Tag Archives: MouthyPoets

Mid Shelley SST10 second draft

8 Jan

25 mins late, but got there! Thanks for understanding 🙂 This is a bit of an experiment, gonna see how it goes…not perfect but hopefully gives an idea of where I’m trying to go with it. (This is the performance version, not convinced it works too great on paper but I’m planning on working on a more page friendly version for the zine).

Some secrets need to be kept in the dark.
And sometimes, with the really big secrets,
you need to keep yourself in the dark,
for fear the thing will ooze out of your skin,
plop itself into your lap while you’re sat at school
and say – hey!
You can implode my world now.

When I was seven my mum used to buy
packets of ten strawberry splits from the discount store.
I rarely remember eating a real meal,
but I remember licking them, one after the other
until I was so full of ice and sugar
I could trace the core of cold
right down the middle of me.
I was sat on the step with my best friend
eating ice lollies.
‘I can’t wait for it to end’, I said.
He didn’t know what I meant.

Flash –
Staring at her chest
Flash –
Waiting for her breath

When I was seventeen
I blagged my way through a tenancy agreement
by telling them I was twenty three
and a teaching assistant.
My pupils had eclipsed my irises
and left everything gray –
I hadn’t slept for three days.

Flash –
Staring at the mirror
Flash –
Reflection unfamiliar

When I was nineteen my girlfriend moved in with me.
She was encased in ice
but would spit sparks at me without thawing.
It seemed I was constantly breathing out smoke
even in the absence of a cigarette.
I didn’t know whether my insides were frozen or smoldering.
She taught me how to tie a scarf against the wind,
and I taught myself to pretend
the electric heater was an open fire,
to imagine I was warm.
Sometimes I would hold icecubes in my hands
until they melted.
Fascinated by the way they burned.

Flash –
Dirty wall
Flash –
Closed door
Flash –
Loud screams
Flash –
Bad dreams

As I grew I became obsessed with layers,
with silks and merino wool.
I would worship the cloth with my fingers,
amazed that things so thin
could hold in so much heat.
I sat around real camp fires,
and looking into them I learned
that it was heavens, not hells,
that are made of flames.
I learned to keep away the cold,
embracing strangers under stars,
and that dancing can make even the naked warm.

These
are the pieces of me.
The hard sharp shards
that add up to make me,
and I stand proud
and hiss to the wind –

I am a broken thing.

I am a broken thing.

So on the days I think I’m done
trying to sew myself back together,
and the only shape my lips can make is ‘fuck you’,
I curl my head towards my heart
and listen to the whisper –
you don’t have to stay where makes you ill.
You don’t have to sit if you can’t stay still.
And these scars,
they make us beautiful.

‘Coz sometimes I feel I could shake
the whole world with a whisper,
and that when I speak
the air will never be the same,
and that my heart is big enough
to hold the whole earth,
and I know that nothing stays the same,
except change.
When I was twenty five I learned how to breathe fire.
To stand on stages and to make ice weep.
I own more jumpers than I can make use of.
But sometimes I’ll walk barefoot through snow,
just to watch it dissolve.
And I still squeeze icecubes…
fascinated by the way we burn.

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Announcing our Associate Artists 2015-2016

16 Oct

What is the Associate Artists programme?

At Mouthy, we aspire to create diverse voices, educated and supported by world class talent, enabling young aspiring poets to step into the professional world with confidence in their craft and identity.

At the centre of Mouthy is our Core Collective of 50 15-30 year olds and to deepen our investment in them, I am happy to announce our new annual Associate Artists Programme. Three new Associate Artists will be welcomed into Mouthy every year to;

  • become part of the family,
  • lead friday workshops (alongside core artists and facilitators at Mouthy, Debris Stevenson and Anne Holloway),
  • lead masterclasses,
  • develop and perform their own work to perform as part of the collective,
  • develop and challenge themselves as artists and therefore challenge the Mouthy poets around them,
  • support Mouthy to connect the the national poetry scene,
  • and provide 1-1 tutorials in specialised areas.

How do we choose them?

We have learned over the years that working with Mouthy is a very specific commitment due to the intensity to which we work with young people and the combination of developing writing, performance and event coordination. For this reason, to select the Associate Artists we consulted the collective and our stakeholders to create a long-list of artists with a national and international reputation. Those able and interested in the programme created our short-list and were invited to deliver workshops for Mouthy and attend a Mouthy show. Through engagement, dialogue and evaluation of these processes our Associate Artists were chosen. We hope to find other ways to work closely with the Artists on our long and short-lists!

