Introducing: Winston Plowes, Walkabout Poet

Winston Plowes2
Back to perform with us is Winston Plowes, Every day. If he’s new to you/ you’d like a reminder, read on:

In his own words:

“Winston Plowes shares his floating home in Calderdale UK with his 16-year-old cat, Sausage. He teaches creative writing in schools, universities and to local groups while she dreams of Mouseland. His latest collection Tales from the Tachograph was published jointly with Gaia Holmes in 2018 by Calder Valley Poetry.”


“The world’s first random poetry generating bicycle.”

“Step right up and Spin the wheels! Create the inspiration for your very own be-spoke poetic creation and amaze yourself with hitherto unknown poetic powers with the aid of this new and remarkable invention of Mr Winston H. Plowes B.Eng. MSc. CTC.”

Fay’s words:

I know very little about Winston Plowes, beyond his recurring role as an inspiration installation and interactive attraction at Glastonbury’s Theatre & Circus area. Onward to the video archives!

Wow. Okay, the first thing to say is that encapsulating this artist’s work in a simple paragraph or two is going to be… challenging! Never mind different types of poetry, this is not a man to stick to one artform, or discipline, when he can combine engineering, juggling, music, clowning, and words. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that this would lead to a dilution of talent and, frankly aggravatingly, you’d be terribly wrong. Mr. Plowes performs physical feats that make my wrists and knees creak to watch. As at home with an audience of children as adult literati, he has everyone engaged from the moment he steps into view. And in case you were thinking that all his poetry would be humorous, or filled with easy rhymes, think again, because the man also writes gorgeous, tightly crafted verse, including one of my favourite poetry forms – and one very difficult to pull off well – the Ghazal. (In fact – I’ve just gone and checked, and it turns out that it was his guide to writing them that got me writing them in the first place! Small world, poetry…)

I’m not sure which Winston we’ll get to witness at any given time, but I’m secretly hoping for something of everything he is. What a treat that would be!

Sneak preview:


Winston’s poem collected from his Spoke ‘n’ Word walkabout

Happiness is free


Whether your clothes are wet or dry,

happiness is free.


Protected bones in brilliant steel

soaking up iridescent vibes.

From Brighton to Glastonbury’s blur

happiness is free.


From the expensive start of lobster and chips

To the crank who drank the tank.


From the smooth glide of the valley side

to the fast track with Joey Mac

happiness is free.


Free the steel from Thatcher.

Free the bottled steel eel

that chose to feel the real deal.


Sitting in a wobbly purple post-solstice flower

one brave wheel spun all by itself.


Whether your clothes are wet or dry,

happiness is free.

Mr Plowes and his Machine 3

We are almost very nearly there! 


The tent and sign getting set up…*









Jack’s excitement – (Jack is a part of stage crew brilliance)


Once in Bella’s field, say hello Winston Plowes, who is doing a cycle-about for Theatre and Circus, 11.30 – 12.30 everyday

Mr Plowes and his Machine 1


(The world’s first random poetry generating bicycle)

Step right up and Spin the wheels! Create the inspiration for your very own be-spoke poetic creation and amaze yourself with hitherto unknown poetic powers with the aid of this new and remarkable invention of Mr Winston H. Plowes B.Eng. Msc. CTC.

4 wheels for the body, 2 wheels for the soul

* The weather has changed colour in the sun and become fire ash grey, I say, ” Gaffa tape your tents move everything to the middle and don’t forget your raincoat”

Tonight Dreadlockalien, Helen Gregory (the woman behind the tent) and myself will be pushing our voices into Worthy FM – Tune in!

Theres loads to get stuck into today and tonight at Glastonbury, here are my personal recommendations:

15.30 – The Guardian presents 20 feet from Stardom – Williams Green

16.00 – Jazz Disater – Avalon

20.00 – Andy Riley – Genosys, Block 9

21.00 – Kate Tempest – The Rum Shack

And tomorrow, WE OPEN!!!!!! 11.45 – Benita Johnson opens the stage, join me and her and each other.



Want to perform?

Be the Glastonbury 2014 Poetry Slam champion and win a spot next year!

Last years winner Torrey Shineman will be gracing the stage to show us exactly why she won on Sunday at 3.45pm. The slam will take place a little later so pop along early to get the inside scope on what it takes to win.Deanna.xx.

Slam – Sunday 17.00

Hosted by Marcus Moore and Sara-Jane Arbury

And/or, if competition isn’t your thing or you fancy getting to know the stage, then the open mic is a chance to jump up and give us your best poem, space for both are limited so sign up early is a deffo, though rocking up to try your luck isn’t a bad idea either. See you there!

Open Mic – Saturday 12.50

Compared by Stephen James Smith



Victoria Shineman - by Lauren Herrmann  - LuxCamenaStephen James Smith by Bob Dixon

More about Torrey and Stephen

TORREY SHINEMAN – has been writing since she could hold a pencil, published her first poem on television at the age on eight, and has not stopped writing since. She identifies as a slam poet, but has also recently begun to experiment with storytelling. Torrey loves performing live, and responding to the dynamic energy of an audience. Her writing features both personal and social commentary, and engages the audience through a mix of rhythm, rhyme, metaphor, wordplay, movement, and humour. She is a two-time winner of the Jam Cruise Gong Show, competed in the National Poetry Slam in 2013 (as a member of Jersey City Slam), and will compete again as a member of Chicago’s Lethal Poetry Team at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California in August 2014. She has performed in dozens of venues across the USA, as well as in Spain, Austria, Germany, and the UK.  Torrey grew up near Boston, went to Reed College (in Portland, Oregon), and earned her Ph.D. from New York University. She recently relocated from NYC to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she now works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. This is her fourth year at the Glastonbury Festival. She performed in the Poetry&Words open mic in 2009 and 2011, and won first place in the Glastonbury Poetry Slam in 2013. Torrey loves live music, poetry, community, and art, and is delighted to be a featured performer on the Poetry&Words Stage this year.

STEPHEN – Dubliner, writer, performer, dancer, chancer, give-us-a-goer-of-that-sure, biscuit dunker, ice-cream lover. He still can’t believe he is getting away with being called a ‘poet’! @sjsWORDS


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