Megan Beech – poet, feminist and your P&W Open Mic host

I first met this woman at the Larmer Tree festival in Salisbury 3 years ago where she belted out her stuff with huge power and conviction not long after winning both the Slambassador’s Poetry Society National Youth Slam AND the Poetry Rivals UK under 18’s Slam. I asked the thoroughly marvellous and humble Megan Beech about Glastonbury, the BBC, feminism and fantasy Open Mic spots…

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It’s been three years since I first saw you perform and in that time you have seared a groove that is all yours as a performer, writer and feminist. So much so that the BBC have taken notice and included you in their ‘Women who Spit’ series of short films. How did that come about?

The whole BBC thing happened very suddenly and very unexpectedly. I actually received a Facebook message saying they’d seen some of my work on YouTube and were keen to meet with me to film a poem with a feminist message. I was totally thrilled but my mum was convinced it was a hoax and definitely didn’t believe me until I sent her a photo of my entry pass! It was undoubtedly the most professionally and personally exciting experience I’ve had as a poet: I got to work with a camera crew and an amazing female director, Kate Misrahi, I got to meet JANE GARVEY- that goddess of quality midday Radio 4 broadcasting (!!!) and visit the Woman’s Hour studio- such stuff as dreams are made of! But, most importantly I got to share a message I feel deeply passionate about- that women are not given enough prominence in broadcasting and that there is still a bias towards the pale, stale, male patriarchy that exists and thrives in our society. To meet and have responses from some of the bold, bright, brilliant women like Jane Garvey, Lauren Laverne and Gemma Cairney who are breaking the mould with amazing top-tier broadcasting and to hear from young girls saying the piece has encouraged them has just been the BEST thing!

This is the trailer for Women who Spit featuring Megan and another Glastonbury poet this year – Vanessa Kisuule PLUS last year’s P&W blogger, Deanna Rodger. Click on the links at the end of the trailer to get the individual films on BBC iPlayer.

Your poetry book, ‘When I grow up I want to be Mary Beard’ has been talked up with much love amongst performance poets since its release as a wonderful feminist work. And the title poem was a reaction to actual bigotry hurled at the hero of the piece. Do you think it is the anonymity and transience of social media that encourages casual sexism, racism and homophobia or do you think that kind of bigotry is still embedded and we need far more consciousness-raising?

First of all-thanks very much. It’s always heartening to know that other people in the spoken word world who you respect and admire appreciate your work. I think that the anonymity of social media platforms (looking at you Twitter) does allow certain types of virulent and vicious misogyny to thrive but I think it is just one means of expressing the sexism and bigoted thinking that is still endemic in society. The thing I valued most about the whole ‘Mary Beard’ poem experience was that what I just intended to be a small message of solidarity to Mary Beard, a brilliant woman who I admire, in the face of hideous misogyny, actually got shared around a lot by loads of people. I got to chat to Mary Beard through Twitter. I got to perform at Newnham, her college at Cambridge through Twitter. I feel like if Twitter is the tool for the misogynist troll, it is also one to unify and unite women, to let our voices be heard and to share our words and ideas with likeminded people.

What are you currently working on? Any exciting projects coming up?

I have had a 45 minute spoken word show kicking around in my brain, the half-written sketchy fragments of which I’ve had in my back pocket for about a year now. It’s called PAYtriarchy at the moment, it’s all about my experiences of depression and the Gender Pay Gap- a laugh-out-loud riot I know! I’m hoping to make that happen in the next year or so. Other than that I’m gigging over the summer including Proms Extra which is broadcast on Radio 3 from (the Elgar Room at) the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve also just graduated with a First from King’s College London so I fancy a bit of a lie-down before the hard work starts again on my literature MPhil at Newnham College, Cambridge in October.

You’re hosting the Poetry&Words Open Mic this year. I’ve often fantasised about the idea of major singer/songwriters who perform on the big stages coming along and trying their words out in the Poetry&Words tent. I’ve even joked to Helen Johnson about trying to sign Michael Eavis up. Who would be your big name fantasy lyricists performing at the open mic?

