CALLING ALL POETS, spoken word artists, raconteurs, stand-up poets and slam champs…

2016 is awaiting your assault on the bastion of beastly wordsmithery in the freakish fields of Worthy…

Lo! We at Poetry&Words are once again opening the floodgates to all you wizardly wonderful poetry fiends. So, 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 quite excellent 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 a short Bio and 1-3 video and/or audio files of you performing your work, preferably to a live audience. We’d prefer web links, but attachments (of manageable size!) will also be accepted. We will only view one application per person. Further applications will be ignored, so send us your best stuff first time around! Don’t send Word files of your poems or links to your books. However good they are, it’s the performance element we need to be able to judge as well.

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 June 22nd-26th, 2016. To find out more, go to: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

The deadline for applications is, strictly, 5pm on Friday 4th March 2016. We regret that we cannot view any applications received after this time, so please make a note of the deadline and make sure you submit as much in advance as possible. Don’t miss your chance!

We hope that you’ll understand that, given the positively elephantine volume of applications we receive every year, we are not physically able to respond to requests for feedback or advice, or to let every applicant know how they’ve done. Successful artists should hear back from us by two months after the deadline.

You can also find us at:

http://www.facebook.com/GlastonburyFestivalPoetry
http://www.youtube.com/user/PoetryandWords
https://twitter.com/GlastonburyPoet

And the winner of the 2015 Glastonbury Poetry Slam is…

Rory Jones!!!!!! who wins not only a beautiful golden unicorn but a spot to perform at next year’s Glastonbury!!!

20150628_190725

Massive thanks to our hosts, Varjack and Simpson.

20150628_171559

Our sacrificial poet and last year’s winner, Erin Bolens.

20150628_172544

And all the slammers who took part. That’s it from another Poetry&Words at Glastonbury. It’s been an absolute pleasure following in the footsteps of Deanna Rodger, Hollie McNish and Annie Mcgann as the poetry stage blogger. Huge thanks to Benita, Helen and the team, and all the genuinely brilliant poets who’ve graced the stage this year. It’s been real.

This is Scott Tyrrell, signing off :)

Gentle Joyous Rowdy Ranting

A marvelous start to a Sunday at Glastonbury. The sleek cheeky Rosy Carrick introduced Charlotte Higgins who treated us to gentle cerebral set celebrating the reality of Grimm fairytales.

20150628_124056

MiKo Berry delivered another thunderous caledonian cacophony of poetry, before Rachel Rose Reid delivered some more sumptuous stories.

20150628_130659

Then came the roar of Attila the Stockbroker, who ranted, raved and read from his new autobiography – Arguments Yard. He was, as usual, a powerhouse on stage.

20150628_140347

Now Anna Freeman is rocking the tent with style.

20150628_140702

 

Next up is Pete the Temp (Glastonbury Website official poet in residence), some more great poets AND…….The 2015 Glastonbury Poetry Slam at 5pm!!!

Scott :)

 

 

2 Legends on one stage!

That was one hell of a Saturday, rounded off beautifully by these two chaps…

20150627_190119

But first…

The afternoon got off to a great start with the adorable Antosh Wojcik, the wonderful Charlotte Higgins, and the amazing MC Gramski.

The ex-clown Sara Hirsch’s Christopher Nolan’s Intersteller-inspired love poem was great.

20150627_151844

Wil Greenway treated us to another slice of his warped mind. And then MiKo Berry launched into an incredible set of pain and passion with the immortal line “Silver is the manliest glitter!”. He’s not the first passionate Scotsman, but he’s probably the only one on stage with purple trousers, a black vest and a pink headband.

20150627_161355

Next up was Kayo Chingonyi who delivered a beautifully chilling line that stays with me “..who wields a cutthroat like a paintbrush”. A wonderful engaging performer.

20150627_163356

Murray Lachlan Young swaggered on stage with his arm in a sling (a cricketing injury I was told) and wooed the crowd with his very own je ne sais quoi.

20150627_164423

Then the penultimate poet. The legend that is Porky Poet (Phill Jupitus) arrived somewhat bewildered as he’d just been attacked by a hessian giraffe. His fame is well-deserved. An incredibly engaging presence on stage. His StarWars haikus were marvelous. I loved “That’s no moon…but it has much of the romance”.