Every year, we aim for 1 of the 3 Artists to me a graduate of the Mouthy Core Collective and Educator Training programmes, creating a clear route of professional development for poets growing through Mouthy.

Who are they?!

 

Dean Atta 

Dean Atta

“I have admired the scale and ambition of Mouthy from afar for a number
of years. As I have come closer to the organisation what I admire most
is the heart and community spirit of its members. Now I am officially
part of that community what I look forward to most is getting to know
the individual mouthy members and bringing my experience to the table
to help them develop in their practice and careers as writers and
educators.”

Dean Atta is a poet and educator, with a BA Philosophy and English from the University of Sussex and MA Writer/Teacher from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Dean is a member of Keats House Poets Forum and Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. He is an Associate Artist with Mouthy Poets and New Writing South, member of the Creative Team for Eastside Educational Trust and a Performance Poet with Apples and Snakes. Dean’s debut poetry collection I Am Nobody’s Nigger was published by The Westbourne Press in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2014.

www.deanatta.co.uk / www.facebook.com/deanatta / www.twitter.com/deanatta

Hannah Silva

Hannahprofilehedge

“Mouthy Poets are an incredibly hard working, talented and warm group of young people, I am very honoured to have the chance to work with them this year. I am inspired by the ways in which they use poetry as a tool for living, communicating, building confidence and creating. The focus on diversity, collaboration and development makes Mouthy Poets very special and important. There’s no one way of being a poet who performs, I’m looking forward to learning from others, adding some of my experiences and approaches to the mix, and writing new material along the way.”

Hannah Silva is a Birmingham based poet, playwright and performer, known for her innovative explorations of language, voice and form. She was shortlisted for the 2014 Ted Hughes Award, and won the Tinniswood Award for ‘Marathon Tales’, (co-written with Colin Teevan for BBC Radio 3). She is currently touring ‘Schlock!’ a solo performance made by splicing together Fifty Shades of Grey with a novel by Kathy Acker. Schlock! was commissioned by The Poetry Trust for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival 2014 – tour destinations include Flip Festival in Brazil and ‘Literature Live!’ in Mumbai. Her first collection ‘Forms of Protest’ is published by Penned in the Marginswww.hannahsilva.co.uk

Ioney Smallhorne

 cheekyIoney’s poems are influenced by her Jamaican heritage, her experience as a Black woman in England and her love of the natural world.

She bravely uses writing to oppose social injustices, to question the status quo and to confront abuse. A principle volunteer with Nottingham Black Archive, Ioney has a great passion for history and often uses it to fuel her writing. An original members of the dynamic collective The Mouthy Poets. As a Spoken Word Educator she encourages young people to harness the power of poetry to realise their own greatness.

Ioney is also a film maker and enjoys translating her poems to the screen.

Debris Stevenson – SST9 Auditorium 3rd Draft & Tech Wishlist

29 Jun

Hello All, Sorry I am a day late – Charlotte is on holiday at the moment (we love your Charlotte!) and we are all feeling the burn of being without her efficiency! But I have come a long way in a day I think… So I have now confirmed the producer I am working with on this poem/track, and I am going to use two of his songs back to back: It will be Twelve Thirsy and then Club Rum from this EP. Tech Wish List  I have really scaled my ideas down…  I am really worried about being heard over the music and making sure I have a suitable mic/s and that the levels are right. I will 100% need a monitor to hear myself I think and I may end up professional recording some of this to take the preassure of this but it would be good to talk to tech about how we navigate this. -I think I basically might need some chairs, cool lighting and people but beyond that I want to keep it simple. A lapel mic or very good handheld and stand would be best. Feedback Questions

  • Is the story clearer now?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • What does it make you think about?
  • Are there any jarring lines/words/sections?
  • Not sure about the title?

Current Length: 4-5min

Human Farm 

1 bar intro track 1 (Twelve Thirsty)

 

Commuters journey;

wrappers, papers, rats and goodbye naps.

Commuters journey;

Brompton bikes, fights, scenic cites.

//

Commuters journey;

ticket fines, keypads distract minds.

Commuters journeys;

wheelchairs navigate human freight.

.

It’s only a reservation –

trying to feed them both from her seat –

no other space to wheel their feet.

Have we made life so neat?

A reservation…

.

–1 bar pause–

.

Lady sits with bags, baby just blinks

his eyes don’t collide either side, he just squints,

her hands hook pits, her hands look strong,

but skin splits // like her bags later on.

