I’m not done dishing out the quality, because this is Glastonbury Poetry and the Big G doesn’t do mediocre.
Allow me to gush unbidden about this woman. I love her dearly. I met Anna at Glasto in 2011 and instantly wanted to be her best friend. A joyful presence on stage – genuinely funny, sincere, utterly likeable, warm, passionate, giving, yet simultaneously someone you would never want to f*** with. On top of being a top performer and poet, she’s also a best-selling critically-acclaimed novelist. She’d be unbearable if she wasn’t so frickin’ affable. Anna will be doing her first Sunday Showcase spot at Glastonbury, and she’s also agreed to give me an interview on the condition that I draw her as an owl. More about that soon 🙂
Anna Freeman is a novelist, a multiple poetry slam champion, a creative writing lecturer at Bath Spa University and a producer for Bristol Old Vic. Anna has performed her mostly funny, slightly twisted poetry all over the place, including events in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Vancouver and Seattle. Her first poetry collection, Gingering the World from the Inside, is published by Burning Eye Books. Her first novel, The Fair Fight, is a pulsating historical adventure set within the world of female prize-fighters and their patrons in 18th century Bristol. The Fair Fight won The Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize 2013, is published by W&N in the UK and by Riverhead in the USA, and has been optioned for TV drama by the BBC. Her spoken-word-poetry-music show, Animal, with Chris Redmond and the Tongue Fu band, begins a UK tour in autumn 2015.
More info at www.annafreemanwriter.com
‘Cracking… packs a punch’ – Sunday Express
‘A hearty recommendation for Anna Freeman’ – Guardian Books
‘Wonderfully imagined… a brilliant debut’ – The Times
Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves
Looking forward to this very much indeed. I met Jess last year at Glastonbury just after her Michael Gove poem had gone spectacularly viral. She’s a fantastic encapsulator of the zeitgeist and can’t wait to see what her mischief thieves bring to the party.
Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves are a Midlands-based three piece music and spoken word band telling stories of every day underdogs to the soundtrack of blues, folk, jazz and hip hop. Supported by musicians, Dave Morris and Scott Cadenhead, Jess Green tells the stories of the people who are often unacknowledged in society with themes of politics, education and inequality. Their full length show, Burning Books was a big success at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and described as “grippingly inventive and at times immensely touching” by Broadway Baby. After the success of Jess Green’s poem Dear Mr Gove, the band have been performing at NUT conferences and education rallies up and down the country and are about to take Burning Books on a nationwide tour.
I hear great things about this guy. A rapper, freestyler and writer of impressive magnitude who’s held his own amongst real greats.
Gramski is an MC from Brighton who’s been freestyle rapping since he was fourteen. At the age of nineteen he went to live in Vietnam where he performed regularly with DJs as well as international artists such as Killa Kela and Goldie. He also had the pleasure of explaining what ‘freestyle rapping’ is to one of the members of the Vietnamese ministry of culture. He not only rapped on stage but in his classroom as an English teacher in Hanoi where he regularly helped students with their pronunciation and grammar through hip hop.
Once he returned to the UK he won freestyle competitions and also began performing at poetry nights with written material. Gramski’s poem ‘British Girls in Bangkok’ received a tremendous response and landed him alongside Scroobius Pip and Hollie McNish at the Brighton Fringe Festival 2014. Gramski is also an MC for The Spoken Herd, a 10 piece hip hop band who focus on the art of improvisation.
Although Gramski has a plethora of written material he is a freestyle rapper at heart. Audiences often give him challenging subjects or just plain absurd ridiculousness to rap about. A freestyler and poet of lanky proportions, Gramski is not to be missed.
Another poet I’ve been hearing a lot about (particularly for being fantastically rude!). Rosy is one half of our compering team this year.
Fantastically scathing and full to the brim with wild and disgusting imagination, Rosy Carrick is an eccentric wit-tastic queen of poetry and MC skillzzz. Unfazed by the fame and fortune afforded her since playing the life-changing role of “child by lake” in Patrick Swayze’s 1987 classic film Dirty Dancing, Rosy now lives in Brighton, where she runs and hosts Hammer & Tongue, one of the UK’s largest spoken word & slam events, amongst many other projects including the cult movie-themed cabaret club night Trailer Trash!, and Brighton’s infamous annual Poets vs. MCs. Co-host of the poetry stage at Latitude festival since 2011, she also performs her own poetry at events and festivals around the country, leaving a trail of bewildered lovestruck fools in her wake.
Rosy is admired worldwide for her inspirational menstrual blood beauty tips videos, and is also currently writing a PhD thesis on the Russian revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky at Sussex University. This year she has edited and contributed to a new Selected Works of Mayakovsky’s poetry, due for publication by Enitharmon Press in November.
“Clever, funny, quarrelsome, querulous, astonishing!” – Sabotage Reviews
A legend. A compere extraordinaire. Dreadlock can hold and ignite any audience, anywhere. A truly gifted poet, entertainer and a damn good bloke with a very cool hat. Mr. Alien is the other half of the compering team this year.
Birmingham Poet Laureate 2005, Dreadlockalien wanders the world saying poems to people, living a project called Poet Without Residence. He co-hosts Glastonbury’s Poetry&Words stage and Shambala’s Wandering Word. Dreadlockalien is a trustee of the Green Gathering Charity, fighting for our planet. Has poems, will travel.
More poets coming thick and fast real soon…