Rosy Carrick by Sharon Kilgannon

Introducing: Rosy Carrick, compere

Rosy Carrick by Sharon Kilgannon

Rosy Carrick by Sharon Kilgannon

Back to keep things moving is the first of our two comperes, Rosy Carrick, 11:50-15:30 Friday; 15:30-19:00 Saturday; 11:50-14:30 Sunday. If you’ve never had the pleasure (or even if you have), read on to find out a little more:

In her words:

“Rosy Carrick is a writer, performer and translator based in Brighton. For seven years (until Dec 2015), she ran and compered Brighton’s Hammer & Tongue poetry events and, alongside Luke Wright, she is co-curator of the Port Eliot festival poetry stage.

“Rosy has a PhD on the poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky, and has released two books of his work in translation: Volodya (Enitharmon, 2015) and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Smokestack, 2017). Her debut play Passionate Machine won Best New Play at Brighton Fringe 2018 and The Infallibles Award for Theatrical Excellence at Edinburgh Fringe 2018. It is touring the UK throughout 2019 before it transfers to New York for an off-Broadway run at the Soho Playhouse.

“Rosy’s first poetry collection Chokey was published in June 2018 by Burning Eye Books. She is currently developing MuscleBound, a new documentary film on the wonderful world of bodybuilders, beefcake and BDSM.”

Reviews:

“Clever, funny, quarrelsome, astonishing!” Sabotage

“Playful, engaging, refreshing – ★★★★” The List

“Surprising, audacious, original. Superb – ★★★★” Edinburghfestival.org

Fay’s Words:

The first time I saw Rosy on stage was, from memory, about seven years ago at the Hammer & Tongue National Final in Wilton’s Music Hall, a fitting space for her sometimes very burlesque presence. For the most part, I knew her as one of the organisers of the phenomenally popular Hammer & Tongue Brighton, as fiercely uncompromising in her proudly feminist programming as she was in her poetry. It’s only recently that I’ve actually had the pleasure of watching her in action doing an actual set as a poet (as opposed to hosting and doing the occasional sacrificial poem), on the Cambridge leg of her national Hammer & Tongue tour in December 2018. Her work is astonishing and almost brutally direct, and I’m hoping she’ll take an opportunity to share some of it with us at the Festival.

Sneak Preview:

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The Poet Beyond Compere – Rosy Carrick

…Ok so that was a terrible pun. Meet one half of this year’s Poetry&Words compering duo. Along with the inimitable Dreadlockalien, she’ll be bigging up poets, baying for whoops and hollers and bringing audiences to the boil. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the bold, brazen, brilliant Brighton-based MC, Rosy Carrick…

rosy

You have a reputation for being hard-hitting, underpinned with a playfulness and a penchant for the rude. You host Hammer & Tongue Brighton and cult movie-themed club extravaganza, ‘Trailer Trash!’, not to mention hosting at Latitude. The job of co-compering the Glastonbury Poetry stage seems perfect for you. Looking forward to it?

Yes! It’s a great stage to compere, a great team of people involved and, of course, an awesome festival, I can’t wait!

Compering is easily the hardest and most thankless job amongst all us poets at the festival. (It would scare the sh*t out of me). Do you prefer MCing, or given the choice would you do longer sets?

Actually I’m looking forward to compering the Glastonbury stage much more than I would be if I were performing a regular set. There’s so much going on at that festival all the time, so audiences are transient and sometimes impatient for something immediately grabbing, and my poetry doesn’t really work that way — I’ve performed at Glastonbury a couple of times in the past, but I always find myself avoiding the poems I like best in favour of dependable audience faves… WHEREAS I am a grade A expert at ordering people around and getting them to shut the hell up/be noisy/dance for my amusement etc… so this is really the perfect context for me to be there in! I do a lot of compering in all manner of places, and I really love it!

The P&W tent can be veritable hive of hippies, festy lovers and the literary batty, but on the occasions when the tent is a tad sparse, do have anything up your sleeve for pulling in the punters?

The poet Derrick Brown did a cool thing there a few years ago when things were sparse – he plugged his iPod into the speakers, played some BANGING TUNES for about 20 seconds and then got what audience there was to scream, yell, applaud and whatnot as loud as they could for as long as they could. It worked a treat! Lure them in with false enthusiam, and then retain them with death threats (or the magnetic power of poetry. I guess it’ll depend on who’s onstage at the time).

To digress ever so slightly, please tell us about your menstrual blood beauty tips videos. What was the idea behind those?