Sittin’ here, two seats apart on the train,

staring into tray through her baby like rain.

.

And I’m sittin’ here thinking

human farm, human farm,

human farm. Sittin’ here.

                                    Hey, we’re sittin’ here

yes sorry sitting here,

yes please sorry, sorry,

sorry sittin’ here

our seat yes we’re sittin’ here.

.

I wanna say –

                                    She’s just sittin’ here, saying nuthin’, watch

                                                      Plenty other seats on the train, cotch!

.

Clock down isle wheelchairs (three) –

sticklers claiming seats

now elders with priority.

Awkward, I pretend I don’t see –

.

She’s showing hurt:

sweat-patches by the mile.

No one questions bags,

why she’s alone

lady over there

offers hands as a home.

Ladies’ shone she cares,

others’ head phones blare –

//

Commuters journey,

suited kindly other offers cover

commuters journey,

Tesco bags pram past stags,

commuters journey,

adjacent // stacks of fragile patience,

commuters journey,

Pain? Baby’s crying canes.

.

Only a reservation

Finally, she was just about to eat.

Only a reservation,

before a clique of work colleagues meet,

                                    Oh our a reservation?

Eyes with a touch more grief?

.

Now I’m sitting here

thinking human farm,

human farm, human farm,

I’m just sittin here.

Hey, I’m sitting just here

Yes, sorry we’re sitting here,

yes us, sorry – sitting here.

Our seats, yes, we’re sitting here.

.

fade into next track (Club Rum)

.

Two bars of new track

.

Crying silent, tears are itchy, rolling down her neck.

Strangers offering hands, but baby screeches, what the heck?

Ladies champers-table, Marks & Spensers – what next?

No longer sittin’ here. Standin’ in isle getting’ vexed.

.

Commuters journey;

bougie bitches don’t get deserts.

Commuters journey;

mums travel lonely carry slums.

Commuters journey;

bust, we need strangers’ we trust.

Commuters journey –

dust, no tracks without rust.

.

1 bar pause.

.

Only a reservation,

others assist with muggy buggy.

Only a reservation,

champers ladies ignore her like a druggie.

Only a reservation,

I wish I could say I was doing less harm,

.

whilst I’m sitting here

thinking

human farm,

//

human farm,

human farm

human farm

human farm,

human farm

human farm

.

Thinking here –

I’m just sittin’ here

sitting here thinking human farm.

I’m just sittin’ here

sitttin’ here

.

Thinking.

Fade out track.

Debris Stevenson – SST9 Draft 2 Auditorium/Studio Show

23 Jun

Hello All

So I am currently working on a long term project (I think) on the meeting points and collaboration potential of Grime music and poetry – as two big loves of mine. I was hoping to find an artists and use that as a starting point, but that has been logistically very difficult – I have found lots of amazing artists to work with and indeed I feel I will work with lots of them but creating something for SST9 with no experience of collaborating has proven too tight a timeline.

So I was faced with an issue of really wanting to pursue this collaboration but needing a new plan, so I decided (as I often do) to give myself an exercise:

– To start re-writing my favourite album, Boy in the Corner, by Dizzee Racal, but with poetry. For now I am going to call this the #PoetintheCorner project. And it will give me a chance to really analyse Grime Lyrics at their finest and try and replicate them within my own form. Bonus: I get an end product and a clear set of things I would like to work with other artists on.

So below is essentially my first try at this exercise, so feel free to tell me if you think it is crap! It uses the structure of Sittin’ Here – the first track on the album – and uses it to tell a story of an experience I recently had on the train…

Feedback Questions

  • I will be using a lot of staging techniques to tell the story, but on the page can you actually understand/follow what is going on? I think that is important.
  • I have been massively pushed by rhythm here so it would be good to know which line sare working and which feel forced or weird or are not working.
  • How does the pice make you feel?
  • + Generalness…

Who’s Seat?

[Intro -]

Mind your back

Still a way to go.

Baby.

.

It’s clear

(nearly there)

.

Look,

.

[Verse 1]

She’s just sitting there, holding bags and baby just blinks

his eyes don’t collide either side, he just squints

her hands hook pits and her hands look strong

but I think her skin’s split like her bags later on

.

She’s just sitting there, two seats in front on the train,

she’s staring into tray, through her baby like a pane,

she reddens quiet a lot, in fact she’s red all the way.

If she stays, disabled place – get moved slash replaced.

.

