Saturday Part 1

WInston Plowes with his magical contraption is set to capture words

And we’re off! pre-show act The Antipoet kick us off with their classic Glastonbury track We Are The Warm-Up – to an audience of about 40 (which is, for a poetry gig, frankly bloody amazing, let alone on a Saturday morning at a festival). By track three they’re up to 50 (Paul informs me that there are 53 and I should also count the 40 who walked away earlier – duly noted). Clearly ranty poetry in eyeliner and bondage kilts is the way of the future. The set is different, leaning into the swearier stuff they avoided yesterday, summoning a harder laughter from the audience.

Compere Dominic Berry bounds onto the stage to give a poem on the Myth of Protein. Vegans in the audience particularly love it, cackling along.

Ana Paz takes to the stage to Move On Up. She stands, silent, for a deliberately, dramatically uncomfortable while, gazes at the audience, collects herself and the witnesses, gives an impassioned piece about the martyrdom of a queer activist of colour (“When I see you, I see me.”), how activism expands into community and history, and how much we still have to fight against, in the memory of Mariana Franco (an assassinated councilwoman from Rio de Janeiro). The rest of her set echoes this, as yesterday – an articulate rage against hypocrisy, the long history of explicit and – more dangerously – implicit messages from society about structural inequity (“I paid attention when my mother told me how to season/ But when a man told me that’s where I belonged, I didn’t listen”). The audience (yes, bigger than yesterday) lap it up, and she encourages hmms and fingerclicks for the next poem where she jumps off the stage to ramp up the intimacy on the topic of truth. She explicitly engineers her set on the fly to match the energy. They are loving the darker, more contemplative stuff, so she leans into that, holding the growing numbers of in the palm of her hand.

Dominic gives us another barnstormer about veganism, with so bloody many puns about food and masculinity that we’re broadsided when it gets serious and hands us uncomfortable facts about strength and animals.

Eve Piper takes to the stage in a gloriously bright dress. Yeah, I’ve no idea how to talk about clothes, but it’s such a dramatic contrast to yesterday even I notice these things. Right, words then. She starts as before, with a query: who here is single? And who’s keeping their options open? Who’s got their eye on a potential Glastonbury mate? Someone shouts “You, Eve! It’s you!” The set is the same as before, but sounds as fresh and well-crafted as yesterday, and the audience are as hooked, while I tug new favourite moments from the welter of words.

Liv Torc is now hosting the Open mic, kicking us off with verve, and a well-honed delivery of the guidelines (one poem only, don’t go over time or the kazoo and shakers will interrupt you), enthuses and draws people in like the best of hosts. I knew she’d be good! ☺

Dominic had to write out the bio of someone who declared themself too high to do it…

(Apologies for the paucity of photo quality from here on out – my phone was suffering from the heat something awful…)

Josie Alford (@josiealfordpoet) gives us the poem she used to propose to her boyfriend (he said yes). She is performing so she can tell her mum she’s performed at Glastonbury.

Mark McGivern gives us a poem for one of his oldest friend with a meditation on how to be a fixed point of stability in someone else’s life in all the small gestures. He runs his own spoken word and music events in Cambridge (and I’m so proud to see him on this stage).

Torrey Shineman (@TorreyShine) (surname rhymes with Cinnamon, if you were wondering) gives us a poem giving us the history of vulva epilation (terrifying – look it up, also merkins) in response to current fashion (especially in her native US).

John Row (a refugee from the 70s spoken word scene and famous back in Cambridge as a storyteller in every festival within a 50 mile radius) has escaped the Kids’ Field to rant about the shame of the racist basis of migration policies. The crowd erupts!

Chip Colquhoun (@creatorchip) is another professional storyteller from Cambridge, who was put down for this by John Row, and he brings us the one poem he’s got on his phone – a children’s version of Beowulf. He’s the first person to go over time, but curves it into a deft twist of finish (“If you want to know how it finishes, I think there’s a book about it somewhere…”)

Loudspeka (@loudspeka) is a political, pacifist activist (“break the code, write an ode”) who rants a colourful exposé of big business, a confrontation that has the crowd whooping. Due to struggling with the technology (which hates the heat even more than I do), I missed getting a photo of her. Gah. Sorry! Check her out online anyway!

Bertram: That Geezerbird (“70% Skittles. Too excitable properly. Definitely at least the prettiest one here”) gives us a rousing rap about confusion that gets the crowd clapping in time as they bounce, skipping about the stage, then roaring as they leap from it.

