Calling all poets, wordsmiths, lyricists, spoken word artists, raconteurs, story tellers, stand-up poets and slam champs…

2014 is flexing its lungs in anticipation of a breath-taking year, and we at Poetry&Words are once again ready to open the floodgates to all you wonderful talented poetry types.  If you want to perform your work on Glastonbury Festival’s poetry stage, then this is your chance.  We’re looking for applications from experienced writers and performers with something awesome to offer the audience of the world’s biggest greenfield arts festival. If you think that could be you, then please e-mail poetryandwords@hotmail.co.uk with some words about yourself and 1-3 video and/or audio files of you performing your work.  We’re happy to receive either attachments (of a manageable size!) or web links.  We can also provide a snail mail address if you’d rather do things the old fashioned way!

We do pay a fee, but this is only small, and overseas poets in particular should note that we are unable to provide travel expenses.  Guest tickets are also beyond our power, but booked poets will receive a ticket for themselves as well as a camping pitch backstage of the Poetry&Words tent.  This year’s festival runs from Wednesday 25th-Sunday 29th June.  To find out more, go to: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

Glastonbury Audience (24)

Applications close at midnight on Saturday 8th March 2014.

Applications received (by post or e-mail) after this date will not be accepted.

Please note that we receive a high volume of applications and are therefore unable to reply to individual e-mails.  Successful artists should hear back from us as by two months after the deadline.

You can also find us at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glastonbury-Poetry/49516631721

https://twitter.com/PoetryandWords

http://www.youtube.com/user/PoetryandWords

What I learnt at Glastonbury Festival: Top Ten Poetry Tips

I have just spent three full days watching a whole host of poets come and grace a mic at the Poetry and Words stage at Glastonbury Festival. It has been an absolute pleasure. It has also been the best learning curve for me. I have noticed things that make the audience cringe a little, I have watched audiences react the same way to certain types of performance and look offended by certain phrases made on stage. I started to compile a list of things that I want to work on as a poet. Then I took the list and asked poets backstage and audience members in front of the stage what they thought. I put all their advice together. I hope it is useful.You don’t have to agree!

Tips for a poet reading their poems to an audience

by Glastonbury Poetry and Words

Adam Kammerling by Bohdan Piasecki

Adam Kammerling by Bohdan Piasecki

I have also given a prize for each tip. If you feel you need practise, go and watch the poets who are named below!

  1. Be humble. If there is an audience there, you should be grateful for them. You need them more than they need you if you want to do poetry gigs. I was once told when nervous backstage  ‘Fuck the audience, do what you want, it’s not about them.’ I disagree. Just say thanks. Be humble.
    ‘Humble poet’ prize: Kate Tempest
  2. Speak to the audience, don’t ignore them.
    ‘Speaking to an audience poet’ prize: Dreadlock Alien
  3. Don’t expect people to be amazed by lines you like in your own poem. It probably means more to you than it does to them. You wrote it. Accept that and let them enjoy the bits they want to.
    Allowing all expectations poet prize: Bohdan Piasecki
  4. Don’t expect an audience reaction to bits of your poem that normally gets a reaction. Each audience is different. And please don’t wait or leave a pause for this. If there’s normally a laugh in a certain place and you wait for a laugh that doesn’t come this time, it’s awkward. I’ve done it!
    Letting audience react differently poet prize: Deanna Rodger
  5. Smile. Poetry can be serious, cool, but when you smiled at an audience, they smiled back. They seemed to enjoy it and listen more.
    Smiling poet prize: Spoz and Toby Thompson
  6. If you have books and CDs, tell people. Don’t be embarrassed you have that. It’s a good thing, be proud of your work. All the male poets spoke about their books and CDs when I was watching. The female one’s didn’t. This happens a lot and I am very guilty of this. Tell yourself: If people like you and they want to buy it, let them. Let them! Last week I had a gig. I had 10 books in my bag. 5 people asked me if I had a book. I said no and gave them a business card instead because I was embarrassed to take their money. Kate Tempest had a great phrase this week “I’m embarrassed to sell it but I’m really fucking proud of it.”
    Being proud of your merchandise poet prize: Luke Wright
  7. Don’t judge an audience – don’t tell them they are middle class, Guardian readers (most often used comments according to audience members). Don’t tell them you are preaching to the converted. You don’t know that for sure. A lot of arts and poetry audiences are left wing Guardian readers. But not all. And even if you are, it is annoying to be put in a category. Not all left wing Guardian readers go to poetry gigs and not all poetry gig audiences are left wing Guardian readers.
    Non-judgemental poet prize: Anna Freeman
  8. The audience don’t normally know the poets on stage and they are generally not the poets’ friends. So in-jokes might be a bit tiring for them. I was told.
    Hosting without in-jokes host prize: Ali Gadema and Joelle Taylor and Dreadlock Alien
  9. Do not tell the audience how good / funny / sad / amazing your poem is before you start it. They will decide what they think. When someone tells me a poem will make me cry, it won’t. Because I’m stubborn like that.
    Allowing the audience their own brain poet prize: Adam Kammerling
  10. Have a good time. At least try. If you don’t, and are a moaning git on stage, the audience doesn’t seem to have a very great time either.
    Not a moaning git poet prize: Stephanie Dogfoot and Erin Fornoff

Have a great poetry career!

Hollie x

The Glastonbury Poetry Slam 2013

I’m never sure about poetry slams. Some days I think “what a great way to get more people involved and excited by poetry. What a brilliant thing to be a part of”. Other days I think “What a bad idea we’ve imported from the US. Scoring poetry? Judging art in such a crass way? Creating a culture of poets who write poems specifically to win poetry slams and please an audience in less than 3 minutes?

Glastonbury Slam Trophy

Glastonbury Slam Trophy

I performed in the World Poetry Slam in 2009 when I was still quite new into the whole poetry scene. I found it unnerving. I have always written poetry on my own, by and for myself and then chosen ones I think might interest other people. And read those. But I had never thought of writing for an audience. At the World Slam, I met a lot of poets, especially those from countries like Germany and the US where you can make a living as a ‘Slam Poet’. Poets who write poetry for the stage, for an audience, for slams primarily.

“What’s your strategy?” I was asked.
“Make them laugh, cry, laugh” I was told
One poet even pretended to stop during his poem and pretend he was trying not to cry. The poem was about being adopted and his parents leaving him on ships from Cuba. I found out it wasn’t true. It made me very skeptical about poetry slams in general.

But right now I am sitting in Glastonbury Festival Poetry and Words stage watching the poetry slam, the final event in this stage for the entire festival. And it’s bloody great. The audience is happy, the poets are genuinely just so enthusiastic about poetry and words and it is one of the few spaces on the stages at this beautiful festival where other people, people not asked, get a chance to speak; to perform.

The guy right now is brilliant. A man called Colin is on stage empassioned and storytelling in a deep Irish accent to a fixated crowd. The next performer is a young female, nervous, softly spoken, uninterested in stars anymore, she says.

And I remember why I love Slams. Because most of them aren’t full of cycnical people who write a poem based on a tested guage of potential audience reaction, they are full of a huge variety of people of all ages and hair colour and a huge variety of opinions, stories, personal worries, tributes told through a microphone held with nervous hands because it really means something to be allowed this space to speak.

And now Ali Gadema, co-hosting double act with Dreadlock Alien, reminds us of the most important rule of poetry slams: The point is not the points; the point is the poetry. And the poetry here is great. The hosts are brilliant. And the audience sit together laughing, smiling, making faces when they are not sure, disapproving, approving, whatever. And I am reminded of how great it is to sit together with a group of people listening collectively to people telling poems and stories as first impressions of people are thrown crashing out the window as we hear what is really going on inside these people’s heads.

