It’s that time of year again. When the change of weather arrives. Winter coats get buried in the back of wardrobes; hazy, sun-soaked evenings settle slowly into view, not mirages or long-forgotten fantasies but the stuff of which chilly December afternoon dreams are made on. Now in the first glowing rays of the season of beer gardens and balmy evening strolls, something strange, beautiful and almost imperceptible lingers in the air, singing softly in the spring breeze: ‘Glastonbury, Glastonbury, Glastonbury’.
That’s right, it’s almost here. The greatest festival in the world is almost here enfolding us in its gorgeous sprawling arms once more, welcoming us home.
We’re gearing up to have a Bowie/Prince dance party in the (purple) rain, to get our souls drenched in songs, sun, and cider, to descend once more upon the hallowed ground of Worthy Farm and celebrate life and loud music, friends and falafel, politics and poetry.
Here at Poetry and Words we’re gearing up to unleash a whole gaggle of poets to strut their gums across our stage, share their tales, tell their truths with the revellers and the rain shelter-ers, the hard-core and the hungover. Bringing you all the lowdown on our poets, the slams and the sounds of our little corner of the Theatre and Circus field will be me, Megan Beech, official blogger for the 2016 Poetry and Words stage.
This is me.
Although whilst in Glastonbury fields, I tend to look a bit more like this…
I’m a 22-year-old performance poet, a Poetry Society Slambassador, Cambridge student and a feminist human. I mostly write about feminism (and sometimes depression too!) and I’ve been lucky enough to shout things that rhyme at places like the Royal Albert Hall, Parliament, the Southbank Centre and basically any dingy backroom, basement, or bar that has let me. I was featured in the BBC series ‘Women Who Spit’ last year. I also wrote a book called ‘When I Grow Up I Want To Be Mary Beard’, and now I am her professional friend(/fangirl)!
But enough about me. I can’t wait to share all the wild and wonderful words that will fly across our stage in June but until I am able to reveal our line-up to you, before we are all back home in the loving arms of our Glasto, these are a few of my (Glastonbury) favourite things to tide us all over:
My Glastonbury Top Five Faves
Fave Glastonbury poets: This year’s incredible line-up is under wraps for the time being but in previous years I have had some of the most overwhelming and beautiful Glastonbury moments courtesy of poets like Vanessa Kisuule, Kate Tempest, Hollie McNish and Erin Bolens. Last year, Patti Smith read a poem to the Dalai Lama on the Pyramid Stage for his birthday. To me it illustrated just how powerful, relevant, Rock ‘n’ Roll and important poetry can be. You could’ve heard a pin drop in that field. It was like that time Mick Jagger read Shelley’s ‘Adonais’ for the recently deceased Brian Jones at a Hyde Park Gig in 1969. Magical and moving. Then we all bellowed through a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday Dalai Lama’.
Fave Glastonbury stage: My favourite stage always changes. I love soaking up long afternoons in the Poetry and Words tent (of course). I love the Left Field for riling up my big thumping leftie socialist heart. I’ve always had great affection for the West Holts stage, brilliant for stumbling on things you had no idea you’d like so much, but the top of the Park field at sunset, nestled on the hill, surrounded by family and friends: that is probably my favourite place on Earth.
Fave Glastonbury memory: This is my sixth year at Glastonbury so there are far too many to choose from but I’ll say 2010. Being 16, having just finished my GCSEs, standing in the Park field watching Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood (from my favourite band, Radiohead) as this gorgeous hazy sunset began, singing Karma Police at the top of my lungs: ‘For a minute there, I lost myselllllfffff!’
Fave Beeb Glastonbury presenter: Lauren Laverne: classy, sassy, feminist and fierce!
Fave Glastonbury beverage: I am from Somerset. Do we even have to ask? Cider, naturally.
See you on the Cider Bus. More from the poets and the people of Poetry and Words soon.