Robin Lawley, who came third in the last Glastonbury Poetry&Words slam, absolutely changes the atmosphere (the proper joy of open mic, folks!) with an ode to a departed cat, gentle and personal and absolutely in the spirit of Jeremy Hardy who he’s just been a part of memorialising.

Jason Butler (@oldmanvegas) gives us a rapidly rhyming anecdote about an escaped crab. The crowd love this tale of late night seaside vengeance. Sadly, didn’t capture him either!

Ross Wallis gives us An Epistle, conceived a few weeks ago, and written while waiting in the huge queue to get into the Festival, an articulate, heartfelt apology to the next generation, fitting for an Extinction Rebel.

Ade Ogonboor DJ’d at Glastonbury a few years ago, got home, got cancer, beat cancer, and is back here, now, in the Poetry&Words tent talking with great, quiet articulacy about austerity and Brexit. He then continues to barrack various of the performers, including commenting on Rosy’s legs (she bats him down with superb poise).

Elise Wouters (@eliserebelfox) is a Belgian poet living in London who writes erotic Brexit poetry (“There’s the niche we didn’t know we needed!” cries Liv), and it’s as filthy as you’d imagine and witty with rage to boot, beautifully delivered.

Sunny Jim (@_SunnyJim) gives us Plastic (W)Rap – an environmental activist with a hip-hop inflected angry gesture to the sea of plastic and its source, literally heat-stroked and (figuratively) erupting with ire.

Rosie Solomon (@rosiees7) is a surprise finish to the open mic (again: we’re under-running, somehow!) with a rant about working in a bar – Don’t Tell Me How To Pour A Fucking Pint. It’s exactly what you’d imagine, and really, really good – a rallying cry to service workers and female-presenting people everywhere.

Festival veteran Jonny Fluffypunk roars onto the stage (yet another pair of dungarees*, this time looking like they were part of the previous wave of dungaree-wearing; authenticity in every thread) and shortly thereafter plunges into the audience to shriek at them about their place in proceedings (giving the poets the attention and validity they crave, obviously). He gulders about the foolishness of “poetry being the new rock ’n’ roll,” and entirely blows his own theory by being the punkest thing on stage (with the possible exception of Paul Eccentric) so far. As ever, it’s somewhere between the most cynical of stand-up, almost more time spent on the between-poem ranting and banter, and break-outs from the pieces to address the audience in a fourth-wall-smashing series of pithy jabs and bon mots about his good words. The audience are quiet but intent, absolutely with him in every line, cackling and whooping, sniggering and raising hands, lobbing ripostes every so often. I’ve seen him do this very set several times, and it’s still delicious, and I’m glad I’m here to witness it in its natural environment.

*My memory is made faulty by unwitting dehydration – photographic evidence has him in practical combat shorts. Can you even believe anything I write here? Probably…

<img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LmDXFsDwYOCSHHCbXckSZp3_hvS3L352VF5alvLzYCggVCa-_AQHWlR5MjZdlhmdXaqrWAiJCA12TgQj1clkS80I38FDVQVOVdC2NYc6MWnj7o5952ewiHFIBgYR1xJlkRDJEZlRmN30M2sgwDC57xbQnRli7SDeGJNOFzXjo2hOojKoaCgJTSWNboi7nHKZAONid8d241-QNJLdcIrdx5IH70N-3rURa_85U5LwiYHIZrXCKbwgfckYPuawkfeGX06JBL6Z10KwKX-T_iy8cY0fyXR4JvAapIS3pG39WL4hKFPKhLGhaatPOFvGcPLStFHsPxAMvLFxQG3ytjudM8CTNlxJ0jPJFrUK_7MYuJGFKMREoMh-6vOch7pGQPIR9BLEXCy14ZX0fGt1WsYj4lDdTGP_0MJIVuTfDE806UREkiKNM6CR4-JFUiQAUw7KT5M_aAb4wIATuRodxgeD6_IpDGlSCgqspzIIJBy19NEC5Qw6deukhHEFC5_doINMRMLnFq_dyl9VknCht9KpUwQxvoM43n-q_QJ9b2ernF68M-WMFPrFiXxvsY-TTpmCv9zQQ71k4rPoBkNd3Ns6vHuBYpFMZ1wl6CpvSR_wvV1dUDaDyBFz4pyxl5dprdnVgxVpY8jj22NocONgGsNiz7jtTIgLgWq3JY3t6ZRI8TYqBK6OLa_FBtRtVqjmrtHXmFNNJlz1JNM8y_Rs9_EHXlbcrg=w640-h360-k-no”%5D