Today I like poetry slams. It’s been lovely. I think it is a very important arena for Poetry and Words, despite my occasional skepticism.

In the second round Ali Gadema, hosting amazingly, says: I will not time this. I have thrown away the clock. I hate poetry slams.

I’ll tell you who won later.
That’s not the point right now.

OK. The winner was Tory. She was very good. She said “I want to watch your naked ass doing hand springs across the floor.”

The Words of Glastonbury Poetry

It is 6.30pm at Glastonbury Festival. I have been watching the poetry stage since midday and the headliner C R Avery is about to go on. I was asked to write a blog about this, about the poetry. About how the poets performed and what the highlights were and on and on. I won’t. Because gig reviews like that bore me to tears. What doesn’t bore me and what didn’t bore me were the poems I heard today. The words. So instead of giving my meager own opinion on who did what and how good I thought they were at it, I ended up writing down the lines that stood out, that made people laugh or smile or scream or sigh. And I’ll share them on here. Check out the poets that you think you might like. It has been a spectacular day. Now, I’m off to watch C R Avery.

ps. I missed the first poet – Anna Freeman. She is brilliant and will perform again and I will write about her. I had to stay in the poetry office and look after the computers for that bit. Gutted!

Indigo Williams

Indigo Williams by Bohdan Piasecki

Indigo Williams by Bohdan Piasecki

A world where transparency was the only shade of skin

The day a child realized that life isn’t fair

Some men wear their shadows as skin

You will never be able to escape your shadow but never let yourself believe the darkest part is the greatest

We are women now and like our mothers, we know how to laugh

What do you do when you get so used to the poison you thirst for it

No-one warns a little girl her body is a thing

What comfort are words to a woman on fire? So I hugged her

You are a woman. Your body is a metaphor for creation.

These streets are built with cracks in them, so it’s no surprise kids fall in them.

“I saw my father fall through those cracks, I’m just waiting to see if he’ll come back”

Society, now you see me, because you fear.

See me in the eyes of a mother who has buried her son.

What’s the point of living if living is just a war…What more can you expect when you’re living behind hell’s doors.

Little boy, every kingdom can be overthrown.

Joelle Taylor

Joelle Taylor by Bohdan Piasecki

Joelle Taylor by Bohdan Piasecki

They tell you not to join a gang, but not that you’ll grow up in one

Where are the flowers resting against railings for these young female victims.

She is the universe contained in a single pixel, a rainbow raising out of the oil spill.

Disappointment is viral

You will see poetry written amongst the broken glass and the graffiti.

Andrais de Staic

Aindrias de Staic by Bohdan Piasecki

Aindrias de Staic by Bohdan Piasecki

A fiddle in hand, hair blowing in the wind, he starts…

Hard to be a gypsy to an Argentinian father and West Coast mother in Ireland, living in Gallway. They said why can’t you be more like us?

There was only one thing I was good at – to play the violin and hit the road

The Antipoet

The Antipoet by Bohdan Piasecki

The Antipoet by Bohdan Piasecki

Little Old Lady – She goes to church on Sunday and she tends her husband’s grave.

She lived through two world wars and fought with Emeline Pankhurst for the cause

Tights not stockings. She’s a bad girl – no she’s not.

I’ve got better things to do than lech and leer and fantasise

Poetry – just random words in a random order…what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck is he on about?

She’s not a friend of brevity….what the fuck is she on about?

There’s a bloke up on the stage
He likes to think he’s from the ghetto
Most of it is bollocks and none of it is true – what the fuck is he on about?

It’s just random words in a random order.

Some people call it poetry / But I just call it torture / As entertaining as a kid with a recorder.

There’s a woman on the stage / She’s yet to make a point / It would be kinder to sedate her.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright by Bohdan Piasecki

Poets are like fairies, if you don’t clap, we die.

Sausages on grills abandoned / Couples pegging it in tandem – Essex Lion

Officer I swear to you I’ve only had a can or too
Ask Bob ask Linda we’re not Lion we fucking saw a fucking lion

These boots aren’t made for walking / An inch of style, a yard of pain…But that suits me just fine / I was made for talking / These boots were murder from the start
Who wants footwear like their dad?
All sensible and dry and drab
Someone better call a cab
These boots weren’t made for walking.

(On Nigel Farage)

In London they think Nigel Farage isn’t real. In shoreditch they think he’s a piece of live art.

Polish plumbers take all the jobs in Britain even jobs with nothing to do with plumbing.

Bring back inches, bring back wars
Polish plumbers, there’s the door
Morris dance for Nigel Farage
He seems to think that if he’s nattish, you won’t spot the inner fascist.

A love poem for my dream woman
She’s like super nanny – but older drunken and Northern
As sumptious and stylish as a gothic candelabra
Enough to turn the navy straight
Think boozy busty night club rep meets super nanny – I think I need the naughty step.
I’m begging you, I’m on my knees
Just give me all your stds.

Erin Fornoff

Erin Fornoff by Bohdan Piasecki

Erin Fornoff by Bohdan Piasecki

August in New Orleans
And it’s hot as a breath
A foolish place to make a place.

Make your life a shovel and you can dig a tunnel that eases someone’s passage

We all watch our fathers fall to earth, they become less tall

Try and recall the last time you saw something for the very first time.

In the Apalache mountains / Our power to drag a new comet trail across the evening
He is a one man eclipse of the sun.

Dan Simpson

Dan Simpson by Bohdan Piasecki

Dan Simpson by Bohdan Piasecki

She deleted Metallica from my ipod and made me wath Desperate Housewives.
She made me shave more regularly and eat humous and then she left me.

I miss you – I won’t spoil it because the lyrics keep the punchline – but I loved it!

X marks the spot where two lines interconnect.
You have no need for the supernatural…and sometimes even my numbers are irrational.
We dance like particles…
Electrons flow between to polar points
I am the North and you the South
We can’t help but be attracted.
When we deviate, it’s anything but standard.
You are the constant variable in my life

Dreadlock alien

Dreadlock Alien by Bohdan Piasecki

Dreadlock Alien by Bohdan Piasecki

I want to hear poetry.

I’m the colour of freshly dug up mother earth
The colour of real ale
Mocha, terracotta
I’m the coco powder, you’re grandma shakes over cakes.

Ian Keteku

Ian Keteku by Bohdan Piasecki

Ian Keteku by Bohdan Piasecki

Compose songs for every punk rock bone in your broken body

I remembered the punch line to the joke we forgot

Laptop Love: I want to open you up and turn you on

Mac – I do video editing on her but I write poetry on you.

Now it’s raining heamoglobbin again.

Spoz

Spoz by Bohdan Piasecki

Techno techno techno techno techno techno techno techno techno techno

Who the fuck need a range rover in Birmingham, Manchester or London

What you call a necessity is like a red rag to a bull to me.
…It’s just vanity and it’s not fair.

It’s bitch being the cat that never gets the cream.

You can call him what you went when you’re in your own home
Cos as you Italians say – when in Rome… (His name is Giovanni but when little teachers said they’d just call him John)

Solo come un bambino
Solo come Stephen Hawkins

Without you I’m like Baywatch without the hoff – there’s only so much satisfaction one can gleam from watching women run down beaches.
You’re the chicken in my korma

Dying for a dump in the car back from Glastonbury
‘You fool cried’ my arse, I was saving myself for the services.
The turtle’s head was peeping out, there was no going back.
Have a good shit when you need one.

