Art Attack

Scott Tyrrell is busy sketching away and it’s all a bit beautiful in the Poetry&Words field


Here’s one of the incomparable Glaswegian Kevin P Gilday in his element this morning


And one of our bespoke spoke ‘n’ word bicycle wielding walkabout poet, Winston Plowes…


More art, more words coming soon!


The more I drink, the more lovingly I think.

As the festival digests the EU news, we at Poetry&Words are sending messages of love with this beautiful group poem written yesterday by crowds of festival goers who stopped in with Winston Plowes at his Spoke ‘n’ Word bicycle which generates poems from its spinning wheels . It looks like this …


He’s been typing up people’s collective thoughts on a typewriter and he’ll be bringing us a new poem each day. And today’s poem is a beautiful reminder of unity between people, the joys of collecting together, drinking together, watching the world through the leaves of a tree or from the middle of a dancefloor : a reminder it’s always better when we are together.

Tree Gazing with The Mexicans

I spent all year
Searching for the land of the lobsters,
Celebrating their costumes.
My first Glasto’
And the more I drink, the more lovingly I think

Staring up through leaves
How happy can I be with the laughing girls?
I love rhythm and I love rhyme,
And now my life is so sublime
Discovering a deeper soul on this farm

Mexican people are so kind
Back and forth to crazy tents
On an afternoon of playful reconnection
With intergenerational plate spinners.

Contributors – Karl, Caitlin&Sarah&Bob, Megan Clough, Martin& Sarah, Angela, Lisa Bolton, Katie Andrews, Almost Halfway, Sam & Rachel, Lindsay P and Hannah P, Anon.

So it begins

As the fireworks lit up the Worthy Farm skies last night our own shining, bright spoken word constellation began to ignite as our poets descend on Glastonbury’s hallowed (muddy) ground for another year of rhyming festival fun.

We can’t wait to share it all with you. Some explosive lyricism coming your way very very soon


Nothing Comperes 2 U


We are incredibly fortunate to have the amazing compering services of Dreadlockalien and Sally Jenkinson this year at Poetry&Words!

If you’ve ever been to Poetry&Words before there is a good chance you will have heard the beatboxing call of ‘ Poetry. Poetry. Poetry.’ coming from our little corner of the Theatre and Circus Field! That wonderful voice of course belongs to Dreadlockalien, the top-hatted wonder wordsmith!  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 that will hit you hard!


His partner in poetry crime this year is going to be the remarkable Sally Jenkinson. Sally is a poet who lives and works in Brighton. In 2014 she toured Australia, where she took her show ‘Folly’, to The Adelaide Fringe, with support from Arts Council England and The British Council.  Her debut collection of poems, Sweat-borne Secrets, was released in 2012 by very wonderful indie publishing house Burning Eye Books (they also publish me an’ all!)Her second short collection ‘Boys’ is on its way, set for publication in Spring 2016. She has performed at festivals and lovely poetry events all over Britain such as Glastonbury, Womad, Secret Garden Party, Larmer Tree, Boomtown, Shambala, Sunrise, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Bristol Poetry Festival, Tongue Fu and Hammer & Tongue.  She is proud host of Hammer & Tongue Brighton and The Poetry Archivist in London AND she’s ace! We’re thrilled to have her hosting this year with Dreadlockalien!

As beloved Prince would say Nothing Comperes 2 Them! See you in the muddy field soon folks!

The One With the Line-up: Sunday Funday

The final day for Poetry&Words is shaping up to look a bit like this…

To kick off the day there are chances to catch up with  Poetry Can F**k Off at  11.15 and The Antipoet at 12.00. Following that are sets from the fabulous JJ Bola and Keisha Thompson at 12.30 and 12.55.

