Hey, Barbecutie

Posts Tagged ‘readings

small things ghosts

Having somehow managed to survive a hectic year that revolved mostly around a hospital stay and various other levels of madness, this blog has been neglected in a way that so many blogs have been before. Life and writing and existance in general have been put to one side as I tried to get myself back in one piece. But there are two achievements that make everything seem very lovely indeed. I’m very happy to have pieces published in two rather wonderful titles.

Firstly, I have a story featured in the fabulous charity collection All The Small Things, with an international group of writers presenting diverse tales of childhood in aid of Right To Play UK, an organisation which uses the transformative power of sport and play to teach valuable life lessons to children facing poverty, conflict and disease with the delightful aim of “bulldozing the world with a bit of love”. Many thanks to Pia Hansen, Obi Iheme and the rest of the team for involving me in this project. The book is a real treat, and it’s an honour to be included with such talented storytellers for such a great cause.

Secondly, after 2011’s wordPLAY presents A Flock Of Poets as part of the gorgeous Ghost of Gone Birds exhibition, Bloomsbury very wisely preserved the beautiful artwork by Ralph Steadman, Sir Peter Blake and Billy Childish among so many, many others in a wonderful coffee table book. I was thrilled to hear that some of the pieces written for the event would be published alongside the artwork, including my piece “The Last Free Bird In England”. In addition, there is a photograph of me mid-flow, looking like a goddamn human monster (beware of those plosive consonant, spoken worders…). I’m thrilled that our work could be included in the printed record of Ghost of Gone Birds’ fantastic project, and big thanks to the perfect Rebecca Fenton for too many things to list.

As a mere scribbler who chokes when referring to myself as a “writer”, it is a genuine, stomach-twirling delight to have my works not only published, but in books with ISBNs and available for purchase on Amazon. It probably seems like nothing to non-writers, and something totally minor to actual writers, but for someone in my position, I can barely express the excitement. I appreciate that luck often has more to do with such things then talent, and in that case, I’m the luckiest person in the world. Happy new year, team.

Our friends at wordPLAY have done it again. As part of the Poetry Parnassus, a week of international rhyming goodness, wordPLAY will be hosting 7 of the most exciting and unique poets and spoken word artists from the Pacific islands (all 10,000 of them). The diverse line-up features artists from the Cook Islands, Guam, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga and I shall be giddly swinging my legs in the audience to hear them all.

The magnificent featured performers are:

Tusiata Avia

Audrey Brown-Pereira

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Karlo Mila

Craig Santos Perez

Teresia Teaiwa

wordPLAY London presents Pacifica
White Room, Southbank Centre
London
Thurs 28th June, 7pm
Hosted by Ms wordPLAY
Free Entry

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
The great auk, like the one I just knitted for Ghosts Of Gone Birds, in aid of BirdLife International’s preventing extinctions programme.
– Margaret Atwood, Guardian Q&A, 29th October 2011

Despite my unofficial retirement from the world of spoken word, I have been coaxed from my sleepy cove of lethargy to participate in a really exciting event. The glorious, unkillable wordPLAY has risen like a phoenix from the flames to present a literary evening in association with the ‘Ghosts of Gone Birds’ initiative to raise funds and awareness for bird conservation causes worldwide, in conjunction with RSPB and BirdLife.

The central event is an exhibition of artwork at The Rochelle School Arts Centre in Shoreditch supplied by visual artists writers ranging from Margaret Atwood (who is honorary president of BirdLife and has crocheted a Great Auk to exhibit), Ralph Steadman, Jessica Albarn (sister Damon), Jamie Hewlett (the artist behind ‘Gorillaz’) and many more…

Doves and British Sea Power are also involved and will be staging a music night as part of the project.

I am giddy to be involved and have been beavering away at a pair of dystopian nightmares to read aloud in my funny accent for your aural pleasure (the nightmare is that they’re not finished yet). Do come on down to Shoreditch, where the beautiful people live, and do your part to save our feathered friends…

***

wordPLAY London and Ghosts of Gone Birds Present:
A Flock Of Poets
Thursday 17th November, 7.30pm

featuring
Anna Mae Selby
Liz Adams
Sarah Day
Bronagh Fegan
Nia Davies
and more

Performing works from their existing collections PLUS new works inspired by pieces in the ongoing Ghost of Gone Birds exhibition

£3 on the door
(with profits going to conservation charities such as RSPB and Bird Life)

Today is Tuesday, when our beloved wordPLAY returns to the whiskey-soaked wonderment of the Good Ship for more wordsmithery, creation, larks and literary spectacle. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm, it’s £3 in and all proceeds go to Cancer Research UK. And the line-up is mind-bogglingly amazing. We worked very hard on it, and it has been really wonderful getting the opportunity to help organise another event. It would be really, really lovely to see you all there if possible. And afterwards I’ll lead you, Pied Piper-style, to the best chip shop in London.

