We're roughly a month away from Long Division 2018. A month.
In the time I can safely say it's been the most brilliant and stressful time organising a group/hoard/ramble/collection of amazing poets for the spoken word stage.
Again, I can't thank Long Division enough for the opportunity and experience of this commission.
However I want to take a few moments of your time to introduce the poets who'll be taking to the stage at Neon Workshops and a give a little taste of their work.
(In no particular order)
Rose is a Canadian born but Huddersfield living poet who runs the brilliant Queenies Coffe House Nights in Huddersfield. Her poetry around Women's Rights and Issues are just phenomenal and the strong imagery she conjures when talking about her native home will spellbind you.
One of the angriest and yet compassionate voices in Derby, Jamie runs Word Wise and has a fantastic debut collection 'The Best Of A Bad Situation''. I'm in pure awe of his direct message poetry and you will be as well.
Sharena Lee Satti
A rising voice in Bradford, Sharena's work is intricate, heart tugging and thoughtful. I had the pleasure of working alongside Sharena at Leeds Leider this year and was blown away with her words.
Kieren is an absolute legend in his stomping grounds of Salford and Manchester. He runs the legendary Evidently poetry night of Salford (the spiritual home of Punk Poetry) and his honest words on life and mental health will leave you reaching for the tissues and a hug.
Richard is the visionary mind behind Plastic Brain Press and a brilliant poet to boot as well. From running a monthly poetry night (Crash Course In Brain Surgery), a zine, a podcast AND a press, His mixture of Sci-fi, Love and dark humour will be bringing a unique taste to the day.
Gemma is one of the driving forces behind the explosion of spoken word in Lincoln (along with Richard Daniels and Melody Clark) from running numerous poetry nights in the city, to curating a Women In The Arts event on International Women's Day this year. Her frank and humorous poetry is not to be missed.
Part of the Plastic Brain Press Family as well, Mel is a rising voice in Lincoln. Her artwork and poetry are breathtaking and will leave you blushing and laughing along. She also produces her own Zine (The Mel Gaze) that is completely worth your attention.
A legend in her home town of Halifax, I've had the pleasure of working alongside her over the last four years. She runs Spoken Weird in Halifax, co-hosts Stirred in Manchester AND has an amazing debut poetry collection ''The Dance Of A Thousand Losers''. Her poetry ranges from Manchester's past to salutations of Yorkshire women and the declarations of pride of being a 'Weirdo'
I can't justify Laura with words at all. Suffice to say she is a force to be reckoned with on the Punk Poetry scene. I had the opportunity to share a stage with her last year in Wigan and I'm excited to be bringing her to Wakefield, trust me when I tell you to strap in when she takes to the stage!
Having just performed at Miggy's night (Speech Therapy) I can confirm him to be one of the most genuine people you'll ever meet. He is a vital voice in his home city of Nottingham and has two poetry collections available (Grime Kerbstone Psalms and Extreme Violets). Miggy's words will reel you in, chew you out and tuck you in afterwards.
There we are my friends. As I've said before I'm so excited to be bringing all of these people to the day and I know that a blog post doesn't truly do them justice. I know that most of these guys will be bringing their respective books, pamphlets, chapbooks and zines on the day, so you'll be able to take something home with you.
Remember, the spoken word stage is one of the FREE stages of the day and we're around the corner from Warehouse 23 at Neon Workshops.
We will see you there!