Murray Lachlan Young     13.20

Murray Lachlan Young.jpg

We’re thrilled to be inviting poet, screenwriter-writer and broadcaster, Murray Lachlan Young, to perform our Sunday showcase spot. He is one of the UK’s most prolific and best-known poetry voices.   He came to international notoriety through signing a million pound record deal with EMI records in 1997.  Subsequently he has become known for his numerous appearances and residencies on BBC Radio 2,4 and as resident poet of BBC6music.   Murray has performed commissioned work everywhere from: Shakespeare’s Globe theatre to the main stage at Glastonbury to Ronnie Scots to Test Match special and even the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Over the last five years he has branched out to become a successful screen-writer and broadcaster.  Co adapting the new movie version of the Dylan Thomas Classic: Under Milkwood – Directed by Kevin Allen and Starring Rhys Ifans.  He is currently co writing Waterfall – a new Kevin Allen movie set to shoot in the Autumn 015 and working on an anthology with Unbound Book. We’re THRILLED he’ll be joining us for a barnstorming set on Sunday.


We’ll have another great set from Sophia Blackwell at 13.55.

Tanya Evanson     14.20 

tanya_evanson by Temmuz Arsiray

We’ve got another Sunday showcase spot from Canadian poet, performer, producer and educator, Tanya Evanson. Her spoken word has featured widely across North America, and she has an award-winning videopoem, three studio albums and six artist books of poetry under her belt. She is director of Spoken Word at The Banff Centre, received the 2013 Golden Beret Award and was 2013 Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Performance highlights include the Calgary Spoken Word Festival, Bowery Poetry Club, Vancouver Writers Fest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Edmonton Poetry Festival, Words Aloud, When Sisters Speak, Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, Verses, CBC and SLAM stages. She has performed and taught across Turkey, Japan, Europe and North America as part of music acts Mercan Dede (Turkey) and Niyaz (Iran-Canada) and we can’t wait to add Glastonbury to that list.

 Attila The Stockbroker   15.10


Next up is a true poetry legend. Attila the Stockbroker. He’s done so much it’s difficult to know where to begin.Launched into public consciousness by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel in 1982/83, Attila the Stockbroker has spent 35 years touring the world as a self sustaining  DIY one man cottage industry, performing well over 3000 gigs in 24 countries and releasing about 20 LPs/CDs, 10 EPs and 7 books of poetry.  He toured East Germany 4 times before the Wall came down and twice more immediately afterwards, was involved in the first ever punk performance in Stalinist Albania and had to turn down playing in North Korea because he was already booked to tour sensible old Canada. He once stood in for Donny Osmond at a gig.

Previous  support acts? They’ve included Manic Street Preachers, Julian Clary, New Model Army and Billy Bragg.

Passionate, political and poetic, he has done every Glastonbury Festival since 1983 and we’re thrilled to have him back again this year.

 Jodi Ann Bickley (Website Poet in Residence)   15.40


Jodi Ann Bickley is a bit of compassionate, brilliant legend. She also happens to be the Website Poet in Residence for 2016. She’ll be sharing some of her work for what is guaranteed to  bring a remarkable boost to your festival Sunday. She fell into poetry in 2009 and has since performed her poems all over the country from festivals to living rooms and everywhere in between. She went on to start a project called ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ in 2013 where she invited people to email her if they needed a lift and she would write them an uplifting, handwritten letter. She has to date written over 3000, spoken at TEDx and has become a Sunday Times Bestseller with her book ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ which is all about how the project came about and what it has become. She once cuddled Philip Scofield and Stephen Fry called her ‘A Wonderbus’.


We’ll  have another set  from the hilarious and multi-talented Artist in Resident for 2016, Scott Tyrrell at 16.10.

 Rory Jones   16.35 


Our last set of 2016 comes from last year’s winner of the Glastonbury Poetry Slam 2015. Just before the slam action kicks off for 2016 we’ll be treated to a set by Rory Jones. He is a Belfast-based performance poet, musician and ginger beard owner. He has gained acclaim for his mixture of profound and silly verse, with topics ranging from love to mental health, to isolation, beards, history and children’s TV.  He is the current all-Ireland poetry slam champion and the 2015 Glastonbury slam winner – this is the closest he has come to doing sport. As a performer he has supported the likes of Hollie McNish and has taken his poetic ramblings to a host of otherwise respectable festivals, such as Lingo, Stendhal and Good Life festival. In his spare time he very fond of sleeping.



