I'm halfway through a fortnight of extended performances, mostly as part of the Hammer & Tongue tour. So far, it's been great, with a few highlights that will stay with me for a long time.
Monday - Rrrantin' @ Camden
Highlights Trying to avoid the magician's eyes (yep, there was poetry, music and magic!) while eating a fish finger sandwich before my set. Hearing a woman with an amazing voice (and I've forgotten her name) before walking home. Loving the unexpectedness of this local night - it's very Camden indeed.
Tues - H&T Dalston
Highlights A quick change after school (I work round the corner) and then kicking it with hosts Sam Berkson and now Paula Varjack, who I have a lot of love for. A very surprising slammer coming forward! Laughing very hard. Finally hearing fellow guest poet Chimene Suleyman (who I've read a lot online) and enjoying her poetry, the emotion and power in her words. Feeling sorry for the folks who didn't want to brave the tube strike - they missed out.
Weds - H&T Bristol (and Weston-super-Mare)
Highlights Being back in Bristol! I love this city, which always seems to have a thriving poetry community. Hanging out with host Thommie Gillow and family and waking up near the sea in Weston-super-Mare before rushing back to London to teach. Enjoying the slam. Feeling a lot of love from the Bristol poets, Lucy English and the students from Bath... plus all the slammers I spoke with during and after the show.
Thurs - Brighton
Highlights Being near the sea again! Never having been to Brighton for poetry before (I know, right? It's just down the road...) and feeling nervous because the space was packed full to the brim. Enjoying Michael Parker's attempt at science-themed freestyling. Hearing some brilliant slammers and being glad I didn't have to pit against them, among them Christian Watson - who I first heard a couple years ago. Really enjoying Spoken Herd and still singing "It's a new day/ It's a new dawn" the morning after (don't worry - it's a post-apocalyptic thing - you had to have been there). Being exhausted but hoping I make it down there again!