Kieren King

Kieren King

Kieren King is a Salford based spoken word artist. He is best known as the co-creator and host of popular Manchester spoken word nights, Evidently (Shortlisted for Best Regular Spoken Word Night – Saboteur Awards 2015 & 2016) and the Word War Slams, and formerly as a host of Bang Said The Gun: Manchester. He was recently hand-picked by Guy Garvey of Elbow to curate a Spoken Word event as part of the 2016 Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre.

An experienced performer in his own right, Kieren has been writing and performing his work since 2008 and has featured at various festivals and a number of spoken word nights throughout the UK, including several performances for Amnesty International and Musicians Without Borders. A multiple slam champion, Kieren was also part of the guest Manchester slam team at the 2016 Hammer & Tongue grand final.

He has appeared on several local radio and television shows and was featured on ITV News coverage of Billy Bragg’s “Welcome To Manchester” gig during the 2015 Tory Party Conference. In 2016 he was commissioned to write and perform a poem for a TV spot by SKY for their new channel Blaze.

Rowan McCabeRowan McCabe

Aware that poetry isn’t a proper job, Rowan McCabe decided to create his own profession and became the world’s first and only Door-to-Door Poet. Knocking on strangers, he asks them what is important to them; he then goes away and writes a poem about this, bringing it back and performing it on their doorstep. He’s trying to prove absolutely anyone can enjoy poetry and that strangers really aren’t as scary as they seem. He keeps a blog about everything that’s happened to him at http://www.doortodoorpoetry.com.

Dismissed by other poets as impossible, Rowan began the project in October 2015, starting in his home town of Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne. Despite the advice of a local police officer, he then visited the Byker Wall, an area synonymous with crime and violence. After blogging about this positive and life-changing experience, he was invited to Glastonbury Festival, where he wrote a poem for Michael Eavis’ granddaughter and was featured in the Guardian’s book section.

Rowan also performs on stages as well as doorsteps and he’s appeared all over the country, from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Royal Albert Hall. He was the winner of the 2015 Great Northern Slam and his work has been featured on Radio 4, Radio 5 live and BBC Breakfast.

Toria Garbutt2Toria Garbutt

“Toria’s words are silk javelins. Frank explorations of self, outpourings of a joyfully pained mind. She means it. Cos she’s lived it. I love that girl” Mike Garry

Toria Garbutt is a spoken word artist from Knottingley – a former mining town in West Yorkshire. From as young as 9 she kept a diary, and wrote poetry in parallel by way of navigating an alternative path through the world.  Her resulting début album ‘Hot Plastic Moon’ is an incredibly visceral and engaging collection of confessional, observational and character based punk poetry. With a punk heritage, a staccato heartbeat and a unique flair for storytelling, her work is brutally honest yet breathtakingly beautiful.

In 2017, Toria has established herself as a regular support act for Dr John Cooper Clarke on his ongoing UK tour dates.

Emily HammondEmily Hammond

Emily Hammond is a 19 year old poet and spoken word artist born and raised in Nottingham and studying a History degree at the University of Leeds. Since beginning writing at the start of 2016 Emily has performed on stages and in slams across the country. Emily represented her University at the annual UniSlam competition, where her team reached the semi-finals, and has performed at The Royal Albert Hall.  She was the Glastonbury Festival Poetry Slam winner for 2016.

Anna FreemanAnna Freeman

Anna Freeman is a novelist, a multiple poetry slam champion, a creative writing lecturer at Bath Spa University and a producer for Bristol Old Vic. Her work is funny, slightly twisted and explores personal and social neuroses. It’s about the messy, ridiculous, glorious state of being human and the need to laugh at ourselves, often.

Anna’s first novel, The Fair Fight, is a pulsating historical adventure set within the world of female prize-fighters and their patrons in 18th century Bristol. The Fair Fight won The Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize 2013, is published by W&N in the UK and by Riverhead in the USA, and has been optioned for TV drama by the BBC. Her second novel is due out in early 2018.