Commuters journey,

wrappers, papers, rats and goodbye naps,

commuters journey,

Brompton bikes, phone fights and scenic cites

commuters journey,

ticket fines as keypads distract minds

Yeah commuters journeys,

wheelchairs navigate – human freight.

.

Only a reservation,

trying to feed them both from her seat,

only a reservation,

but no other space to wheel their feet,

only a reservation,

but we’ve made life so neat

.

[Hook]

that now I’m sitting here

thinking human farm?

human farm, human farm

I’m just sittin here

.

Hey, I’m sitting just here

Yes, sorry sitting here,

yes me, sorry – sitting here.

My seat, yes, I’m sitting here –

.

[Verse 2]

.

I want to say

.

She’s just sittin’ here, not saying nuthin’, just watch

There are plenty other seats on the train please, cotch,

But I spot down the isle wheelchairs by the three

And I turn so fast that the answers not with me.

.

Their just talking at her, she says nothing but a smile

Slowly showing hurt, sweat patches merge miles.

No one questions bags, why she’s alone

but the lady over there offers hands as a home.

.

Commuters journey,

suited rosy mother offers cover

commuters journey,

Tesco bags and pram past stags,

commuters journey,

seat adjacent stacks fragile patience,

commuters journey,

pain, as baby’s crying like the cane.

.

Only a reservation

Finally, she was just about to eat.

Only a reservation,

before a clique of work colleagues

Only a reservation,

eyes with a touch more grief?

.

[Hook]

and now I’m sitting here

thinking human farm?

human farm, human farm

I’m just sittin here

.

Hey, I’m sitting just here

Yes, sorry we’re sitting here,

yes us, sorry – sitting here.

Our seats, yes, we’re sitting here –

.

[Verse 3]

.

She’s just sittin’ there, she’s not lookin’ up, breathes less (shame)

We’re only here till Bagshot, reservation’s’ always best.

Crying silent, tears are itchy, rolling down her neck.

We keep offering hands, baby screeches, what the heck?

 .

No longer sittin’ here. No one askin’ baggage why?

Stood flat in the isle silent side to side.

Try read myself together, tell table ladies “Fix Up”

Kick Champaign to laughin’, but subconscious shuts me up.

.

Commuters journey,

Bougie bitches don’t get deserts

commuters journey,

tickets trench human spirit

commuters journey,

mums travel lonely carry slums.

commuters journey.

Bust, we need strangers’ we trust.

.

Only a reservation

stand till bags give out

Only a reservation,

I wish I’d hug her now.

Only a reservation,

New voice saying you’re aloud…

.

[Hook]

to be sitting here

thinking human farmI

human farm, human farm

Leave me sittin here.

.

Come sit with me,

But let’s just be

sittin’ here our seats,

yes, we’re sitting here.

.

Staging Ideas:

  • So I definitely want to create the train somehow; set, lighting, seats, projection or people I am not sure.
  • Some characters will say some of these lines I think… so I need to find some volunteers.
  • I want the poem to end with at least me the lady and her baby sitting in the isle but possible lots of people to be sitting in the isle by the end might be nice.

Technical/ Props Wish List

  • I would really like a fake baby… I am not sure if it will work but it is worth a try?
  • I will need lots of people and or chairs on stage I think… I want to create the feel of the train I think but it would be nice if I could do this with lighting as much as possible.
  • I know you are looking into musical licensing, I would really like to use the actual instrumental from boy in the corner if possible… but I am looking into original music options too.
  • Considering some kind of projection to set the scene but I haven’t thought about it tooo much.
  • I think some of this will be played via audio and some live… as it is A LOT to perform in one go… But I would like to challenge myself.

Which Show?

  • With this new staging idea, having a bit stage to travel around may be really helpful to telling this story, but I am also aware of how new a thing this is for me and the risk in that – everything is taking a long time. Also still conscious that a grime vibe might just sit better in the studio… but it could also be scary…. Interested on thoughts of this too.

How Long? 

  • 5-6min – track is 4min long I am thinking + staging and encase I put it to a new slightly slower track.

Debris x

Debris Stevenson – SST9 Idea

17 May

So I have a lot of ideas buzzing around my head for this one, and also a lot of other writing I am working on that I think this piece alongside. I think what might help is for me to list my aims/objectives for this piece:

-I want to push my understand and use of poetry crossing over into Grime Lyrics/ MCing both within my writing and my delivery.

-I want to work with local Grime artists in developing, creating and performing the content – I really want to work with a producer and ideally some MC’s too.