We’ll be rounding off another brilliant year chez Poetry&Words with the 2016 Glastonbury slam hosted by brilliant P&W poets  Michelle Madsen and Iona Lee. This is your chance to take to the Poetry&Words stage, show off your rhymes to the rest of the festival and perhaps walk away with a slot at next year’s festival and THIS coveted (and dare we say  BEAUTIFUL) P&W trophy…

Slam Trophy  2

Sign up available across the weekend on a first come, first served folks.
And that’s what you’ve got to look forward to, so pack up your waterproofs and whack on your wellies and we’ll see you in the muddy field!





The one with the line-up: Saturday


The second day of Poetry&Words sees us catching up with some old favourites, making some new ones and handing over the mic for the Glastonbury Poetry&Words open mic 2016.

Here’s the full timings

11.15 Poetry Can F**k Off
12.00 The Antipoet
12.30 Sara Hirsch
12.55 Open Mic (Hosted by Dominic Berry
13.55 JJ Bola
14.20 Jemima Foxtrot
14.45 Megan Beech
15.10 Toby Campion
15.35 Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves
16.00 Luke Wright
16.35 Zohab Khan
17.00 Kevin P Gilday
17.25 Brenda Ray
17.50 Scott Tyrrell
18.10 John Hegley


After catching up with sets from Poetry Can F**k Off, The Antipoet and Sarah Hirsch, we’ll be opening our microphone up to the revellers and secret poets lingering in our Glastonbury audience with the Glastonbury Poetry&Words Open Mic hosted by Dominic Berry at 12.55. If you fancy strutting your gums across the Poetry&Words stage in the Open Mic slot or in Sunday’s slam please approach one of the comperes during the festival to sign up.

After the open mic, we return with JJ Bola      13.55

JJ Bola 2.JPG

JJ is a Kinshasa born, London raised writer, poet, educator and workshop facilitator. London and UK based, but also international; Paris, Brussels, Boston etc, most recently San Francisco and Oakland, where he won the Oakland Poetry Slam. Performs regularly at shows and festivals such as  Tongue Fu, Vocals & Verses, Chill Pill, The Round House, Ventnor Fringe, etc as well as Universities; SOAS, UCL, Oxford, Lincoln, University of Birmingham, Standford University and Merrit College in the Bay and other public institutions. Also includes various Radio and Television appearances.

JJ Bola has successfully published two books of poetry Elevate and Daughter of the Sun (ebook). His third, and latest, is his most comprehensive poetry collection WORD, which was launched to a sold out crowd, during Refugee Week on the 18th of June 2015 at Dalston Roof Park.

Next up catch lyrical phenomenon Jemima Foxtrot. If you missed her melody making brilliance on Friday, catch her again at 14.20.

Megan Beech                   14.45


Up after Jemima is , well, me actually – the official blogger for 2016, Megan Beech.

(I’ll keep writing in 3rd person here to keep up the conceit)

Megan Beech was the winner of the Poetry Society’s SLAMbassadors national youth slam in 2011. She has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Parliament, the Southbank Centre, Glastonbury Festival and Cheltenham Literary Festival. Her debut collection ‘When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard’ was published in 2013, chronicling her experience as a young feminist and the fight for female voices to be presented in mainstream media. She was featured in The Guardian lists of ‘inspiring young feminists in 2014’ and ‘Must Read Books of the Year 2014’ and Evening Standard’s list of ‘Ten 21st Century feminist icons’. She made a film with the BBC for the iPlayer series ‘Women Who Spit’ which was the most viewed arts content from the BBC in 2015. Her work has been profiled in publications including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Evening Standard and Grazia magazine.

Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and Guardian journalist, Laura Bates states: ‘‘Megan Beech is one of the powerful voices of young feminism today – giving a voice to a new generation of women growing up, examining the status quo and finding it wanting.’ 


