It was recently pointed out to me by a good friend that, as a reader of this blog, you can really tell that I find writing a bit, well, boring! Pow, Bash, Kablammo! I’ll do what I can to spruce it up! But unfortunately it’s true, I do find blabbing on about what I’ve been doing somewhat boring, I prefer sharing the books, films and music I’ve enjoyed so this bit might get phased out eventually. Until then…
I’ve been doing some pretty exciting stuff recently!
One of my favourite recent excursions was to Stanza Poetry Festival. My friend Joey and I went up to beautiful St Andrews for the whole weekend and I was honoured to perform Melody to a sold out audience! The show got fantastic feedback. We were also lucky enough to hear these wonderful poets read: Kirsten Luckins, James Arthur, Jo Bell, Clare Best, Meg Batemen, Jo Shapcott, Lemn Sissay, Don Paterson and Nora Gomringer. I’d suggest you look all of them up. Of course, there were many more fantastic poets reading too, explore the Stanza website to find them.
We were particularly impressed by the huge variation in poetic styles programmed by STANZA, from Gomringer’s experimental sound poetry with jazz percussion to Paterson’s brilliant sonnets. The whole vibe of the festival was fantastic too: we had lots of sunshine, lots of drinks and we were looked after beautifully. If you ever get the chance to go there, do!
Going back in time a bit… In February I flexed my Melody muscles at the fabulous One Festival. The One Festival is an annual festival showcasing solo shows at The Space in East London. I’d highly recommend making the journey to The Space. It may feel a little out of the way on the Isle of Dogs but it’s a beautiful venue with a great programme and a bar like an oasis where they’ll serve you nice drinks and delicious food in chunky quantities.
February also saw me perform a really fun gig supporting Luke Wright at Ipswich Library. The turnout was great and the audience warm and receptive. It was lovely to be back on the road with my old pal again! This was also the first time I’d sold my homemade CDs. I was sick of never having any merchandise and remembered I had an old recording of some of my earlier material. If anyone wants to buy a 12-track CD off me, whack me an email. They’re a fiver!
For most of March, I’ve been working very hard on my debut collection of poetry, due to come out with Burning Eye Books in July. I’ve really enjoyed combing through all of my work, selecting poems and editing them into what I hope is going to be a good book! It’s been really nice working on poetry for the page too.
In other news, an interview with me about the life of and the path into being a performance poet has recently gone up as part of the amazing She Works project which I feel honoured to be a part of. Read it here!
I also did a few gigs in March:
I performed a couple of poems for the London Young Greens to support their event about the housing crisis. Go on Young Greens!
I was on the line-up for the amazing Frau Welt’s Masterclass at the excellent Hackney Showroom (a new discovery for me). I was proud to share the stage with such great people: if you like drag acts Frau Welt’s your Frau, if you like dance then I’d highly recommend Impermanence Dance Theatre.
I was also completely inspired by the dancers at the Women Go Live event I performed at on International Women’s Day. I love watching dance and it was an honour to share a stage with such innovative women making great work. I particularly loved the show from Counterpoint Dance Company who are doing a fantastic job of challenging stereotypes about age and producing high-quality contemporary dance while they’re at it!