WOW! What a question! I saw Michael Eavis sing ‘Happy Birthday’ with Stevie Wonder in 2010 and that was pretty special, so I can only imagine how good he would be on the poetry mic! I’d love Patti Smith to just pop over from the Pyramid and drop some verses. I once wrote a letter to PJ Harvey asking her to perform when I was working as a Young Producer for the Southbank Centre’s ‘National Poetry Day Live’ – she did not get back to us, but I live in hope, she’d be AMAZING! But y’know I’m a nineteenth century gal at heart so I’d love to have the Romantics (the original poetical boy band) perform. Shelley would astound with biting political satire attacking the Tory government and shaming David Cameron, I could share a lift with Coleridge who lived in the Somerset village, Nether Stowey, next to my hometown Bridgwater and Byron would forget to turn up. Glorious!

You’ve stood and performed on the Glastonbury Poetry stage. What advice would you give to the open mic’ers doing it for the first time?

My advice would be don’t be nervous. The atmosphere of the whole festival for me has always been about supporting everyone else, revelling in the unity born out of sharing such a lush space with other lucky people for 5 days. Go for it! Why not? Half of us are probably drunk, the other half fatigued and eager to enjoy. I entered the slam last year, I came 2nd but had the BEST time performing and listening to everyone else. Get involved- get your voice heard, you won’t regret it, I guarantee that!

Will you be bringing any of your Mary Beard books with you to the festival? We promised to swap books last year and never got round to it 🙂

Yes, I definitely will be bringing some! I have forgotten to order more from my publisher- I really NEED to get on that, thanks for reminding me! Looking forward to getting my hands on yours too!

Who or what are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?

To single anything out would be impossible. Glastonbury is such an important and magnificent part of my life, this will be my fifth year. I’m looking forward to shaking off some of the stress of the city and being back in my home county: Somerset. I’m looking forward to feeling right-on in the Leftfield with the annual sing-along to ‘A New England’ with Billy Bragg, to the mid-evening chill as you climb to see the sunset from the top of the hill, to the first cool sip of cider bus cider, to stumbling across a new band in a tiny tent in the middle of the night, to long walks back from Shangri-La at 3am, to tired feet, to a soul drenched in joy and wellies covered in mud. Just about everything really!

Sharing a tent with – Mary Beard or Emmeline Pankhurst?

Both would be a joy obviously but I reckon the Beard edges it as she would undoubtedly be an excellent festival companion. We’d invite Lauren Laverne for a big feminist drinking sess and late night philosophical chat! God, that’d be cool! Can we make this happen? I mean obviously not, but can we?!

We can get drunk and try, dammit! 🙂

You can see Megan Beech perform a set in the Poetry&Words tent on Friday 26th at 12.25pm.

If you wish to sign up for an Open Mic spot which takes place Saturday 27th at 12.50pm come as early as possible to the Poetry&Words tent and approach one of the MC’s to put your name down.

More to come…

Scott 🙂

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Today is Sunday, today is like creamy mud

 

Satisfyingly exhausting.

This morning I awoke before my alarm, which is always an achievement. It’s hard to sleep with so much to take in. My bedtime has averaged at 5 and I am looking forward to one more night before returning to curtains and walls. I have discovered that Berrocca is in fact the best thing straight away even if you don’t want to drink it, and that a shower doesn’t have to be long just cool enough to take the heat of the hangover away.

As I listen to Scott Tyrell, the tent slowly fills. He reviews Bethlehem Inn which I’m guessing from his review is like sleeping over at Glastonbury (Yes, in my mind we are all at one big giant sleepover!) He cautions our anger and tries to persuade Dave (id Cameron), that we, like humans, do care about stuff! From what I garner, Scotts festival tips are:

– Embrace the mud – Jesus was born in it

– Say no to anger – its victim may want to save you

– Buy a spare t-shirt with poets as owls on it – Save the owls, take them home, care about them.

Later today, we welcome the fantastically great, Michael Rosen at 14.00. This is a real treat and a perfect Sunday afternoon must see.

We also have the SLAM at 17.00, last years slam winner, Torrey Shineman, will be taking to the stage at 15.45 for a full set, This full set can be won today at the slam.

