Anything I write about KID ANANSI will not do justice to this phenomenal, political, powerful, funny, hyper ball of pure energy and lyrical dexterity.
It were good!
I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a Kid Anansi set before just now, and I could not have asked for more. Proper! I laughed put loud at the I AM SO STRAIGHT poem (drawing dresses on spider-man PJs so it can’t be said he slept with a load of men on top of him = class), I had tears in my eyes at the STAGES OF GRIEF, and have never shared such affection for a pillow with Ainsley Harriot’s face upon it before today! It can’t be easy choosing which props to take to Glastonbury, but this was indeed a prop well selected for a brilliant poem.
I particularly connected with the brace of stanzas with the repeated refrains. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SO BROKE hit hard (for yes, I have, and the wit and wisdom of this piece cut deep!) and the lockdown verse, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SO LONELY, was equally hilarious and shattering with universal truth.
An expert at the dramatic pause between quick fire rhymes and mesmerising imagery – KID ANANSI is an artist whose work I shall eagerly seek out to again experience.
You missed this set?
KID ANANSI is back at the Poetry&Words stage tomorrow at just gone 2pm!
Goodness me, BOHDAN PIASECKI is an excellent, excellent host.
I had the intensely emotive, massively rewarding experience of Bohdan’s poetry, spoken in its original Polish (but written to be performed to people who cannot speak Polish), and it was so stunning. I reckon it had to be heard, as my words can’t convey the power of that performance…… although, that said…..
You can get your own bit of Bohdan time though….. cos Bohdan is hosting the POETRY&WORDS STAGE!
Lucky us! Proper.
And who’s on now…..?
The sunshine kid continues to be a wholly engaging artist of quantifiably high quality – as folks flock in our space for his (as always) entertaining set. His PAPER POEM is punch-filled with politics and passion, whilst eternal crowd pleaser DINOSAUR LOVE is received with expected adoration – how it could not be? Few poems contain such authentically recreated prehistoric howlings, and the crowd are howling with laughter at this spectacular set.
Here’s the full line up of the other exemplary acts coming on up TODAY – join us join us join us:
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!