Tony Walsh

Tony Walsh by Bohdan Piasecki

Tony Walsh by Bohdan Piasecki

She looked for men in Pick n Mix
She fixed me down with liquorice laces.

Judge a philosophy by it’s best teachings, not its worse students

Mud washes off. Sleep revives.

Toby Thompson

Toby Thompson by Bohdan Piasecki

Toby Thompson by Bohdan Piasecki

Still he seems nice enough and talking’s not so bad

Finding a deeper meaning, all our heads in the skies

Howling for the cemetery. What? Three pound for twenty embassy

Guilty cos he’s middle class…As filthy as the top ten charts

And I leave through the same one when the birds tweet.

Meet me at midnight, hand me a rose
Spin me a soft web, spun full of woes…
Tugging at the tide with a puffin at his side.

Adam Kammerling

Adam Kammerling by Bohdan Piasecki

Adam Kammerling by Bohdan Piasecki

I am half way across the car park in what seems like less than a second.
A hand on my back, a dark dig in my ribs
I forget to make fists with my fingers.
I am completely helpless, energy sapped. I shut my eyes and wait for something bad to happen.
This is an ethical mugging

I must split in two at souls grittiest depth.

Let’s fall asleep on each other like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse now.

I’m tired of not knowing what it is Brian Adams and Mel C share in their hit…Even food don’t taste that good, drink ain’t doing what it should.

Not blocked, still hungry, just flowing more slowly

I’ll slip past the cctv so the man sat back in the glass can’t see me.

At this point my appetite is limitless I eat stale cake and I don’t care what the filling is.

Leave your gifts at the base of trees….knitted scarves, stuff they can use.

Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest by Bohdan Piasecki

Kate Tempest by Bohdan Piasecki

Too much green can turn your dreams into myths.

If nobody can trust you then nobody can help you

What points to evil leads to evil.

The greatest reward is the feeling that grows inside you when you do something right

Let’s turn off our phones and be alone
Let’s take of all our clothes and watch the sun set on the city.
Allow ourselves the pleasure of watching each others shapes
My body is a storm cloud ready to burst and flood the river up

When I write it feels like I give birth to the words.

I sat and meditated while the lesser rappers jerked off and wondered why they never made it.

Lets just listen to the rhythms of our flesh ageing.

When I was getting picked on, you were big enough for both of us…
And when I followed you to youth club and was shocked by what I saw
And you never let em tease me Laura, although I’m sure you were embarrassed.
How we played cricket with the wheely bins for wickets.
Laura I love you like I always have
And one day not far away, we’ll sit there watching your kids putting on a play.

Change ain’t dangerous, change is essential
He said change don’t come at the end of your pencil.

I pray to the burning and I don’t suffer no fools who believe that the learning’s done

Half priestess-half circus freak
The geek who can work the beat

Deanna Rodger

Deanna Rodger by Bohdan Piasecki

Deanna Rodger by Bohdan Piasecki

March to a beat / Refuse to take a seat

Baby in belly given chance to be a man
He knew all he’d ever be was the product of the city that changed his destiny
I am a sucka for a cuppa and I can batter a fish and chips in 5 minutes
I was raised by the church and educated by Eastenders

I want to be a mirror so I can see what you see
I wan to be your bed your sheet your pillow and your cover
I want to be your student ID, part of your identity
Scaffolding hold together pieces broken and scarred
Stimulated by the sudden smell of bliss
The compulsive component of a character I missed

Replace essence with an empty shape
Can I scratch out your stare
Swallow sun let singe.

NOTE: All lines copyright to the poets headed

Have a great night,

Hollie x

Diary of a Glastonbury Poet : Bugger the Pyramid Stage…

by Hollie McNish

It is Thursday afternoon at Glastonbury Festival and I’m completely knackered. In a good way, a brilliant way. I’ve been to Glastonbury festival twice before but every time I come I forget what it is like. It really is an amazing place and I feel so lucky to be here.

Watching the BBC coverage is all good, but I’ve been to the BBC area. It’s clean, it’s not even inside the festival and the presenters don’t need to be wearing the wellies they’re in cos it’s just a tv set made to look like part of the festival. A few hay bales thrown around and the wellies are just for show. Glastonbury has so much more to offer than that. Attention to detail in every area. Each space, from the Latino Zone to The Common (my current favourite), Arcadia, Green Fields and Shangri-La are all decorated and themed differently – different music, different sculptures, different paintings on the bins even. All put together by different teams of people. And the volunteers and staff work their arses to the ground to make it so magical. For us. I feel very grateful.

Raving copyright David Steele

Raving copyright David Steele

I arrived here on Wednesday morning after an 8 hour hour drive in a van. I’ve never driven one before and it has been a long ambition of mine to be a white van driver. The van is blue. I didn’t shout at anyone on the street but I did get a slight feeling of superiority over small cars packed into the traffic jams with us down the country lanes of Glastonbury village. Apologies. I got to the festival just as the final ribbons were being thrown up around the middle maypole and the scaffolding teams were tightening all the tent rungs and bolts and putting up the hammocks. I found the Poetry and Words stage, signed in, spent two hours trying to find my name on the performers list and finally got to sit down, have a bit of the local cider sold from every road lay by on the way here and check out the programme. I read it cover to cover, circling madly all the acts to see. Portishead, John Osbourne’s John Peel Shed, Laminate Radio… I also found out there is an opening ceremony on the Wednesday every year here. I’ve never bothered reading the programme fully before and so never knew about this event.

Stone Circle copyright RoboSchro

Stone Circle copyright RoboSchro

After that, I got on my shoes and the night took off by itself in a way only festival nights can. I went to the opening ceremony at the Stone Circle, an area on the high hills filled with people gathered around a mini stonehenge. I managed to climb on top of one of the stones. I am obsessed with rocks and stones and had cravings to lick them constantly when I was pregnant. So sitting astride a huge rock is pretty much a fantasy of mine…anyway. The festival was opened by a calm and modest 50 year old woman playing a huge horn-like instrument, followed by thousands of people cheering. For a festival where it seems like female music acts are almost as rare as blue smarties, I liked that this woman opened it all. I sat on the huge cold stone chatting to my friend below, looking out for my cousins and watching drunk people get drunker and families putting their babies to bed in fur lined trailers. It got dark, I found my cousins and we wandered around the green area, passed a helter skelter, through old wooden tavern pubs and the metal spider-like dj booth known as Arcadia and finally into Block 9, the dance area. A huge derelict building with a gigantic underground train suspended crashed into the top of it welcomed us in. We walked through the tunnel entrance into one of the most immense raves I’ve ever been in. The rave carried on till morning. I stopped dancing at 3am, slunk back to the Poetry area, into my sleeping bag and fell asleep thinking about how much this place has to offer.

Arcadia copyright Duchess photographic

Arcadia copyright Duchess photographic

So this morning I made a pact. As well as watching a huge amount of poetry, I want to gather as many experiences from here as I can. Cos people have been working so so hard to create this place, and it’s as close to a fairytale fantasy land you can get.  I’ll try and experience a new thing each day here – something I’m scared of – and not just follow the main acts. Firstly, I’m  going to salsa lessons in the Latino Zone. I am scared of salsa and dance like a stiff robot. I need to overcome this. The second is to have my fortune told in the field of Avalon. This also scares me and I generally don’t believe in anything like that. I’ll try to be open-minded. The third I haven’t decided yet.