But before then, we have some more feature sets including: Rob Auton – Glastonbury Poet in Residence (14.50), Raymond Antrobus (15.20), and Helen Gregory (16.45).

So come see there’s loads to see, it’s chilled there is a mat to lay on and we are a deaf friendly tent!

Ill be staring at you all from stage at 16.15!.Deanna.xx.

 

Scott Tyrrell

 

“I like writing because writing is like talking” part 2

 

Jonny Fluffypunk

With his frank introduction, “stand up poet, give up guitarist I decided that whatever this man says, I am going to trust… heres a spell I think we should all memorise and deconstruct at Stone Circle at sun rise

 

Coffee let me smell you

Coffee let me spell you

 

Come alive with your hot kiss

Oh so much better than tea

F(th)ree cups before night

Fuck tea

Energy giver

Essence of space travel condensed into beverage form

Jonny Fluffypunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly Case

She stood naked in front of the Queen before she really met her, well that is certainly one way to get over nerves!

Here are some tips I garnered from her poetry set

 

Look up once in a while, take a look at the stars

Sit still ‘silent as an oak’

Nurse the nation, do more, be more it will be the hardest thing you would have done, financially, spiritually and physically but remember all the other arches you’ve walked under. Remember the  thunder that broke

Molly Case3

 

 

Stephen James Smith

As it was his first time here at Glastonbury, he decided to break his Glasto virginity with a  poem about losing his actual real V with Anya; the celtic goddess of love.

One of my favourites to listen to and watch. His eyes closed during his poem to his mother was what poetry is at its most precious form, words that release the valve of all the things we need to say.

What is left to say is that he also hosted a great open mic to a packed tent, while the sun was shining! Here are a few bits I heard and wrote down:

 

Louise Loudspeaker

Dove of peace

Higher laws of justice

Man kind should live kind

To buy ourselves back from the open prison of the nation state it doesn’t come cheap

 

The Don

Things we can get funding for

Want a revolution but can’t get the funding

But don’t fit the criteria

Find your natural way

 

Eric Dickson

On the other side of the door

Watch grass grow

Don’t say goodbye to your senses

Green fields to brown

Grey skies to sunsets

Strangers are no stranger than yourself

Naked ground is steady it will hold us

Roll in the mud and wash yourself clean

Love life, live it together

 

Jack Bridgwater

Diary of a Glastonbury tower watcher

6.41

Heard a rustle thought is was  a … Oh it’s a squirrel

Repeat every hour

 

Lord Trotsky

Traits of the Festival bastard: Certain people you will meet at festivals that you may not want to meet

1. Bash you out the way with their Novelty hat

2. Shout through all the things you want to listen to

3. Pass wind next to you at breakfast

4. Passed out asleep with trousers down

5. Play drums at three in the morning

6. Chill out it’s a festival I’m only pissing on your tent

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Slam on Sunday.

Sign up and be in so a chance of securing your very own slot at Glastonbury 2015

“I like writing because writing is like talking” part 1

A direct quote from the gorgeous Paula Varjack, compere of the poetry and words stage. If those words aren’t enough to tempt you away from your small, wet tent then read on cos these poets are where all your unanswered questions about why the ‘f’ we plonk ourselves in fields and roam the caged land, and what we should do with this no time we have brought/sold our performance for

Paula Varjack

Festival tips from their lips*

*And through my ears and down my pen

Chris Redmond

What a gent, delivered a most generous welcome to Glastonbury 2014, to the signers that translate our poetry with their bodies, gave a few festival tips you shouldn’t do:

–  Speed before breakfast*

–  Keep your eggs with your bacon and your poo in your eye

–  Shop in mountain warehouse for trousers

–  Get naked to take the bin out

And one that you, DEFINITELY SHOULD do:

–  Let the pig out = dancing like your body is telling the intricate story of each sound.

 See Chris again on Saturday 13.50

* Poem called Speed brilliantly kept up with by Catherine, the sign language interpreter.

Chris Redmond

 

Jess Green 

Took the reins from Chris and steered us in to an honest account of her school staff room. Seeing the system we put young people through from the other way here are some tips on how to not be a dick to young people, people in general.

–  If someone is clearly engrossed in a book, let them live in that world for a bit

–  If you are desperate for a revolution you probably should lay off the dugs so that you can not only imagine, but action that desire.

