My poetry life have been absolutely bloody marvelous recently! I’ve been on a bit of a role performing, running events, writing and generally spreading myself about the London poetry scene like a wobbly village bicycle with a penchant for rhyme! my goodness it has been fun. I feel like I’ve been on a non-stop bender since January.
In fact I’ve become so rock n roll lately that I’m currently slightly drunk on a Monday night, staying up far too late and blogging away trying to remember, through the misty haze of red wine, what it is I’ve actually achieved in all this debauchery. It all started back in April when I went to the very amazing Come Rhyme with Me to perform an extract from my upcoming one woman show Horatio & Me. I performed my poetry, shoved a few flyers in people’s faces and the next thing I new it was 3 in the morning, I was in a cab with some lovely new performer type friends completely, joyously happy, but also completely, hopelessly lost in NW with no idea how I was going to get home…It was definitely worth it though because out of that hilarious drunken night with the poets I met Laurie Bolger who hosts a spoken word radio show Round@Lauries live on Roundhouse Radio every Sunday. She asked me to write a headline poem for her Read All about It feature, so I sent in a piece called ‘Oh Miley‘ inspired by the Daily Mail’s headline ‘As Miley’s sleaze hits London, is she really suitable for girls of just 6?’
Several weeks later I ran my own event as part of Dulwich Festival for my hosts Ingrid and Tom Beazley who very generously let me into their beautiful Dulwich home for the second year running to put on a night of spoken word performances.
Arranging an event like this from scratch is always going to be a daunting task but luckily over the last year I’ve built some great contacts and immediately knew who I’d like to ask to feature. Even luckier for me, they all said yes! Paul Cree, Talia Randall and Sh’Maya are three of my favourite poets all with distinct voices. Once I’d got the poets on board I had to make sure I got an audience and promptly set about promoting the event on social media and through the Dulwich Festival brochure. I was delighted that on the night lots of friends, open mic poets and local people visiting the open house turned up.
Its hard work putting together an event like this, talking to people about it at every opportunity and making sure that all the little details are covered (is there somebody to help with the bar? are there enough toilet breaks? etc etc). I was extremely grateful for the chance to run the event, showcasing an art form that I feel passionately about in a unique location.
It was the poets who really pulled it all together in the end however. Their tenacity and flair for performance was what made the night a success, ensuring very good feedback from an appreciative audience. Paul has recently finished a Battersea Arts Centre run of his one man show Tale from the Bedsit and delivered a thought provoking set of poems drawn from everyday life. Sh’Maya’s energy is electrifying and he had the audience in hysterics with a poem entitled ‘Baby they never told us about sex’, poking fun at unrealistic Hollywood sex scenes. Talia was equally good taking us back to teenage years and first kisses, heartfelt poetry from her debut EP Three Mile Radius. We also had music from Gabby Colledge who’s soulful acoustic set was the perfect closing act.
I had such fun running the event, performing alongside great writers and of course enjoyed the chance to showcase my own work as well.
All this time I was still feverishly editing Horatio & Me and the opportunities I’ve been given to try new bits out on willing audiences have been absolutely invaluable. I’m so grateful to my friends Uncle Errol McGlashan and Peter Hayho for giving in to my continued, increasingly aggressive, pleas to let me at their microphones to plug my stuff! I did a feature at Errol’s new weekly night at Hysteria in Dalston in May followed by a quick set at a Jam packed, end of the season Bang Said the Gun, both of which were fantastic fun, good for performance practice and a great chance to let more people know about my show.
I’m basically the queen of procrastination and will do pretty much anything I can think of to put off the task in hand. 6 years ago I used poetry as extremely effective tool to avoid writing my history of art dissertation but, as I (ehmm) tweeted, the other day, it turns out it wasn’t a waste of time after all! In less than two weeks I’ll be making my professional debut as a stand-up poet in a proper theatre, Rich Mix as part of their Small Story/ Big City scheme! (I visited it today and its got seats, and a lighting rig and everything. I even get a dressing room…its almost like I’m a proper actress!) I literally couldn’t be more excited if I tried.
FYI Cyber peeps this is the biggest moment of my poetry career so far, so if you want to join me to celebrate please sign up for your tickets in advance here! Included in your ticket complimentary tea, custard creams and the chance to giggle openly at me in my sexy sheep onesie…now sahrusslay, what more could you ask for?!
Night Night x