Up after that are two of Leicester’s finest and co-hosts of the incredible spoken word night, Find The Right Words :

Toby Campion followed by Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves at 15.10 and 15.35
 Luke Wright    16.00

Luke wright by steve ullathorne.jpgHot on their heels is a bit of a spoken word legend to fill our Saturday Showcase Spot: Luke Wright. Luke writes bawdy bar room ballads about small town tragedies and big city swines. His fast paced, witty poems are crammed full of maudlin commuters, abseiling bishops, and scandal-clad SPADs. His live shows are enjoyed by thousands of people across the world every year, where he mixes the wistful with the downright comic to take audiences on an incredible emotional journey. His play What I Learned From Johnny Bevan won Luke a Fringe First and The Stage Award for Acting Excellence in 2015, plus an Off-West nomination in 2016. His debut Collection Mondeo Man was called “a riot” by Huffington Post in a five star review. Luke is a regular on BBC Radio and at Latitude, where he’s co-curated the UK’s biggest spoken word gig since 2006. He’s a regular tour support act for John Cooper Clarke and has worked with everyone from Beck to Alvin Stardust. DO.NOT.MISS.

Luke’s set will be followed by three of our Friday faves Zohab Khan, Kevin P Gilday, Brenda Ray  at 16.35, 17.00,  17.25   respectively!
Scott Tyrrell   17.50 

Scott Tyrrell

Up next is a very special gent indeed. He’s responsible for THOSE Glastonbury owls and he’ll be acting as the poster designer and on-site sketch artist for Poetry&Words 2016.  Scott is a Newcastle-based stand up poet and is both the BBC Poetry Slam Champion 2015 and the UK Anti-Slam champion 2015. Scott has been writing and performing poetry and comedy since the turn of the century. An award-winning comedian as well as multi slam winning poet, he has performed his work around the UK, Europe and at many festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe, the Prague Fringe, StAnza (Scotland’s International Poetry Festival) and Glastonbury – where he was Poetry Blogger in Residence in 2015. He is author of two collections of Poetry; most recently the warmly received ‘Grown Up’ published by Red Squirrel Press. His poetry and gorgeous visual art are ones to watch!
 John Hegley    18.10

John Hegley

And lastly rounding off the evening in wonderful fashion is a poet who barely needs an introduction, our headline act, the inimitable John Hegley.

Songs and poems about fig rolls, potatoes (new and old), much singing joining in and a little bit of communal choreography. Mr Hegley was born in Newington Green, North London, and was educated in Luton, Bristol and Bradford University.  His first public performance monies came from busking his songs, initially outside a shoeshop in Hull, in the late Seventies. He performed on the streets of London in the early Eighties, fronting the Popticians, with whom he also recorded two sessions for John Peel, and has since been a frequent performer of his words, sung and spoken, on both local and national radio.

He has produced ten books of verse and prose pieces, two CDs and one mug, but his largest source of income is from stages on his native island. An Edinburgh Festival regular, he is noted for his exploration of such diverse topics as dog hair, potatoes, handkerchiefs and the misery of human existence.  He is an occasional DJ, dancer and workshop leader, using drawing, poetry and gesture. He has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts from what is now the University of Bedfordshire, and once performed in a women’s prison in Columbia. In short: Hegley is unique, legendary and utterly unmissable.


Sunday’s poetry profiles coming soon x 



The one with the line-up: Friday Night

And finally , rounding off proceedings are…



 Elvis McGonagall               16.15

Elvis MacGonagall by Anna McCarthy.jpg

We are honoured to be welcoming stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary and recumbent rocker, Elvis McGonagall, to perform our showcase spot on Friday night. Elvis has appeared on a lot of things, he’s truly a phenomenon. The second series of Elvis’ sitcom “Elvis McGonagall Takes A Look On The Bright Side” was broadcast in August/September 2015 on BBC Radio 4 where he appears regularly (“Saturday Live”, the “Today Programme”, “Arthur Smith’s Balham Bash” and many others as well as writing and presenting documentaries). He’s also appeared on BBC1’s “The One Show” (his tartan jacket clashed with the lime green sofa), BBC2’s “The Culture Show” and their coverage of the World Snooker Championships’ final of 2008, Channel 4’s “Random Acts”, BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show and “It’s Grimm Up North” and on the World Service. In short – DO.NOT.MISS.