– Know the words you wish to say and save enough breath for them

and one specific and quite useful hustle to keep in mind for all festival glory:

– If you have run out of money and need a chai tea fast… Charge people 50p to look at your tattoos*

*if you don’t have tattoos fear not, a smiley face and friendly tone will get you many gifts, if not of chai then definitely of happiness

See Jess again on Sunday 12.50

Jess Green

Andy Craven-Griffiths

Tim whoever you are you are a great man. Thanks for helping Andy, he has transferred that energy into these superb ideas*

*He may have had them before but you gave them a great context.

3 ideas to have fun with this festival

1. Philosophise until you feel how good it feels to be good

–    Label every picture a song

–    Picture frog eyes on your wellies and stare into both of the eyes at once

 

2. Find the power in the context

–    See what you are in, how you treat it

–    Stay and face the world even if you are bricking it

 

3. Emotion is contagious

–    Send emotions like tweets

–    Use each other as our mirrors

 

Fourth overall/general rule/tip/suggestion/exploration:

Find your joyganaut

Watch Andy flaunt his Joyganaut on Saturday 14.15

 

Sally Jenkinson

However big you think you are don’t sell out the stars in your belly

Eating is to keep yourself going to have a nice life; not a reward or punishment

Forgive for yourself – your mates lose you you lose the who cares forgive choose to be happy, dance until you wobble arm in arm across drunken campsites

Come along shout Sally’s name, she will appear and you can take her home in a book (buy buy buy)

 

Raymond Antrobus

Stand stock still in the middle of a busy junction and wonder why normal equals perfection.

 

Collaborate spontaneously and with your heart.

Discover how to speak with your body, how sound is touch.

Watch this man on Sunday 15.20

 

Antosh Wojcik

This guy is brilliant, here is are several slithers of his wisdom, stitched together:

– Wave to people who wave to you too

– Check out the skies ammunition

– Dance like volcanoes as if your sleeping bag has insomnia

– Drink a dirt of strongbow and grow an arrow in your stomach

– Shake the piss off your penis

and even an exit strategy:

– When relocating from tent to home pray for a black hole then find one, a real one.. A bin

– Say goodbye to your ground, remember how your body moulded with the earth and say Thank You.

Come come come see him on Sunday at 12.00.

 

Aisling Farhey

Reminded us to return sentiments, if someone helps you out here in these fields then pass that good deed on

If you find that suddenly you can see the whole would dancing but can’t hear the music, don’t believe the person that tells you there is no more music left, here is where there can be no mirrors, no eyes, just hearts. Stomping (wading).

And if all else fails know the love, food and water won’t.

Come here more from this gifted poet’s mouth Saturday 17.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full line up

Full line up

 

Deanna.xx.

We are almost very nearly there! 

 

The tent and sign getting set up…*

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     EQUALS 

 

 

 

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

Spoke-n-Word

(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.

Deanna.xx.

Friday

So close I can smell the leaves – Headlines and Hosts

You, my friends who I haven’t yet met, you are in for a super lovely treat as your hosts for this years Poetry&Words tent are Dreadlockalien & Paula Varjack. I have met these two awesome people many times before and each time I think of them a smile comes to my face, they are warm and generous people and will make you feel like there is no more perfect place to be, come along, wave at them, cheer, applaude and maybe even give some flowers/notebooks/pencils (gifts of a positively useful manner will be appreciated I am certain!)

These two super humans will be introducing our brilliant, brilliant headliners…Deanna.xx.

Michael Rosen

Rosen, Photo by Goldsmiths, University of LondonPhoto courtesy of Goldsmiths, University of London

Sunday 14.00

Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best known writers and performers for children. The book that he and Helen Oxenbury made –  ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ – has sold over 8 million copies and if coaxed, he will perform it,  with arm movements as an optional extra. He is a former children’s laureate, a university professor (Goldsmiths, University of London) and a regular visitor to schools, libraries, theatres and colleges where he does various versions of his spoken word show. His latest books are ‘Alphabetical, how every letter tells a story’ (publ. John Murray) (for adults) and for children:  ‘Send for a Superhero’, ‘Aesop’s Fables’, ‘Choosing Crumble’ and ‘Fluff the Farting Fish’.