20150627_172037

And then our headline act….the inimitable bundle of audience-participatory joy, Mr. John Hegley. John is the absolute master of the Poetry&Words tent. His stagecraft and lightness of touch is an absolute pleasure to watch.

20150627_180506

And if that wasn’t enough, he was joined on stage by Phill Jupitus for a final glorious musical number that had the crowd ecstatic! Just brilliant. Like a punk Laurel and Hardy reuniting for a guerilla rock gig.

20150627_183800

In other news…

Winston Plowes has been hard at work ‘finding’ poems from festival goers using his ‘Spoke’n’Word’ bycicle…

1.

Orange Purple Flying Circle
 .
Sometimes travelling slowly tires the mind.
blunts the axe.
Life can be a heavy chain.
But at Glastonbury spirits are lifted
climbing ever upwards, ever higher, dancing and jumping.
And lo! He came speeding down the hill
every crank of the gears
making me feel tranquil, bringing me to tears.
 .
Contributor (in line order): Netty (title), Martin, Dave, Caroline & Vanessa, Anon, Louise & Arijana, Jess with Dave & Scott, Carly.
 .

2.

SPEAKING TO A RANDOM PERSON OUTDOORS
(Saturday Surrealism)
 .
Slow brakes led to ginger cakes
on this joyful journey through life.
With a classical head from Roman times
and a natural requirement for legs,
the cranky elephant flew through the kitchen window.
Glastonbury is such a scene
It’s slowing down the brain machine.
And rain dampened hair shines like brilliantine
where the mud wasn’t smooth enough.
There’s a shiny diamond hidden under the hill, essential to the Alps.
Where I came off track, gliding spacewards 
finishing the washing up in the bank.
Never casting a doubt before the black bottle flies
my skeleton, within a peloton of excellently joyful pedestrians. 
 .
Contributors: Donna Daniels-Moss, Laura, Joshua Robinson, Peter, Peter (2), Julia + Matt, Mark Thomas, Lauren, Connect 4, Danny T-G, Stockie Jim, Lynn, Gramsky, Val + Ian + Declan, Joel Lynch.
 .

Sunday’s Lineup…

20150628_081755
There’s still a couple of spots left for the Slam tonight, so hurry along when the tent opens to sign up!
 .
Scott :)

Saturday’s alright for poetry

The Antipoet, Jess Green and Vanessa Kisuule have wrenched in the crowds this glorious morning! With some real jealousy-inducing greatness. Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves were awesome! Brilliantly portraying the passion and pain of teaching. That sense of struggle and euphoria of knowledge and creativity transposed on to the minds of the stressed-out young.

20150627_12310020150627_140657

20150627_131638

The open Mic was a blast under the steady hand of Megan Beech. I even got to have another quick burst on the mic!

20150627_133303

This afternoon is going to be AWESOME. We’ve got Charlotte Higgins, MC Gramski, Sara Hirsch, MiKo Berry, Kayo Chingonyi and….

MURRAY LACHLAN YOUNG, PORKY POET AKA PHILL JUPITUS and the legend that is JOHN HEGLEY!

Scott :)

A marriage proposal, the best poem in the world and the worst poem in Britain

What a first day that was! The afternoon was awash with rain and surprises. One of the biggest surprises happened when I left the bleedin tent, dammit! Dreadlockalien ushered the recycling crew onstage to get a round of appreciation for their efforts, but twas all a rouse! It was an excuse for Dawn from the team to propose publicly to her boyfriend Matthew. Congrats guys! I wouldn’t have the stones to propose publicly at the biggest festival in the world, but hats off! Quick sketch of the event I didn’t get to see (if the participants were cows).

20150627_101442

The afternoon’s poetry was absolute top drawer. Harry Baker had the audience eating out of his hand with his joyous food-based pun poetry and his winning world champ poem – technically the best poem in the world! MC Gramski is a freestyling genius. My jaw was on the floor with the spontaneous audience-suggested ideas rap he rattled off. I am in awe of anyone that can do that, but especially to have it make sense and have an emotional core – that is something else!

