Poetry&Words stage 2022 is LIVE AND HAPPENING NOW!
GECKO has started with CAN’T KNOW ALL THE SONGS, guaranteeing the eager crowd singing along in-between laughs and applause. This has been followed by IN ANY OTHER ROOM, a proper classic GECKO off the first album, then SOARING from the latest LP.
Top of the shop!
It has been many a year since I had the pleasure of seeing HARRY BAKER, and the sunshine kid himself is on next, so …………………..it’s gonna be sublime!
Well, the ones from our Glastonbury Festival Poetry&Words stage are. I had an ace time experiencing many perform at Tongue Fu last night. Following that, here come a few thoughts on their sets and an insight what you might expect from our mighty Poetry&Words stage for the next few days!
Oh yeah. I am Dominic Berry, your Poetry&Words blogger. Previously here, I promised you some musings upon the magnificence of DEMI ANTER and Demi’s delightful verses. Here we go, here we go, here we go!
One of Demi’s (many) big HIT SINGLES is EYE LASHES. To hear EYE LASHES live was and is fantastic. Many a person way wiser than me has praised this beautiful piece of poetry. For me, much of the greatest poetry succeeds when it takes a tiny detail, such as here with the eyelashes of a person for whom an intense love is felt, and magnifies that minute detail into an epic. That’s what this poem does. WELL EPIC!!!! Yeah, EYE LASHES does this wonderfully. In this poem, Demi describes how she is ‘blossoming’ in the presence of these eye lashes, as indeed the crowd blossomed with joy and love hearing this awesome art.
See Demi on the Poetry&Words stage today at 12.35 and also Saturday at4.
Who else was on and who else is on?
Lauren McNamara made us laugh and feel all the deep stuff with their honest and heartfelt ode to the Nintendo 64 (now you’re speaking my language!) and the many terrors of a QUARTER LIFE CRISIS. A poem as enrapturing as the most radical retro video game. Truth!
Lauren will perform all of their show ‘HELLO, I’M SINGLE’ at ten to two on Sunday.
Arielle Cottingham reacted to the unique vibes of the improvised musicians at Tongue Fu in an inspiring and compelling way. ‘SEA WITCH’, a stupendous set piece (containing an adjective – ‘medusic’ – of Arielle’s creation – with which I was heartily impressed) was and is stunning. Arielle’s wildly weaving words and wildly weaving gesticulations created a joyful magic which had the crowd spell-bound.
See Arielle on the Poetry&Words stage at 16.35 today and half two tomorrow.
Kevin Mcclean! One of Scotland’s lovely LOUD POETS, performed ‘LASCAUX’, a tremendous journey from cave paintings to the finger paintings of modern preschoolers, celebrating and embracing the arms which reach between us. Wow! His time on stage left the legacy of an unforgettable performance encapsulating the weight and power of so much history in an impressively concise work of art.
Kevin is on today, just gone 4pm.
Lastly, I’ll say a little on Tony Walsh.
Tony is a living legend. A true documenter of the triumphs and challenges which have shaken the nations worldwide, Tony has an unflinching commitment to powerful, skilful rhythms and multisyllabic rhymes which are expertly crafted and delivered with maximum heart. The intelligence and commitment to quality in every syllable is supremely impressive. It was cool to hear a poem with which I am familiar performed in a different way to usual, and the experimental nature created a great success. I warmly recall the high quality of Tony’s set at the last Glastonbury festival Poetry&Words stage.
Tony will pull big crowds so please get down early tomorrow because at 18.17 he will be wowing our space with his always excellent art.
What a treat what a treat what a treat.
Right, it’s all about to start for real, innit? GECKO is gonna be sparking our stage in just a few minutes time!
I’m off to enjoy his stuff. Join me there, Poetry&Words stage, today, opening at 11.30am – it’s gonna be UNFORGETTABLE!
POETRY IN THE HOUSE! (or rather, poetry in the TENT!)
This is it, people!
This ***IS*** the long anticipated start of Glastonbury Festival Poetry&Words 2022 stage …and these stanzas are gonna be HOTTER THAN THE SUN!
