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



The full line up

Full line up



We are almost very nearly there! 


The tent and sign getting set up…*









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


(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.



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


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.

“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 /

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

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).


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:

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’)

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…


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

Festival Tactics

With just over a week to go, before we are donning our wellies and layers (of glitter!) and trying our best to let go of any city convenience – reception, flushing loos, wine glasses and walls – I decided that we should seek tried and tested tips from our poets… (biogs and pics at the bottom).Deanna.xx.

 Sara- Jane Arbury

Three Festival survival tips: 1) Don’t keep saying “When I came here 15 years ago…” 2) Don’t wear pants – there’s less fumbling to do in the toilets. 3) Wear a different hat every day, physically and metaphorically. Watch her live, hats and all, at the Poetry and Words tent: Friday 17.30 &  Sunday hosting the Poetry SLAM 17.00

Attila The Stockbroker

This year is Attila’s 25th Glastonbury, celebrate with him at the Poetry&Words tent and take these tried and tested tips seriously: 1) DON’T drink too much scrumpy and fall asleep naked on your back in the sun as I did in 1983 (when the festival was very different and being naked wasn’t unusual) 2) Make sure you go for a poo in the backstage area rather than in the general facilities elsewhere. Far more chance of finding a concave toilet (convex toilets aren’t nice) 3) Stay away from the main stages unless there is something you really want to see. Wandering around Glasto is brilliant.  It really is the only festival where you can have a wonderful time even if there is not a single band or act you actually care about playing! Catch Attila The Stockbroker at the main stage of Poetry on Sunday 12.15, he is definitely someone you should want to see

The Antipoet

Glastonbury survival tips from Paul Eccentric of The Antipoet: 1) If you don’t eat then you won’t need to use the toilets. 2) There are pushers and dealers everywhere. Make sure to take your own toilet paper with you as the black market stuff is more expensive than drugs. 3) If you have to use the field hospital, make sure to tell the triage nurse that you’re a poet as it’s the only hospital on the planet with an ‘artists go first’ policy. With tips like these you have to see the person behind them. Watch and listen live on Saturday 14.40

Scott Tyrrell

The artist who has drawn all the artists* top tips: 1) Embrace filth! It is a festival. You are in a tent. There may be mud. There will be hippies. In the words of Idina Menzel, you must Let it Go. 2) A festival-goer’s tent is their castle. Respect the castles. And try not to trip over the guy ropes holding them up. 3) Glastonbury does not believe in an early night. You’d be unwise to fight this ancient belief. Stay up till morning. Sleep till midday. You are, after all,  on holiday…except for those booked to perform, who are consummate professionals who will be there to entertain, on cue, bang on time 🙂 *Owl artwork is courtesy of Scott Tyrrell, T-shirts and posters will be available from the Poetry and Words Tent  See this talented man on Saturday 16.25 and Sunday 12.25

Kevin P Gilday

Survival tips: 1) Be kind. A festival is the closest we get to a complete breakdown of society. This means a lot of social norms go out the window. This is an opportunity to revel in the freedom not an excuse to be a dick. Which leads us on to my next tip… 2) Don’t be a dick. Just don’t do it. And finally… 3) Know your limits. Not that I care about your physical health but because no-one wants to deal with the lightweight chucking up their craft cider at 5 in the morning. To see this kind peaceful festival performer, come along to the Poetry and Words tent on Friday 16.40 and Saturday 12.00