Dan Simpson and Erin Bolens whipped the crowd into a warm fuzzy frenzy. This was Erin’s first booked gig since winning the Slam last year, and she nailed it. Dan was quickfire like a caffeine-induced hummingbird. I did my bit, including my winning Anti-slam poem (technically the worst poem in Britain).

Then Joaquin, our Friday Headliner (all the way from Texas) took to the stage and launched into a high energy emotional full-speed Rollercoaster of a set. A fitting end to a quality day.

20150626_182738

In other news, our resident walkabout poet Winston Plowes has been busy making ‘found poems’ from members of the Glastonbury public. Made by editing together lines composed by festival goers with the aid of The Spoke~n~Word ramdom poetry generating bicycle. 2 so far…

1.

Riding, falling and loving the broken track
is one of the reasons I always come back.
Leaning by the steel fence
equals a change in perspective.
Glastonbury is the incredible blur
running through my ‘be here now’ karma –
I am zen…
Contributors (in line order): Magano & john, Anon, Tyrone Joyce, Scott, Domimique, Maggie and A*
 .

2.

The climbing high 
and long slow fall
of a confused and caged pelican
breathing in a basket –
When the wheel is turning too fast just take a moment, sit back.
This journey into light is a wonderful ride.
Lady Godiva dispensed with her clothes,
meandering, weaving through the streets
smiles and cheers frkm all she meets.
Everyone in good cheer.
Finishing her ride, the lady got off the saddle.
Without my clothes i feel more joyful…
Open me up, bottle me down.
Contributions from (in line order): Anon, Paul M, Oliver Cryer, Gary Wallace, Mark & Gemma, Franca Westaway, Polly, Sam Marns, Kirsty-Ann & Pat, Hazel, Tristan White and Jonathan Sardari-Kermani.

.

Saturday Lineup…

(We’re aware of the typo. It’s currently being fixed!)
20150627_084854

A F***ING LION!!!

That’s all I have in my head now, thanks to Luke Wright repeating the line with relentless enthusiasm. It’s been a great day so far in the Poetry&Words tent (despite not being able to find our first act minutes before she was due on!) The Antipoet (as predicted) lured the punters into the tent with engaging cheeky filth and tenuous allusions to Voltaire. Our first compere Dreadlockalien grabbed some more punters and Rachel Rose Reid (now found) attracted some more folk into the tent with Rhythmic stories of global friends and strangers who are not so unalike.

Megan Beech absolutely smashed it! I drew a sketch of her whilst she was on stage…

20150626_130402

Next up was the bundle of pure joy that is Wil Greenway with (for my money) the funniest line of the day so far “She had a smile like 2 unicorns fucking”. I laughed a lot.

The sassy Rosy Carrick then took over as compere who brought on Antosh Wojcik, whose wonderful warmth and energy built up a real rapport with the audience. I sketched him too!

20150626_140029

Vanessa Kisuule was pure style, gorgeousness and open honesty. And she did the poem I wanted her to do (Personal Malleable Manifesto) with the wonderful line “Ignore the girls who’ll lick at the carcass of your inner demons”

20150626_135617

Then Luke Wright stormed through with his lions, bullish dads and relentless energy.

More to come! And the rain has started…I sense the tent may get fuller ;)

Scott :)

 

The poets have arrived!

20150625_215347

We’re now on site. And in less than an hour The Antipoet will take the stage and Glastonbury Poetry&Words 2015 will have begun. And there’s a hell of a lineup today…

20150626_102841

So grab your tea/coffee/fruit smoothie and your bacon sarnie/full english/tofu compote and head into the Big Grey Tent with ‘Poetry&Words’ written on it for some world class Spoken Word.

And on a different note…

One of the Glastonbury cows drawn for the blog was featured in the Glastonbury Press. Go us! The Press is printed on a massive still-working Heidelberg Press. This may not sound interesting to anyone else, but it’s Graphic Design porn to me. Anyway, here’s Lemmy the cow from Motorherd (pun courtesy of Dan Simpson)

20150626_104845

 

So Poets Ready? Sound on? Lets play ball…

Want to perform?