Aha. Well I have a 13 year-old daughter and last year she and her buddies went through this phase of watching online beauty tips videos, and they were all EXACTLY the same — super American, super ridiculous and super demoralising. And I was like: oh my god, what’s happening to my child?! What will this do to her?! Why is she watching this?! How can these even exist in all earnestness in the real world?! I needed to to take the power out of them pronto, and what better way to (literally) illustrate my point than with period blood. Given that half the population of the whole world bleed out of their vaginas for a quarter of their adult lives, I find the perpetual widespread disgust for menstruation completely bewildering.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love being on the blob, but it’s powerful, and the way that women are made to feel ashamed and embarrassed about it is significant in the wider context of gender inequality. So: unnecessary beauty instructions which play into mainstream cultural female degradation + reviled yet inescapable bodily female experience = blood on your lips, blood in your hair, blood everywhere! (And bee tea double-ewe Olive thought they were funny too — and she no longer watches beauty tips videos!) Maybe I’ll do a bloody make-over stall at the poetry stage actually, it could be very lucrative.

What or who are you most looking forward to seeing at Glastonbury?

Eek. I can’t wait to see ex-Pussy Rioters Masha and Nadya talking about their political work. I spend nearly every day writing about early Soviet Russian politics for my PhD, and there are some very interesting parallels going on at the moment. OH NO! I’ve just realised I’ll be compering the poetry whilst they’re on! That’s it, I quit! I was also really looking forward to seeing the Foo Fighters, but now of course leg-gate has scuppered that. So I guess I’m just going to be sitting in my tent crying all weekend. And dancing to DJ Dad’s awesome Djing at the night-time. There’s no one I’m super duper excited about this year to be honest, although I’m well looking forward to seeing Patti Smith. Who else is performing? I haven’t had a proper look yet. I can’t believe about the Pussy Riot thing, thanks for bringing it up, man!

And now a test for you, Rosy. I give you……

‘The Hypothetical Heckler’as a seasoned MC, tell us what you’d do in the following hypothetical situations…

A man tries to stage dive inappropriately during a tender poem by Charlotte Higgins.

Get him offstage, wait till the poem is over and, if he’s still there, invite Charlotte and the whole audience to dive on him in return as a fun interlude. Then tie him up so he can’t do it again.

A streaker does a lap round the tent.

I’m cool with that, as long as it’s just the one lap.

Somebody shouts “Poems are supposed to rhyme”

“You were supposed to be the contents of a condom, but sometimes we all have to accept that not everything happens as we’d hope.”

A couple refuse to join in on one of John Hegley’s songs.

Totally fine with that. One of my biggest fears is being forced into audience participation (pantomimes make me cry, it’s a terrible phobia!) Having said that, John Hegley’s songs instill such pure joy into my heart that I always join in with full vigour, so if I do see people not joining in I will probably just think quietly to myself that although I am fine with it, they are probably dead inside.

A member of the audience tries to get up on stage and grab the mic, claiming their poem about their recently deceased gerbil is better than anything they’ve heard so far from the professionals.

If they were clearly wasted/ a trouble-making dickwad, I’d take them out of the tent and make sure there were some crew members around to stop them from returning. If not… I would say something like: “To be honest, I suspect you are merely blinded by your own grief, but nevertheless I would love to hear your memorial poem…. but only AT THE OPEN SLAM on Sunday (which you can sign up for in the P&W tent any time over the weekend), at which time *I* shall be the judge of this alleged greatness… but in the meantime please bugger off because you’re f***ing up the programme, and your big-headedness might sully people’s impressions of your potentially fine poetry, not to mention the memory of poor innocent Mr. Dead.”

Kanye West gets up when the slam champion has been announced, grabs the trophy and insists it should go to Beyonce.

I like the idea that I would say something about how, unfortch, for me his misogynistic lyrics preclude his opinions about how much Beyonce should win the trophy in this case (particularly if she hadn’t entered the slam!)… but to be honest I would probably be like: OH-MY-GOD-I-CAN’T-BELIEVE-IT—SURE-BEYONCE-CAN-HAVE-IT-BUT-CAN-SHE-COME-TO-THE-STAGE-TO-PICK-IT-UP-SO-I-CAN-MEET-HER-AND-WILL-SHE-BE-MY-FRIEND-WILL-SHE-REALLY-THOUGH???, before chucking the real winner a packet of polos as a replacement prize and sailing off into the sunset in the glorious ship of Beyonce’s massive and beautiful-smelling hair.

Wonderful. Along with Dreadlockalien, Rosy will be whip-cracking the programme on all weekend from Friday 26th.

If you wish to sign up for the Open Mic (Saturday 27th at 12.50pm) or the Poetry Slam (Sunday 28th at 5pm), come to the Poetry&Words tent in Bella’s Field and ask either Rosy or Dreadlockalien to put your name down. Dreadlock will be the guy with the big hat and the dreadlocks (weirdly enough).

Only 6 days to go till the gates open!!!

Scott 🙂

 

 

5 more Wunderwordsmiths

I’m not done dishing out the quality, because this is Glastonbury Poetry and the Big G doesn’t do mediocre.

