Host - Rebecca Tantony
Rebecca Tantony’s work offers, ‘a tapestry of intricate themes, bold writing and passionate intensity, creating a lyrical conversation straight to the heart.’ The Guardian has called her work 'Mesmerising.' She has read in numerous venues including, the Royal Albert Hall, the Natural History Museum, the Arnolfini, St George’s, The South Bank Centre, Womad, Glastonbury, Shambala Festivals, Turkey, India, Sweden and Italy, as well as a scattering of house parties and pub toilets. She is the author of 'Talk you Round Till Dusk' (Burning Eye, 2015). In 2016 she completed an MA at Bath Spa University specialising in Poetry. Since the start of 2017 she has been touring an Arts Council Funded immersive spoken word show under the same title as her second collection 'All The Journeys I Never Took' (Burning Eye, 2017).
Host - Sally Jenkinson
Sally Jenkinson is a poet who lives and works in The Forest of Dean, but she grew up in Doncaster (South Yorkshire), where they say poem like this: ‘poym’.Her second short collection ‘Boys’ was published in 2016 by Burning Eye Books. Of it, the poet Ian Parks said: ‘…these poems repay a close reading and attention that wouldn’t usually be expected from poems written for the stage. There’s a precision, an ear for the rhythm of language, and an idiosyncratic way of looking at and responding to the world that lifts these poems from the page and prints them indelibly on the memory of the reader.’ She has performed at festivals and lovely poetry events all over Britain such as Glastonbury, Womad, Secret Garden Party, Larmer Tree, Boomtown, Shambala, Sunrise, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Bristol Poetry Festival, Tongue Fu and Hammer & Tongue.‘Northern love/loss/laughter poems that sound like they should be written in empty chip paper and thrown at you from the top of the night bus.’ – Tongue FuSaturday Programme.
Guest artist, Saturday - Rachel Long
Rachel Long is a poet and facilitator. She was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship for poetry in 2015. Her poems have featured in Magma, Butcher's Dog, and The London Magazine. She is Assistant Tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme, and the leader of Octavia - Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, housed at Southbank Centre, London. Octavia have run poetry workshops for The Serpentine Galleries and at University of Oxford. They’ve been commissioned by BBC World Service, featured in The Guardian and in ASOS’ Spring issue (Knowledge is Power). Octavia closed this year’s Women of the World Festival. Inspired by Octavia, Rachel has curated 'Telling Her Story', an open workshop series for women of colour, hosted and in partnership with Southbank Centre.
Guest artist, Saturday - Anton Wojcik
Antosh Wojcik is a poet, performer, Lecturer of poetry at University of Winchester. He is one half of sound art duo Post Everything and Penned in the Margins is producing his cross-arts drumming and poetry show that explores dementia, 'Building A Voice-Percussion Gun To Kill Glitches In Memory'. He has performed at leading UK festivals Glastonbury, Latitude and Edinburgh Literature Festival, as well as internationally at Sofia Poetics 2015.
South West Showcase, Saturday - Melanie Branton
Since taking up spoken word in 2014 at the age of 46, Melanie Branton's mix of comic and serious confessional poetry has made her a popular headliner on the South West spoken word circuit. Her debut collection, My Cloth-Eared Heart, will be published by Oversteps Books later this year. She is currently looking for a boyfriend. A fantastic poet with a great mix of dry humour and real life heart and emotion” Harry Baker
South West Showcase, Saturday - Stephen Lightbown
Stephen Lightbown was born and raised in Blackburn, Lancashire but is now Bristol based after an eight year detour via London. Stephen is also a wheelchair user after losing the use of his legs following an accident when he was 16. Whilst Stephen writes on a range of subjects some of his most personal work focusses on what it is like to have spent two decades as a wheelchair user and his writing gives a unique first person insight into these experiences. Stephen can be found on Instagram and Twitter under the username @spokeandpencil.
South West Showcase, Saturday - Polly Denny
Polly is a 18 year old poet currently working as Bath Young Poet Laureate. She has worked with the BBC and performed in venues such as the Tobacco Factory and The Egg.
South West Showcase, Saturday - Sanket Shrestha
An awkwardly bumbling human who lies about a lot of things: being a wandering tree, a gastronomical oddity, almost a poet, maybe an artist. You can find him indulging in absurdity and in spoken word poetry around Bristol, Bath, Kathmandu and wherever home temporarily is. He also makes poetry films, music, audiovisual installations and quite a satisfactory cup of tea. Maybe you'll find him again at a pub, an open mic, a festival, a slam, a street. If you do, share your story with him too.
South West Showcase, Saturday - Jenn Hart
Jenn Hart is a DIY punk poet. Her poetry is biting, witty and surprising as she drags her audience through deftly constructed snippets of real and imagined lives. Her debut pamphlet Better Watch Your Mouth was released with Burning Eye Books earlier this year.
Http://jennhartyeah.wordpress.com, http://jennhart.bigcartel.com, @jennhartyeah
South West Showcase, Saturday - Sven Stears
Sven writes and performs most frequently on the subject of mental health. Using vivid imagery to bring to life stories that reduce audiences to tears before building them up again. An emerging star, he has performed across the country, reached the national slam finals, performed at the Albert Hall, and countless festivals. He teaches poetry and workshops existing talent. He plans to hurt your feelings. He knows you'll be better for it.
