Tuesday, 23 January 2018

“So what’s coming up in 2018, Henry?”

What’s with all the blog silence, Henry?

Last year you wrote 39 blogposts.  That’s pretty much one every 9 days.  I think.  I’m not good at maths.

It’s now January the 23rd.  if you’re maths is right, you should have written 2.5 blogs by now!

Well, I started writing more blogs because I wanted to flex my digits (hence the ‘rule’ I could only write them in 20.15 minutes because it was 2015 and subsequently gained 0.01 seconds for each passing year).  And it worked, I had a structure!  I always advise people that the best way to get into writing is to try free-writing first.  No pressure, no aim beyond stretching your brain and fingers.

But I’ve quite happy I’ve got a point where I’m not just bubbling around in my head and need to structure them into blogs. I’ve having conversations about theatre in my new theatre company VANDAL FACTORY alongside the marvellous and highly competent director Natalie Quatermass where we’re constantly dissecting what it means to make relevant and engaging political theatre in 2018.  We’re also hacking at the concept of touring as Whatever Happened To Vandal Raptor? hits the road in April.

Spoken word I hear you speak?  I’m having great discussions not just online (mainly through the highly helpful Poetry Promoters Facebook group) but also from Say Owt spaces.  After a gruelling civil war, I have declared myself Artistic Director (think King In The North but more spreadsheets) and have added to the ranks of Say Owt Dave Jarman and Hannah Davies as Associate Artists.  We’ve been having spirited chats about funding, organising, promoting and, importantly, mentoring as we work more with the wider poetry community of performers.

And I’m excited to have more conversations with poets and organisers across the UK as I go on tour in May.  I have a book coming out with Burning Eye called NERD PUNK which collects all my best poems from the last 10 years!  A few years ago I’d see this tour as more a solo outing, but I open up the offer to other poets to jump in my car and hit various open mics and have meet new poets making great work.
So I’m not going to be churning out blogs because I think I’ve found a few gangs to collaborate with and spending my time enjoying those natterings.  But that DOES mean I’ll be bringing those conversations back to my house, back to my room, to my desk and onto this here computer screen.  It’s just these blogs won’t be written in 20.18 seconds.  I shall allow myself this kindness.

“So what’s coming up in 2018, Henry?”

Haha, I have already cunningly listed my upcoming adventures!  I hope to catch you upon one of them!


Durham, DH1 4SG
April 12th

The New Adelphi
89 De Grey St, Hull HU5 2RU
April 15th

Workshop Theatre
Leeds, LS2 9JT
April 17th

Hydra Bookshop
Bristol, BS2 0EZ
April 18th

Derby Theatre
Derby, DE1 2NF
April 20th

Harrogate Theatre
Harrogate, HG1 1QF
April 24-25th

London, SE11 5SW
April 26-28th

Thursday 3rd May:  Spoken Weird, Halifax
Wednesday 9th:  Born Lippy, Newcastle
Thursday 10th:  Shaken In Sheep Town, Skipton
Wednesday 16th:  Find The Right Words, Leicester
Monday 21st:  Queenie’s Coffee Nights, Huddersfield
Thursday 31st: Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe (Durham-ish)
Thursday 7th:  Verse Matters, Sheffield
Thursday 28th June:  Slam Dunk, Hastings
Friday 29th June:  Word Club, Leeds

Say Owt Slam #19 featuring Sara Hirsch 3rd February @ The Basement
Rob Auton’s The Hair Show 9th March @ The Crescent
Gecko 22nd March @ All Saints Church
York Anti-Slam #3 1st April @ The Basement

Hannah Silva’s Talk In A Bit 15th May @ The Basement