Anna Freeman

Anna Freeman

Allow me to gush unbidden about this woman. I love her dearly. I met Anna at Glasto in 2011 and instantly wanted to be her best friend. A joyful presence on stage – genuinely funny, sincere, utterly likeable, warm, passionate, giving, yet simultaneously someone you would never want to f*** with. On top of being a top performer and poet, she’s also a best-selling critically-acclaimed novelist. She’d be unbearable if she wasn’t so frickin’ affable. Anna will be doing her first Sunday Showcase spot at Glastonbury, and she’s also agreed to give me an interview on the condition that I draw her as an owl. More about that soon 🙂

Anna Freeman is a novelist, a multiple poetry slam champion, a creative writing lecturer at Bath Spa University and a producer for Bristol Old Vic. Anna has performed her mostly funny, slightly twisted poetry all over the place, including events in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Vancouver and Seattle. Her first poetry collection, Gingering the World from the Inside, is published by Burning Eye Books.  Her first novel, The Fair Fight, is a pulsating historical adventure set within the world of female prize-fighters and their patrons in 18th century Bristol. The Fair Fight won The Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize 2013, is published by W&N in the UK and by Riverhead in the USA, and has been optioned for TV drama by the BBC.  Her spoken-word-poetry-music show, Animal, with Chris Redmond and the Tongue Fu band, begins a UK tour in autumn 2015.

More info at www.annafreemanwriter.com

Cracking… packs a punch’ – Sunday Express
‘A hearty recommendation for Anna Freeman’ – Guardian Books
‘Wonderfully imagined… a brilliant debut’ – The Times

 

Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves

Jess Green and The Mischief Thieves

Looking forward to this very much indeed. I met Jess last year at Glastonbury just after her Michael Gove poem had gone spectacularly viral. She’s a fantastic encapsulator of the zeitgeist and can’t wait to see what her mischief thieves bring to the party.

Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves are a Midlands-based three piece music and spoken word band telling stories of every day underdogs to the soundtrack of blues, folk, jazz and hip hop. Supported by musicians, Dave Morris and Scott Cadenhead, Jess Green tells the stories of the people who are often unacknowledged in society with themes of politics, education and inequality.  Their full length show, Burning Books was a big success at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and described as “grippingly inventive and at times immensely touching” by Broadway Baby. After the success of Jess Green’s poem Dear Mr Gove,  the band have been performing at NUT conferences and education rallies up and down the country and are about to take Burning Books on a nationwide tour.

 

MC Gramski

MC Gramski

I hear great things about this guy. A rapper, freestyler and writer of impressive magnitude who’s held his own amongst real greats.

Gramski is an MC from Brighton who’s been freestyle rapping since he was fourteen. At the age of nineteen he went to live in Vietnam where he performed regularly with DJs as well as international artists such as Killa Kela and Goldie. He also had the pleasure of explaining what ‘freestyle rapping’ is to one of the members of the Vietnamese ministry of culture. He not only rapped on stage but in his classroom as an English teacher in Hanoi where he regularly helped students with their pronunciation and grammar through hip hop.

Once he returned to the UK he won freestyle competitions and also began performing at poetry nights with written material. Gramski’s poem ‘British Girls in Bangkok’ received a tremendous response and landed him alongside Scroobius Pip and Hollie McNish at the Brighton Fringe Festival 2014. Gramski is also an MC for The Spoken Herd, a 10 piece hip hop band who focus on the art of improvisation.

Although Gramski has a plethora of written material he is a freestyle rapper at heart. Audiences often give him challenging subjects or just plain absurd ridiculousness to rap about. A freestyler and poet of lanky proportions, Gramski is not to be missed.

 

Rosy Carrick

Rosy Carrick - copyright George Dallimore

Another poet I’ve been hearing a lot about (particularly for being fantastically rude!). Rosy is one half of our compering team this year.

Fantastically scathing and full to the brim with wild and disgusting imagination, Rosy Carrick is an eccentric wit-tastic queen of poetry and MC skillzzz. Unfazed by the fame and fortune afforded her since playing the life-changing role of “child by lake” in Patrick Swayze’s 1987 classic film Dirty Dancing, Rosy now lives in Brighton, where she runs and hosts Hammer & Tongue, one of the UK’s largest spoken word & slam events, amongst many other projects including the cult movie-themed cabaret club night Trailer Trash!, and Brighton’s infamous annual Poets vs. MCs. Co-host of the poetry stage at Latitude festival since 2011, she also performs her own poetry at events and festivals around the country, leaving a trail of bewildered lovestruck fools in her wake.

Rosy is admired worldwide for her inspirational menstrual blood beauty tips videos, and is also currently writing a PhD thesis on the Russian revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky at Sussex University. This year she has edited and contributed to a new Selected Works of Mayakovsky’s poetry, due for publication by Enitharmon Press in November.

“Clever, funny, quarrelsome, querulous, astonishing!” – Sabotage Reviews

 

Dreadlockalien

dreadlockalien

A legend. A compere extraordinaire. Dreadlock can hold and ignite any audience, anywhere. A truly gifted poet, entertainer and a damn good bloke with a very cool hat. Mr. Alien is the other half of the compering team this year.

Birmingham 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.  Has poems, will travel.

More poets coming thick and fast real soon…

Scott 🙂