Wellies copyright Scott Tyrelle

So if you are here or ever want to be here, I’d say get a programme and look through it properly. Walk around the whole site and see every area, check out the artwork, check out the paintings meticulously drawn on every single bin, check out the circus acts and trapezes, the tiny cafes themed like rabbit holes, the velvet padded cinemas, the secret raves, the stone circle and of course, the poetry and words tent hidden behind a circle of hammocks in Bella’s Field. Because the line up for this festival is immense. And not because of the Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Nas and all the other big names, but because for three days you can listen to and experience things you might never get to do otherwise; experiences that thousands of people have worked so hard to put together. Basically, bugger the Pyramid stage, put on your wellies and go explore the festival properly. Experience something new. Cos we are very lucky to be here and this place is pretty unbelievable.

Sign Up! The Glastonbury Festival Poetry Slam

After most of the weekend at Glastonbury Festival, you might wanna put your feet up on the Sunday and chill under the bright, bright sunshine which will be beaming down on your dry and unnecessary welly boots. Why did I bring them? It’s been so sunny! Have a local Glastonbury cider and listen to some bands. I mean, poetry.

Or…you could come and take part in

Glastonbury Festival’s only Poetry Slam.

Glastonbury Slam Trophy

Glastonbury Slam Trophy

The slam will take place on the Sunday at the Poetry and Words stage, from 17.00 – 19.00. If you fancy coming at 16.20, I’ll be doing much set just before. Anyway.

The Poetry Slam is a competition of poetry, scored by the audience. The winner gets a feature slot at next years festival, it’s a pretty good prize nah? It can be any type of poetry, haikus, raps, rhymes, sonnets, anything poetry all.

To enter, you just need:

A poem – 3 minutes or under to read, perform, shout, rap, whisper, whatever. Just not sung.

No props – no musical instruments, hats or backing dancers in glittery costumes allowed.

Sign up – come early to the stage to do this, say 16.20 in time for my set! There is only so much space for the slam so if you want to enter, you’ll have to get in there.

A smile – that’s a personal preference but I just prefer people who smile, especially when we’re lucky enough to be at Glastonbury. (You won’t get marked down if you don’t, but it will probably affect the audience’s scoring subliminally!).

That’s it. I can’t wait to see you all there and for those of you not, I’ll keep you posted on all the poetry you can swallow x

For now, check out Deanna Rodger, a previous UK Poetry Slam Champion, with a brilliant poem on where she comes from. She’s on the Poetry and Words stage on Friday 5.40 – 6.05pm  and   Saturday, 1.50 – 2.15pm.

Glastonbury Festival Poetry Headliners 2013

There are 2 days left before I start the journey across the country to get to a huge, huge field full of some of the most talented musicians, djs, singers, dancers, jugglers, trapeze artists, van chefs, kids entertainers…and poets I may ever see. I’m just a bit excited now.

This week, I have been shopping for batteries and a head torch and cleaning my wellies, waterproof trousers and thermosk flasks (not that it’s gonna rain right?). I have also noticed three things about Glastonbury Festival I find a bit bizarre.

1.There is a huge selection of hippy-styled outfits sold in Primark for the festivals. I walk past them everyday and find it a little odd. They are not selling waterproof trousers, or bumbags, two essential items.

2.I have only one friend who is also performing at Glastonbury. I was really excited about seeing his band play. We are both doing only one 20 minute set. We have both been programmed by different people to perform on the same day at the exact same time at different ends of the festival. (If you have to choose between us, I’d say go check him out instead : http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ej58q9/acts/a52p5v)

3.The headline acts for the Poetry and Words stage are not also appearing on the Pyramid stage. I think they should be. Cos they are good. They are very, very good.

So, I will be watching them all. I love poetry, but I like to be realistic. If you can choose three, that’d be sweet. I have just done a poem for Random Acts on Channel 4 with Kate Tempest, so in a completely unbiased way, I’ll start with her.

ps. There is a Slam Poetry competition at Glastonbury Festival Poetry and Words stage. It is open to anyone. The winner gets a slot at next years festival. It’s a great prize. My next post will give you all the details. OK. Back to the headliners…

1. Kate Tempest

Where to go online

http://katetempest.co.uk/

Official Bio

Kate Tempest started out when she was 16, rapping at strangers on night buses and pestering mcs to let her on the mic at raves. Ten years later she is a published playwright, poet and respected recording artist.  Her theatre writing includes Wasted for Paines Plough, Brand New Ancients for the BAC, and Glasshouse for Cardboard Citizens. She has written poetry for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Barnado’s, Channel 4 and the BBC. She has worked with Amnesty International to create a schools pack helping secondary school children write their own protest songs, and was invited to write and perform a new poem for Aung San Suu Kyi when she recieved the Ambassador of Conscience award in Dublin.

Kate released her debut album Balance with Sound of Rum in 2011. She has featured on songs with Sinead O Connor, Bastille, the King Blues, Damien Dempsey, Pink Punk, and Landslide. She has just finished recording a new solo album Everybody Down with acclaimed music producer Dan Carey. She’s toured extensively, supporting Billy Bragg on his UK tour, as well as supporting Scroobius Pip, Femi Kuti, Saul Williams and John Cooper Clarke. She is 2 x slam winner at the prestigious Nu-Yorican poetry cafe in New York. She’s played all the major UK and European music festivals either solo or with Sound of Rum. She’s headlined Latitude festival and her poetry has been featured on the BBC’s Glastonbury highlights. In 2012 she launched her first poetry book to a sell out crowd at the Old Vic theatre in London.

Her first spoken word release Broken Herd came out on Pure Groove in 2009. Her poetry book/CD/DVD package Everything Speaks in its Own Way was published on her own imprint Zingaro in 2012, and is available now.  A new collection of poetry will be out in 2014, published by Picador.

2. Attila the Stockbroker

Where to go online

www.myspace.com/attilathestockbrokerpoetry

www.myspace.com/attilastockbroker

Attila the stockbroker

Attila the stockbroker

Official Bio

Sharp tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter. His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger.  Inspired by the spirit and the ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos of punk rock, and above all by The Clash and their overtly radical, political stance, he started as a punk bass player in 1977 and took the name Attila the Stockbroker in 1980, blagging spots for his poems and songs in between bands at punk gigs. He quickly got a couple of John Peel radio sessions, a deal with London independent label Cherry Red Records and before very long was on the cover of Melody Maker.  He hasn’t looked back since!

He has performed his work across the world at literary and music festivals, rock venues, arts centres, pubs, universities, schools, folk clubs and punk squats in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, the Basque Country, Romania, Bulgaria and Stalinist Albania. In total, he has performed more than 2800 gigs in 24 countries and at every Glastonbury Festival since 1983.

As well as all his solo gigs, where during his songs he accompanies himself on mandola, Attila plays violin, bass guitar and a variety of early music instruments and from time to time gigs with his band, BARNSTORMER, a unique and energetic mix of punk and early music!  He has released numerous CDs, DVDs and books of poetry and music.  This year he is promising us a special insight into UKIP and the bankers.

‘A popular poet who actually earns a living at it rather than sitting in a garret feeling sorry for himself.’   ~ The Observer

3. Dizraeli

Where to go online

http://www.dizraeli.com/

Dizraeli

Dizraeli

Official Bio

Dizraeli is a Bristol-born rapper, poet and musician. Although rooted strongly in hiphop traditions, his work draws inspiration from old folk music, recognising the common ground shared by songs of the people from any point in history. He leads the 7-piece band Dizraeli and the Small Gods, fusing beatbox, strings, turntables and harmony singing in an unashamedly heartfelt reinvention of hiphop. touching, funny stories of riots, atheism and Englishness though folk, rap, spoken word and hymns. “(Dizraeli) embodies 21st Century folk” (The Independent 2011).

