We sent interview forms out to our artists, and we’ll be sharing their stories here on the blog. Next up:
How did you get into poetry/ spoken word?
I became aware of spoken word in high school, when someone showed me a video of Anis Mojgani’s “Shake the Dust.” I wrote poetry but was extremely shy, and thought there was no way I would ever dare to perform. Fast forward to my first week of college at University of California, Santa Barbara, where I saw Prof. Kip Fulbeck give a talk. Despite a huge amount of fear, I enrolled in his legendary spoken word class (and I do mean LEGENDARY! It’s a class that people routinely refer to as “life-changing”). I found I had a knack for it and the rest is history!
Who are your influences/ idols?
I do still love Anis Mojgani. Saul Williams is untouchable. I have learned so much from listening to Beau Sia, and only hope to reach his level of profundity and skill one day. No one has influenced me more than Kip Fulbeck, my steadfast mentor and friend for nearly ten years.
What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about your work?
It means a lot to me to be personal, and vulnerable, and to take risks. I try to write pieces that are scary for me to perform. I want someone in the audience to feel seen, and less alone in the frequently uphill battle that is being a person in this world.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in spoken word/ performance poetry?
I think I would have been terrified to start without the framework of a class, so I would advise to find whatever support system or push that you need to get going! Even one other friend who agrees to read or watch your performing in the beginning can be an immense help. Most of all — don’t be afraid to write down the ideas that make you say, “I could never say this on a stage.” Maybe you won’t say it today, but you’ll get there — and for me, this is the work I most want to see!
Who are you looking forward to seeing/ what are you looking forward to doing at the Festival?
I encountered Erin Fornoff’s work pretty recently and I’m excited to see more of it. (Plus, she understands the American expat struggle!) In general, most of the U.K./European scene is new to me, so it will be a thrill to get to know so many poets in one weekend! At the rest of the festival, I’m probably most excited to see Lizzo (if you need a confidence boost, go listen to “Betcha” and “Truth Hurts” right now).
Have you been to Glastonbury Festival before?
What words would you use to describe your work/ your act?
poetry, performance poetry, spoken word
What do you like best about doing whatever you call whatever it is that you do on stages?
The performance itself can be quite cathartic, but what I like most is what comes after, when I get to talk to viewers and hear their interpretations, insights, responses, and so on. It’s so cool to hear “Something like that happened to me,” and “I can so relate.” Everybody has a story, but not everyone is in a position to share them. I consider is a great honor to share my stories and to get to connect with others through them.
You can see Demi Anter at 13:35-14:00 Friday; 14:35-15:00 Saturday at the Glastonbury Poetry&Words stage. Read our previous article about her here.