I went to the Edinburgh Fringe for just ten days this year, and running just one show per day meant I actually got to see stuff. Here’s what grabbed me!
Some poetry friends have been posting on Facebook about the Golden Shovel, so went to investigate further – and discovered a deceptively simple new form that both inspires and challenges the writer, and also lends itself superbly as the basis of a workshop exercise.
I worked The Poetry Takeaway on Friday night at Roundhouse‘s awesome The Last Word Festival. The first commissions were from some super imaginative kids who wanted a poem about their dogs’ adventure to the Disco Dimension, and battle to escape… Here’s the speed-written, unedited piece I came up with for them!
Here’s a speed-written and unedited poem from a recent poetry meet-up. My prompt was: If I Was A Window.
On Saturday I tried out 10 minutes of material from a show I’m developing at Battersea Arts Centre‘s excellent Freshly Scratched evening. Avocado Economics is about: 1) the difficult economic situation for Millennials, and especially the housing crisis 2) our retreat into 90s childhood nostalgia and 3) smashed avocado on toast. Through a PowerPoint presentation and comedic lecture, I presented: a brief history of avocado marketing; a mash-up of the Pokemon theme tune and Tony Blair’s 1997 victory speech; gave everyone a bit of smashed avo on toast; and read an angry, sad poem. Here are my lessons learnt from audience feedback – including these delightful cartoons of avocados the audience drew, completely unprompted!
Do you know about The Poetry Takeaway? You should, because it’s awesome! It’s an old burger van converted into a mobile poetry emporium that goes around the UK (and a little further!), loaded up with chefs who cook up poems for the public. Give the poet a few words, or a subject, or a question, or who you’d like the poem for, and 20-odd minutes later, you have a brand new poem made just for you – and hopefully just the way you like it (even if you didn’t know you liked poetry in the first place!).
I write a daily haiku and publish them on my Instagram and Twitter accounts! Here are some haiku from June, including one for the new Tate Modern opening, a couple for Edinburgh Fringe (I’m bringing a show – if you back it on Kickstarter you can get an awesome Reward), and of course Europe: both the Euros and Brexit.