Dizraeli has performed at Glastonbury, Latitude, The Eden Project and The Royal Festival Hall among countless others. He has won both the Farrago UK Slam Championships and the BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam, and written several hiphop plays including the award winning ‘Rebel Cell’, with Baba Brinkman. “Folk or hiphop? I don’t know, but Dizraeli makes me realise how wonderful it is to hear real English – fluent, witty and arresting” (The Times 2012).

4. John Osbourne

Where to go online

http://www.johnosbornewriter.com/

John Osborne

John Osborne

Official Bio

John Obsborne’s John Peel’s Shed

As heard on Radio 4 and fresh from a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival is John Peel’s Shed. In 2002, John Osborne won a competition on John Peel’s Radio One show. His prize was a box of records that took eight years to listen to. This is an ode to radio, those records and anyone who’s ever sought solace in wireless.

5. Luke Wright

Where to go online

http://www.lukewright.co.uk/

Luke Wright (photo Steve Ullathorne)

Luke Wright (photo Steve Ullathorne)

Official Bio

Luke Wright has been described as “the best young performance poet around” (Observer) and “the most relevant poet of his generation” (Exeunt). He has created seven solo poetry stage shows, which have toured the world picking up a clutch of five star reviews. His debut collection, Mondeo Man (Penned in the Margins), was described in the Huffington Post as “a riot of cheek, giggles, boobs, tears and Facebook – while keeping its artistic integrity firmly intact.” He is host and co-curator of the Spoken Word Arena at Latitude. His poems range from jaunty political satires and bawdy bar room ballads to bleak retellings of sensationalised murders and scandals.

“Visceral, poignant and riotously funny.” The Scotsman

6. Kate Fox

Where to go online

http://www.katefox.co.uk/

Kate Fox

Kate Fox

Official Bio

Kate Fox is a Northern poet, performer and writer.  She has been a regular on Radio Four’s Saturday Live since 2007, and has written poems for everyone from BBC Two’s Daily Politics show and the Great North Run to Amnesty International and some colostomy nurses.  Her new and selected poems “Fox Populi” have been published by Smokestack and her stand up show about not wanting children “Good Breeding” is having a full run at PBH’s Free Fringe in Edinburgh this year. 

7. C R Avery

Where to go online

http://www.cravery.com/

C R Avery

C R Avery

Official Bio

C.R. Avery’s talents include being a: Beatbox Poet; Punk Piano Player; String Quartet Raconteur; Rock & Roll Matador; Playwright; and Outlaw Hip-Hop Harmonica Player.  Whether performing to thousands at the Royal Albert Hall or the lucky few who made it inside the packed past capacity speakeasy, C.R. Avery is a unique, raw and dynamic performer. He is a one-man band, but one for this generation; with the rare ability to sing poetic verse while beatboxing simultaneously while pounding the piano and adding harmonica like a plot twist. C.R. Avery has recorded over fifteen albums as well as writing & directing six hip-hop operas. He has toured throughout Canada (including almost every major folk festival) the USA, and garnered the attention of music peers the likes of Tom Waits, Charlie Musselwhite and folk legend Utah Phillips.

8. John Hegley

Where to go online

www.johnhegley.co.uk

John Hegley

John Hegley

Official Bio

John Hegley first appeared at the Festival in 1980. Then he was performing with Soapbox Theatre in a show for Children. Children are still welcome, as the poet performs verse sung and spoken with the assistance of his nephew Paul Hegley on guitar and Keith Moore, who is no relation, on double bass.  Last year, Keith was to be seen transporting his double bass away from the Poetry Tent in a wheelbarrow.

‘More Elvis Costello than Alan Bennett’ ~ Scotsman

‘Awesomely mundane’ ~ The Independent

‘Scandalously talented’ ~ Sunday Times

‘Bleeding marvellous’ ~ NME

‘Like a good deed in a naughty world’  ~ Herts Advertiser

‘Makes little sense’  ~ Luton News

Have a great festival,

Hollie x

15 Days Countdown. 15 Poets to Check Out!

15 days to go till you start packing for Glastonbury Festival. Assuming that you’re gonna be way too busy the week of Glastonbury – washing out your tent from last year, tying pans and pants to your rucksack and checking your boots don’t give you blisters again -I’ll give you 15 days left to properly research which poets you’re gonna come and check in the Poetry and Words Stage.

Poetry and Words is the

big yellow and blue tent
filled with poetry

in the corner of the Theatre area: a pace away from the calm, massage-infused green fields and across the dirt track from the night-time mental head spin of Arcadia.

So here’s a day plan:

Get up.
Eat breakfast in the Buddhafield Café.
Spend the day in Poetry and Words listening to your favourite wordsmiths.
Dinner from one of the massive selection of vans near the Jazz Stage.
Nighttime raving in Arcadia.
Stumble up the stone circle to watch the sunrise. All good. But you better check out which poets you wanna see.

PS. Ignore the big names on the main stage, you can hardly see anything most of the time anyhow, it’s just like watching them on tele. I almost got crushed by Bush supporters trying to hear Courtney Love closer up when I was fifteen. Better grab a drink and go watch some poetry instead! Here’s one poet to look up for each free day left before the festivities begin.

1. Stephanie Dogfoot

Where to go online

http://stephdogfoot.wordpress.com

Stephanie Dogfoot

Stephanie Dogfoot

Official Biography

Stephanie Dogfoot has been writing poetry ever since her first gerbil died in 1999. Originally from Singapore, she has lived in the US and Canada and has been studying in London since 2009.  She has been performing poetry ever since wandering into her first poetry slam in Vancouver in  the summer of 2008. She is the current UK Slam Champion, made the finals in the European Slam Championships 2012 and will represent the UK at the Poetry Slam World Cup in Paris in early June. She won the Singapore National Poetry Slam in 2010, representing Singapore in the 2010 Indian Ocean Slam championships in Reunion Island, where she competed against poets from ten countries around the Indian Ocean, from Australia to Madagascar. She currently co-hosts the Hammer and Tongue Hackney Slam with ‘Angry’ Sam Berkson and Raymond Antrobus. She co-founded and co-hosts a poetry night in North London called Forget What You Heard (About Spoken Word), with Matt Cummins. In 2012, she wrote and performed a solo show about post-colonial guilt, activism and moving to London called ‘Foreigner Go Home (With Me)!’ at the Edinburgh Free Fringe. She has performed at several festivals as part of the Spacegirl’s Poetry Salon collective. She has degrees in Biology, Environmental Studies and Law which she believes have helped her writing, because poets are supposed to like nature and be good at manipulating words to persuade people. Three of her poems are being published in an anthology of women’s writing in Singapore called Body Boundaries: Etiquette Anthologies v.1. Her poetry is inspired by absurdity, anger, things that make her absurdly angry, talking to people other than herself, being foreign and trying to see things from three different perspectives at once.  