I am your Poetry&Words blogger, Dominic Berry, and I went over to one of the stages yesterday to see GECKO! For many a-year, GECKO has been one of my favourite artists, and he did a storming set yesterday, and will no doubt be on fire when he kicks off our stage today 11.30am!
I also experienced DEMI ANTER and many of our other word-slingers later in the evening, but more about all of them in my next blog.
Yesterday, GECKO performed old favourites like the tale of the dog on a one way trip into space, the pheasants filling the nursing home, and how he can’t know all the songs (but he does know Shania Twain). Alongside that was a spectacular new singalong about Glastonbury itself, which was an instant feel good hit with the crowd. I loved it. Had me humming the tune all the way back to my tent. Another new song about the Tamworth Two, some pigs who escaped the slaughter to go on the run, was full of cheer and kazoos. The Tamworth Two has immediately made its way into my personal favourite GECKO tracks. Proper modern classics!
GECKO is bound to share some of this sublime new stuff with us – so come along to our Poetry&Words tent where GECKO is our opening act Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11.30am!
Your ever-loving Glastonbury festival Poetry&Words Blogger, Dominic Berry, is here cheering and champing at the bit now I am ON SITE and up for art!
I arrived yesterday, full of beans, and stoked to see so many smiley faces as mega crowds of grinny people made their way to their tents.
You know what? I slept! At a festival! Good start, right? There is a vibe of upbeat life in the air everywhere which is just even better than coffee for perking me up and firing my soul – BETTER THAN COFFEE – I mean, I cannot think of higher praise than that.
Although our amazing 30th anniversary Poetry&Words stage does not kick off until tomorrow, a few of our artists are on at other stages today, I need to find out where the wonderful *DEMI ANTER* is speaking on stage. My plan is to have a wander about, see what’s on, and report back on the no doubt magical creations I will experience. YES!
GLASTONBURY GLASTONBURY BOOMMMMMMM!!!!!
There is only *ONE PLACE* to be at 11.30am Friday at Glastonbury Festival (in my very skilful opinion) and that is joining comperes Bohdan Piasecki and Rosy Carrick welcoming the lizard-with-the-love *GECKO* as the opening act of 2022 Poetry&Words stage.
Every festival Poetry&Words hosts the Glastonbury Festival poetry slam from 17:00-19:00 on the Sunday. This year our slam is hosted by Mark Gallie and Kevin Mclean of Loud Poets. The winner of the slam gets a spot in the next festival line-up and a bespoke trophy designed by Pete Hunter. You can sign up with our comperes in the P&W tent from when we open 11:30 on Friday morning. See you there!
Every day, the Poetry & Words 2022 stage will open with a set from … the one and only icon who is Gecko!
Gecko is a London based singer-storyteller. His playful words cover the big things in life; think iPhones, Libraries & Guanabana fruit juice to name but a few. Gecko has previously appeared at Glastonbury, BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, BBC Scotland, BBC London, Bestival & the Edinburgh Fringe. He has shared stages with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Eddie Izzard, Tim Minchin & Billy Bragg.
In 2020 Gecko appeared on BAFTA winning Sky TV show ‘Life & Rhymes’ with Benjamin Zephaniah.
In 2021 Gecko received over a million views on TikTok causing a stir with his song for ‘Laika’ the dog sent to space & his feminist retelling of ‘Rapunzel’.
WINNER Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Performer 2021. And we have him on our stage! YES!
Whether he’s opening for the Libertines or reciting Georgian ballads down your local, Luke Wright is adept at taking poetry places it doesn’t normally go. “John Cooper Clarke’s regular warm-up guy” writes poems that are tender, riotous, caustic and romantic then delivers them with the ferocity and panache of a raconteur at the top of his game.
Delivering deliciously funny poems set against a backdrop of pandemic politics, ageing parents, and the poet’s quest for joy!
“His performances rumble with rage, passion and humour.” Guardian
“He must be on some kind of dope” John Cooper Clarke
“Cool Poems” Patti Smith
Desree (poet in residence 2022!)
