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Posts Tagged ‘readings


c. Kit Ryall 2010

One of the hardest things about being an aspiring writer is other writers. Specifically, the highly motivated, self-promoting kind, who know how they should be marketed and the sort of people who should know their name. Literary events are a breeding ground for it. They watch the crowd at literary events, scoping out the right people to crawl over on their way to the top. Facebook friends applaud as the promoters introduce their mates, or someone they went to uni with, or someone they high-fived after comparing identical opinions on late period David Foster Wallace (but they call him Dave). The audience then endures an evening of self-satisfied and mediocre performances because they have come to expect no better. I get it. It’s not how you write, it’s who you know. That’s how it works. That’s how everything works.

But as a reader who loves literature, I had given up on finding a literary evening of merit. I wanted emotion, I wanted art, I wanted to hear people who were passionate and fresh and TALENTED. I didn’t want the organiser’s mates, shared backgrounds and trite metaphors, yet this is the attitude permeating the spoken word scene. Familiarity over quality. “You can read your shitty poem at my event because you let me read at yours”. The snake eats its own tail.

Then, in happier times, I moved to Kilburn and discovered wordPLAY. wordPLAY wasn’t a forum for smug connections and insularity. wordPLAY wanted beautiful things. It attracted a wide range of writers, poets, musicians and spoken word artists to perform, who were talent spotted and had a diverse range of mediums, perspectives and attitudes. The atmosphere wasn’t one of wet-lipped schmoozing and behind-backed criticism but of enthusiasm and excitement for the written word carved and coiffed and spoken out loud. The organisers weren’t looking to promote themselves, the performers weren’t looking for an agent, and the audience weren’t looking to spot the next big thing. Everyone was there for the love of good writing, and that’s what they got.

When wordPLAY ended in May, everything looked a bit duller. Going out on a high, the team had attracted a varied and impressive range of headliners from Laura Dockrill, Kate Tempest, Bernadine Evaristo, Edinburgh award-winning comedian Tim Key, TS Eliot-winning Poet George Szirtes, author of ‘Return to The Hundred-Acre Wood’ David Benedictus, and an eclectic array of less established, unpublished and wonderful writers, from traditional poets to MCs, beatboxers and freestylers and prose writers and storytellers.

The good news is that wordPLAY returns on Tuesday 23rd November for a one off charity event in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. I am very happy to say that I’ve been asked to help organise this glorious return to the literary scene. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that organising an event is shitting hard work. I have great found respect for anyone who manages to run any kind of evening, even the dire ones, and I now see the appeal of getting your friends in to fill out the bill. But the trick is not to give up. Amazing writing is out there, waiting to be discovered by an audience who wants to listen. Working on the new wordPLAY event has taught me not to give up and resort to favours or settle for someone reliable but dull. Once a month for over a year, wordPLAY met the challenge, and sought out the exciting, unusual and interesting voices to perform. They crafted one of the most accessible, entertaining and unpretentious spoken word events in London.

Keep 23rd November free. It’s going to be amazing.

follow wordPLAY on faceBOOK

Yeah, I flipped that heading round on you. See how you like it.

In fact, I have been busy, with a fine mix of writerly pursuits, drinking with friends and crying myself to sleep (must stop listening to Eleanor Rigby). All in all, it’s been a pretty busy time for the Bronasaurus, thank you very much, though of course I have missed you lovely people who slavishly subscribe to my occasional musings here and who I have also just made up. Hello.

“They Is Us”, the all-conquering Nest Gallery’s feminist/sci-fi art exhibition, hosted at the Sassoon Gallery by the Sisters Burn, was a wonder to behold. I am very proud, mostly to have been involved with such extremely talented artists, to see my story exhibited in such a wonderful space, that people have been so supportive of all our efforts, and that the presentation of my piece didn’t collapse over the course of the exhibition. Here’s hoping everyone who snagged a copy of my story, “Those Girls Called Jackie” enjoyed/tolerated/read it, and if anyone else would like a copy to read with their eyes and their faces can e-mail me. More images from the exhibition and private view reside at the Nest Gallery blog, as well as information about future Nest events.

The Storytails event, hosted as ever by the delightful Gabriella, went splendidly. A really interesting selection of writers, both performing and in the audience. Was extremely nice chatting to all in attendance, and absolutely made the two hour, TFL-thwarting journey to Stoke Newington worth it. Why do I live so far away? I don’t know. I just do. It’s a very nice area, and Storytails remains one of the few lit events in London not populated by absolute wankboxes (more on this later). I had a great time, reading two stories (making me two times as good as the last time I read, statistically at least, unless it actually means I was only half as good, but that’s getting into a hazy mathematical area and I promised myself I wouldn’t go back to that place) which are available for listenage or downloadiness in podcast form at the links below. Please enjoy my Northern Irish accent therein. It is a constant source of amusement to people, and I have been recently informed that I say the word “naughty” particularly well. Naughty. Naughty. (I don’t see it.)

Tick Yes Or No
Arthur Nobody
And I highly recommend any writers looking for a fun evening with a rapt atmosphere submit some stories to Storytails, it’s a really fun event.

In other news, I’ve been listening to this. IT’S SO TRUE.

Camera Obscura – “Honey in the Sun”

After ever such a lovely time with them at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival, I am giddy with delight to be back reading at Storytails’ regular monthly event this, er, month. This Sunday 26th September, I will be doing words in my big girl voice (which is currently the same as my sick girl voice, but let’s not get down about it) upstairs at the Birdcage in Stoke Newington. The line-up is looking extremely delightful and it should be a very interesting and literific evening. I probably won’t even burst into tears on stage nor nothin’.

Facebook event page
Storytails site

Be there or be elsewhere, wondering what it would be like to be there (it would be lovely.)

ALSO I have some very, very, VERY exciting news coming up*…

(* I’m not pregnant or published, but it’s still very exciting.)

The lovely and amazing Storytails invited me to perform at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival in June, and it was rather fantastic. What’s more, they recorded the word sound noises and put them into a podular cast for you diamond dogs to enjoy, if your idea of enjoyment is a helium-voiced Norn Irlander stumbling over her words and audibly shaking in fear, and I think it is. Many many thanks to Gabriella! Check out further Storytails at http://www.storytails.org/ or monthly at the Birdcage in Stoke Newington.

Here, I read People Are Awful, right into your earholes.
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/people-are-awful-by-bronagh/id354560989?i=84557657

tortured poet
(This is not me, but I expect to be pulling similar fists of pure emotion)

This Tuesday (4th May) I will be appearing at wordPLAY, one of London’s finest spoken word evenings, based at The Good Ship in Kilburn. There I shall be reading that modern Fegan classic, “People Are Awful”, a character monologue that explores through the medium of words and sounds and stages and loud noises why, when, where, how, when and why people are, in fact, awful. I will also be hoping that the audience can understand my accent.

Glibness aside, I am really excited about this. It feels like forever since my last public reading, and to get to do it at wordPLAY is amazing as it is an event I have enjoyed on many occasions, and has an inclusive attitude and passion that I admire greatly.

Additionally, my appearance here has bumped my results on Google to 5 pages, only some of which refer to a different girl with an identical name. Take that, younger me with an interest in cross-country running and more of a future ahead of you!

I shall be performing alongside John Osborne, Catherine Martindale, Christopher Horton, Liz Adams, Ray Morgan and Verity Flecknell, and I’m really looking forward to hearing their work. wordPLAY always finds a great variety of writers and they’re uniformly spectacular (hence my shock/delight at my invitation), so it should be an excellent night out!

Support your local literary events, yo!

More information
People Are Awful