Her first poetry collection, Gingering the World from the Inside, is published by Burning Eye Books.

Laurie Bolger

Laurie Bolger

Laurie Bolger is a poet and presenter who style is consistently down to earth and accessible. Laurie currently hosts BANG Said the Gun, London’s leading stand up poetry night and is lead facilitator for BBC 1Xtra’s Words First and The Poetry Takeaway. Laurie’s debut collection Box Rooms was released last year, showing that poetry can be your friend.  “A tell it like it is poet, with down to earth, intelligent and hilarious charm” - Poems in Pubs

Koko BrownKoko Brown

Born and bred in North West London and ‘works well with others’, according to her school reports. Koko is a multidisciplinary artist, who blends theatre with spoken word while incorporating vocal looping throughout. She creates work focusing on race, mental health, gender, and identity.

Koko will be premiering her first solo show ‘WHITE’ at the Roundhouse, where she is a Resident Artist, on 4th June. Then at Ovalhouse theatre, where she is an Associate Artist, from 20th July. She’d love to see you there.  Connect with her via heykoko.com or on all social media – @TheKokoBrown

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 12.23.12

Paula Varjack

Paula Varjack is a writer, filmmaker and theatre maker. Her work explores identity, the unsaid, and making the invisible visible. She makes work across disciplines; performance, theatre, documentary and spoken word. Her debut prose & poetry publication Letters I Never Sent to You published by Burning Eye Books explores the sometimes slippery nature of the word “home”, and how love and heartbreak can be felt just as strongly for a place as for a person. Her most recent show “ Show Me The Money” – explores the reality of making a living as an artist in the U.K. based on interviews with artists across the country.  In addition to performing, she facilitates workshops with a wide range of age groups, using writing prompts and drama games to unblock creativity.  Born in Washington D.C. to a Ghanaian mother and a British father, out of they many places she has lived she considers east London to be “home”.

Rosy Carrick 2016 credit Luke Bateman

 Rosy Carrick

Quick-witted and charismatic, Rosy Carrick has got a PhD in Russian literature and a WTF in 80s beefcake movie obsession. Co-curator of the poetry stage at Port Eliot festival, she also co-hosts the Latitude poetry stage and has been at the helm of the Brighton spoken word scene for the last decade. 2017 brings her back to the happy fields of Glastonbury to [wo]manhandle you through yet another spectacular Poetry & Words line-up, so come out, sit down and shut up, cos this is one charming motherf**ker not to be missed! www.rosycarrick.com




More of Glasto’s phenomenal line-up here like a carvery buffet of poetic goodness at Worthy Farm. Hold on to your faces:

MLY_04%20DTMurray Lachlan Young

Prepare for satirical soliloquy, rock-n-roll reverie and ditty as BBC 6 Music & Radio 4 regular  Murray Lachlan Young presents his stunning new live show.  A delightful romp into the bizarre facets of fame, fashion, people, politics, a mild erotic folk ballad and the space-time continuum.

Celebrated for his hybrid mix of stand-up comedy with commentaries on contemporary life, expect flamboyant, punchy wit, brooding subtext and empathetic humour.  Drawing and performing material from his new hardback collection: How Freakin’ Zeitgeist Are You? alongside much loved live favourites, this is unique stand up/comedy/spoken word performance, from one of the very best in the business.

Murray is an acclaimed playwright, actor, screen-writer and poet -extraodinaire. He  most recently co-wrote the screenplay for the latest  film version of the Dylan Thomas classic: ‘Under Milk Wood’ .