Two bits of excellent news:
Firstly, the wonderful team at Storm In A Teacup have released issue 2 of their titular zine, once again featuring alternative female artists and writers dealing with female-positive topics and creating delightful things. I am extremely pleased to say that I have a story featured amongst the illustrious company, and even moreso that Bex Massey has created an illustration to accompany my piece. One of the most wonderful things is to have done something that inspires another person to make art, so I’m very excited and humbled. The zine also has a cocktail recipe, so you know you want to get some of that. It’s available from all good zine fairs and by e-mailing storminateacupzine@gmail.com. Big thanks to Elizabeth Martin.

Secondly, wordPLAY is making its triumphant return to the Good Ship in Kilburn on 15th March in aid of Cancer Research UK. We have pulled together a splendiferous array of writers and performers to say words at you until your head explodes with joy and also hydrogen. It’s a line-up so deliriously awesometacular that we aren’t even having music this time around. And it’s hosted by me, and you know how you love to hear me say things in that silly accent of mine, as well as the much more capable and coherent Nancy Clarik with moral support and gentle guidence of the beauteous Becca. So do come and support our charity, and you will be rewarded with an evening of unequable literary lyricism from a group of massively talented peoples:

Booker-longlisted, pioneer of the New Puritans, and thoroughly excellent fellow MATT THORNE

Wickedly wonderful poetry from Carol Ohemaa

and our spectactular guest stars
Liz Adams

Sam Buchan-Watts

Sophie Buchan

Jack Kelly

Leslie Tetteh

then don’t forget to poke me in the face and tell me you love me for letting you know all about the art that’s running wild in the world.

I am very super extremely happy to announce that wordPLAY is returning for another charity event, this time in aid of Cancer Research UK, on 15th March 2011 (so close to St Patrick’s day you can practically smell the alcohol on my breath.). We’re in the process of confirming the line-up, but it’s looking pretty special.

Once again, I will be hosting, and will try to be a little less flustered, a little more prepared, and not at all inclined to refer to everything, absolutely everything, as “lovely”*, when I blank on every other adjective under the unrelenting, staring eyes of our beloved audience. After the November event, someone came up to me and told me how funny I had been, adding, of course, anything you say would be funny in your accent. THANKS. So I’m aiming for a slight improvement on that.

BUT YES THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS! I haven’t heard good news like this since yer one strolled down the other side of Mount Sinai (Bible reference).

P.s. I love parentheses.

* except for when I referred to myself as being “shite”. Just to switch things up a bit.

As the days tick sullenly down to 23rd November (for real, I mean, this weather, ack), I get more and more excited and nervous and terrified and excited. Not about wordPLAY, not really, but when you’ve put a metric shit tonne of work into an event, I suppose it’s natural to imagine the things that could go wrong:

1. No one turns up except the acts.
2. The acts don’t turn up.
3. Chlamydia epidemic.

Luckily, with the mighty force of logic and pragmatism, I am aware that most of those won’t happen. Because:

1. Our line-up are so amazing that people will want to come.
2. They are all also very lovely people so I know that they won’t let wordPLAY down.
3. However, as they are all very sexy, I can’t guarantee anyone’s safety in this regard.

So come to the Good Ship on 23rd November to see the following amazing literary superstars, handpicked for freshness and awesomeosity:

Indigo Williams – in a word, powerful. Indigo’s uber-hot stuff so catch her before she explodes into onomatopaeic flames!

Nick Makoha – Tate gallery collaborator treats us to his accomplished words.

Allan Buroughs – excellent short story writer shares his wonderful words.

Tony White – Prolific writer who is always turning his hand to amazing new projects, doing his bit to ‘spread the word’.

Susan Gray – Acclaimed member of The Roundhouse Collective lets rip for your benefit.

Music from the magnificent Hannah Tuson.

Doors 7pm for 8pm start, £3 entry.

All door proceeds to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Event page on Facebook

[Update, post-event: We had another act on the bill, but she dropped out at the last minute, by updating her Twitter but not actually letting us, the organisers, know directly. Shabby off of Big Brother, you unprofessional gimp. Anyone looking to add her to your event line-up, be warned that she will probably not turn up. I filled in at the last minute, because I am Captain Reliable. Anyway. Fuck you, Shabby. Div.]