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Monday, 10 November 2014

…and 5 more things!

1) Unwriteables news

I mentioned Olja Knezevic before - her bestelling Milena & druge dru┼ítvene reforme took Montenegro, and Serbia and Croatia by storm - but I have been waiting patiently for a full English version to come out so I can finally read it. And then, suddenly, up it appears on Amazon! 

I am so pleased to be able to put it alongside C.E. Medford's Magic America, which is an enthralling read (maybe I'm biased… but maybe you should check it out for yourself)

I'm also celebrating the success of David Savill - whose first novel They Are Trying to Break Your Heart will be published by Bloomsbury early in 2016.

And this is not to mention Anna Hope - whose novel Wake will soon be coming out in paperback edition; nor Thea Bennett who, aside from her exhaustive knowledge of gin, has been claiming success in the ghostwriting world.

It's exciting that so much of this is happening at the same time; it's inspiring and heartwarming to see some results from all the hard work undertaken over the years since we have been workshopping some of our projects. I expect many more people will get to know their work - and that of the rest of the group - in years to come.  

2) Poetry Collections etc.

I've also got a couple of things up my sleeve. In May 2015, I can proudly announce, I will be releasing a poetry pamphlet with Eyewear Publishing, as part of their 20/20 series.

And in early 2016, my first full collection, Selah, will be coming out with Burning Eye.

I'm putting some of the final touches to the Eyewear collection, and can't wait to be able to say more!

If that isn't enough, I've also rekindled my research into my first novel and will be updating on my progress from December. It's a slow process - but I'm getting there.

I haven't posted much new poetry on here - mostly as it's either deeply personal (and I need to perform it where I feel safe), or I've been tweaking stuff for the collections, or I've been busy with projects that will enable me to write later - but I hope to again soon.

Also great to be reading through Black and Gay in the UK anthology - my piece is amongst all the poems, stories and other narratives that make it an informative, pivotal collection of voices. Despite the niche title, it's a heterogenous gathering.

B&G launch party - Waterstones, Piccadilly

3) Upcoming

MASSIVELY looking forward to FLUPP in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. My slam poems have been sent off for translation and I'll be battling against poets from fifteen different countries in the Americas, Africa and Europe. I'm nervously excited. I've prepared some poems for the Brazil edition of Tongue Fu, too. And, of course, I've bought some Blu Tack for the workshops I'll be running (which anyone who's ever taught will know comes in handy for so many different purposes… If in doubt, use Blu Tack and Post-It Notes whenever you need to improvise!) I'm almost ready! I just need to check the weather...

When I'm back, I'll be preparing for round two of Poetry Speakeasy on November 28th.

4) Meanwhile...

*Pleased to see a great review from BlahBlah in Bristol the other day. In fact, the last few poetry events I've been at have been pretty emotional the best of ways. Had a massive surprise at Poetry & Poppadoms, which I'm still getting over. All I can say is I have some great friends and family, who know who they are. Two things I've learnt: a) when nervous, I need to talk less and just stick to my original plan - last minute poem changes can be stressful! b) if there's a musician behind you, always ask them to join in!

*I'm also reading massively - apart from the Unwriteables books and Brazilian anthologies and the usual poetry, I seem to be balancing three or four novels and a couple of short story collections. If I have time before tomorrow's flight, I'll update my Currently Reading list.

*Also watched two films in the cinema that have been particularly interesting: CITIZENFOUR and Girlhood.

* I'm also moving out of my flat :(

*This is what happens when you start moving old books and papers as you're piling all your belongings into boxes. See if you can spot 7-year old me:

5) Cultural Collision

I promised to share a video but have been unable to upload it... Will try again when I'm back from Rio!

Friday, 7 November 2014

UPCOMING… Jazz Verse Jukebox on Sunday!

I'm at Ronnie Scott's on Sunday for Jazz Verse Jukebox. I haven't seen David Lee Morgan since he won the BBC Slam in Edinburgh back in August - battling against poets from cities up and down the country (days before the Scottish referendum). As usual, he delivered his high-powered, hard-hitting rhymes that earned him the title. I'm also looking forward to hearing Aisling Fahey - current Young Poet Laureate for London who I met recently at the Poetry Takeaway in Wimbledon.

Plus music and the house band… a great way to end the weekend! 

Monday, 3 November 2014

FLUPP FLUPP, Whoop whoop!!

In just over a week, I'll be in Rio de Janeiro for the FLUPP literary festival (Rio! I know, right?) It's the only literary festival in Brazil - and, as far as I know, in the world - that takes place in the favelas, run for and supported by people who live there.

This year, we're in Mangueira, which is notorious for its Samba school (it's a must-go place for a lot of music heads, I'm told). I'll be running a couple of workshops, taking part in discussion panels, performing with Chris Redmond for a Brazilian version of Tongue Fu, taking part in an international Slam, writing spontaneous poems on the street... And blogging if/when I can.

This is why it's so exciting:

I'm brushing up on my Portuguese a little, and hoping I'm on top form  - any advice more than welcome!