Making his name in rock clubs and underground cabaret venues in London in the 1990s he signed to EMI in 1997 releasing the album Vice and Verse.  No stranger to the big screen, Murray has appeared in ‘About A Boy’, ‘Vatel’ and ‘Plunkett & Maclaine’ .His  first stage play, ‘The Incomers’, toured nationally to great acclaim.   A man whose performance clips have notched up over 250,000 hits on YouTube and known for his numerous appearances and residencies on BBC Radio 2 Arts Show , Saturday Live, BBC Test Match Special and The Shipping Forecast and even on Newsnight.   Mick Jagger  recently presented Keith Richards with a CD copy of Murray’s poem,  marking the anniversary of Keith falling out of a coconut tree. Bless.


Jasmine Gardosi @Suzi_Corker Photography2

Jasmine Gardosi

Jasmine Gardosi is 2016’s Cheltenham Poetry Festival Slam Champion, Mix It Up Midlands Slam Champion 2015 and one of the 2015 winners of the International Pangaea Poetry Slam. She has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, was shortlisted for Birmingham Poet Laureate and placed as a finalist in the Out-Spoken Poetry Prize for Performance 2015.

Since completing her post as a BBC Arts Young Creative producing short-form content, including the film How To Be a Poet With Dyslexia, she has worked as a Poet in Residence for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, was featured as Apples and Snakes’ Poet of the Month in September last year and is collaborating with Autin Dance Theatre on a sexual health show combining dance and spoken word, set to tour this year.

Jasmine is slightly obsessed with taboo. At TEDxBrum’s International Women’s Day 2014, she delivered a talk exploring the taboo surrounding menstruation and she continues to run workshops that combine creativity with sex education and other awkward topics. Other facilitation work includes running West Midlands Poets’ Place and school workshops. She is selected as an Emerge Young Artist under The Mighty Creatives, through which she is producing a Shakespeare-inspired youth festival in Tamworth.

She has featured at events including Queer’Say, Tongue Fu, Find The Right Words, Spokes: Amaze!, Milk, Hit the Ode, Level Up and Verve Poetry Festival, and has toured nationally as the West Midlands poet on the Apples and Snakes Public Address show. She likes to write about weird things in unweird places – kind of like her, everywhere.


Andy Craven-GriffthsAndy Craven-Griffiths

Andy Craven-Griffiths is a writer and musician based in Leeds. He has performed poetry most extensively on stage (Leeds Festival, Latitude, Secret Garden Party), but has also had his poetry broadcast (Radio 1, Radio 4, BBC2), and printed in poetry journals. Commissions include BBC, Arts Council, and Rethink mental health charity. Currently, Andy is writing a play as part of Curve Theatre’s WritersLab, is studying part time for a PhD in creative writing, and is working on a book of poetry for children. In 2016 Andy was one of Radio 3’s Verb New Voices and made work for Oxford University Press.

As an educator he has run poetry workshops for over 25,000 young people, and has published a chapter on teaching rhyme in Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Andy is also vocalist with his band Middleman. The band have toured everywhere from Reading Festival to SXSW, Texas, and have played live sessions for Radio 1, 6 Music, and XFM. Middleman’s music has also been widely synchronized (NBA2K11, Channel 4, Channel 5).

Antipoet1The Antipoet

Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman are, The Antipoet.  They are a comedic beat poetry duo that have been going down rather well for over eight years now and have performed at countless poetry, comedy and music events across the UK. Festivals include; Glastonbury, Brighton, Ledbury, Edinburgh, Camp Bestival, Camden, Wenlock, Larmer Tree, Nostock, Green Gathering and Buxton. They have also performed at Silverstone for the Grand Prix and this year’s tour will add Rebellion and Bestival and they will also be warming up for Adam when he bring his 2016/17 tour to Paul’s home town.

They are absolutely delighted to be the pre-show act for Poetry&Words again this year. They will be performing, among others, pieces from their sixth and latest collection, ‘We Play For Food’ as apparently Poets aren’t actually paid that well, who knew?

Elvis McGonagallElvis McGonagall

Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary, comedian and broadcaster, Elvis McGonagall resides at The Graceland Caravan Park somewhere in the middle of nowhere where he scribbles verse whilst drinking Scotch, listening to Johnny Cash and throwing heavy objects at his portable telly.