Demi Anter sashays onto the stage through the batwings, bogling with Dominic to the fantastic music she’s gifted by the technician and resplendent in a yellow dress that’s perfect for the shimmy. She reveals later that she’s a daughter of desert – despite her Celtic colouring, this heat just bounces off her. And so this leads us into a poem about her mother, and today’s set continues to be more about family and travel that yesterday’s. Still hypnotic, personal, anecdotal, deeply emotional where anecdotal poetry sometimes puts a barrier, a safer distance between the performer and their truth. But her courage is “seemingly unending”, and this theatre turns into a polemic about how to be truthful in the world of spirit and heart. She finishes with the same end dating site-like piece as last yesterday, but – in a tribute to Ana Paz’s “amazing use of space” – she unhitches the microphone and strolls around and bends into the space and suddenly it’s even more theatrical and, somehow, funnier (and more terrifying).

Illustrator Scott Tyrrell takes to the stage after Dominic gets the crowd screaming “as though Boris Johnson had left politics” to a classic rock track. He opens with the title track to his book (“(If We’re Being) Honest”), something that is, essentially, a list poem, but a superior example of the species, uncomfortable and hilarious, and waaay too intimate (I know a lot more about his masturbatory habits and his relationship with his cat now). It’s followed by one of my favourites of his: Bad Dad, swiftly seguing into Gabriel, which starts with a kind of “kids say the funniest things” intro and turns to a paean to platonic male love. Scott excels in awkward emotions and the kind of social observations that any high-flying postmodern author would be proud to display with this level of skill, plus any number of killer last lines. Wonderfully, with his intro to the famous (awkwardly, gleefully, hilariously erotic) Coitus Interruptus, he even manages to embarrass himself, charming, blushing even further than the heat (“Hello! I’M DYING! I’m not from the desert – I’m from the North-East!”). He moves onto the tender Blue Badge of Honour about his beloved, disabled wife which is the one that made me drop my pen and wipe my eye when I first heard it. It’s still powerful, still delivered with loving rage (“I am the feather to her fortress…”).

<img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/sLOTadBuhIv6U6IERCVNObjU_0kQddd8pMMB0yIiwFAfdxEX1CadmIQv5uSeJ959BK_URUhCDdARFwx52rNF5ZROEvLYpCep7Vh3qMP-iyS4dCZNtULP1G_0sRqHo0k_mdnmrGbnJgKA9rYewxjD9RjxXiEIBGo13mrFMPgGpfKzFDcHWxlnVf6EbCdKY0ccUNxvkNzIxU-P-lLu2m5S-D_lWb0dLDCQsSefEmortaWkTOoOf6f5ZKjkJ-Zj9YuVC2EhDoxhZ7gfHoWZuIf8wP2Q7StyGKKtYHql826QRcdZTRqGdBj_1XnGvSzpAUKYzuXp28-72WhuSD27rU77gVLmMaqUfQiozNw1bBQdsZWeTuFNtwuT0yBTz3vPYjdFZio00GbvnD8rRi0xsuCeVBXygkry024K8iKsGuuj3o9-XlWkVlb9dJYY0ivBUFT9zPFI6spLhoy-GvgJITokGcIsht5BWWdz-1X8j3XNfDq757nbm1clapaMeHfmx5f-wRvwVlq_DqdjybX0ncuq-rOaeWd8teX2sSdMK2eSvgZuyfxLhOWg8uvtZdW3bA074yeeG6cvd0CyMfa3zIVNsjil0pLldoicWfWUv7jHU5S2YdIrGNbC9b6Ah9XFIvXl4xVK5wx7xeVjhPWj_BmgbAKSL42Osb53WMUTVgXNUKhi5bs3iRBByUMy6gzSWh2h3OGv8k4FOZBek0V4Ju_j9wxIag=w509-h904-no”&gt;

