I’m still collecting words for #discoverpoem! The deadline is Wednesday, so get your words over to me soon to be part of this crowdsourced poem for The Beaney in Canterbury. Click here for how to take part, and you can find a lot more information about the project here. ITV Meridian made a short piece about it, which went out last night on the evening news! Watch it here.
This week, I have mostly been in Kent. My first gig of the year was back at the University of Kent - my old University in Canterbury – where I introduced three top spoken word poets to an intimate audience at the English Department’s Creative Writing Tuesday Reading series. Anna Le, Adam Kammerling and Amy Acre spoke poems at a Performance Poetry Special – though we were quick to argue about that label during the Q&A! Performance poetry? Spoken word? Live literature? Something else entirely? Regardless, the academics, students and members of the public who attended enjoyed watching and talking about the medium.
Then a quick jaunt to The Gallery Café in Bethnal Green (which seems to be the epicentre for spoken word in East London at the moment!) for a new popular science night, The Litmus Test. A brilliant debut night: a great atmosphere in the room with a large and appreciative audience watching stand-up, films, spoken word and more on all things science. I love performing at science-themed variety gigs for a few reasons: 1. I get to introduce spoken word to an audience who may not have seen it before and 2. people get a lot of the references in my pieces. Highly recommend checking out the next Litmus Test when it inevitably returns!
I supported Pete the Temp at Creek Creative on Wednesday evening as he took on environmental devastation by himself in Versus Climate Change. It’s a brilliant show, really well-written and performed, and never becoming didactic or patronising. By turns hilarious, eye-opening, bleak, hopeful, silly and serious, it left me thinking a lot about what we’re doing to this planet of ours. Pete’s on tour with the show now and later this year – an essential one to see!
I’m working on my first solo show to debut at Edinburgh Fringe, aided massively by taking part in the Conway Collective’s ‘Creating Solo Performance’ workshops. I have a few scratch performances lined up to try out new bits from the show, with the biggest test on Monday 18 March where I’ll scratch 45 minutes. That will be a double-header with the estimable Niall O’Sullivan at the Poetry Cafe– would love to see you there! Other scratch performances are available, look to the right hand side of this webpage for more.
In the meantime, I have a gig in Greenwich (pun unintentional, but it’s staying) on Wednesday at the very cool MVMNT Café, made from a tweet by Lemn Sissay and, you know, wood and glue and other building materials. Come down – it’ll be fun! Oh, and there’s the small business of the Anti-Slam on 15th February… more on that anon.