We are in our penultimate countdown, I have a suitcase/travel bag next to me saying, “come on Deanna, can we go now?” I say, “no we can’t suitcase but we can read about The Super 7* and get really excited”.
Andy Craven-Griffiths is a writer, rapper, musician and educator from Leicester who now calls Leeds home. He has performed poetry across the UK including at festivals such as Latitude and Glastonbury, where he won the Slam in 2005, his first ever festival. He has performed on Radio 1, Radio 4, and BBC 2, and had work commissioned by the Arts Council and Rethink mental health charity. He has worked and performed abroad for The British Council, run poetry workshops for over 15,000 young people, and has a chapter in the forthcoming book Making Poetry Happen.
Andy chooses nurture over nature, bonobos over chimpanzees, left over right and sticky toffee pudding over lemon drizzle cake. He aims at hedonism over narcissism, honesty over convenience, and kindness over pretty much everything. Sometimes he fails. Reads hungrily, travels at every opportunity, stage-dives occasionally and very rarely feels like he is productive enough. If you like stuff about altruism, finding beauty and poignancy in the banal, Alzheimer’s, feelings bigger than our bodies, and streams of consciousness at public urinals, you might like watching him.
With his band, Middleman, he has toured Britain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Ireland and America, including Festivals such as Leeds, Reading, Fusion (Berlin) and SXSW in Austin, Texas. Plus live sessions on Radio 1, 6 Music and XFM. More than half of the music from the band’s 2 albums has been synchronised to TV, Advertising and computer games (Channel 5, Channel 4, E4, NBA2K11).
Aisling Fahey has been writing and performing her poetry since the age of 13. She has performed in various locations across England and America, including the Barbican, the Southbank Centre and the Houses of Parliament. She won the London Teenage Senior Slam in 2009 and SLAMbassadors UK, run in association with the Poetry Society, in 2010. She is a member of the Burn After Reading collective who hold monthly poetry nights at The Gallery Café in Bethnal Green. Earlier this year, she was short listed to become the first Young Poet Laureate of London. You can follow her on Twitter @_AislingF and see some of her work on her blog: getyourheadtogether.wordpress.com
An economic refugee from the Home Counties, stand-up poet, sit-up storyteller and give-up musician Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the poetry, comedy and alternative cabaret circuits for over 10 years. A multiple slam champion who hates competition in the arts and an outspoken voice for anarchy, peace and bicycles, Jonny ‘does’ poetry that deafly fuses bittersweet autobiography, political disillusionment and surreal whimsy in an act which has established him as a firm favourite at festivals, arts centres and housing benefit offices up and down the country. His slim volume The Sustainable Nihilists’ Handbook is published by Burning Eye Books and he has recently premiered his solo show, Man Up, Jonny Fluffypunk- One Man’s Struggle with Late-Onset Responsibility, which he intends to tour around the garden sheds, allotments and summer houses of Britain in a blatant championing of homespun DIY culture.
As well as performing, Jonny runs poetry and performance workshops, putting shapes and colours into the minds of the young. He is co-host of the West Country’s pop-up poetry gig, Hip Yak Poetry Shack, and host of Stroud’s Mr Fluffypunk’s Penny Gaff, bringing obscure art to the masses.
‘Acute social observation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit… and England’s most pretentious moustache’- The Independent
‘This man truly relishes language. Go see him!’- Tony Allen (‘the godfather of alternative comedy’)
Porky The Poet
Porky The Poet emerged as part of the ranting poetry scene in 1983. Inspired by performers like John Cooper-Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnson, he followed their example and started gigging with bands. It was here he met Billy Bragg, who took him on tour as a support act in 1985. This led to a fruitful period opening for The Housemartins, The Style Council, The Pogues, Gil Scott-Heron and many others. On the poetry scene, Porky became a London circuit regular for Apples & Snakes and Cast New Variety. Around about this time Porky lost all his poems in Newcastle, decided to quit, changed his name back to Phill Jupitus and did other stuff. In 2007, Phill was cajoled by fellow ranting luminary Tim Wells to start writing again and return to the performance poetry scene. In 2012 at The Edinburgh Fringe he did his first full-length show Twenty Seven Years On, followed that up in 2013 with Zeitgeist Limbo and this year debuts the all-new Juplicity as part of the PBH Free Fringe.
“Surprisingly beautiful…” N.M.E.
“Punchy, chippy, funny…” The Guardian
“Hugely entertaining…” The Scotsman
Helen is a poet and academic, which means that she not only lives in an ivory tower, but can describe it using vivid imagery and interesting metaphors. She works on both stage and page, and has performed her poetry at festivals, theatres, pubs and pavements around England, North America and Japan. She has released one chapbook and two CDs of poetry. She is also one half of the poetry-music duo, Yaffle, (with Benita Johnson), with whom she has released a CD, Howling at the Moon. Oh, and she’s the stage manager for Poetry&Words…
Abraham ‘Abe’ Nouk, the founder and director at Creative Rebellion Youth, is a spoken-word poet, hip hop fanatic, MC and an author whose craft developed from the realization of the freedom of speech. Motivated by words and their empowerment, Sudanese-born now an Australian citizen, ten years ago Abe was illiterate when he and his family arrived in Australia under the high commission refugee status.
Since realizing his illiteracy, he began reading and writing to improve his lyrical content for hip hop music when it became apparent to him – ‘the best thing you can do for yourself is to feed your mind.’ Abe went on to become third in the Australian National Slam Poetry (2013) and self-published ‘HUMBLE’ his first collection.
Deanna Rodger is an actor and spoken word poet. She is the youngest UK Poetry Slam Champion (2007) and completed vocational acting training in The National Youth Theatre’s (NYT) REP Company 2012.
She has written and performed as a poet and actor in 2012 Olympic Team Welcome Ceremonies (NYT commission), Buckingham Palace (NYT commission), Speakers House (NYT commission), 10 Downing street (somewhere to_ commission) and Honey Coated Dream (Lyric Hammersmith commission). She has recently completed the audio book recording of ‘Feral Youth’ by Polly Courtney.
Deanna is co founder of two popular spoken word events, Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me and is in poetry collectives: Point Blank Poets (winners of the Biennale UK Artist International award 2011), and Keats House Poetry Forum, as well as Poet Director for Podium Poets – a collective supported by Spread The Word, whose debut anthology will be released under Nasty Little Press and a board member of Safeground.
She is an experienced spoken word and drama facilitator, and is currently writing and developing her one-woman show ‘London Matter’ which has received support from POP Productions (Sky Arts and IdeasTap), Roundhouse Camden, Albany Deptford and Arts Council.
“Deanna is one of the few performers I could listen to over and over again. Her honesty, passion and humility come through with every single word she speaks and it is an honour to hear her thoughts on stage”
“Rodger is an energetic and hugely entertaining performer, and one with interesting things to say”
A Younger Theatre