-I want to explore the ‘Carnival Atmosphere’ of a cypher, a battle, a clash in a garage, a living room, a park.

-I am currently developing a lot of content for my one day 1 woman show (my SST8 piece is part of this too), this show is mainly around my family and religion but I want Grime and where I grew up to feature in it too and I think this piece might be at the core of that intersection.

-I think it is quiet likely I will be aiming for the Studio show for this because I really want to create that vibe of being in a small, sweaty space. BUT I am aware aiming for the auditorium show may enable me to draw in some more high profile collaborators.

Very excited!

Debris

BeaBop SST9 Carnival – DRAFT

16 May

Marmalade is the new brown. One half dipped in Marmite. The other rotated in a vat of feathers.  Frantic streams of rainbows popcorn into summer soca. There is a bass urge to screech from the bottom of magnolia-lined lungs. Profane examples of society prefer to jam like berries in Tory blue. I breathe in candy-floss coated chicken and a float whirls by carrying a super-princess wearing steel pan pants, thumping her feet to the rhythm with pride eminating from her waist.  Her beat wakes up deadbeats resting in the ruts between cracked cobble stones. De road marches from The Forest to mirror the sky.  I am greedy for more magnolia clouds.  Around the corner a page is turning again. An eruption spews Nepalese rocks from my chest. As I exhale I m

Say Sum Thin Success

3 Mar

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After months of planning and preparation, Mouthy took to the stage at the end of February to perform “Say Sum Thin 8”. It was a resounding success, with over 100 audience members for both nights! It’s hard to articulate how much energy was put into every bit of work needed to produce the shows and to name all that participated, in making them as good as they were, is to put every single Mouthy Poet name down.

We would like to thank you, however; as the audience you clicked, clapped and mhmm’d throughout both nights and for a poet to experience that is only going to make them grow in confidence and feel that the work they put in was worth it.

We were privileged on Friday night to play host to First Time Dave, on his ‘Good to Talk’ Cycle Tour. Dave is doing 10 gigs, in 10 cities in 10 days and by the time he had reached Nottingham he had already cycled hundreds of miles and he had many more to go. His charity of choice for Nottingham was Harmless, an amazing service that offers support, training and consultancy to those who self harm; Say Sum Thin 8 and First Time Dave managed to raise £115 for this amazing cause! So thank you to those who donated and please continue to support them in their work. (Harmless Website / Review)

Friday night also saw members of the audience give us a taste of their own poetry in open mic slots, it is a brave thing to do and it was a delight to hear the voices of those who came to hear ours.

On to Saturday, and before the headline show Ideas Tap offered a free workshop with New York Slam Poet Jon Sands. We were made to look at persona poems, challenged in a free write and enjoyed a (totally relevant) game of “I don’t believe you!”. We certainly all took something from the workshop and it was a good moment for the Mouthy’s to relax before the headline show that evening.

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The Mouthy Poets Cafe opened at half 7 to a very busy atrium and the show began. Once again there were clicks, claps and appreciation shown throughout – with a choreographed piece which involved doughnuts, armadillos, a jam roly poly and much more. The show finished with Jon Sands performing some of his poems to a ruckus of laughter and acknowledgement of his incredible word play and imagery. If you can, check out his book “The New Clean” and find out more on his website! A big thank you goes to him for being so energetic and bringing that to the stage for us to share.

The show does not end at lights up however, the evaluation process continues as we start to collate the feedback you gave us! This will make Mouthy grow and improve, so that we can continue to provide you with bigger and better performances. You can continue to give feedback of your experience using the hashtag #SST8. We will be picking a random winner from these who will receive a Zine signed by Mouthy & Jon Sands!B-8-kOLWsAEaBEf

We are also still on tour and will be hitting the MAC in Birmingham this Saturday, with guest poet Hannah Silva! Make sure to check out our Facebook event page and community page and our Twitter for updates on what we’re up to.

So thank you, once again, for joining us for Say Sum Thin 8! Weare so grateful that you came to support us and we loved speaking out to you. If you can’t get enough of us…Say Sum Thin 9 is on the 25th of July! Pencil it in!
AUDIENCE MEMBER REVIEWS:

“I am full up but there is always room for desert”

“You guys are amazing…”

“Excellent, had a brilliant time”

“We ❤ poetry! Thank you XXX”

“Inspiring”

“Powerful, imaginative and breath-taking. Thank you! X”

“10 out of 10 would poem again”

“Brilliant! First timer and loved every second. Diversity of poems was great. Well done Mouthy!”