Sunday 20 December 2009

2009. You’ve been a pretty set of numbers... but 2010 is to be ‘The Year Of The Poet!’

I’m now a member of the PiP collective (consisting of Inua Ellams, Joshua Idehen, Musa Okwonga, Alex Gwyther,Kim Leng Hills, Catherine Martindale and Belinda Born-Free Zhawi)


We are to collaborate as writers and performers to bring forth some of the best Spoken Word material London has to offer.

This also ties me into ‘PoeJazzi’, one of the biggest Spoken Word entertainment nights around.


I also have my first music gig as ‘Speed Camera Shy’ on the 28th January 2010 in Warrick University.


Try Poe Try is still in the works, Dr Stewart had medical callings so first show TBC.

Sorry for the absence.

For now, over and out! x

Sunday 8 November 2009

Try Poe Try update

In February 2009, I called up a friend, only to find out he'd been hospitalized. I had met him the previous year at The Rise Festival.

I was by a small stage watching an unknown Speech Debelle and grooving with sunshine vibes, I must have been letting something off because I’d managed to draw in the amazing energy of Dr.Stew.

Once I told him I was a performance poet he laughed at what seemed to be a private joke.

We spoke about poetry, Jimmy Cliff and he told me an amusing story about a girl in a Barack Obama T Shirt.

I invited him to a Spoken Word Slam I was competing in at The Marie Lloyd Bar but he disappeared before the show finished. We spoke on the phone a few times after that and suddenly that connection was cut when his number stopped going through.

I kept consistent working up my profile as a writer and performer and many things Stew shared stayed with me throughout his absence.

I had just lost my job after an argument with my manager about shifts; I’d refused to compromise my rota with my performances. I got home and felt the only person that would understand my sacrifice would be Stew. Half expecting the call not to go through it did. A drowsy voice answered “hello?” “STEW ITS RAY MAN!”

Stew was in hospital after a serious operation, I went to visit him and we caught up. It was there in that hospital room we created what has become ‘Try Poe Try’ a night of Spoken Word entertainment (and other mad shit) and it is NOW coming to life.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Daily Shotter!

I decided to take my camera out today and take at least one photo between each journey I made.

Here are the results -

Monday 26 October 2009

Try Poe Try gets the green light and next Thursday is more than another night

Last night, something that has the potential to define my career in Spoken Word was given the go ahead.

Something called ‘Try Poe Try’ has lingered in the imaginations of myself and the legendary Dr.Stew since February 2009.

The journey that led up to yesterdays moment has been extraordinary and one day I will share that epic with you all.

But right now we have our venue and the first show of Try Poe Try will begin this November.

In the more immediate future, Thursday I’m hosting a night of Spoken Word, African Drumming, Jazz and improv performance... Same venue and night minus Wale Ojo... yay! ... I mean.. nay! ;-)

Friday 23 October 2009

Host With The Most Optimism

Life for me right now has a strange atmosphere... You know, I personified that question but I’m not sure if it is just me. There’s loads of politically charged tension about as well as other funky energies burning in the people around me.
I’ve felt a lot of anger and strange tension at the average person I pass in the street recently.

Last week I saw a dead body in the road, a man was shot four times in a “blood thirsty vengeance” from a shooting the week before... All this blood has painted my doorstep.

ANYWAY... Sorry...

I logged on to write about my hosting experience last night with Wale Ojo and I’ve taken it somewhere else... sorry about that, it wasn’t as bad as Nick Griffin on Question Time or "nigger-bots" in Transformers 2 ... but it was rather shambolic... although the feedback was positive, people did enjoy it and I guess, that’s most important.

The problem with mixing a spoken word night with a music night is you tend to attract two different audiences. The people who show up for the music wants to drink and dance... the people who show up for the poetry wants to sit and listen.

We did however compromise at the beginning of the night by having Catherine Brogan do her set backed by a musician on African Drums. Which went well... but as the night wore on complications grew and the audience seemed to become either frustrated or confused.

I try to sway from making generalizations but apprantley musicans don't respect poets.

When Wale came on with his band the first thing he said to the audience was “OK, Now we’re going to show you how to do it!”

OK, I guess poetry is not the way “to do it”

Ironically almost everyone left.


Thank you Zainab, Bridget, Andreas and Dr.Stew for repping.x

Still love you Wale! ;-)

Thursday 22 October 2009

The Art Of Hosting.

Tonight will be my second ever shot at hosting a Spoken Word show. I've come to realize that hosting is an art within itself, within that is the art to stand in front of people and be... well, yourself.

********Content of Ray being himself has been removed***********

This gig I'm doing tonight is rather hastily put together as I've only had 2 days to prepare it without ANY budget.

I think the first thing I'll say when I open the show will be "honestily, I have no idea what to expect tonight... It might be like a really bad, low budget B movie that's so shit its good"


This is the audience I stood (and unprofessionally sat) before last time I hosted. It was a show put together for Freshers students at Westminister University, it was a total success.

Will let you know how the show tonight goes.x

Wednesday 21 October 2009


AT LAST! As of today I have committed myself to active blogging.

Short stories, photography, spoken word material, digital downloads and releases, gigs and journeys will be documented here.

So hello and welcome to the shapes and disfigurements of Raymond Antrobus.