South West Showcase, Saturday - Malaika Kegode
Growing up the most (reluctantly) ‘exotic’ girl in a quiet Devon town, Malaika Kegode cut her teeth as a poet and performer opening for bands in music venues such as Exeter Cavern and LeftBank, sometimes in trepidation but usually winning the audience’s attention with her beguiling delivery. Since those beginnings she has gone on to work closely with organisations such as Apples and Snakes, Roundhouse and BBC 1Xtra and is a member of the Raleigh Road Collective, formed as part of 1Xtra’s Words First initiative. Malaika has performed around the country at theatres, music venues, literary events and festivals such as WOMAD and Boomtown. She inspires young people as a workshop facilitator. Currently living in Bristol, where she feels happily less ‘exotic’, she is creator and host of Milk Poetry, a regular thriving event in the city. Her debut collection Requite is now available from Burning Eye Books.
Workshop facilitator, Saturday and Sunday - Thommie Gillow
Thommie Gillow has a Masters in Teaching Creative Writing and has been working as a Creative Writing Lecturer for the past three years. A published poet and successful performance artist, her workshops will leave you inspired and excited with many opportunities for further progression. Suitable for all ages although 14+ is recommended.
Workshop One (Saturday) - Show Don't Tell
Show Don't Tell is a phrase often bandied around in writing circles but what exactly does it mean and how can it enhance your work? Using some basic techniques in dramatic ways and applying them to your own work this workshop will teach you to lift your writing from the pedestrian and make it fly. Come as you are or with work to improve. All welcome.
Workshop Two (Sunday) - Writers Block
Whether you believe in writer's block or just need more inspiration for your work this workshop is for you. Looking at various different ways to kickstand your imaginations and then utilising a supportive group atmosphere this workshop should inspire you and continue to keep the ink flowing long after the event. Be prepared to be productive.
Guest artist, Sunday - Raymond Antrobus
Raymond Antrobus is a British Jamaican poet, performer and poetry educator born and bred in Hackney, East London.He is one of the world’s first recipients of a Creative Writing & Education MA (Goldsmiths University). His latest book of poems is To Sweeten Bitter (Out-Spoken Press). He is co-curator of one of London’s most popular Spoken Word events, Chill Pill.Sky Arts and Ideas Tap listed Raymond in the top 20 promising young artists in the UK and Fader rated him as a “Writer of Colour to watch in 2017”.
Guest artist, Sunday - Theresa Lola
Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet. She is the 2017 Hammer and Tongue Slam Champion. She was shortlisted for the 2016 Bridport Poetry Prize and 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize. She is part of Octavia Collective led by Rachel Long. She is a Barbican Young Poet Alumni led by Jacob Sam-La Rose.
South West Showcase, Sunday - Sarah McCreadie
Sarah McCreadie is a poet from Cardiff, who first performed not much over a year ago but has been writing her whole life. Sarah is a resident artist at the Roundhouse theatre in London, a member of the Roundhouse's poetry collective and is a BBC 1Xtra 'Words First' spoken word artist. She's performed from Leicester to New York and once read her poem about former Cardiff City footballer Gary Medel on American radio. You can find Sarah on Twitter at @Girl_Like_Sarah and on Facebook at the Sarah McCreadie Fan Club.
South West Showcase, Sunday - Tom Sastry
Tom Sastry struggles to write about reality because he finds it too surprising. He was particularly surprised to be chosen by Carol Ann Duffy as one of the 2016 Laureate's Choice poets. His resulting pamphlet, Complicity, is full of oddities such as clowns, grandmothers, spiders, bears which are really people and two imaginary museums. Complicity was one of the Poetry School's Books of the Year for 2016 and was the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2017.
South West Showcase, Sunday - Kathryn O'Driscoll
Bristol slam champion Kathryn O’Driscoll focuses primarily on loss, disability and mental health issues in her writing as she attempts to challenge stigmas and social views. Her work is deeply personal, raw and quietly political.
South West Showcase, Sunday - Lucy English
Lucy English is a novelist and poet, mother, grandmother and teacher. She has been part of the Bristol spoken word scene for the last twenty years and sees no reason to stop performing now!!! Her first collection 'Prayer to Imperfection' was published by Burning Eye in 2014.
South West Showcase, Sunday - Connor Macleod
A twisted romantic and mad word sorcerer, MacLeod began his poetry career writing short, comedic, surrealist pieces for local open mic nights. Since then, he's gone on to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Poetry Rivals 2016 Final and on a random boat somewhere in Bristol. Prepare to laugh at, cry with and worry for this Stand Up Poet's mental stability. "F****ing Fire" - Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks). "Definitely one to watch" - Raise the Bar Spoken Word.
South West Showcase, Sunday - Sam Grudgings
Sometimes called the human hurricane of poetry, Sam is a poet and storyteller from BristolHis frenetic delivery and off kilter imagery talks about loss, addiction and occasionally dragons. Expect a whirlwind of adventure, tales to terrify and campfire stories (bring your own marshmallows though).
South West Showcase, Sunday - Shagufta K
Shagufta K is an artist working mostly with spoken word, theatre and film. She has been described as one of the most talked about performers in the South West region. She has performed at Glastonbury, Plymouth Literature Festival, Bloomsbury Literature Festival, Alchemy Festival, South Bank Centre, Birmingham MAC and Bristol Old Vic. She is interested in bringing poetry to a wider audience, particularly through the use of spoken word, and live theatre. Keen to merge activism with art, she is a powerful and brave voice. A prime example of this is her 2015 poetry film ‘Borders’, with director Elizabeth Mizon, which has been screened at London Short Film Festival, Encounters Film Festival, and Tongues on Fire- London Asian Film Festival. She is due to release her debut poetry collection 'Jam Is For Girls, Girls Get Jam', with Burning Eye Books in Summer 2018.