 

John Hegley

John Hegley

Saturday 18.05

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.

The Fugitives

Fugitives1

Friday 18.00

The Fugitives are an indie folk-poetry collective based out of Vancouver, Canada. They have released three full-length LPs and toured multiple times through Canada, Europe, and the UK. They have been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for Pushing the Boundaries, and have toured as a supporting act for folk legends Dan Bern and Buffy Sainte-Marie. They are signed to Light Organ Records.

www.fugitives.ca

“Whether you go for the poetry, the music, or both, this show is simply brilliant” – CBC  “The missing link between Leonard Cohen and the Pogues” – Georgia Straight

www.brendanmcleod.ca / www.fugitives.ca

Pre-order the new Fugitives album Everything Will Happen now from Light Organ Records

 

 More about the hosts

Paula VarjackPaula Varjack (U.K./U.S) is a writer and performance maker. She has been making and touring her work since 2008. She is particularly drawn to true stories, and is often intrigued by the unspoken subtext that lingers underneath what we say. Her work has taken shape in a variety of forms; spoken word, devised performance, documentaries, audio pieces, stories and poems. She was one of  nine artists in residence for the E.U. funded Poetry Slam Days project, creating a multilingual show: Smoke and Mirrors, that toured to twenty European cities. In 2009 she represented the U.K. in the Berlin International Literature Festival. She is also the creator and co-producer of the Anti-Slam, a satirical take on poetry slams where the worst poet wins. This event, a comedy-poetry hybrid, launched in Berlin and has since happened in Warsaw, Cologne, London, Turin, Sydney, Sheffield, Oxford and Newcastle, with a national event in London planned late this summer.

She was one of the thirty-six storytellers in the critically acclaimed London Stories Festival, at the Battersea Arts Centre last autumn. Her first solo show, Kiss and Tell, premiered at the Berlin 100 Degrees Theatre festival. Her second solo show The antiSocial Network, made in collaboration with director/dramaturge/designer Lesley Ewen, was performed at the Notes From The Upstream Festival, The PBH Free Fringe Festival, and The Vault Festival. Her third solo show: How I became myself (by becoming someone else) premiered at Chelsea Theatre, as part of Fresh Blood, a programme of emerging artists,  last February. This is her third time at Glastonbury ,and her second time as a compere in the poetry tent.  Get varjacked at www.paulavarjack.com

dreadlockalienBirmingham Poet Laureate 2005, Dreadlockalien wanders the world saying poems to people, living a project called Poet Without Residence.  He co-hosts Glastonbury’s Poetry&Words stage and Shambala’s Wandering Word. Dreadlockalien is a trustee of the Green Gathering Charity, fighting for our planet.

The Super 7*

We are in our penultimate countdown, I have a suitcase/travel bag next to me saying, “come on Deanna, can we go now?” I say, “no we can’t suitcase but we can read about The Super 7* and get really excited”.

 

Andy Craven-Griffiths

Andy Craven-GriffithsFriday 12.50 & Saturday 14.15

Andy Craven-Griffiths is a writer, rapper, musician and educator from Leicester who now calls Leeds home. He has performed poetry across the UK including at festivals such as Latitude and Glastonbury, where he won the Slam in 2005, his first ever festival. He has performed on Radio 1, Radio 4, and BBC 2, and had work commissioned by the Arts Council and Rethink mental health charity. He has worked and performed abroad for The British Council, run poetry workshops for over 15,000 young people, and has a chapter in the forthcoming book Making Poetry Happen.

Andy chooses nurture over nature, bonobos over chimpanzees, left over right and sticky toffee pudding over lemon drizzle cake. He aims at hedonism over narcissism, honesty over convenience, and kindness over pretty much everything. Sometimes he fails. Reads hungrily, travels at every opportunity, stage-dives occasionally and very rarely feels like he is productive enough. If you like stuff about altruism, finding beauty and poignancy in the banal, Alzheimer’s, feelings bigger than our bodies, and streams of consciousness at public urinals, you might like watching him.