Two series of his sitcom “Elvis McGonagall Takes A Look On The Bright Side” have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 where he appears regularly as well as popping up occasionally on the television.

Elvis is the 2006 World Slam Champion, the compere of the Blue Suede Sporran Club and performs at literary and music festivals, comedy clubs, pubs and dodgy dives up and down the country and abroad.   In 2015 Elvis made the “Hot 100” – The List magazine’s annual run-down of Scotland’s “hottest cultural contributors”.

Deftly witty, satirical but not afraid to be plain daft, Elvis has been spitting his scabrous diatribes against the powers that be since 2003. And look at the state of the world now. So that’s 14 years of futile ranting.  A collection of his poems from 2003 to 2017 entitled “Viva Loch Lomond!” will be published by Burning Eye Books in spring 2017.

Elvis McGonagall has suffered for his poetry. Now it’s your turn.


Face-melting Poetry&Words Line-Up: HEADLINER EDITION


John Hegley

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.


Luke wright by steve ullathorneLuke Wright

Luke Wright writes poetry that is “visceral, poignant and riotously funny,” (The Scotsman). He is the author of two poetry collections, published by Penned in the Margins, the most recent of which is The Toll (2017).

The verse play What I Learned From Johnny Bevan won Luke a Fringe First and The Stage Award for Acting Excellence in 2015, plus a Saboteur Award and an Off-West End Award nomination in 2016.

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. He also programmes the spoken word line-ups at Port Eliot, Festival No.6, and The Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Joe Sellman-LeavaJoe Sellman-Leava – Labels

Worklight Theatre’s multi-award winning show is a funny, moving and honest story about mixed heritage and immigration. Charting a childhood in 90’s Devon, shifting political landscapes and global refugee crisis, the show uses comedy, storytelling and spoken word.

Using humour and honesty, Labels offers a human story from multicultural Britain, and is touring internationally after an award-winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Australian tour, London transfer. Expect paper planes, racist romances and lots of sticky labels!

porkythepoetPhill Jupitus (Porky the Poet)

Porky the Poet is a stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and TV stalwart.  Watch in delight and/or horror as this experienced funnyman smashes laughs out of the chaos of his own life and the uncertain world that surrounds it.  Adult themes and situations, but delivered childishly.

Phill became a familiar face when he started as team captain on BBC2’s pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks in 1996, which went on to run for 19 years.  Aside from Never Mind the Buzzcocks and live stand up shows all over the UK, he also appears as a regular guest on BBC’s QI, Alan Davies’ As Yet Untitled and in 2012 returned to television stand-up for the first time since 2000 with an appearance on Live at the Apollo.

Phill toured the UK and Ireland with the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bangin 2016 starring as Baron Bomburst/Lord Scrumptious and he played Bottom in the Bath Theatre Royal production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream in August.  His other theatre work includes appearing alongside Jason Manford in the UK touring production of The Producers as Franz Liebkind.



A few words with the unparalleled ball of artistic energy Dominick Berry.
How did you get into spoken word? What has kept you writing?

IMG_7898 (2015_08_02 16_41_51 UTC) (2016_02_08 09_08_46 UTC)I got into poetry through experiencing live poetry performances.

I was 19. Seeing people doing something so emotional, intellectual and accessible was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
YouTube exists now, but live performance always has been and always will be in a different league to any telly; terrestrial, online or whatever. See the people doing their thing for real. For some that can a trek, but it’s incomparable to see the artist actually on stage in front of you. I see people in rural communities strive to bring artists out to them, and that is amazing.
Gerry Potter, Jackie Hagan, Avaes Mohammad, Thick Richard, Rosie Garland, Lemn Sissay – these were among the first to inspire me, back in my early twenties. And how it has all grown. For me, for the poetry communities, for the whole world.