THE ‘MORE ABOUT’ BIT Sara-Jane Arbury 2 MORE ABOUT Sara-Jane Arbury was born in Exeter and lives in Ledbury. She began her performance poetry career in Bristol. Since then, she has been involved in the production and promotion of creative writing and live literature for over twenty years, collaborating with organizations including the Arts Council, BBC, Oxford University Press and Bloodaxe Books. She was the Voices Off Director at Cheltenham Literature Festival, the first Writer-in-Residence for Herefordshire and is the co-founder of Spiel Unlimited with Marcus Moore, a creative combo aiming “to take the spoken and written word anywhere, to reach hearts and hearing parts everywhere”. Sara-Jane has performed her poetry on television, radio and racecourses; at arts centres, clubs and festivals; in restaurants, schools and shopping malls. She has held writing residencies in unexpected locations, including posts at The Galleries shopping mall in Bristol, Leopardstown Horse Races in Dublin, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path and four Oxfordshire village shops. She has performed in many spoken word shows such as Staying Alive with Pauline Black and Matthew Sharp, Flash with Glenn Carmichael, Lucy English and Anna Freeman, and is currently touring Count Me In, an immersive theatrical show where poetry meets Bingo. Sara-Jane casts a wry eye over everyday minutiae with a pithy sense of poignancy and pun. Her poems are published in a variety of pamphlets and anthologies, her style described as “often punning and poignant, reminiscent of Roger McGough or Dorothy Parker”. Glastonbury Festival 2009MORE ABOUT Attila’s new book of poems ‘UK Gin Dependence Party & Other Peculiarities’ was published in December 2013. Just in time to make an ideal Xmas present for your favourite bigoted aunt. Sharp-tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter. His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger… Inspired by the great Sussex poet Hilaire Belloc and punk, especially The Clash, he did his first gig on 8 Sept 1980, shouting poems in between punk bands.  He quickly got 2 John Peel sessions and was on the front cover of Melody Maker – and he hasn’t looked back since…. He’s done about 3,000 more in 24 countries – at venues ranging from the Glastonbury Festival (every year since 1983) and countless other music and literature festivals in the UK, Europe, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to freezing punk squats in Germany to the Law Society and the Oxford Union and a hotel basement in Stalinist Albania.   He’s released 7 books of poems and over 20 CDs/LPs, formerly  with people like Unwins, Bloodaxe and Cherry Red Records, latterly via his own global cottage industry, Roundhead. (No cavalier attitudes!) Utterly self-motivated. He’s sometimes on the radio and TV. And all over the internet. He’s loud, radical, lyrical, reflective,will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger and 2010 saw his 30th anniversary tour. As you get older you mellow out, allegedly. Attila hasn’t. This from his 2012 album ‘Bankers & Looters…..”‘There’s no such thing as society/So steal and cheat and loot/Just one thing to remember/Make sure you wear a suit!’ He’s just written a song called Prince Harry’s Knob (it isn’t actually about the royal appendage, it’s about people who read the Sun and believe it.) And, on the day she died, he wrote a poem called ‘A Hellish Encounter’, about the epic battle between Thatcher and the Devil for control of Hell…. He writes a regular column in the Morning Star. Now there’s a surprise. ‘Whether he’s ranting a poem or bashing out a song, there is something magnificent about Attila in full flight’  Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 4)   The AntipoetMORE ABOUT THE ANTIPOET Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman are a wry blend of anarchocynisism and comic observation. They have appeared at countless festivals and haven’t gone down too badly, including, Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Brighton, Ledbury, Camden, Wenlock, Larmer Tree, Nostock, Blyth Power Ashes and Buxton. ‘Enigmatic poetry, comedy and music sometimes all at the same time’ (Fringe review, 2010).   scottMORE ABOUT Scott: This Newcastle-based festival and slam-winning favourite has been poeting since the turn of the century. A former member of the Poetry Vandals, he has performed his work at venues around the country, Europe, on a bus, a plane and Stratford east tube Station in rush hour (he was bullied into it). His recent critically-acclaimed collection, ‘Grown Up’ provides a snapshot of a family man juggling the absurd demands of full-time employment, poetry and parenthood under the pressure of being normal under such circumstances. Reviews: “Scott’s poetry is as funny as the finest stand up comedy with razor sharp punch lines that hit in just the right places. But it also has heart. Scott is one of the best live stand up poets in the country” – Kate Fox “Scott is instantly likeable. His poetry is so easy to relate to that when he makes me laugh – which he does a lot – I sometimes feel I’m laughing at myself. It’s real, human and hilarious.”- Anna Freeman “From BBC Radio 4 to Glastonbury via the Larmer Tree festival and numerous other stages, Scott weaves a tapestry of spoken word leaving audiences entranced. As a performer I am always honoured to share a stage with him.” – Richard ‘Dreadlockalien’ Grant “I have been fortunate to perform alongside Scott on a few occasions at both Glastonbury and Larmer Tree festivals, and each time he has astounded the audience and left them simultaneously creased with laughter and wiping their eyes. Poignant, powerful and undoubtedly poetic” – Joelle Taylor   Kevin P GildayMORE ABOUT Kevin P. Gilday is a Glasgow-based spoken word artist known for his intricate word play, confessional tone and raw Glaswegian delivery. Kevin started his spoken word career by stopping his band in the middle of gigs to read poetry, much to the annoyance of the audience, before discovering Glasgow’s vibrant spoken word scene. Since then Kevin has become one of the pillars of an emerging spoken word community, performing all over the city (and beyond) in his own inimitable style. His first full length show Notes From A Quarter-Life Crisis had runs at the Edinburgh festival, the Southside Fringe, a national tour and was recorded live for a radio special.  Kevin is also a slam veteran having competed in slams (and even won some!) up and down the country.  Kevin presents Rhyming Optionalon Subcity Radio, a monthly radio show focusing on spoken word and poetry, and promotes showcases and slams all over the city under the Rhyming Optional banner. In praise of Kevin P. Gilday: “I heard the voice of a new Scotland. It demonstrates a young man who is at ease with himself and all his contradictions.”  – Tartan Tights Blog “Knowing and erudite”  – Southside Fringe “I’ve seen this show and it’s the f**king tits – so go see it” – Sam Small Poet “Do you need to keep talking about touching yourself?”  – My Maw