With his band, Middleman, he has toured Britain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Ireland and America, including Festivals such as Leeds, Reading, Fusion (Berlin) and SXSW in Austin, Texas. Plus live sessions on Radio 1, 6 Music and XFM. More than half of the music from the band’s 2 albums has been synchronised to TV, Advertising and computer games (Channel 5, Channel 4, E4, NBA2K11).

@andy_c_g

youtube.com/AndyPoetry

Aisling Farhey

Aisling FaheyFriday 14.30 & Saturday 17.15

Aisling Fahey has been writing and performing her poetry since the age of 13. She has performed in various locations across England and America, including the Barbican, the Southbank Centre and the Houses of Parliament. She won the London Teenage Senior Slam in 2009 and SLAMbassadors UK, run in association with the Poetry Society, in 2010. She is a member of the Burn After Reading collective who hold monthly poetry nights at The Gallery Café in Bethnal Green. Earlier this year, she was short listed to become the first Young Poet Laureate of London. You can follow her on Twitter @_AislingF and see some of her work on her blog: getyourheadtogether.wordpress.com

Jonny Fluffypunk

Jonny FluffypunkFriday 14.55 & Saturday 17.40

An economic refugee from the Home Counties, stand-up poet, sit-up storyteller and give-up musician Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the poetry, comedy and alternative cabaret circuits for over 10 years. A multiple slam champion who hates competition in the arts and an outspoken voice for anarchy, peace and bicycles, Jonny ‘does’ poetry that deafly fuses bittersweet autobiography, political disillusionment and surreal whimsy in an act which has established him as a firm favourite at festivals, arts centres and housing benefit offices up and down the country. His slim volume The Sustainable Nihilists’ Handbook is published by Burning Eye Books and he has recently premiered his solo show, Man Up, Jonny Fluffypunk- One Man’s Struggle with Late-Onset Responsibility, which he intends to tour around the garden sheds, allotments and summer houses of Britain in a blatant championing of homespun DIY culture.

As well as performing, Jonny runs poetry and performance workshops, putting shapes and colours into the minds of the young. He is co-host of the West Country’s pop-up poetry gig, Hip Yak Poetry Shack, and host of Stroud’s Mr Fluffypunk’s Penny Gaff, bringing obscure art to the masses.

‘Acute social observation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit… and England’s most pretentious moustache’- The Independent

‘This man truly relishes language. Go see him!’- Tony Allen (‘the godfather of alternative comedy’)

http://www.jonnyfluffypunk.co.uk/www.jonnyfluffypunk.co.uk

Porky The Poet

porkySaturday 15.40

Porky The Poet emerged as part of the ranting poetry scene in 1983. Inspired by performers like John Cooper-Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnson, he followed their example and started gigging with bands. It was here he met Billy Bragg, who took him on tour as a support act in 1985. This led to a fruitful period opening for The Housemartins, The Style Council, The Pogues, Gil Scott-Heron and many others. On the poetry scene, Porky became a London circuit regular for Apples & Snakes and Cast New Variety. Around about this time Porky lost all his poems in Newcastle, decided to quit, changed his name back to Phill Jupitus and did other stuff. In 2007, Phill was cajoled by fellow ranting luminary Tim Wells to start writing again and return to the performance poetry scene. In 2012 at The Edinburgh Fringe he did his first full-length show Twenty Seven Years On, followed that up in 2013 with Zeitgeist Limbo and this year debuts the all-new Juplicity as part of the PBH Free Fringe.

“Surprisingly beautiful…” N.M.E.

“Punchy, chippy, funny…” The Guardian

“Hugely entertaining…” The Scotsman

Helen Gregory

Helen Gregory (1)Sunday 16.45

Helen is a poet and academic, which means that she not only lives in an ivory tower, but can describe it using vivid imagery and interesting metaphors.  She works on both stage and page, and has performed her poetry at festivals, theatres, pubs and pavements around England, North America and Japan.  She has released one chapbook and two CDs of poetry.  She is also one half of the poetry-music duo, Yaffle, (with Benita Johnson), with whom she has released a CD, Howling at the Moon.  Oh, and she’s the stage manager for Poetry&Words…

Ffi: http://www.hgregory.co.uk

Abe Nouk

Abe Nouk2Friday 17.05 & Saturday 16.50

Abraham ‘Abe’ Nouk, the founder and director at Creative Rebellion Youth, is a spoken-word poet, hip hop fanatic, MC and an author whose craft developed from the realization of the freedom of speech. Motivated by words and their empowerment, Sudanese-born now an Australian citizen, ten years ago Abe was illiterate when he and his family arrived in Australia under the high commission refugee status.

