As someone who regularly hosts a poetry show I know it can be a tough job! It’s your responsibility to keep everything to time, to keep the energy up, and to keep everything rolling no matter what. A difficult task under any circumstance but when you have to do it all day, in a tent, surrounded by 200,000 folk… well, it become a task of herculean proportions. Let’s meet the amazing acts who’ll rise to the task!
First up we have our main hosts…Rosy Carrick & Jonny Fluffypunk!
Rosy Carrick – Poetry&Words Compere
Quick-witted, charismatic and full to the brim with surreal imagination, Rosy Carrick’s eccentric style, dense rhyme structures and forceful imagery have won her international acclaim, as well as firmly cementing her place as one of the UK’s most unusual and innovative contemporary poets.
Rosy has toured the world with her poetry, while in the UK she has performed at an extensive variety of venues ranging from Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Albert Hall to one section of a three-man tent in a Brighton park. Between 2008 and 2018, Rosy was programmer and co-host of Brighton Hammer & Tongue, as well as the city’s infamous annual Poets vs. MCs events, held at Concorde 2. She also hosts Trope for Brighton Dome. For a decade (until its demise at the hands of Capital), Rosy co-hosted the Latitude Festival poetry stage, and was co-curator of the poetry stage at Port Eliot festival. Since 2012 she has hosted the Glastonbury Poetry and Words stage.
Jonny Fluffypunk – Poetry & Words Compere
Stand-up poet and lo-fi theatremaker Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the UK and occasionally beyond for over 25 years, deafly fusing bittersweet autobiography, disillusionment and wonder into an act that has established him as a firm favourite at gigs, festivals and housing benefit offices everywhere. He has two volumes of poems, micro-fictions and threadbare philosophy published by Burning Eye, and his solo ‘no-fi’ stand-up spoken word theatre shows, including his latest (commissioned and produced by regular collaborators Inn Crowd), If We Just Keep Going, We Will Get There in the End, have toured extensively around theatres, pubs, garden sheds, summer houses, record shops and Britain’s other ad-hoc performance spaces in a blatant championing of homespun DIY culture. When not showing off on stages, Jonny runs workshops, putting shapes and colours into the minds of young and old alike. He is currently writing his first novel for children, The End of the Pier Show, based on his spoken word and puppetry show of the same name, about a small boy, a refugee mermaid, a doomed pier and the world’s first human / merfolk punk rock band. He’s a crucial third of Hip Yak Poetry Shack, ‘the south west’s favourite pop-up poetry event’, and also runs Mr Fluffypunk’s Penny Gaff, an alternative cabaret in his adopted home town of Stroud, where he has just held his first-ever ‘proper’ art exhibition. So there.
Rosy and Jonny will be steering the ship for most the weekend but Saturday’s afternoon open mic and Sunday’s Slam will see some others take the helm. I’ll have more details on the slam and open mic coming your way but for now let’s meet the poets hosting both shows. First up we have our open mic hosts…Mark Gallie and me.
Mark Gallie – Open Mic Host
Mark Gallie is an Edinburgh based Actor, Poet, Producer & Writer. He is one of the Directors of I Am Loud Productions and has been performing poetry since 2015. He has performed across the UK and Internationally as a feature performer, organized & hosted multiple Fringe shows & monthly events, and supported Shane Koyczan during the Scottish leg of his 2019 tour. By day, Mark can be found exploring, performing and writing about Myths & Legends, Fantasy, “Geek Culture” and the weird & wonderful. By night, he tries to take over the world.
Mark and I hosted last year’s Slam and it was easily one of our highlights of the festival so we’re excited to see a new dynamic duo get the chance. Welcom to…Sally Jenkinson and Deanna Rodger.
Sally Jenkinson – Slam Host
Sally Jenkinson is a poet, writer, performer and creative facilitator. Her most recent poetry pamphlet ‘Pantomime Horse, Russian Doll, Egg’ – an exploration of childbirth – was published in Autumn 2022 with Burning Eye Books.
She has been writing and performing poetry across the UK for more than a decade, and has also written and performed internationally in Sweden, Iceland, and Australia.
Deanna Rodger – Slam Host
Deanna Rodger is an international poet and facilitator. She featured on The Art That Made Us (BBC1) and her reimagined version of ‘If’ was read by Serena Williams for International Womens Day (BBC Sport). Her poetry has been welcomed all across the world including.; Mexico, Sudan, and Beirut, and commissions include; Adidas, FIFA, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nationwide, Young Vic, and BBC Sport.
‘his fingers have left’ is her most recent publication. It is a poetry and process collection which explores sex, shame and form, stemming from the Kevin Eylot residency at Theatre Collection University of Bristol.
So these are the lovely folk who will be guiding you through an amazing weekend of Poetry&Words. You really couldn’t be in better hands!