Img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/07L4U7eRx7TdZQYDxZKYPKyBakU3of4UsbjcXPIrGzVZez0DBezO3H5579FMoo-zAOiIHcgVI4RFVYWPFSuHFFZIBc3WIdaIChRJDpjFZ-bM2TX3n8YBSmi17fC_kw7m-piOtJd4H-cPN0DUiF6YLz0SAwKTHui4MmjK8VmaY1wZGE8beP9saTnSXRqwYc9H0RbieNE06ZQECq7oSQzI6ot29o1I-ayAGxNt-0RRVyjhhy5AL7KQ-keT6l_tFleZfFaIRt41wc-FVGyfWqG0fFNXbmrJkvUmh8aUONw3-ttyvyAb4Uj3CwduOtHXvJkFCa707yR0aqjaYmNNHlCzdOf-Z8GLOv5a3n4hqlQC0yL-pIuCLpzPeOVW_aP8Bt-3mYA3MK9bJHwKEPdgNX5HX0-OfIJ6lqWdsK3u3j-x9j0UXAEuCJLhw3zpLJf2gkxJY79hko_DGn3lKxI8msPAkHG9tKazF4WqjZi6Ug_4a6tA8GKW3v5Ey1OVMs2dzcZ2-CnslNAuXpwYDpCUYIgfwzIwB1aMenLOuQgsh-jgec7_I6GuQsnnapImmLZbMr7BrnR2YoXByYzcd1gPUTe9zm_C0uisNH-cet1ZjHlB-h2C3heGHDKFORUx4jQtY9Xv0YLDKPZmCsene8hybTvM1QlVjyhEGHH3S1KG_lRvNZ-wZ_9U3Y8j8X0LyeR7pGxVuIxYAnCsyrJeiTjdeDxsEsOZ7w=w509-h904-no”&gt;

 

Advertisements

Friday Part 1

And we’re off! pre-show act The Antipoet kick us off with their patented Glastonbury track We Are The Warm-Up to a surprisingly crowded tent for this time of the morning on the first day. People are already signing up for the slam and the open mic. The set collapses and they shrug. They bounce, gyrate, and greet the audience with words and gestures, beckoning grins and nods and cheers drom the assembly. Topics covered include: politics, proper tea, festivals (and their alternatives), an elegy for a friend, and hipster grammar. The tent feels properly warmed now!

Compere Rosy Carrick takes to the stage like a glamorous poetry beacon in shades of flames to introduce the next section, inducing the audience to cheer like they’re watching Bowie in 2000, making a Mexican Wave of sound.

Scott Tyrrell has set up his easel, supported by son Toby, here for the first time. He’ll be live-illustrating proceedings, fighting the high winds that are keeping us all cool in the tent and the stage set unfortunately so mobile!

Courtney Conrad takes to the stage after a rousing introduction, letting us know that she kicked off her poetry writing after a break-up. Her set covers the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, religion, migration, and always being Other. We’re plunged immediately into the intimacy of family and clothes-fitting. I’m sure people have rhapsodised ad nauseam about the liquid, hypnotic mellowness of her voice, but it’s hard not to when it manages to support the intense combination of gentle yet frustrated, determined, emotional, yet almost academic words with its constant ripple, an incredibly articulate storyteller in English and Jamaican dialect. She chooses to redo early piece One Love with a better rendition (and breaks my heart with smiles and sadness combined), and honestly I wish more poets had that confidence and commitment to quality. Call me a fan!

Rosy and Vanessa Kisuule exchange happy banter about matching shorts (“I hate to objectify, but mate, you look banging!”) Rosy manages to squeeze in a poem from her latest collection about trainspotting (Ferroequinology). It is a species of frankly uncomfortably erotic, difficult and unusual and textured with the kind of words that trigger my synaesthesia.

Toby Campion takes to the stage in fantastic dungarees to a rock ’n’ roll track and kicks off with what he describes as a poem written the last time he was here, after seeing Adele, describing it as his own Adele Moment. He captures the audience immediately, then exchanges Midlands banter with an enthusiastic section of the crowd before going on to read from his book about his childhood, dropping us into the middle of a series of intimate word portraits of growing up queer in Leicester. His skill has only grown in the time I’ve known him – both words and stagecraft, and the audience are enraptured as the sequence of sketches slots into place. After this more family intimacy, grief, and humour. It takes and keeps everyone who listens. After the poem about his father’s terminal illness, he gives the audience a moment to take them through some studied breaths. If more artists took the time to practise radical care of their audiences, thw world would be a better place. And then his drunken, unedited poem, breaking the fourth wall with wrist-bitingly hysterical images. Clever, heartfelt poetry competing with a brass band and some ground-vibrating bass beats? He wins.

Rosy borrows my £5 flannel shirt against the chill of the wind. I don’t blame her – it’s an excellent shirt.

