Tuesday 28 May 2019

May flies and May flies

People's Banquet: Women's Peace Council, Parliament Square, June 3rd

            May flies and May flies. 
It has been an extraordinary month. So much change in the air. I feel it fizzing and buzzing and rumbling and being passed around the internet like a bag of burning dog shit and yet somehow quite magically and remarkably we are all still here and still hopeful and still pushing and pulling and we just keep on keeping on and keeping on. Theresa May has finally resigned. We all will remember her for the go home vans, for failing us, for failing Windrush, Brexit, Grenfell, Yarl's Wood, for opening the door to bigotry, for shaking hands with the flat earthers of the DUP and for holding hands with Trump, for the rise in division and hate crime, for the drowned refugees, for hurting people with benefit cuts, the vile rape clause, for the women of NI she left with no autonomy. There is so much to add to this list, her history of voting against LGBTQ, voting against equality and demolishing our human rights. Her legacy IS her voting history. There is no May in June. But now which priv will replace her? And here we go again, the circus of distraction, brace yourselves REBELS! Time is now!

Meanwhile, I have been touring and spreading the word and having so many adventures and late nights, so much dancing and starlight and moonshine. Spring has been all rum and laughter and gin and gigs and poets and books and trains. I just want to take a moment to share few photos and say a special thank you to Dan Sumption, the poetry roadie extrordinaire; Thank you to Neu Reekie and to Bill Drummond and the Belfast crew; Thank you to Joelle and Karim and Outspoken and the Nottingham friends; Thank you to WOW Festival and all our Liverpool family; Thank you to John Higgs and everyone down at the Brighton Fringe; Thank you to Mike Garry and John Cooper Clarke and everyone at our sold out show at The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill - it was great to return to my old college town again. And last but not least a big thank you to Drift Records and Rough Trade Books and the Heavenly crew and Claire Callender and Ru Callender and everybody down at Sea Change Festival this May bank holiday weekend in Totnes. So excellent! What a riot! Coming up for my birthday, all of my June gigs and parties are here in London, so if you are in town please do come say hello and help me raise a glass and celebrate twenty-five summers since my first ever gig, and yet another mighty year of poetry rock and roll! Yaaaasssss! I have been doing poetry longer than I have not. Scroll down this page for tickets and dates for the hottest shows in the capital in June.

backstage with John Cooper Clarke and Mike Garry at De La Warr

drinking rum with poetry roadie extraordinaire Dan Sumption

Seachange with Rough Trade Books pamphleteers David Keenan and Martha Sprackland

On the evening of June 3 - as Trump enjoys the pomp and ceremony of the state banquet - there will be an inaugural gathering of the Women's Peace Council on Parliament Square. This will be a sisterhood and solidarity action. There will be music and speeches and poetry plus other activities, it will be a very friendly community feel. And just before dusk there will be a mass moment for peace - a solidarity action of people standing together. Show Trump his division and bigotry are not welcome, come to the People's Banquet, Parliament Square, June 3rd!

Also on June 3rd after the peace picnic, after reading a poem at the People's Banquet, I will zoom across town to perform a set at WORD with my  Nymph and Thugs label mate Toria Garbutt and Rough Trade Books label mate Emma Warren and the Violette Records gang at The Social. There are suspended tickets available for this one, I think this is a brilliant idea, so it means if you cannot afford a ticket you can claim one this way ... come to this, it will be a extra special night! 


And later in June, June 22, midsummers, following on from our shows at LSO St Lukes and The Albany theatre, I'm looking forward to working on a new version of HUH with the extraordinary LSO composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman. I'm also dead excited to be returning to The Roundhouse for the Last Word Festival. Just LOOK at that line up! I will perform my collaboration with Jasmin, 'The Letter' with the orchestra, plus we have a few surprises up our sleeves too...  

This very special performance of HUH at Last Word Festival at the Roundhouse, will feature super star performances from the glorious Errollyn Wallen’s haunting song In Our Lifetime, inspired by Nelson Mandela’s prison release. Fabulous Sophia Thakur and Kieron Rennie with spoken word as you’ve never heard, or seen, before.  New collaborations featuring the mesmerising Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Solomon O.B bringing together rap, classical music and electronica. It is gonna be off the hook! 

Jasmin has started a kickstarter to support a brand new Young HUH Creatives programme. 
BIG thank you to everyone who has backed this kickstarter so far, we've already raised 1/4 of the target in just the first week. Keep it coming and help Jasmin to create a new programme supporting the next generation of artists in expressing and exploring issues of race, cultural identity and mental wellbeing. Kickstarter >>>

Roll up! Roll Up!
Last week I launched my first column with Byline Times 
I'll be writing for Byline regularly there
Read all about it www.bylinetimes.com

Summer 2019

June 3 - LONDON - WORD - The Social 

June 9 - LONDON - NUTOPIA - Cockpit Theatre

June 22 - LONDON - HUH - Last Word, The Roundhouse

July 18-22 - CORNWALL - Churchtown

August 2-4 - CHEPSTOW - Green Gathering

August 17 - EDINBURGH International Book Festival 

August 23-25 - SUSSEX - Byline Festival

August 31 - HASTINGS - Hastings Lit Fest

September 13-15 - WALES - Good Life Festival



This Is Not A Drill will be printed in a carbon-neutral paper mill that plants two trees for every one it uses. The contributors include Caroline Lucas of the Green Party and author and activist Jamie Kelsey Fry and many more...

Eighty Four 
OUT NOW with Verve Poetry Press 

What is Masculinity? 
Why does it matter? 
And other BIG questions
 - published June 2019 with Hatchette 

 - published July 2019 with Unbound 

Smashing It: 
Working Class Artists On Life, 
Art And Making It Happen
- published October 2019 with Westbourne Press

Thank you for scrolling to the bottom of the page
See you here and see you there 
Keep fighting the good fight
You beautiful bold hearted hooligans 
With love, grief and fury, Xxsg

love poems books art music 
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