Many people across the planet are currently getting a great deal from the work of a previous Glastonbury poet-in-residence Tony Walsh. Following the devastating Manchester tragedy, Tony’s poem ‘this is the place’, has gone viral. A great number of folks are connecting to it, and it is helping those people through this impossibly difficult time. This is getting a lot of people realising the potential of spoken word to heal and unify. Let’s see this transfer into even higher attendance at gigs.
I got into poetry from seeing and listening to poets perform, not through writing workshops. I don’t attend a great deal of writing workshops and, although I am asked near-daily to do them, I run few writing workshops. When I do, I give them my all, but that’s not my preference. If you like workshops, they are ace. Good for you. They are one approach. There are other approaches. We often hear people say workshops is the only way to get folks into poetry, and the only way to make a living from it. This is not true. It is possible to be a performer. It is possible to do gigs. It is possible, if you have the skill and desire, for this to be a job. Teachers are amazing, I have the highest of respect for teachers, but you do not have to be a conventional educator to be a poet, nor should you have to be.
People who want to be in music bands rarely do so from attending music band workshops. They experience excellent live music and then try it themselves. They can learn from doing bad gigs, maybe asking those they respect for their thoughts, but mostly just getting immersed in the best work they can find. Go to gigs! Support poets being poets! Don’t just study them in a class – go see them on stage!
My goal is to continue to do the best I can to use this art as a vehicle to attempt to inspire and unite in difficult times, to make folks laugh, and to generate discussion and understanding. Through doing, not describing how to do it.
I am angry about arts funding cuts. Time and time again we are shown examples, tony walsh’s being one of the more recent, of what experiencing art can do. Art is not some airy-fairy, extra curricular activity. Art is up there with the best ways many people can find their voice, develop self confidence and the ability to speak their minds in front of others. It needs to be funded. Poets cannot produce work without the time away from other employment to create and often those who would benefit most from the work are not in a position to pay for a ticket. Art is invaluable and without it, our voice is reduced to a whisper. Support the arts! Gigs gigs gigs gigs gigs!
Give us your Desert Island Discs – Poem Version:

This list would change every day, no, several times a day, but given my current mood and what I have experienced lately, here’s where I’m at right at this moment:

I am proud to be an adopted northerner. Kieren’s celebration of a city so maligned and neglected is awe inspiring. Sublime. A fantastic performer with words of steel.
As the right wing so successfully turn poor people against poor people, blame the vulnerable for every ill happening under the sun, and achieve a seemingly ever growing culture of mistrust and hate, Gerry’s empathic, no-punches-pulled work is more vital than ever. A battle cry. Every teenager should see this poem.
Words with great strength so gently recited, Keisha understands the subtleties of theatre and tiniest nuances of language. An incredible stage presence from a person who speaks with well informed clarity and arty spark whose every atom seems to burst with poetry. A highlight of 2016 Glasto.
I was saying all northern UK poets, so here is one from Canada – they write about trans life and subjects I have no personal experience of in a way which touches and educates. This poem is about the simultaneous glamorisation and demonising of prostitution, and has provided me with a response to many well meant but ill informed comments I’ve heard made on this topic.
I first saw AntiPoet at Edinburgh fringe and was overjoyed when they were on at last year’s Glastonbury – life affirming, awesome, fantastically entertaining wordplay, humour and courage – undiluted love. That’s what we all need, right, undiluted love.
Hopes for Glasto? 

To have the best time! To experience lots of gigs! To be good at being poet-in-residence!

