Monday 9 November 2020

Poetry: 'Birds' New spoken word collaboration to raise funds for Black Minds Matter UK



a new release to support

Black Minds Matter UK

Birds is a collaboration between the renowned Tongue Fu collective and three leading poets: Salena Godden, Vanessa Kisuule, and Hollie McNishThe single will be released by Nymphs & Thugs – the UK’s leading spoken word record label. It will be available to stream or download from Friday 13 November, with 100% of all profits being donated to Black Minds Matter UK

The artwork for Birds is this stunning starling illustration by Leeds-based artist Saifur Rehmaan Manzoor-Khan - check out all his brilliant work here

Black Minds Matter UK’s mission is to connect Black individuals and families with free mental health services – by professional Black therapists to support their mental health. To make this happen, they want to make mental health topics more relevant and accessible for all Black people in the UK, removing the stigma and remodelling the services to be relevant for the Black community.

Olivia Weigel, Marketing Manager at BMM UK, said: We're extremely excited to be able to collaborate with Tongue Fu and three incredible poets for this beautiful piece Birds which will help us to raise funds at Black Minds Matter. The poem manages to articulate the many difficult and unfamiliar emotions that we have all experienced in some way this year; giving us a sense of comfort in this shared experience and hope for brighter days ahead.

Salena Godden, one of the featured poets, said: “2020 has been a time of communal mourning and grief and anxiety. The poem we have written seems to underpin all of that, and it’s an honour to be releasing it in support of BMM UK.

The single will be released on the Nymphs & Thugs Bandcamp site on Friday 13 November 2020 and will be exclusively available on Bandcamp until the New Year. It will be priced at £5, with the option to pay more, and a download of the music video will be included.

The video of the track will receive its world première as part of a Nymphs & Thugs x Tongue Fu event, which will be streamed live on Facebook this Thursday (12 November) from 8-9.30pm UK time. We’re over the moon to have live performances from Amyra León and Chris Redmond as part of the event, which will be available to view on both the Nymphs & Thugs and Tongue Fu pages.

Last month Rough Trade Books published Emily Cotman's translation of 'Pessimism is for Lightweights' in Old English as a collectable broadside. You can find this in the Rough Trade Books shop now.  

In an act of unity we are inviting people from all over the world to translate ‘Pessimism is for Lightweights’ into  their chosen language. If you fancy giving it a go, please head to the Rough Trade Books Extra Curricular page where you can find the poem as it is displayed at its residency at The People’s History Museum, Manchester. We’d especially love it if you could send in a short video of yourself reading your translation.

If you go to Rough Trade Book - instagram you can meet some of our international friends, so far we have the poem translated in Russian, Welsh, Norweigan, Turkish, Polish and so many more voices on the way ... I love this, thank you. 

Love will conquer hate in any language! 

Thank you Xxsg

Finally, talking of work in translation my poem “Every disaster movie begins with the government ignoring a scientist” was published in Poland this week. Thanks to you Bartosz Wojcik and Pismo Magazine, check them out on instagram @magazynpismo  

Read more here:

The live performance of this poem “Every disaster movie begins with the government ignoring a scientist” features on ‘The Lockdown EP’ one of 5 poems released May 2020 with @nymphsandthugs - Thanks and love to all who have downloaded the EP since May, as we continue into this 2nd lockdown we are still giving 50% profits to nurses, to #NHS #nhsstaff + @nhscharitiestogether  



I have a new piece titled ‘chapter’ published this month in the latest 
Wildness Literary Journal @platypuspress -
I’m honoured to have a piece published here for the first time. 
I've been reading this and loved discovering new work and this selection. 
Really great way to start the day. Highly recommend.


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