Since realizing his illiteracy, he began reading and writing to improve his lyrical content for hip hop music when it became apparent to him – ‘the best thing you can do for yourself is to feed your mind.’  Abe went on to become third in the Australian National Slam Poetry (2013) and self-published ‘HUMBLE’ his first collection.

Deanna Rodger

Deanna Rodger*I have included myself in this list because I believe I have super powers poised to emerge any day now… maybe on

Sunday 16.15

Deanna Rodger is an actor and spoken word poet. She is the youngest UK Poetry Slam Champion (2007) and completed vocational acting training in The National Youth Theatre’s (NYT) REP Company 2012.

She has written and performed as a poet and actor in 2012 Olympic Team Welcome Ceremonies (NYT commission), Buckingham Palace (NYT commission), Speakers House (NYT commission), 10 Downing street (somewhere to_ commission) and Honey Coated Dream (Lyric Hammersmith commission). She has recently completed the audio book recording of ‘Feral Youth’ by Polly Courtney.

Deanna is co founder of two popular spoken word events, Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me and is in poetry collectives: Point Blank Poets (winners of the Biennale UK Artist International award 2011), and Keats House Poetry Forum, as well as Poet Director for Podium Poets – a collective supported by Spread The Word, whose debut anthology will be released under Nasty Little Press and a board member of Safeground.

She is an experienced spoken word and drama facilitator, and is currently writing and developing her one-woman show ‘London Matter’ which has received support from POP Productions (Sky Arts and IdeasTap), Roundhouse Camden, Albany Deptford and Arts Council.

“Deanna is one of the few performers I could listen to over and over again. Her honesty, passion and humility come through with every single word she speaks and it is an honour to hear her thoughts on stage”

Hollie McNish

“Rodger is an energetic and hugely entertaining performer, and one with interesting things to say”

A Younger Theatre

Deannarodger.co.uk

HALLO & WELCOME! To the 2014 Poetry&Words Blog

Hallo! My name is Deanna Rodger and I am your poetry blogger for Poetry and Words 2014 – *applause, whoops hollers and foot stamps* and I can’t wait to get stuck into the metaphorical poetry mud, wading through words and rolling in similes!

So you may be able to tell by now that I am myself a poet and though this makes me hugely biased to the poetry tent, it’s blatantly the best place to spend your day before skanking hard in the dark fuzzy fun that Glastonbury can offer.

Why have I taken on this task of writing before, during and after watching the writers? What can you expect?

Well last year was my first year at Glastonbury and I frikking loved it! Sat on my bottom in the poetry tent listening to poets I usually only see online, surrounded by punters who whoop and cheer and chortle their best beer-ed support, I could hardly say no to being responsible for capturing that online. And that is what I intend to do.

This blog will slowly release the hand-selected line up, detailing where and when and who and why you should be in their faces as they take the stage. It will chat informally about certain sets and will hopefully not become over run by childlike excitement and bad grammar (note. I use the grammar rules of Deanna; lots of exclamations, random dashes and bracket overkill)

But, before the real poets are brought to the blog stage, let me introduce myself properly:

I am Deanna, I am in my 20’s and like to describe myself as a fun, gregarious character that has a unique sense of humour and a battery life that runs on coffee, dried mango and mint clubs. I am a Londoner but many holidays were spent in the countryside – wellies on, mucking out horse stables, walking dogs and eating bacon butties, so I am more than qualified to operate a smartphone in a pit of mud! – You can check out my online identity here www.deannarodger.wordpress.com and here www.facebook.com/deannarodgerpage and here @deannarodger

 

Here is a video of me in TedX action

and one from last year’s Glasto set

Ok first blog completed and signed off! The line up is to follow, so follow this blog to stay up to date

Deanna x