Saturday, 25 December 2010

Testimony To The London Spoken Word Movement 2011

In 2011 I’m determined to help get the London Spoken Word scene whipped into better shape.

Less self-indulgent, un-interesting, unexplored writings and performances, less spoken word nights filled only with the friends of performers and failed bitter poets... less having to sit through a bunch of painful nonsense before getting to anything decent!

We need to connect the movement and establish a hierarchy of ability in performers to give progressing poets more to aspire to.

The US poets may aspire to be in Def Poetry Jam or a slot as a featured poet in the top Spoken Word nights or featured in a popular podcast or tour... these are the ingredients for progress.

If I didn’t know what Spoken Word was and I walked into some these nights I’d never have known its potential or value... some of the bollocks that’s displayed is putting off people that would actually make brilliant spoken word artists themselves and forcing the already well practiced spoken word artist to disassociate themselves with the overall movement... This is discrediting the art form.

Thank goodness the first nights I went to were filled with inspiring magic... but those nights were either in other countries, closed down or they're still going but they lost the spark)

Everyone seems too precious about their own space in a pond... forget the pond.. and even the garden... we live in a city.

I know it sounds a bit ranty and arrogant but the fact I see a lot of good spoken word artists who are good but would absolutely flourish with a strengthened, quality and well connected scene (myself included) is slightly disheartening. I’ve sat down with some mega talented poets and people to discuss how to keep this movement as progressive as possible and things are taking starter kicks.

I aim to bring the best Spoken Word artists together to contribute to the three nights I help run now. (Chill Pill, Try Poetry and Keats House Forum)

I aim in 2011 for all three of these events to serve testimony to the great talented poets, writers and performers we have in UK.

I’ve set up an i-tune podcast with Kaamil Ahmed for the best of the UK’s Spoken Word artists to let off some poems and do some interviews.

so far its rough and we're still smoothing it out and working out a format but there are 2 episodes with Musa Okwonga and Ruby Kid and one in the pipe-line with Indigo Williams) -

We need to get this movement connected.

Frustrated but enthusiastic spoken word artist.


Join the Chill Pill group if you haven't yet -

“I'm excited at the prospect of developing a platform that is driven by *quality* (which accommodates a variety of tastes and styles) rather than *access*, which is already well provided for in the performance poetry scene.

Such a platform would not undermine or compete with the current model, rather it would complement it by establishing a standard to which poets can aspire, and acting as motor to raise our expectations of what top-end performance poetry can look like.” –
Sian Robins-Grace

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