2. Anna Freeman

Where to go online

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIoyitAXQgg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SewbM8fFn1s

Anna Freeman

Anna Freeman

 Official Biography

Anna Freeman is a multiple slam champion, creative writing lecturer at Bath Spa University, and an activist for ginger rights. Her work is funny, mostly, but with a spine of genuine pain and humiliation at the inarguable fact of her own existence. Her poetry has also been known to leave a greasy after-taste of lingering wrongness. Like a kebab. Anna has performed her poetry in myriad cities including London, Bristol, Manchester, Vancouver and Seattle, and appeared as part of Radio 4’s Bespoken Word. She spends her summers schlepping around a plethora of festivals, because she believes poetry works best when you’ve got a bit of mud in your hair. Let The Pig Out, Anna’s brand new spoken word and live music collaboration with Chris Redmond and The Tongue Fu Band, is taking bookings to tour through the second half of 2013 and into 2014. Even though she’s been practising, she still can’t always clap in time. It’s very sad. Her first collection, Gingering the World from the Inside, is published by Burning Eye Books.  ‘A hearty recommendation for Anna Freeman’ – Guardian Books              ‘She twists up the awkward, confusing and the painful into slick balloon animals’ – Buddy Wakefield ‘A rising star’ – Venue  

3.Aindrias de Staic

 Where to go online  

http://www.aindrias.com/

Aindrias de Staic

Aindrias de Staic

Official Biography

Aindrias has been described as ‘dangerously seductive’ and ‘a captivating yarn-spinner’.  He is an accomplished musician, actor, storyteller and poet,  having won The Galway Music Award and the Best Actor award at the Geelong Film Festival (Australia) for Malarkey. Born in Galway Ireland, Aindrias’ rich n rare style of fiddle playing is as unique as his story-telling, antics and humour.  Aindrias is well known internationally for his award-winning one man theatre shows including Around the World on 80 Quid, The Year I got Younger and Summer I did the Leaving.  

4.Ali Gadema

Where to go online

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmcy_oEKxQQ

Ali Gadema
Ali Gadema

Official Biography

Originally from Venus, Ali “Pookatron” Gadema has been writing and performing since he could walk/hold a pen. His Hip Hop poetics are heavily influenced by day to day life as an extraterrestrial being. As a young Venusite visiting Earth, he started training young verbal acrobats, leading to work across the length and breadth of Mars and the inner regions of the solar system. He eventually settled down in Manchester, where he began working with the Earthling poetry group, Young Identity. Ali is accompanied by one of these young Manc warriors in his performance at Glastonbury this year, her name is Keisha Thompson and she is one of the brightest up and coming lights in poetry in the UK, soon to be touring Mars herself.

5.Keisha Thompson (supporting Ali Gadema)

 Where to go online

http://www.youngidentity.org/?page_id=86 

Keisha Thompson

Keisha Thompson

Official Biography

Keisha Thompson has been writing since her primary school days. By age 16 she had been published in three anthologies and performed her work at various venues including Urbis, Contact and Bolton Octagon.

In 2007, she joined Young identity poetry collective. From here she went on to compete in international poetry festival Brave New Voices ‘08 & ’09. In the following year, the group were privileged to perform at the renowned Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, New York.

In addition to poetry Keisha has been a member of Manchester Youth Soul Choir/Urban Voices for over 10 years and has been a member of Contact Playback since 2008. She has worked as a workshop facilitator for Wordsmith Awards, Apples and Snakes Wordcup and Apples and Snakes Shake The Dust. She has authored and featured in a short film (Selective) that was screened at Cornerhouse.

Early this year she began working on solo show ‘I Wish I had a Moustache, which has received funding from Arts Council England. It will be presented at Contact 10th-12th September.

 

6.Dan Simpson

 Where to go online

www.dansimpsonpoet.co.uk

@dansimpsonpoet

Dam Simpson

Dan Simpson

Official Biography

Dan Simpson is a spoken word poet and compère, poetry projects and events organiser, workshop facilitator and writer. His poetry deals with love and literature, science and stars, people and Pac-Man: all that good geeky stuff. He is the current Canterbury Laureate and host of The Word House in London.  His poetry has featured on the BBC, London Underground, in Fuselit journal and Inc. Magazine.  He has performed at venues from the National Theatre and Camden Roundhouse, and at nights such as Literary Death Match and Bang Said the Gun. Dan creates pioneering work with crowdsourced and outdoor poetry.  His first one-man show We Are All Orange Ghosts – about happiness, self-acceptance and the orange ghost from Pac-Man – will debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. “His poems were tight and well thought out [...] creating a lovely new language of scientifically expressed love.” (Sabotage Reviews)

7.Ian Keteku

 Where to go online

http://www.ianketeku.com/

Ian Keteku

Ian Keteku

Official Biography

Ian Keteku is an articulation of a generation’s heart beat; a magician with syntax, a word sorcerer conjuring new realities, sound paintings, all in an attempt to better understand our existence.  He is also the 2010 World Poetry Slam champion.  Ian uses his voice to speak for the voiceless and inspire messages of peace, action and critical thought.  He has performed his poetry and music all over the world and continues to plant seeds of poetic justice globally. Ian is also part of the critically acclaimed spoken word troupe The Recipe. Ian Keteku has shared the stage with Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Ursula Rucker, members of the Wu Tang Clan, K-OS, critically acclaimed poet Saul Williams and others. In addition, he had the opportunity to perform for the Governor General of Canada (Michaëlle Jean), on three occasions.  But there is more to Ian than just thought provoking poetry and music.  He conducts poetry, writing and performance workshops for youth and various community groups. Inspiring people to accept the power of their own voice.  Keteku is also a journalist who has been featured in CBC, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, TVO and countless other broadcast and print publications.

8.Tony Walsh

Where to go online

http://longfella.co.uk/

Tony Walsh aka Longfella

Tony Walsh aka Longfella

Official Biography

Tony Walsh, aka Longfella, was the official Poet in Residence for the Glastonbury Festival website in 2011, which saw his poetry featured on BBC1, BBC Radio 2, BBC6Music, and in the Q magazine festival special. Some poets can make you laugh, a few can make you cry but only a handful can do both. By all accounts, Tony Walsh is one such poet. Splitting your sides AND breaking your heart? Be warned – this guy should come with a health warning!  

9.Joelle Taylor

 Where to go online

http://joelletaylordotorg.wordpress.com/

Joelle Taylor

Joelle Taylor

Official Biography

Joelle Taylor is a poet and spoken word artist, who has gigged both nationally and internationally – from Pentonville prison to Buckingham Palace via Ronnie Scotts and the Royal Festive Hall. ‘As addicitve as the most uncensored gossip’ The Stage

10.Spoz

 Where to go online

www.spoz.net

Spoz

Spoz

Official Biography

Spoz is an award winning performance poet, singer/songwriter, film maker, playwright and the poet-in-residence at Birmingham City FC. He has been on BBC and Central Television, has written for and performed on BBC Radio Four, Radio Five Live, Radio West Midlands, Radio Coventry & Warwickshire and Capital Gold, as well as the toilet.  Spoz has performed at Glastonbury festival, Cheltenham Literature festival, Oxford Literature Festival, Warwick Words festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and in front of his mum. “Spoz takes run-of-the-mill and real life scenarios, beats them with a blunt instrument and flushes them down the bog of the spoken word. Roger McGough meets Billy Connolly” (Warwick Words Festival). Spoz was ‘crowned’ Birmingham’s eleventh poet laureate in October 2006. He continues to work extensively in schools, lifting the appeal of writing and performing poetry to hitherto, unseen heights.  Spoz released his first poetry anthology for “the young and young at heart” in January 2009. ‘The Day the Earth Grew Hair … and Other Stuff’ is available from his website www.spoz.net  