 Zohab Khan   16.50

Zohab Khan Headshot.png

Once Elvis has left the building, we’ll be treated to Zohab Khan is an educator, spoken word poet, motivational speaker, musician and hip-hop artist.  Since 2006, Zohab has been building a formidable career in spoken word poetry, culminating in taking out the title of the Australian Poetry Slam Champion in 2014. In 2014 he was also a finalist in the International Poetry Slam in Madrid. Zohab runs poetry workshops across the world and is the co-founder of The Pakistan Poetry Slam. In 2015 he has made appearances at the Sydney, Auckland (New Zealand), Byron Bay, Bellingen, Ubud (Indonesia), Bookworm Literary (China) and National Young Writers Festivals. Zohab’s words have taken him to stages across Western Europe, South East Asia, China, Pakistan, and the Middle East and now we’re thrilled he’ll be joining us on Worthy Farm.


Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves    17.15
Jess Green and The Mischief Thieves 5.jpg 

Next up is one of our faves here at Poetry&Words, Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves, who will be bringin political musical lyrics to our stage. Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves are a stompy three piece poetry band performing humorous and lively poems about politics and social commentary underscored by a raucous musical soundtrack of folk, hip hop and Deep South American blues. Over the past few years Jess has performed at Latitude, Bestival, Glastonbury and the Edinburgh Fringe and in 2014 her poem, Dear Mr Gove received viral attention on Youtube. Since then the band have taken their debut show, Burning Books to the Edinburgh where it received a host of 5* reviews before touring nationally in autumn 2015. Whilst on tour, the show continued to receive 5* reviews as well as critical acclaim from Josie Long and Scroobius Pip. The band have been compared to groups such as Kate Tempest’s Sound of Rum and Dizraeli and the Small Gods.

 Jemima Foxtrot    17.40

Jemima Foxtrot

Jemima Foxtrot is a wonderfully innovative artist mixing poetry and music in a gorgeous whirl of verse. Jemima blends powerful, sonic heavy poetry about modern life with snippets of her favourite artists’ songs – as well as her own – in a belting singing voice that will knock you for six. Shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Spoken Word Fellowship 2015, Jemima performs extensively across the country. Her poetry film Mirror, commissioned by BBC Arts as part of their Women who Spit series, is available iplayer. She has also appeared on Lynn Barber’s episode of Arts Night on BBC2.Jemima’s debut poetry show Melody, won the spoken word award at Buxton Fringe Festival 2015 and was critically acclaimed at its run at the PBH Free Fringe at Edinburgh 2015, receiving several 4 star reviews. Melody is currently touring the UK and we’re so glad she’ll be stopping via
Buddy Wakefield     18.05 

Buddy-Wakefield by Inti St. Clair.jpg

We are hugely excited to announce Friday night’s headliner is three-time world champion spoken word artist, Buddy Wakefield.

Buddy featured on the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, ABC Radio National and signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then successfully defended that title at the International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands against the national champions of seven European countries with works translated into Dutch. In 2005 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship again and has gone on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world in 2000+ venues internationally from The Great Lawn of Central Park, Zimbabwe’s Shoko Festival and Scotland’s Oran Mor to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues New Orleans and The Basement in Sydney, Australia. In the spring of 2001 Buddy left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda Civic and set out to live for a living, touring North American poetry venues through 2003. He never stopped.


And all of that’s just on Friday. Excited? We are.

The one with the line-up: Friday afternoon

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 Poet.jpg

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

Toby Campion2.jpg

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 

Iona Lee

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

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

Keisha Thompson.jpg

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

Sara Hirsch Promo.jpg

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.

The one with the line-up, FRIDAY EDITION

With the festival now really JUST AROUND THE CORNER, along with your wellies and your  hand sanitiser,  we at Poetry&Words want to give you your festival essentials. So here’s your pocket-guide to our line-up starting with Friday.

