious and we should both get published.  Ideally by Harper Collins.  I missed being like that, as in, drunk… which reminds me, I read a poem inspired by a programme I watched on Amy Winehouse, written about 3 years ago, and, as I didn’t record the gig, here it is:


I want to build
myself up to the highest height,

Just to look down
at the fall and be filled with fright.

I want to be, the
best I can be,

Prove them wrong
about my poetry.

Yeah, I want that
pretty face, with the tear stains on show,

Mascara up my eyes,
just so that they all know.

I want to be
perfect, to be a success,

I want to be one of
the best.

I want them all to
read my lips, read my mind,

Then drink myself
to destruction at the end of the night.

I want to fall in
love again with a good boy,

Just so he can
break my heart.

Because if I’m in a
mess, feel my life is destroyed

Then it at least
provides more material for my art.

And I can just pick
up my needle and thread,

Scrub with soap,
the sheets on my bed.

Try stitching my
life up to resemble what was,

Continue the search
for the Wizard of Oz,

Pray for a change
to a non-existent God,

Click my heels

Come home.

That copied kinda weird.  Anyway, I read a poems from actual book things that are published and shit!  To look all profesh.  One was called Flowers and was in issue 13 of The Delinquent.  The next was I Am No Better from the Workshop UEA Undergraduate Anthology which you can buy from places like The Hive, The Workshop and WATERSTONES in Norwich.  Hell yeah!  I have a poem in a book in the biggest book shop in the UK; the one that is still alive!  Although, I couldn’t see it there, but I saw it in The Hive, and The Hive is one of the best book shops ever, Stephen Fry agrees.  I also did Cinderella by heart, just to, you know, show that I can sometimes memorize stuff.

I think I shall end there.  Oh, also, i’m working at Bestival and need to know ideas for what I can go as on different days, the fancy dress theme is ‘Rockstars, Popstars and Divas’.  I just wanna  my own clothes but have things like a black messy wig with white streaks… think I may use it for Amy Winehouse, if that’s not in bad taste… which it shouldn’t because it’s like a tribute to her, because I like her music and she will be a legend, a legend ending in tragedy, but a ledge nevertheless.


PoetryJam at The Tea Box, Richmond

Okay… the two videos I did (the one above and my new video blog) makes me sound like Emily from Skins… I think… well, I sound like I have a bit of a lisp.  I don’t have a lisp so that’s quite strange… maybe it’s cos after Hop Farm my camera got a bit fucked whilst listening to The Ruskins.

I really enjoyed this night anyway! I went with a guy I met earlier that day, called Greg, and he made me drink more than I wanted to, so I was probably a bit drunk.  I got a laugh at the right point – yaaay!!  And a woman told me she could listen to me all night which is majorly flattering! One of the hosts, Alan Wolfson, let me do another one as well and came up and said he loved my set 😀

My personal life is a bit out of control at the moment, so at least I have my poetry.  I’ve just been practicing my set for my feature next week in the bath, whispering so my parents don’t hear me haha… I can’t believe how close it is! Looks like I’ll be under-rehearsed yet again, grrr!

I did actually practice the other day and knew most of the set off by heart, but it’s unlikely in reality. I hope some of my friends come to see me.