Come into the tent to put your name down for the open mic (Saturday 27th at 12.50pm) or the poetry slam (Sunday 28th at 5pm)

Scott :)

Joaquin Zihuatanejo’s tribute to the cows of Worthy Farm

A couple of weeks ago I asked a bunch of the Glasto poets if they’d like (if they had the time) to write a few lines of verse in tribute to the bonny bovines whose home we are about to squat in for a week. I was chuffed at the response which I’ve posted in the previous blog. But I was incredibly touched that our Friday night headliner, a World Poetry Slam champ and incredible spoken word artist has also penned this touching tribute…

cows

Of Cows and Men

They are moving the cows for us
Nay, they are moving the cows because of us
We, the intrusive humans
So in love with the sound of our own voices
While they, the divine bovine
Love only grass, the gentle breeze and other cows
Whose place will I take on that field
With my tent and books and pocket full of poems
Will they send the poor beast to Texas to graze in my backyard
And if they do, and my poor wife leaves the gate open
And the cow heads east and slightly north toward Glastonbury
Managing only to make it as far as Fort Worth
And stumbles upon a solitary Texas longhorn grazing in a pasture
Will he look down upon the steer
With his American moo so queer
To the ear of the more refined British cow
Will they argue the merits of Huck Finn and Harry Potter,
Of Longfellow and Whitman
Of Perry Mason and Sherlock Holmes
Will he long for home
Or will he be glad to have roamed
And what of the stoic steer
Will he be filled with rage
That something so foreign is so near
Or will they find a way to put aside their differences
And realize that they
Like we
Are cut from the same cloth
Creatures and brothers separated by an ocean
And the foolish notion
That the grass is always greener on the other side

I am so looking forward to this!!! Next blog will be from a field in Pilton

Scott :)

 

Tribute to the Cows of Glastonbury

As the sunrise of Glastonbury week breaks, we the poets, the troubadours of the 21st century raise a wordspun glass to those sentient beings whose home we are borrowing for the week. Those bovine refugees whose transient presence paint this green and pleasant land with bold splashes of black and white now pootle off to their respective B&B’s in Bournemouth (we think). Ladies and gentlemen, a toast to the cows of Worthy Farm…

cow_pyramid

Vanessa Kisuule

I raise my sadly super market bought
Pint of semi skimmed to you
The true headliners of Glastonbury
You take centre stage
All other days of the year
And then one fateful week in June
You let us ticking glitter bombs
Piss our hedonism into your soil
We are sorry in advance
We almost definitely
Won’t leave it as we found it
It will take you some time
To strip away the shrapnel
Of our four day decadent dance
But we shall leave echoes
Of the choruses we sang along to
The festival friendships formed
Fast as a sailors knot
Then faded to phantom grey
We will bend down on our knees
And baptise ourselves in the mud
You will christen us crazy
In your field of dreams and whimsy
And on Monday as we trundle back
To the gunmetal of day to day
We will turn our heads back
To the post-apocalypse scene
Behind us
And nod sagely
In silent respect to you
The cows of Glastonbury

Harry Baker

 

howard

Howard

Howard lived in cow woods,
living how a cow would live,
chewing grass and making pats
were the main things Howard did.

They said Howard was a coward,
feeling how a coward feels,
fear would overtake excitement
looking at the outward fields.

It wasn’t easy living in the woods,
there wasn’t that much space,
but it was all he’d ever known
and that made him feel safe.

He’d heard about
this herd and how
they roamed completely free,
he hoped if he was brave enough
one day that’s where he’d be.

But
how would Howard leave
as a cow so cowardly?
He scoured cow wood’s trees
and caught a glimpse of the outside.

For
an hour now or three
he’d been about to bow and see,
but he’d allowed the doubts to breathe
and now he wants to run and hide.

But then one foot at a time
he tries
to set his fears aside,
he sighs,
and then he steps outside
his hiding place.

No longer sheltered by the trees
he feels a breeze,
he cannot breathe,
suddenly weak at the knees
his cagey heart begins to race.

So he retreated to the woods
where he knew that it was safe,
and told himself another day
he’d try again.

 

Carly Brown

cowpat2

A Poem for the Cows

Cows do not like poetry.
This fact is sad but true.
They do like painting and ballet
and even music too.

But try to get a cow to read
one line of a haiku?
They’ll roll their great big dopey eyes
and run away from you.

Cows cringe at bawdy limericks.
They scoff at tawdry verse.
And rhyming ballads, for a cow,
those simply are the worst.

