As the day edges into the afternoon on Friday we’ve got some phenomenal poets for your lugholes, kicking off with…
Brenda Ray 13.20
Brenda Ray is a bit of everything: writer, singer, poet, and story teller. She’s been touring her most recent work, “The Blue Room” internationally since January 2016. Her memoir essay, “The Most Beautiful Thing” won Seattle’s Arksey Essay Contest and her spoken word poem, “The Tongue” won Seattle Pacific University’s Talent Show. Brenda’s work has also been heard by Sofar Sounds New York, The National Endowment of the Arts’ Poetry Out Loud, Boston’s Cantab Lounge, The Seattle Grand Slam, The National Undergraduate Literature Conference, Chicago’s Girl Radio, Radio Boise, and many, many more places. We’re very lucky to have her in the UK to share her work at Glastonbury.
Toby Campion 13.45
Our next performer has been a firm favourite of mine for a while now, the stunning Toby Campion. Toby is an award winning British writer and spoken word artist, born and raised in Leicester, where he runs the incredible ‘Find the Right Words’ along with the incredible Jess Green. Toby placed second in the UK at the National Poetry Slam Championships 2014, he has won first runner up at the BBC Poetry Slam Grand Finals for the past 2 years running, placed runner up at the Roundhouse Poetry Slam Finals 2015 and represented the UK at the Capturing Fire International Poetry Summit 2015 in Washington, DC.
Iona Lee 14.10
Up next is the host of the Poetry&Words Sunday slam, poet Iona Lee. Edinburgh-born Iona grew up around folk music and fairytales, she has always loved stories and the different ways they can be told. She is also fond of the conviviality pubs can afford and discovered as a seventeen-year-old that she could use performance poetry as a means of getting in to pubs without her age being challenged. Now twenty, the drinking and poetry have both continued. Her work has steadily gained followers both because of its witty and sympathetic observation of the experience of Youth and its lyricism. A student at the Glasgow School of Art in her second year she also often illustrates her work, making puppets and animation when she can find the time. Iona was recently crowned the Scottish slam champion.
Sophia Blackwell 14.35
Sophia is a new exciting edition to our line-up and we’re already incredibly excited about it. Sophia is a regular host for Apples and Snakes and guest compere at venues like The Ivy, Black’s Club, Madam JoJo’s, Soho Theatre. She’d featured three times before at Glastonbury Festival, and she has also performed three Edinburgh Fringe shows, as well as at festivals like The Big Chill, Secret Garden Party and Standon Calling. She is a member of the collectives Short Sharp Shock and Other Voices.
Michelle Madsen 15.00
Michelle Madsen is also hosting our annual Sunday slam. She is a poet and journalist and founded the London branch of Hammer and Tongue, the UK’s largest slam poetry network. She’s featured on poetry stages in four continents. She’s also appeared on BBC 1, BBC Radio 4 and at venues including the Bowery Poetry Cafe, the Roundhouse and the Royal Albert Hall and at festivals including Latitude, Hay-on-Wye, Bestival and Glastonbury.She has performed with Kate Tempest, Hollie McNish, Buddy Wakefield, Tim Key and Simon Munnery and also writes for the Independent and Private Eye. Michelle’s debut collection of poetry, Alternative Beach Sports, was published by Burning Eye Books in 2014 .
Keisha Thompson 15.25
Next up will be Keisha Thompson, an exciting and vibrant Manchester based writer, performance artist and singer who has been writing since her primary school days. By age 16 she had been published in three anthologies. She has continued to publish and perform her work at various local, national and international venues. In 2012, Keisha wrote feminist solo show “I Wish I had a Moustache” which she has presented at Contact Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, STUN and Belgrade Theatre. In 2014, she released her debut EP, Abecedarian. Last year, she was commissioned to write a poem from Plan International’s global campaign for International Day of the Girl 2015, titled “Yet”. She is currently working on a new solo show with Benji Reid, STUN theatre and Black Gold Festival.
Sara Hirsch 15.50
Next up is a wonderful poet who I’ve been fortunate enough to work and develop material with during a run at the Southbank Centre. It’s UK Slam Champion Sara Hirsch. A multiple slam winner, Sara ranked 3rd in the World Slam Championships in 2014, was a semi finalist in the European Slam Championships and now runs the Genesis Slam, London’s only regular 3 round slam. She also recently set up the newest addition to the Nation’s largest slam network – Hammer & Tongue Waterloo. After a jam packed festival season in 2015, Sara is thrilled to be reunited with her tent and be invited back to Glastonbury. As well as Glasto, Sara will also be performing at Latitude festival and will be featuring on and curating the poetry stage at Innocent Unplugged before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe. After premiering her award winning debut solo show “How Was It For You?” last year, she will be returning in 2016 with a brand new show; “How To Adult”.
She is not to be missed!
Back with the best bits of Friday night in our next blog.