Featured Artist: Andreattah Chuma


Photo by Bohdan Piasecki


Q1) What is your connection with Poetry &Words?
I was invited to perform in 2009.The curator of the stage, Helen Gregory, had seen me perform in Bristol on tour with Hammer & Tongue Oxford in 2006.The invitation took me by surprise. Before then I had no clue what Glastonbury  Festival was, but Wikipedia explained everything and it blew my mind! I had seen Exit Festival on MTV and always thought I’d like to go. I remember thinking “they have a poetry stage at Gl astonbury that is super amazing!”. I returned the following year which was such an honour.

Ed. Andreattah also contributed to the BBC Radio Four poetry-play Glastonbury Poetry Diaries in 2010.


Q2) If you had to describe the Poetry&Words stage in just three words, what would they be?
Poets are amazing.

Q3) How would you describe Glastonbury Festival to someone who’s never been there?
Is it even possible to describe Glastonbury festival when pictures and videos fail? It is one of the most awesome places to spend 5 days. A farm literally turns into a city that sort of resembles Alice in Wonderland. It is so big that it is impossible to discover all its magical corners. You could find yourself in an enchanting tent listening to poetry, in front of the Pyramid stage watching Stevie Wonder, or some soul/funk at West Holts, be on a queue to watch a 3D movie or be lying down having massages and the best chai tea in the Healing fields. And that’s only 0.1% of things you can do.


Q4) Can you name two other poets who you admire?
Derrick Brown – whom I shared P&W stage with back in 2009.There is sincerity in the choice of words he uses and his tone. That’s my kind of poetry. He can also bring ‘funny’ into his poems without it sounding cheesy.

Another poet would be Suheir Hammad. I bou
ght her book Zatardiva after watching her turn the air electric with her words in Johannesburg a couple of years ago. She is demure in her delivery, but her words come out like a stampede at you and shake you. Every time I read her work I find something new.


Q5) What kinds of things inspire you to write?
I don’t have list topics I gravitate towards. Whatever moves me to release in the form of a poem, I usually oblige.


Q6) Where is the most unusual place you’ve performed your work?
I did an outside art collaboration in a garden, smack in the middle of a school in Botswana. It was a silhouette of me while I recited a poem from behind the screen. That was cool!


Q7) What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on an EP called The LoveNotes EP with an amazing South African producer called Mark Sunners. It will be available on my bandcamp as a free download when it’s done. There is a talented Rwandese-Belgian artist called Soul T whom I recently met and we will be working on a track together – my first collaboration in Brussels. I’m also working on my French.


Q8) What’s the closest rhyme for ‘orange’ you can find?

Q9) Can we have a poem please?

This is one of the tracks from my album Time featuring my sister Thato on the chorus:

Q10) Where can we find out more about your work?


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