That’s why the cows are happy now
to be away from here.
These pesky poets in one place
is what the bovines fear.

So while we poets stamp and jeer
and slam and speak and riot.
The cows all slumber dreamlessly
and wait for peace and quiet.

 

Charlotte Higgins

Cows

In six months I move to the city
I keep a tube map in an app and in my pocket
But lately I don’t always have to look at it to get to where I want to go

In a year or so, will I recognise London street names
The way I used to know the horse and two donkeys at the end of our road,
Or the cows I could see from my window

The half-conscious rhythm of that field
That I’d look out on, ploughed, then left fallow,
Then – always of a sudden –
Filled right up with cows
As if they’d been there from the get-go.

 

Erin Bolens

laptop

Air bnb: customer reviews.

Host: Worthy farm cows

Guest: Brenda, Cross Gates.

Feedback:

We had a great stay on worthy farm
Full of worthy charm.
We must have picked a popular week!
It was sort of like playing hide and seek
With everyone you’ve ever met.
The garden was extensive,
Local restaurants seemed expensive
Given chairs were sparse,
For most of the time we sat on our… bottoms.

The bathrooms had a minimalist vibe
(i.e. pretty much just a hole inside)
But we found this liberating,
Borderline invigorating!
But be prepared for a little waiting
And hanging around.
And we also suggest that you don’t look down.
The decor was bang on trend:
Like the apocalypse meets the West End,
Like a collage from your favourite friend,
A hipster version of make do and mend.
The neighbour’s music was pretty loud,
And seemed to pull a hefty crowd!
We didn’t realise this was allowed
Until we saw a copper in kaftan
Telling people to “have a laugh man”.
So we embraced the eccentricity
And got hooked on spicy tea.

So thank you cows for an enjoyable stay!
We hope to maybe meet one day
And say thanks for all the fun and larks,
It was a lovely alternative to our usual Centre Parcs.

 

Dan Simpson

Glastondairy Moosic Festival

The cows are going away for a week
they’re having their very own festival
a massive affair, but chic and boutique
it’s going to be unforgettable.

The bands are all booked, the tickets all sold
Daisy canters her way to the main gate
hoof-band put on, she’s brought into the fold
so excited she really just can’t wait.

Crowds of cows arrive and brave the bull run
the sound of a thousand hooves stamping
they go to pitch tents in space where there’s none
jealous of those cows who are glamping.

Don’t have a cow, Daisy – there’s room for you
in these fields where no humans will come
relax and chill out, just don’t give a moo
try to enjoy this long weekend of sun.

At least, they hope – are they grey clouds up there?
they don’t want ’97 again
but cows always know – a change in the air
they start to lie down as it starts to rain.

Daisy forgot wellies – waterproofs too
just stays there, watching, chewing the cud
till she needs to go to the portaloo –
how now brown cow? Daisy’s stuck in the mud.

Daisy loses her friends – all of her herd
starts to wander, lonely as a cow
enters a tent called ‘Poetry & Words’:
thinks: “not for me – that’s far too high-brow.”

Daisy’s exhausted, she sits for a while
listens to acts who perform poetry
and gradually her frown becomes a smile
she forgets all her worries totally.

So on Worthy Farm, the cows are all gone
off and away to explore pastures new
we raise our voices to those who belong
to this land that we’re just passing through.

As you enjoy your time at Glastonbury
look down, remember, these fields that we roam:
our ownership is just temporary
we’re only here until the cows come home.

And now, some of Dan’s Cow-based Band puns…

cow_kanye

Moo Fighters (pulled out)
Florence and the Milking Machine
Alabama Milkshakes
Graze-alia Banks
The Hoof
Cattle Williams
Kanye Dairy Crest
Dairy J Blige
Motorherd
Moodimental
Mark Oxen
Sleaford Cuds
Paul Heifer
Herd Bacharach
Beef Patty Smith
Bully Bragg
Fatboy Skimmed
Salt-J(erky)
Ungul-ate Tempest
Milko Johnson
The Of-Fall
The Maccabeefs
Catfish and the Burgermen
Cariboeuf
cow_lemmy
 .
.  
Thanks to all the poets who contributed to this. See you on the field…
Scott :)