Friday 24th June

11.15 Poetry Can F**k Off
12.00 The Antipoet
12.30 Kevin P Gilday
12.55 Dominic Berry
13.20 Brenda Ray
13.45 Toby Campion
14.10 Iona Lee
14.35 Sophia Blackwell
15.00 Michelle Madsen
15.25 Keisha Thompson
15.50 Sara Hirsch
16.15 Elvis McGonagall
16.50 Zohab Khan
17.15 Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves
17.40 Jemima Foxtrot
18.05 Buddy Wakefield


Friday morning favourites


POETRY CAN F*CK OFF           11.15

Celebrating the fearless voices that have spoken up against tyranny in order to offer lasting hope and vision this is a performance of Heathcote Williams’ epic radical poem. A history of poetry’s involvement with, and influence on, revolution and radical dissent – from Gandhi reciting Shelley at mass independence rallies in India to hip-hop crews on the streets at G8 summits.  Performed by a five person cast, including Roy Hutchins and Sameena Zehra, with live music – the show features additional lyrics and verse from Jim Morrison, Billie Holiday, Sophie Scholl, Martin Luther King, William Blake, Arundhati Roy, Victor Jara, Gil Scott-Heron, Lupe Fiasco and is most certainly not to be missed!



THE ANTIPOET                    12.00    

Our poetry pre-show comes from the incredible The Antipoet, Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman. Together they are known  world’s finest exponents of beatrantin’ rhythm ‘n views!  A delicious mixture of comedy and spoken word. They have tirelessly toured the poetry, comedy and music circuits, and have appeared at countless festivals including, Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Brighton, Ledbury, Camden, Wenlock, Larmer Tree, Nostock, Blyth Power Ashes and Buxton.


Kevin P Gilday                      12.30


Kevin P Gilday.jpg

Kevin P. Gilday is an award winning writer and spoken word artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Kevin has been performing for five years, and has made a name for himself on the Scottish poetry scene.  He’s pretty prolific too, Kevin has written four solo shows, completed two national tours, published two pamphlets and appeared at a whole host of festivals including Wickerman, Doune the Rabbithole, Lingo Festival (Dublin), the Edinburgh Fringe, the Toronto Fringe and the Glastonbury Festival.

Dominic Berry     12.55Dominic Berry.jpg

Next up is performer and the host of this year’s Poetry&Words Open Mic is Dominic Berry, who in his own words is ‘an effeminate, gay, vegan poet, and yet has never once been defeated by any lack of protein’. Dominic has performed his poetry on BBC and Channel 4. He has on multiple awards, including the US Nuyorican Poetry Cafe Slam, Manchester Lit Fest Superheroes of Slam and, to date, five Arts Council England awards to develop and nationally tour his theatre verse. Spring 2016 saw him tour his poems across South Canada and North India. His current one person show, ‘Playing Mortal Kombat Guarantees You Inner Calm’, directed by Action Transport Theatre’s Kevin Dyer, will be enjoying a full month run at 2016 Edinburgh Fringe. His set is one not to be missed and if you want to catch more of him across the weekend, be sure to sign up to Saturday’s open mic.


If that feast of poets wasn’t enough we’ll be back profiling more of our line-up in the next blog!

Poetry&Words Headliners: Sunday Afternoon

The Sunday showcase spot features another amazing North American spoken word artist, Canadian poet, performer, producer and educator, Tanya Evanson.

tanya_evanson by Temmuz Arsiray

tanya_evanson by Temmuz Arsiray

Tanya Evanson is a Canadian poet, performer, producer and educator. Active since 1996, her spoken word has featured widely across North America, and she has an award-winning videopoem, three studio albums and six artist books of poetry under her belt. She is director of Spoken Word at The Banff Centre, received the 2013 Golden Beret Award and was 2013 Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Recent work includes guest editing Arc Poetry Magazine and publication in Oratorealis, Cordite, Canadian Review of Literature in Performance, WomanSpeak – A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, Where the Nights Are Twice As Long (Gooselane 2015) and The Great Black North – Contemporary African Canadian Poetry (Frontenac 2013). Performance highlights include the Calgary Spoken Word Festival, Bowery Poetry Club, Vancouver Writers Fest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Edmonton Poetry Festival, Words Aloud, When Sisters Speak, Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, Verses, CBC and SLAM stages. A student of sufism and classically-trained whirling dervish since 2002, she has performed and taught across Turkey, Japan, Europe and North America as part of music acts Mercan Dede (Turkey) and Niyaz (Iran-Canada). Based in Montreal, she teaches writing and meditation, and is at work on a new album, short film, Australian tour and poetry manuscript called Bothism.


Tanya Evanson will be on the Poetry&Words stage at 14.25 on the Sunday.