Desree takes to the stage like an explosion, with a series of pugilistic poems about #MeToo, gentrification, relationships, gender, toxic/ fragile masculinity, body image, race, privilege, abuse of power (and complicity), and all the important things to get angry about. Anyone who can make a list poem (an overused and all-too-often rubbish form) sing and dance, with quick feet and lightning punches deserves as much love and admiration as we can give them! Her poetry manages rapid-fire rage, clever allusion, and a glorious use of language and compassion and observation. She also uses trigger warnings to bring us into her piece about R. Kelly – well-needed and reminds me why I’ve bought into TW and CW – it gives people the option to leave or stay (literally or metaphorically), and allows us to protect our bruises.

Rosy gives us an ode to Arnold Schwarzenegger, letting us know that she’s hoping to build her body in a similar fashion… More double-entendre and angry eroticism, this time combined with the frustration of PhD writing.

Demi Anter takes to the stage in a teeshirt made by her father of her at the age of two. She warns the audience that they may hear things that upset them, but that the teeshirt will hopefully make them happy. She has a very specific stage presence I associate with American spoken word poets – crafted and confessional, borrowing from theatre and standup – but without that staleness and fake intimacy that I also preemptively associate with it (like a massive snob? probably), if that makes sense. She tackles love (self- and others), mental health, eating disorders, confidence, art-making, and family, and has longer intros than any of the other poets so far. The explicitness of the language sneaks up on you, broadsides of orgasms and trebuchets of sweary rage among the gentle intimacy. Her final piece lampoons Californian artist culture and DIY culture and Valley Girl speech, while at the same time being deeply personal and factual like a terrifying dating profile.

Liv Torc takes to the stage and we’re straight into family intimacy, and immediately afterwards the graphic, terrifying realities of childbirth, name-checking fictional, kick-arse heroines and bombarding us with visceral imagery and glorious wordplay, followed up by the lubricous romance of the damp patch. The ugly-beautiful realities of family life continue with a Kennings-laden piece about sharing a family bed that you can frankly smell! Family is the theme overall – connection and love and the physical texture of it. (She further wins my heart with a piece about hair and hands and genetic and cultural heritage, even though, for me, I’m the end of that particular line of curl and strength and stubbornness.) She ends, of course, with That Poem – the one about three generations and the legacy of a cluttered Earth – which still has the power to bring tears to the eye and throat (including her own). The arrival at the far entrance of people who are litter-picking is one of those Festival Magic moment.

Scott is still battling the wind, sketching Demi while Liv performs.

Somehow, despite this being a) a Festival, b) a stage of poets, we’re running under time. So Rosy yanks Luke Wright up to the stage. This is the most dressed-down I’ve ever seen the dandy wordsmith, but he grabs the opportunity to strut out an excessively impressive univocalism about North-South cultural differences.

Ana Paz takes to the stage with an abundance of energy, plunging into the intimacy of the audience with mic in hand, demanding that we exchange passion with a refrain of “I continue to fight”. After Luke and The Antipoet, she’s the most physically dynamic of the performers so far, combining lyricism and wild, wide, high imagery with the pace and punchiness of hip-hop. The performance is like dance – and, unlike many poets, especially those who use fast-paced urban rhythms, she lets the flow breathe. She isn’t afraid of pauses, floating silences louder than the (utterly unremitting) clamour outside the tent. She repeatedly thanks the audience for their energy and attention. It’s the quietest part of the day so far for the stage – an unfortunate period for someone who’s so very dynamic. But she switches pace down to one about grief and despair, the kind of helplessness that can lead to an end. She tells us that performance (and all art?) is about finding a mirror in each other. I’m totally stealing that phrase. Random people hug each other to her words, overwhelmed as she finishes talking about why she writes (and much of that appears to be to fill the gaps and inequities in our current cultural models of “truth”). Fabulous stuff, and I’m hoping she has a larger audience (and at least as equally enthused!) for her next performance with us.

Thunderclap Murphy takes to the stage, bringing looping equipment with a maze of cables, instruments, and buttons. I take the opportunity (while Rosy conducts a quiz and Liv covers my gear – thanks, Liv!) to grab a quick dash to the toilet and my packed lunch and return exactly in time to see him start his loop of musical layers to underlay a farewell poem by war poet Alun Lewis (Goodbye, published in 1944) – guitar, flute, song, handclaps and vocal percussion. He decides to go with a hip-hop, drum ’n’ bass vibe for the next one (after teaching us a beatboxing shortcut – “born to be clever, too clever to be too clever”, if you’re interested), Match of the Day, the persistent ice cream van theme in Dublin. The guitar is dark and the flute sounds like that place where Middle-Eastern/ Spanish music meet in liquid ripples and curves. He ends with an a cappella blessing, having us all chorus Sláinte!