11.Benita Johnson

 Where to go online

http://www.benitajohnson.co.uk/

Benita Johnson

Benita Johnson

Official Biography

Benita Johnson is an unsigned singer-songwriter with over a decade of writing, recording and performance behind her. She has supported the likes of Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Boo Hewerdine and Patrick Duff (Strangelove) and performed on stages at large and small festivals, pubs, restaurants, theatres and dedicated music venues across England and beyond. Her songs are dynamic and accessible. At times you could hear a pin drop as she spellbinds her audience with some soulful reverie. The next thing you know you’ll be pinned to the back wall or hanging onto tent pegs with the sheer power of her vocal delivery. Benita’s first album “You Should Know…,” released on her own label in 2010, is available to order or download from her website. Her limited edition EP “Stars & Fireflies” is also available for download via most digital distributors. Here are some of the things that other people have said about her music : “It’s not folk and it’s not rock or pop, it’s Benita Johnson doing her thing and it’s beautiful. . . simply breathtaking. . .”  (Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music Reviews) “Grandiose, poetic and almost spiritual”  (Alfie Kingston, Sound Music Reviews) “Her song-writing is top-quality stuff, and it’s music that you just gotta hear for yourself. . . I’d be surprised if you’re not convinced you’re in the presence of an unsung genius”.  (David Kidman, Netrhythms Reviews)

12.Yaffle

 Where to go online

http://www.hgregory.co.uk/yaffle.html

Yaffle

Yaffle

Official Biography

One of the hidden wonders of festivals like Glastonbury and Larmer Tree, Yaffle fuse poetry and music in deliciously captivating musings, which leave their audiences spellbound. Benita Johnson’s expressive, haunting voice and guitar melodies perfectly harmonise with Helen Gregory’s poignant, sultry poetry, to narrate mesmerising tales of love, loss and the wonders of life.  

13.Dreadlock Alien

 Where to go online

http://www.myspace.com/dreadlockalienpoetry 

Dreadlockalien

Dreadlockalien

Official Biography

International Poet and Compere Dreadlockalien was Birmingham Poet Laureate 2005/6. He hosted the BBC Radio 4 Slam Poetry show and was a consultant to Apples and Snakes’ ‘Shake the Dust’ national poetry competition. This year, he is taking in Glastonbury Festival as part of his year-long project ‘Poet without Residence.’  

14.Erin Fornoff

Where to go online

erinfornoff.wordpress.com

Erin Fornoff
Erin Fornoff

 Official Biography

A native of the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, Erin Fornoff is an American poet, living and working in Ireland. Called a “story-telling poet” and “as close to music as poetry gets,” she has performed her poems at Electric Picnic and many other festivals including First Fortnight, Flatlakes, Tonehenge, Mindfield. She has been featured at many spoken word nights around Dublin, including Brownbread Mixtape, Nighthawks at the Cobalt, The Monday Echo, and many others. She has been featured live on RTE Arena Stage, the national radio arts showcase, and was a finalist at Literary Death Match Dublin. Her essays have been published in The Irish Times, and her poetry in Wordlegs, The Cellar Door, and Bare Hands Literary Journal. She won First Prize for Poetry in The Cellar Door, was shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year for 2012. She was one of ten poets shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Prize for 2013. Before moving to Ireland and taking up writing, she was a staffer on Obama’s 2008 campaign.  

15.Hollie McNish

Where to go online

www.holliemcnish.com

Audio albums available on itunes or from www.holliemcnish.bandcamp.com

Videos: www.youtube.com/holliemcnish

Hollie McNish by Kim-Leng Hills
Hollie McNish by Kim-Leng Hills

Official Biography

“I can’t take my ears off her”  Benjamin Zephaniah Hollie McNish is a published UK poet and spoken word artist, based between London and Cambridge. She has released two poetry albums, Touch and Push Kick, both to critical acclaim, and a first collection of written poetry, Papers, published by Greenwich Exchange, London.  She has appeared in venues as diverse as Glastonbury festival, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar, London’s Southbank Centre and Cambridge University and has had poems commissioned  by Radio 4 Womans Hour, WOW festival, Hidden Woods and Channel 4 Random Acts. She performs across the UK, as well as abroad, with previous tours and residencies in Belgium, Australia, France and Portugal, and for the British Council in Latvia and Poland. She was the UK Slam poetry champion 2009, through which she represented the UK in the Slam du Monde finals in Paris, coming 3rd behind the USA and Canada. She now runs Cambridgeshire’s youth poetry slam for young people ages 12 – 25. As well as poetry performances, Hollie runs poetry workshops and recitals for schools, youth centres, charities and more around the country through her poetry education organisation, Page to Performance: www.pagetoperformance.org. To enquire about Hollie’s education work, performances or commissions, please email: hollie@pagetoperformance.org

Happy hunting.
See you there,
Hollie x

First five poets announced for Glastonbury Poetry Stage 2013

The Glastonbury Poetry & Words Stage has chosen its final line up f0r 2013. Thank you to all of the artists who have applied. I have now been passed the list of chosen acts for this year and I’ll be announcing the names little by little over the next month; semi-headliners and headliners at the end.

Today, I’d like to offer a guide to the first five poets on the line up who made me break into a little bit of an excited sweat as I read their names. I have seen these five poets a lot and I am looking forward to seeing them perform again – as many times as I can. They are all juicier than June strawberries and if you are at the festival, you really should come over, sit down and have a listen. If you’re not going to Glastonbury, check them out online as soon as you can.

1. The Antipoet

The Antipoet

The Antipoet

My favourite poetry ‘band’, these two had adults streaming tears in laughter and kids all round me jumping from their seats chanting ‘tights not stockings’ the last time I saw them at a live gig. My mum fancies them, my nan thinks they’re ‘a bit too rude’, my mates think they’re geniuses and I think their song ‘what the f*@k is she going on about’ should be given out as medication to anyone who’s gone to too many naff poetry gigs. Serious ideas performed hilariously.

Come and see them if you are also planning to see:

The Rolling Stones

Primal Scream

Billy Bragg

Riot Jazz

The Monsters of Schlock

The Urban Voodoo Machine

Official Biography

The world’s finest exponents of beatrantin’ rhythm ‘n  views.  A wry blend of anarchocynisism and comic observation, Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman have brought together the wit and wisdom of one of the country’s finest performance poets, with melodic rhythms of solo bass and the odd piece of gratuitous percussion thrown in for good measure to create the unique sound and spectacle that is The Antipoet.  Formed in 2009, they have since gigged extensively, supporting such luminaries as Matt Harvey, John Hegley, Elvis McGonagall, Attila the Stockbroker, TV Smith, Ed Tudor Pole and Robin Ince.

“The only thing that prepares you for them, is having seen them before!
Wesley Freeman-Smith

 “Sweet as strawberries; sharp as lemon barley water.”
Jo Bell, Ledbury Festival

“An act at the forefront of the new movement, with material dripping in parody. They take poetry to a new level, with performances as memorable as they are hilarious”
The Stage

“Eyeliner, triangle and a double bass have never been funnier!”
Word of Mouth

Where to get them online

http://www.rrrants.org/the-antipoet

http://www.rrrants.org/contact

2. Bohdan Piasecki

Bohdan Piasecki

Bohdan Piasecki

Every time I read an article that suggests spoken word or performance poetry is not ‘real’ poetry, not up to the lyrical standard of the page, book, poetry press, I listen to Bohdan Piasecki and think ‘What about this? They obviously haven’t heard Bohdan.’ Every time I read an inflamed tabloid article suggesting that Polish people are moving to the UK to take over British culture, I listen to Bohdan Piasecki and think, ‘I hope so. If they write poetry with the beauty, modesty and wit of this man, I really hope so’. I just wish I could read his poetry in Polish too.