Last year was my first Glastonbury festival and I spend a great amount of my time sat watching poets on the Poetry and Words stage in the circus area. The circus performers were also magic. I’m excited by the headline acts, I mean, Chic? Wow. The community. The awesome people being at Glastonbury gives us the chance to meet and spend time with. Unforgettable time. Lots of dancing, singing, listening and cheering. All the cheering!
I am going to see what is happening from left wing political speakers, to listen to what they have to say. In this time of terrifying vilifying of the already oppressed, to listen to the opinions of others on how best I can do my part to positively react to growing money and power lust, racist attacks, the persecution of the underclass – I hope to engage with lefty gatherings, and think about how I can contribute to nurturing a kinder, fairer society.
I will eat lots of falafel.
Yeah, that’s it, my hope is to go, enjoy every moment of it, do the most and the best that I can. I am so excited about it all, as always, it’s going to be fantastic!
Yeah, that’s it, my hope is to go, enjoy every moment of it, do the most and the best that I can. I am so excited about it all, as always, it’s going to be fantastic!


Talkers and listeners, writers and readers, illiterate inanimate objects,

we have reached out to all the performers and will shortly be announcing our FULL LINE-UP!  In the meantime, here is a small amuse bouche as we prepare for lift off.



2017 brings these two poetic firebrands back to the happy fields of Glastonbury to [wo]manhandle you through yet another spectacular Poetry & Words line-up, so come out, sit down and shut up, cos this is one charming motherf**ker not to be missed!

Experienced hosts who keep tent dwellers and poetry lovers in the palm of their lyrical hands…we welcome the first of the cracking line-up for this year’s Glasto.



Quick-witted and charismatic, Rosy Carrick has got a PhD in Russian literature and a WTF in 80s beefcake movie obsession. Co-curator of the poetry stage at Port Eliot festival, she also co-hosts the Latitude poetry stage and has been at the helm of the Brighton spoken word scene for the last decade. 2017 brings her back to the happy fields of Glastonbury to [wo]manhandle you through yet another spectacular Poetry & Words line-up, so come out, sit down and shut up, cos this is one charming motherf**ker not to be missed! www.rosycarrick.com
“Clever, funny, quarrelsome, querulous, astonishing!” Sabotage Reviews

“Sardonically witty and often surreal […] Carrick is the person you wanted to hang around with at school – wry, cool, erudite and a bit ribald” – Speaker’s Corner


Dreadlockalien is one of the hardest working artists in the West Midlands. Touring UK venues with his performance poetry and slam sets as well as three plays, Amalgam Jam, Soundclash and Chocolate Wars, Dreadlockalien continues to push the boundaries of live literature. The former Birmingham poet laureate as well as a host of BBC Radio 4 Slam Poetry. Dreadlockalien is also Co-Director of Colour Free Visions Theatre, a founding member of the New October Poets, curator of the ‘Art 4 Social Change’ collection of ethnic art and Co-Director of the UK Schools’ Poetry Slam Championships.

His urban hip-hop dub flow verse delivery of words and concepts address social issues such as citizenship, identity, immigration and Black British experiences. No steel pan and samosa tokenism here; strictly education before entertainment.

CALLING ALL POETS, spoken word artists, raconteurs, stand-up poets and slam champs…

Once again, Poetry&Words are opening our floodgates to a delicious deluge of poets from far and wide.  Every year we take applications to perform on Glastonbury Festival’s poetry stage, and every year we are awestruck by the hundreds of amazing wordsmiths out there.  Last year we hosted an abundance of talent from international stars Buddy Wakefield and Tanya Evanson, to home grown greats John Hegley and Murray Lachlan Young.  If you’d like to walk in their footsteps, then this is your chance! We’re looking for applications from experienced writers and performers, with something quite excellent to offer the audience of the world’s biggest greenfield arts festival.

If you want to apply, please e-mail poetryandwords@hotmail.co.uk with a short bio and 1-3 video and/or audio files of you performing your work, preferably to a live audience. We’d prefer web links, but attachments (of manageable size!) will also be accepted. We will only view one application per person. Further applications will be ignored, so send us your best stuff first time around! Don’t send Word files of your poems or links to your books, however good they are, as we need to be able to judge the performance element as well.  We do pay a fee, but this is only small, and overseas poets in particular should note that we are unable to provide travel expenses. Guest tickets are also beyond our power, but booked poets will receive a ticket for themselves as well as a camping pitch backstage of the Poetry&Words tent.