Magical, Musical Poetry Preview

We were invited to join Tongue Fu at The Ancient Futures stage in the Tipi Field tonight. Fronted and formed into gloriously chaotic improvisational poetry goodness by Chris Redmond, a band makes magic out of already magnificent poetry. It’s never sounded like this, and it will never be the same again.First up of our poets: Paula Varjack, with typically cabaret-vibe élan, two pieces about the dangers of dating artists, and the perilous duality of bisexual, femme identity.Next up: our illustrator Scott Tyrrell with a cautionary tale about intimacy in the context of family life (the piece that, incidentally, got him into the final round of the BBC EdFringe Slam final (which he the won, obviously). Brace yourselves.Then, after an anecdote-song by the host about cannibalistic children (don’t ask), I got up to do my bilingual poem Stroke, but I have no evidence, so you’ll have to take my word for it.Next up the pugilistic compassion of our Poet-in-Residence Vanessa Kisuule, giving us her Malleable Manifesto – a way to live, or not, recognising your own divinity.The band expands, shimmying from Vanessa’s instruction to emulate James Brown looking out of the window into an extended riff as as a trumpet joins the line-up, beckoning our current slam champion Jackie Juno to the stage with a poem about how the universe birthed the world with a word – fitting the particular décor of the yurt and elevating it into magic.Chris then summons long-time co-creative-conspirator Liv Torc to deliver that extraordinary piece about three generations and the impact of truth and hope (as if accompanied by the band on the Titanic).Chris exhorts the crowd to our feet so we can join in the chorus to his song about us all rowing the same boat, along a similar theme of environmental responsibility, dedicated to Liv, then keeping us there for one more song, decrying the spying capabilities of social media (we all chant “Who’s telling me what?!”). A banging evening, a chance to get to know – and watch live finally – some of the other poets, and a great warm-up for the rest of the weekend!

Introducing: Liv Torc

Liv Torc Pic 6 by Kieren Sibley (c)
Performing for the first time with us is Liv Torc, 14:05-14:30 Friday; hosting open mic 13:00-14:00 Saturday . If she’s new to you/ you’d like a reminder, read on:

In her own words:

“Liv Torc is a razor blade skating performance poet, who plunges the vast caverns and dormant volcanoes of the human condition, armed with a box of matches and a sense of lyrical wonder. A Radio 4 Slam Winner, a former Bard of Exeter and current co-host of The Hip Yak Poetry Shack. Liv also runs the mental health and poetry night The Rainbow Fish Speak Easy in Yeovil and produces and hosts the hugely successful Hip Yak Poetry Stage at WOMAD festival. She is also the brains and brawn behind the Hip Yak Poetry School, an ACE funded project aimed at supporting the South West spoken word poetry scene.

“Over her career in spoken word Liv has appeared all over the UK and a bit in Europe, performing at the Roundhouse in London, Cheltenham Literary Festival, WOMAD and the Edinburgh Fringe.

“She has delivered workshops and long running poetry projects in schools, colleges, libraries, art centres, doctor’s surgeries and theatres, culminated in performances at, among others, the House of Commons and the 2012 Paralympics.

“Liv is currently Lead Artist for the Somerset wide mental health project Word/Play (recently featured on Apples and Snakes 30th anniversary podcast series), which places performance poets within GP surgeries to help adults re-discover their self worth and learn to communicate their feelings.

“Her first published book ‘Show Me Life’ was released by Burning Eye in 2015.”

Fay’s words:

Liv is another poet who’s new to me, so I’ve gone YouTube surfing again. What I’ve discovered so far is that she’s passionate and articulate, particularly brilliant at building a tangible picture involving multiple senses within a handful of lines. I feel myself immersed in each scene immediately. She then leads you by the hand through that earth-rooted corporeality into more liminal places and shows you the grace of humanity and what we could be. (She’s also ridiculously witty and slips a gorgeous vocabulary into some hysterically funny stanzas.)

She’ll also be the host of the open mic, no mean task, and we’ll be telling you all about that in a few days’ time.

Sneak preview: