Sunday 27 January 2013

Tune In To When Words Collide on 1Extra, 9pm

Nick Taylor's Documentary 'When Words Collide' is aired tonight on 1Extra at 9pm. Nick is also  collaborating with Chill Pill for 'Chill Pill Connect' at The Roundhouse which will be a live recording for a Spoken Word radio show on 13th Feb 2013.
Via 1xtra website

When Words Collide

"Are hip-hop and poetry worlds apart? Or are the lines between these two celebrated art forms starting to blur? Nihal investigates the relationship between hip-hop and poetry, hearing from some of the finest rappers and spoken word artists around - including Chuck D, KRS-One and Scroobius Pip.

Along the way, we head to a bar in East London where five rappers and five poets are battling it out across three rounds to decide which form of expression is the best. The results may surprise you...
In Round 1 of Poets vs Rappers, the two teams do what they do best. We find out the shared history of the two art forms, and learn that the connection between hip-hop and poetry might go further back than we think - from the vibrant rap and poetry nights in New York in the 90s, to the legendary 'godfathers of hip-hop' such as Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets, to American recordings of the 1920s. Could the romantic poets and Shakespeare even be connected? Spoken word artist Kate Tempest and hip-hop artist Akala tell us how.
Round 2 sees our competing poets and rappers taken out of their comfort zones, where poets have to do their thing to music, and rappers have to do their thing without a beat. Nihal speaks to some of today's finest spoken word artists who started off as rappers, including Kate Tempest, Polar Bear, The Ruby Kid and Scroobius Pip. We also hear from established rappers who have taken themselves out of their comfort zones and strutted their stuff at spoken word nights. UK rappers TY and Mystro tell us why so many rappers are crossing over in to spoken word today. Finally before we find out how our own rappers and poets got on, we meet poet Mark Grist and MC Mixy, otherwise known as The Dead Poets, who tell us about their unique theatre show about learning each other's art forms.
Then, in our final round of Poets vs Rappers, it's an out and out battle of words as our rappers and poets clash - but this isn't the first time a rapper and a poet have gone head to head. At the beginning of 2012, teacher-turned-poet Mark Grist battled MC Blizzard as part of Don't Flop, the UK's largest rap battle league. We find out how this battle became an online sensation, and hear from other spoken word artists who have tried their hands at battle rap.
In hip-hop, a rap battle is one of the best places to show off your lyrical skill. We head to Shake The Dust, the UK's biggest ever youth, poetry slam, where a new generation of lyricists are embracing poetry. We hear from those competing about their love of words and how they draw influence from both poetry and hip-hop.
But where are these new poets and rappers coming from? Nihal finds out how both poetry and hip-hop are being used in education, from the many brilliant poetry and rap workshops, to the growing 'HipHopEd' movement, which aims to bring hip-hop culture in to the classroom and prove that it can sit comfortably next to classical poetry.
Finally we return to Poets vs Rappers, to hear what happened when our competitors clashed and find out the winner."

Monday 21 January 2013

4 Poetry Shows In London For Your Consideration

This Friday at Cottons (Jan 25th)
Thanks to Come Rhyme With Me your socialising calendar can be filled with an evening of poetry and spoken word.  The night takes place the last Friday of the month at Cotton’s restaurant, Islington and thanks to the imaginative minds of its founders, Dean and Deanna, the show takes inspiration from a meal and is served in ‘3 courses’. The starter consists of an up-and coming poet, followed by a meaty main of an experienced professional. Finally, dessert bears witness to something more light-hearted perhaps some cabaret, comedy or music.
The show starts at 7:00pm and finishes at 10pm with tickets at £7.50 for the show or £12.50 to include a plate of traditional Caribbean food. TSL suggest getting here early to get a comfortable seat at a table as well as staying after the show for some socialising!
February 8th at The Poetry Cafe'  
To celebrate his recently published book, "Life In Transit", Sam Berkson invites you to a unique evening of interactive performance poetry, with support from the equally brilliant RAYMOND ANTROBUS and MICHELLE MADSEN, 

His aim is to make public transport public again, one poem at a time. Taking you on a poetic journey, galloping over social etiquette, cruising through bizarre encounters and hurtling us towards new ways of relating to public spaces, with poems such as "Lust (on a bendy bus)" and "Hitchhiking characters", Berkson promises to transform your attitude towards public transport.

An experienced performer and poet, Berkson is a trusty guide for all those hungry for performance poetry and adventure, so pack your imagination and clean out your ears for a fun filled journey into the unknown.

Copies of 'Life In Transit' and 'Shapes & Disfigurements' by Raymond Antrobus, will be on sale as will delicious drinks and refreshments at the bar.

February 13th Chill Pill Connects at Roundhouse

Chill Pill is BACK with a brand new show for 2013: Chill Pill Connect. 

We're hooking up with The Roundhouse team to create a live, interactive radio show, and we need YOU to get involved. 

Chill Pill Connect brings you all the goodness you've come to expect from the Chill Pill Team, the tunes, the banter, and of course, the poetry, but this time there's a twist.

Connect is being recorded and then moulded by the magic of Roundhouse technology, into a full blown spoken word audio feast. And two open mic-ers will have their poems broadcast as a part of the upcoming show.

This is a brand new concept for Chill Pill and we're very excited to offer up and coming artists the opportunity to be involved.

We'll have eight open mic slots but it's guaranteed to fill up so arrive early to secure a place.

See you there!

Advance tickets:

Poejazzi 12th Feb
Not performing at this night but Poejazzi play a big part of the Spoken Word & Music movement in London and for good reason, they run one of the best nights around for it. Get early bird tickets NOW -

Sunday 20 January 2013

Poem From Malala (To The Men Who Tried To Assassinate Her in Pakistan)

                                                                                              Imagine my death,
                                                                          every reminder of my assassination
                                                             would hurt the blood
                                                                                              in your stupid hands,
                                                            I will make sound
                                         with all that blood
                                                                       noise the night, until the country
                                                   invents a new condition
                                                   of weather, where clouds
                                             the shape of Pakistan
                                        are not as high and out            of   reach 
                                        as a girls education -

                                                                  every woman
                                      under this sky  will begin to rise -                      
                            my voice will shoot every bolt of my pain
                       to un-secret my death. When it rains
                                          it is the sound of my bones       
                                                            and the sky turning
                                    grey and cold as your bullet in my face,
   and the dirt in the black ground growing teeth

   and you will be sorry to take away    the life of books
                                      and the life of me,
                  a little girl who just wanted school.
You should have kept the blood
    warm    in my feet,
       if you did not want me  to    carry   my     story
across the desert                          the border
                               the ocean
                                                    as a book you cannot burn.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Chill Pill Poet 'Adam Kammerling' Don't Flop battle / Chill Pill updates

Speaking of Chill Pill, we're piloting a live radio show, showcasing Spoken Word at The Roundhouse on 13th February. Be part of our audience!


We also have a mega line up for our next Albany show on 28th February which includes David J, Chicago poet Kristiana Rae Colón and Ross Sutherland, as well as six open mic slots.


Tuesday 1 January 2013

On Poets & Musicians In Collaboration

"I absolutely couldn’t stand spoken word at all before really. I used to consciously avoid spoken word tents when I was playing at festivals or anything like that. Or that was my beer-break during a musical evening" - Alex Patten

Full Interview here -

Q&A with Yorkshire / Bristol Poet 'Sally Jenkinson'

Sally Jenkinson is a twenty-something year old poet, popular on the poetry scene in Bristol. 
She likes Cider and boys and that’s ok.
Q1. Hey Sally, I was in Bristol doing poetry a couple years ago and the city looked like it was falling down. How's it holding up?

Yep, it’s holding up just fine thanks. And the bits that are falling down, are doing so quite beautifully, and someone has probably spray-painted or knitted something pretty onto it. They do that in Bristol.

Q2. Speaking of Bristol, the environment is usually the writer’s muse – you’ve even been called an “urban poet” but how does Bristol come through in your poetry?

Erm, I’ve had some visceral and brilliant and terrifying and delicious experiences in Bristol, so the very fact that the city has been a back drop to all those things in my life means that it pops up a lot in my poems.
Also, I’m from Yorkshire which is really far from Bristol so I’ve got a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. I hate being so far away from my family, but Bristol is definitely my home. I’ve got a poem about Severn Beach, which is sort of a weird commuter town outside the city where the Severn Bridge crosses to Wales. There’s nothing there except some houses and a factory and it’s NOT A BEACH, but I’m kind of obsessed with it.

Q3. You're a very lyrical poet; this is something I really enjoy about your work - how do your poems work as poems rather than as raps or songs?

I’ve never rapped in my life. I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. I read a lot of poetry, but also songs and songwriters have a big influence on me, especially Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, among others, so maybe that’s a thing. I think if you’re just saying words… no music or pictures or explosions…then you’ve got to kind of make the words as colourful as possible so that they fill up all the space the reader’s head. A very good friend told me recently that I write pop-song-poems. Not really sure how to take that.

Q4. You've gone into theatre and from the sounds of it your show is making waves. Are you touring it? Tell us about it...

I accidentally wrote a poetry musical. Right, I need to stop saying ‘poetry musical’. It makes me sound like a twat. I actually might sound like a twat anyway. I wrote this piece of poetry / play that’s got a full score on guitar. It’s sort of like a soundtrack like in a film. I’m chatting away and there’s this gorgeous music that has been written specifically to go with the words. An amazing musician called Nuala Honan wrote the music, and she plays it live with me on stage. She makes me look well cool.
It’s called ‘Folly’, and it’s about dragging your broken heart around the world and not finding yourself, or finding anything except that you’re still a grumpy English girl, even when you’re surrounded by a postcard scene. Sometimes we think it’s a confession about leaving, sometimes we think it’s a play about why we travel. Imagine what happens when a grumpy Yorkshire poet lady and a grumpy Australian musician lady get together and write about trains, planes and cheap booze. It’s that.
Yes, we’re touring it in March / April hopefully. Just in the process of trying to sort all that out at the moment. It’s not easy!

Q5. Sounds great Sally! ... but what the hell is a poet doing in theatre anyway? Shouldn’t you be stroking your chin and staring out the window somewhere?

I can’t sit still for long enough to stare out of windows! I think the lines between theatre and concert venues are a bit more blurred these days. We did the debut in a theatre because we wanted to do it a bit fancy-pants, but I’ll perform anywhere anyhow really. I’m easy, poetry-wise.

Q6. We’re both published in the Burning Eye Books ‘Pamphlet Series’ and we’re both gigging poets so how do you think your work translates from stage to page and visa versa? 

I dunno if there’s as much of a divide as some people make out, really. Maybe it’s just about how you choose to share your work. Having said that, I’ve got some poems that I love performing, that look stupid on the page and I don’t think I’d ever put them into print!

I feel like there are some poems that are better on the page because they don’t make a bold, specific, fast impression, and they are more intended to be read and re-read and considered slowly. They’re the ones that I want to offer to people, spread carefully onto a piece of toast for them to chew at their own leisure, rather than smearing the words straight onto their face. Some poems are for shouting and smearing, some are for toast. OK?

Q7. That's beautiful...wanna dance?

Just name a time and place, Antrobus. I thought you’d never ask.

Q8. I only wanted to interview you so I could ask you that, so to wrap this up Sally, where can we hear more from you?

I’ve got a website! Thanks for asking, I’ve been meaning to make one for years and I just got round to it. Have a look-