We sent interview forms out to our artists, and we’ll be sharing their stories here on the blog. Next up, well I thought I should probably do this as well:
How did you get into poetry/ spoken word?
Poetry was always something that other people wrote (and that I performed at school) for many years until I started dating a poet. Finally, in 2006, I entered the inaugural slam for a magazine run by a mate in order to support them. I was terrified, but that terror fed an adrenaline rush like nothing else I’d experienced in decades of performing music. It all kind of cascaded from there.
Who are your influences/ idols?
Zena Edwards, Rosie Garland, Mark Gwynne Jones, Jo Bell, Rachel Amey, Tina Sederholm… in fact, pretty much the whole cast of Other Voices over the years… way too many people to list. Let’s leave it there for now.
What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about your work?
It’s really hard to encapsulate in a short space of time.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in spoken word/ performance poetry?
Go to as many events as you can. Listen as well as perform. Be bold and apply for things you think you might never get. Do favours for people, but learn when and how to start setting boundaries around time, travel, cost, etc. Turn up on time, be pleasant to work with, treat it as a proper job, and yes – you can improve on your work; never stop working on your craft.
Who are you looking forward to seeing/ what are you looking forward to doing at the Festival?
Apart from all the performers at P&W (I’m wildly excited to see both those I know and those new to me; you may have picked that up from the blog), I really want to see Ms. Lauren Hill, Janelle Monae (even though I’m seeing her in London a couple of days later!), and KT Tunstall. I’m also looking forward to wandering around the site when I can (mostly on Thursday!) and taking in the atmosphere, plus catching up with a few old friends (and probably bouncing in a dance tent somewhere if I can persuade anyone to join me – and possibly just doing it anyway).
Have you been to Glastonbury Festival before?
What’s your stand-out memory of the Festival?
It’s a toss-up between the handfasting we helped witness in the Brigid garden, after watching the sun come up over the stone circle; the people duelling with rather large, muddied dildos in the middle of the night; and standing in a field that had turned into mudflats minus the salt, watching Faithless chant the sun out from behind the clouds. Mind you, not completely convinced that last one was Glasto…
What’s the one thing you simply must bring with you to the Festival?
A set of clean, dry clothes (or even just underwear) you’ve kept separate from everything else to travel home in.
What advice would you give someone visiting the Festival for the first time?
You cannot experience everything. Don’t timetable yourself too rigorously – leave aside some time to just wander and take it all in. Enjoy your Glastonbury, and enjoy other people’s anecdotes of their Glastonbury – don’t let FOMO screw you, and make sure you Maslow yourself (water, food, sleep)!
Have you performed at Glastonbury Poetry&Words before?
What words would you use to describe your work/ your act?
poetry, performance poetry, spoken word, theatre, music
What do you like best about doing whatever you call whatever it is that you do on stages?
That bit afterwards where people enthusiastically talk about the journey they went on listening to your work – it may be something completely different from what you intended, and that’s pretty magical!
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I’m feeling an interesting combination of ferociously fortunate, giddily excited and mildly terrified. Can’t wait! ☺
You can see Fay Roberts at 12:05-12:30 Sunday at the Glastonbury Poetry&Words stage. Read our previous article about zir here.