The deadline for applications is, strictly, 5pm on Friday 3rd March 2017.  We regret that we cannot view any applications received after this time, so please make a note of the deadline and make sure you submit as much in advance as possible. Don’t miss your chance!  We hope that you’ll understand that, given the humongous number of applications we receive every year, we are unable to respond to requests for feedback or advice, or to let every applicant know how they’ve done. Successful artists should hear back from us by two months after the deadline.

This year’s festival runs from June 22nd-26th, 2017. To find out more, go to: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

You can also find us at:


And the winner is…


The contestants were muddy, the weather was muggy, the standard was ruddy marvellous but after a hard fought battle the winner of the Glastonbury Poetry&Words slam 2016 (and the winner of a slot on our stage at next year’s festival) was the raucous, brilliant, moving Emily Hammond winning with a rousing poem on rape culture!

Here she is with her trophy


What a way to round off the festival, we’re thrilled to have our first poet on the lineup for next year and we can’t wait to be back.

We’ve had humour and feminism and EU fury and worry and panic and pleasure, lost loves, new friends, old stories, heritage, home, Jo Cox, demi Gods, beards, books, bands, banks, lyrics, lust and profoundly found love sung out from our stage to the hundreds that have sat and soaked up our poetry. It’s been an absolute pleasure to bring all the sounds of P&W 2016 to your ears and my profound thanks go to all the poets who have graced our luscious stage, all the crew who have built it and made it possible and most of all to Helen and Benita Johnson, the divine mercurial forces (stage managers) who keep it all running, keep us all happy and keep on keeping on! Thanks Glastonbury, even in your mud, even (or especially) in Brexit you’re my favourite place on this Earth.

See you next year




Hope you like slamming too!

Our last poets have hit the stage for this year. Our wonderful and tireless Scott Tyrrell who has been behind the easel all festival bringing us live sketches of our beautiful poets as they share their words with our crowds, hit the stage again and gave a beautiful set. Replete with his character, Malcolm Odour and he ended with ‘that’ poem about interrupted coitus.

Then Rory Jones, last year’s winner of the Glastonbury Poetry Slam took the stage. 13521128_10209736544674963_1953731918_n

He was witty and brilliant as he told us his best friend was his beard and gave us the sounds of a late night Scottish street when you’re trying to get to bed. It was a pleasure to have him back after his well-deserved win last year and he and his ‘beige trousers’ did themselves good!


Now the slam, hosted by Michelle Madsen and Iona Lee clad in sweatbands and sparkly leggings, is under way in a tent packed to the rafters. The rain cannot dampen our soul-shaking festival spirit. We’re ready for festival fun, a Glastonbury ‘moment’ in a damp tent, a slam winnnnnnnerrrrr!

More coming soon



Everything is yours if you want it to be – Jodi Ann Bickley

As the rain descends, we’ve just had a gorgeous storm of a set from Glastonbury Poet in Residence 2016, the incomparable Jodi Ann Bickley.


She talked love old and new, she talked about motherhood – from the gorgeous tribute to the lushness her mum instilled in her from youth to the joys of raising her 8 month old daughter. I can’t really put into words the brilliance of Jodi’s work so instead I’ll just give you some of my favourite lines:


‘We are kids in our parents clothing’

‘No Instagram filters can fix the level of dickhead both of us can be’

‘Exhausted but in love, always in love’

‘Everything is yours if you want it to be’

‘Don’t let them burn your spark out’

‘I am in absolute awe of you’

‘Thanks for crying on the kitchen floor with me’

‘Tears and scars are reminders of how hard we fought’




Gosh that was lovely! Thanks Jodi – you’ve summed up our festival better than you could know, all of us here are ‘exhausted but in love, always in love’! Thanks Jodi, thanks Glastonbury!