Desree is an award-winning spoken word artist, playwright and facilitator based in London and Slough and is Artist in Residence for poetry collective EMPOWORD, PLUS this year’s awesome Poetry & Words Glastonbury Festival Poet in Residence!
In January 2018, Desree earned the honour of competing at the prestigious Hammer and Tongue national finals at the one and only Royal Albert Hall. Having missed out on first place with a 9.6 compared to the winner’s 9.7, Desree is proud to have represented women of colour as one of the only two in the competition.
Desree was shortlisted for both the performance and film category in 2020 and was the recipient of the 2019’s “Highly Commended” Out-Spoken Performance, judged by Kae Tempest, Mona Arshi, Momtaza Mehri, Yomi Ṣode and Madani Younis.
Desree has featured at events across the UK and internationally, including Glastonbury Festival 2019, Bowery Poetry Club New York, Royal Albert Hall, Sofar Sounds, Sunday Assembly, Bestival and Greenbelt Festival. She has performed on stages with people such as Akala, Harry Baker, Caleb Femi, Lemn Sissay and Lauryn Hill.
All this, and festival kick off is now LESS THAN A WEEK away!!!!
Get your sun block ready, we are gonna have ourselves a SCORCHER!
This is not a drill, festival month is HERE, which means we are only a matter of weeks away from Glastonbury 2022 becoming a reality!
Did you attend Glastonbury 2019? Wasn’t that, like, a million years ago…?
I am your Glastonbury Festival Poetry&Words blogger, Dominic Berry, and it seems a million years ago to me. I am so very, VERY excited about getting moved to laughter and all of the deep places once again at the inimitable Poetry&Words stage, which this year will feature, as part of the all awesome line-up, the following three fantastic artists…
Murray Lachlan Young is a British poet, stand-up performer, broadcaster, playwright, screenwriter and children’s author, who came to prominence during the Brit Pop era of the mid 1990’s, when he became the only poet to sign a contract worth £1m. Currently the poet in residence on BBC 6 Music radio station, touring the UK with his solo stand-up show and the collection of his work ‘How Freakin’ Zeitgeist are you?’, published by Unbound books.
In the words of the artist themselves: ” I am an up-and-coming author and advocate of mental health. ‘Inspire the world through your own inspiration is a motto I live by, speaking on such as Racism, Self-Worth, Single Parenting and Societal Misconceptions. I am an author of my first book soon to be published this year. A mental Health Journey of different people with poetry that reflects the emotions that are sometimes lost when speaking about mental health. My most crowning achievement is that I am a father of three for which my oldest son of 7 has written his first spoken word poem collaboration with me.
Harry Baker is a poet, mathematician, stand-up comedian and writer. Aged 20, he became the youngest ever World Poetry Slam Champion. He writes about important things like hopefulness, dinosaurs, and German falafel-spoons. His work has been shared on TED.com and seen by over 5 million people and translated into over 20 different languages. Having graduated from a mathematician-who-sometimes-does-poems to a poet-who-sometimes-does-maths, Harry has “missed festivals a lot” and is “very excited to be returning to Glastonbury!” His versatility had led to him being one of the only poets to be featured on BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1xtra, and has led to him being as (un)comfortable rising to the top of the UK rap battle scene as sharing stages with the likes of Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage.
“Harry Baker’s intricate, quick-fire rhymes have always been on the impressive side of mind-blowing” – The Scotsman
How ruddy bloody exciting is all this?
Keep your eyes on this blog for future posts, as next time I will be writing about …our POET IN RESIDENCE!
If you’re not in the know, let me explain – every year, Glastonbury Festival has one specific poet whose role it is to react in poems and words to what they experience at the festival. They share their art on the Glastonbury website and, of course, perform on the Poetry&Words stage.
This year’s brand new poet in residence is someone I personally am proper buzzing to see take to this important and wonderful position – but for now, I will say no more – and save that giddiness for a future blog.
Did I mention that Glastonbury Festival is THIS MONTH, people?!
My tent and sleeping bag are already packed and I could not be more eager to take to the fields!