Help Me Write A Poem For Havering

London Lines Poetry Jaybird Southbank

As part of the London Lines project, I’ve been commissioned to write a poem celebrating Havering. Do you have any memories of Havering you would like to share?

The project is a partnership between the Southbank Centre and Jaybird Live Literature; a poem is being commissioned for each of London’s 33 boroughs and I have been asked to write one for Havering. On Saturday 20th July I will be one of the poets at the Southbank Centre collecting people’s memories and associations of London boroughs. I’m then tasked with writing a poem for Havering overnight so it can be put into a giant physical map of London, in the Southbank’s Clore Ballroom, on Sunday afternoon!

If you’re in London that weekend it would be great to see you at the Southbank Centre, either sharing you memories of London on Saturday or coming to see the finished map on Sunday.

If you can’t come in person, but want to share you’re memories of a London borough you can follow @jaybirdlivelit , @litsouthbank and ‪#‎londonlines to join in. If your memory is of Havering, and it won’t fit in a tweet, you could let me know by leaving a comment below or sending an email.

Broadcast’s Summer Season: The Ventriloquists

The City Pride FarringdonThe days of hot city sun are on us, it’s time to head to the pub for cold drinks and great poetry with Broadcast’s Summer Season. I’ll be reading in the second event, The Ventriloquists, at The City Pride on Thursday 18th July, from 19.30pm.

The night will feature short sets from nine poets. My wonderful fellow readers will be: Amy Key, Barbara Barnes, Sarah Wedderburn, Ian Cartland, Rebecca Perry, Roddy Lumsden, John Clegg and Nicola Gledhill.

The event is free but there will be a hat passed round for the reader’s drinks. Come join us at The City Pride, Farringdon Lane, London, EC1R 3AU.

Songs of Innocence and Experience: Free workshop at the Southbank Centre

The Sick Rose William BlakeCome join me for a free William Blake themed workshop and a chance to perform on Sunday 14th July as part of Southbank Centre’s From Lambeth With Love weekend.

It’s an intergational workshop aimed at mixing up different age groups, so the Southbank Centre are looking for participants who are either in their twenties, or younger, or aged 50+ if you fit into one of those age groups it would be great to see you there!

It’s a reading, writing and performance workshop, from 10.30am – 3.30pm on Sunday 14 July, which will culminate in a performance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Front Room. This intergenerational workshop will offer participants the opportunity to explore Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, read them aloud, and write new poems inspired by Blake’s, which will then be performed to an audience.

If you would like to be involved and are available for the workshop and performance, please email Holly Hunter at Southbank Centre: Please note, there is limited availability and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Verse Kraken Party!

Come and celebrate the launch of Verse Kraken: The Magazine of Hybrid Art with a tentacular evening of art, poetry, music and merrymaking. Featuring performances of work from Issue One, a temporary tattoo stand, an ekphrastic competition and more weird and wonderful delights!

Verse Kraken Attacks The Mighty Ship

I’ll be performing new work alongside Tim Dooley, Harry Giles, Adam Horovitz, Paul Carney, Dana Bubulj, James William Purcell, Sophie Mayer, and Jacqueline Wright.

Tickets: £5 Early Bird, £7 (£5 concessions) on the door

Thursday 20th June
Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AH,

Wilding Festival: Suffragette History and Poetry Tours

Votes For Women SashI’m leading tours around Bloomsbury as part of the Wilding Festival this weekend. The Festival is inspired by suffragette Emily Wilding Davison who died 100 years this month.

The tours are a mix of women’s suffrage history and new poems. So far we have learned about The Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, about their grand enemies the Anti-Suffrage League, about what Millicent Fawcett has on her ceiling and how to make a convincing testudo out of umbrellas so I can read poems while the ink slowly slides away under almost horizontal rain.

However, tomorrow (Sunday 16) is a day when the BBC promises it will not rain, so come join me!

Tours will take 45 minutes and start at St Georges Church on Bloomsbury Way. Tickets are £3 and can be bought in the church. Tours will be setting off at 2pm and 3pm.

World Event Young Artist: Park in Progress

World Event Young ArtistI’m one of forty artists (20 UK and 20 from overseas) who will be resident during the World Event Young Artist Festival in Nottingham this September. We will be collaborating to create new work which will be showcased in Nottingham Castle Grounds as part of the festival. I’ve worked with other poets and occasionally with illustrators before, but working with a group as diverse as dancers through to architects is going to be something entirely new! I’m slightly nervous, very excited and looking forward to it immensely. If you’re in Nottingham, you’ll be able to see the work we come up with, displayed on Friday 14th.

Do you want poems with that?

The Poetry TakeawayMy dad always said my stalwart rejection of both accountancy and the civil service (his preferred career options for me) would one day lead me into wearing a greasy uniform and asking customers “Do you want fries with that?”

Later this week I’ll be getting exorcising those demons by working a stint in the Poetry Takeaway. The Poetry Takeaway van has been touring the UK filled with keen teams of poets who take orders from members of the public and write them bespoke poems in under fifteen minutes! I’ll be cooking up some new poems on Wednesday noon-5pm in the Poetry Takeaway Van which will be parked up in the Southbank Centre. Drop by for some extra fresh poems with the ink still wet!

Rain of Poems

Half a tonne of poems (100,000 poetry cards) will be released from a helicopter over Jubilee Gardens in London on Tuesday 26th June, 9pm.

The event is organised by Casagrande, a Chilean poetry collective who rain poems down on sites that have previously been bombed. Casagrande’s first rain of poems was over La Moneda Palace in Chile’s capital Santiago, which was partially destroyed during the military coup in 1973. Casagrande have gone on to rain poems over Dubrovnik, Guernica, Warsaw and Berlin.

The London Rain of Poems will include poems by 300 poets from 206 countries, including my own work.  Everyone is welcome to come down to Jubilee Gardens to watch the spectacle and to catch and take away poems.

The video shows the Rain of Poems in Berlin in 2010. If it stays sunny you should witness a similar event on Tuesday. If the whether is cloudy or rainy then the event will be deferred until the first clear day.