Featured Artist: Hollie McNish



We’ve decided to interview some of our past performers to find out what they’re up to now, hear about their enduring memories of the festival and whet your appetite for the new Poetry&Words  line up in 2013.  Here’s an interview with the first of our featured artists – Hollie McNish.  (Photo by Gary Death.)


What is your connection with Poetry&Words?
I have been invited to perform once at Poetry and Words. I entered and won the Glastonbury Slam during that time. The prize was to perform at the next year’s festival, so I got to go again. Was pretty damn chuffed. On the way to the festival that year I found out I was pregnant and spent three days with morning sickness in a single tent wandering around in a haze and trying not to be ill on stage. I didn’t want to tell my partner over the phone so had three very strange, surreal and amazing days! But I definitely have a special relationship to the festival now!


Ed: Hollie also contributed to the BBC Radio 4 show, Glastonbury Poetry Diaries, while she was on site with us in 2010.


If you had to describe the Poetry&Words stage in just three words, what would they be?
A Poetry Pocket


How would you describe Glastonbury Festival to someone who’s never been there?
It is not what you expect – unless you only stay in the main areas. Glastonbury is one of the most diverse festivals there is. You can spend 3 days getting massages and healings in the Green fields or completely mashed in the dance arenas. I reckon a balance is good. There is so much more to the festival than you can ever imagine and instead of sticking to the areas you know, you should explore it all. Take a two hour break to just walk around and find stuff. Like the Poetry and Words Stage. It’s right at the end. Next to the most amazing areas, like Green Fields and Arcadia. Arcadia. Arcadia. I’ll say it once more. Go to Arcadia! Fire bass monsters.


Can you name two other poets who you admire?
My current favorite poets to watch are Keith Jarrett and Dan Cockrill (of Bang Said the Gun). I like them because they talk to you. They don’t shout at you. I like poets that shout too but right now, I’m leaning on the side of talking with quiet passion. I’m trying to stop shouting so much myself. I don’t shout off stage at all so not sure why I always seem to start on stage!


What kinds of things inspire you to write?

I think, honestly, mainly, newspaper articles, adverts, magazines, studies, my daughter and food. I’m not so deep! I’m quite easily inspired to write, generally when I don’t have enough space inside me to fit the aggravation some things cause me, or, on the other side, the love and amazement. I like to get them both off my chest or I feel overwhelmed by things a lot of the time. The world is so messed up and so amazing all at once.


Where is the most unusual place you’ve performed your work?

On a public bus in Paris banlieue at rush hour. I had to do it for a festival to ‘include the town’, which is good in theory, except I think some people genuinely do not want poetry on their bus to work and that perhaps sometimes poets forget that! I finished one poem and an old man tapped me on the back and said, “merci, je n’ai rien compris, mais merci. (Thanks, I didn’t understand a word but thanks). That made up for it a bit!


What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on how to balance an amazing toddler, sleepless nights, relationship, day job and a growing amount of poetry work! But in terms of poetry, a few things at the mo. I’m developing a set of poems into a show called ‘Something we don’t talk about’ with Battersea Arts Centre, being shown on November 23rd and 24th for the first time. I’m also working on putting together a lot of my poems into another set about immigration, emigration and scones. I’m project managing a Walking Tour of Cambridge, looking at the history of women through poetry, photography, art and architecture. That’s with my day job. I work at an Architecture Centre. Apart from that, I’m still writing a lot, some for kids now, and just wondering what to do with it all other than save it on my computer and leave it there!


What’s the closest rhyme for ‘orange’ you can find?
Je mange. Can we use other languages cos that works well? Je mange // une orange!


Can we have a poem please?

Here is one I wrote at Glastonbury, which might be most relevant. The video also shows the greener side of the festival which some might miss. Hope you enjoy it x


Where can we find out more about your work?

I have finally set up a website, here…