Come and see him if you are also planning to see:

Arctic Monkeys

I am Kloot

K T Tunstall

Evan Dando

Seth Lakeman

Dinosaur Jr

Martha Wainwright

 

Official biography

Bohdan is a poet from Poland currently based in the UK. Since moving to England, he has featured at some of the country’s topmost spoken word nights and festivals, written for BBC Radio 3, and worked as visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Birmingham University, proving conclusively that Poles really are taking over. He feels equally at home with a rowdy festival crowd and at more sedate poetry readings. He does what he can to offer the former something to think about and to inject a little anarchy in the latter. Bohdan enjoys strong coffee and inflicting poetry in Polish on unsuspecting audiences.

Where to get him online

http://wordra.in/

3.Deanna Rodger

Deanna Rodger

Deanna Rodger

When asked to recite one of her poems for a recent poetry documentary, Deanna Rodger stood up and slowly recited a brilliant part of Dizzee Rascal lyrics by heart, till she burst out laughing and did hers for real. I love Dizzee Rascal, I think she does too, but I also think her lyrics outshine his. The passion which flows from her breathe every time she stands up to perform is mind-blowing. She spits poetry more lyrically and with more determination than any performer I have ever seen.

Come and see her if you are also planning to see:

Dizzee Rascal (obviously!)

Public Enemy

Chase and Status

Professor Green

Alice Russell

High Focus

Rita Ora

Official Biography

Deanna Rodger co-runs popular spoken word events  ‘Chill Pill’ and  ‘Come Rhyme with Me’ and is a member of London poetry collectives ‘Rubix’, ‘Keats House Poetry Forum’ and ‘Point Blank Poets’.

She is the youngest ever UK Poetry Slam Champion (2008), and has performed at  Buckingham Palace, Number 10 Downing Street, Parliament, The Treasury and many other prestigious venues, theatres and events around the UK and Europe. Deanna wrote the 2012 Olympic Team Welcome ceremonies and is also an actor.

Where to get her online

thecursivecrowd.wordpress.com

Twitter @deannarodger

4.Toby Thompson

Toby Thompson

Toby Thompson

The first time I saw Toby get on stage I was very jealous of his all-in-one navy blue jumpsuit. By the end of the set I was still jealous of the jumpsuit and captivated by the depth, honesty and rhyme of his poetry. For the next two years I tried to remember his surname so I could look him up and hear more of his poetry. I finally found him at a small gig in Brighton and I was amazed all over again. I could listen to Toby’s poems till I’m sick of them and still pick up new lines each time I listen. I am overjoyed he is at Glastonbury and cannot wait to watch his set. I wonder if he still has the jumpsuit?

Come and see him if you are also planning to see:

Laura Mvula

James Blake

High Focus

Nas

Official Biography

Watching Toby Thompson is like watching the first atomic bomb, a firework set off in your bedroom and two people having sex, at the same time, on repeat. He’s explosive, intense and deeply honest. One of the brightest stars on the spoken word scene, his words leave you breathless, his passion for saying them speechless, and his age will probably leave you jealous at how a man of his few years can know so much and say it so well. He has put out amazingly strong work through the Royal Shakespeare and with his debut DVD Angel Features. Firing on all hadron colliders, we present for you Toby Thompson, the 2011 Glastonbury Poetry Slam Champion.

“Toby Thompson is one of the most inspired, powerful MC / poets I’ve heard in years. He speaks with a talent and passion that puts a lot of older writers to shame. F**k knows what primal wellspring he’s pulling all this inspiration from, but anyway. World: take notice.”
Dizraeli (Champion Poet, Rapper and Hip Hop Tour De Force)

“Toby is easily one of the most gifted young wordsmiths I have ever had the pleasure to encounter, but what’s more he has the discipline and confidence of a seasoned pro ten years his senior.  His humility and hunger to learn mean he is certain to maximize his already abundant talents.”
Akala (Rapper, Playwright and Hip Hop Shakespeare Company Founder)

Where to get him online

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Kv3V6GABU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ8oZijLrxE

5. Indigo Williams

Indigo Williams

Indigo Williams

Indigo William’s words are calm, collected, aggravated and uplifting at once and I wish I could wrap them up and stuff them in my dreams at night. Some people say spoken word poets have a tendency to shout too much, to yell at an audience, but Indigo Williams has an absurd talent for softly whispering out the woes and beauty of the world without the need to raise the volume. Listening to her poetry makes me feel I’m getting a shoulder, neck and mental massage in one sitting.

Come and see her if you are also planning to see:

Maverick Sabre

Portishead

Ben Howard

Of Monsters and Men

The Smashing Pumpkins

Official Biography

Indigo Williams is a dynamic poet and performance artist from London. She studied music at The British School of Performing Arts, has a degree in Creative Writing and Journalism and is currently studying a Writer/Teacher MA at Goldsmiths University.

After bursting on the poetry scene in 2010, Indigo established herself as an artist who commands the stage with a gripping presence and powerful poetry. With both substance and passion, her work is emotive and thought provoking.  She has performed across the UK and Europe at various venues and events, including: The Big Chill festival, iTunes Festival, Camp Bestival, The RoundHouse, BBC Radio 4’s Bespoken Word, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Albany, The Royal Festival Hall and many more.

Where to get her online

http://indigowilliams.co.uk

Hope to see you all there. More acts to be announced very soon.

Hollie

www.holliemcnish.com

Welcome to Glastonbury Festival Poetry 2013

Hi. My name is Hollie McNish and I am completely stoked to start working as this year’s Glastonbury Poetry&Words blogger. I’ll be updating you on the absurdly brilliant line-up of poets coming to perform on the stage at this years Glastonbury Festival, as well as any other news, reviews or general things of interest.

What’s the news?

So first up, as you can see, we have a new blog site: poetryandwordsblog.wordpress.com. Tell your friends, tell your mum, tell anyone who loves or hates poetry. And especially anyone going to this years festival. But even if you’re not, you can follow us. We’d love it and I’m sure you’ll find some new poets who tickle you in ways only poets can.

Secondly, for the next couple of months, I’ll be releasing the names of all the performers who are gracing the Poetry&Words stage. I shouted with joy a few times when I read the line up and am sure you will do. Check out the poets, ring them with black marker in your brochures and make sure you’re not too hungover to see them.

Why am I reporting for the Poetry and Words stage?

Mainly, because I love the Glastonbury Poetry stage. It is brilliant. It is packed away in a peaceful corner of the festival where you can chill out and relax for the day before the night time festivities begin. And there are poets, loads of poets, each with their own sounds, words and performances. All I am saying really is that if you are going to Glastonbury, come and see us. It’ll be worth if. Some even say, it made their festival.

A small bit about me now. My names Hollie, I am also a poet and you can find any more info on me out on www.holliemcnish.com and www.youtube.com/holliemcnish. I love Glastonbury Poetry stage and have a very close relationship with the festival! On the way there to perform in 2009 I did a pregnancy test and spent the next three days watching poetry, trying to perform poetry without being sick and wondering what it would be like to be a mum. The following year, I took my baby to it’s first festival, watched more poetry, danced to Shakira and Snoop Dog and wrote this poem for the Radio 4 Poetry Diaries Glastonbury coverage. There are a few more videos below that too.

That’s it for now. Line up coming very soon.

Hollie x