Tag Archives: Nottingham Playhouse

Mouthy Poets is coming to an end.

2 Dec

Sometimes love and passion is not enough.

 

Last week we announced in our weekly session, that Mouthy Poets is wrapping up. November 25th was our final session.

 

After 6 years of growth; 11 Say Sum Thin shows, a national tour, an international exchange, a sister collective in Germany, the region’s biggest inter-school poetry slam, two albums, scholarships, commissions, publications and more, Mouthy has achieved above and beyond what a 20-year-old Deborah could have anticipated 6 years ago.

 

During the past year we have trialed various ways of progressing Mouthy Poets and making it a sustainable model that doesn’t rely on any one individual. However, just as many serendipitous things needed to align for Mouthy to grow, these things have not come together to enable Mouthy to continue. A combination of a small team with limited capacity, a change in needs of participants/the area and unexpected funding restrains left the whole team in agreement that bringing Mouthy to a peaceful and celebratory end was the only way forward. New crops need to be planted for soil to remain fertile, and we are excited to see what will come out of all the Mouthy Legacy (once a Mouthy, always a Mouthy).

 

Our funding will come to an end in January 2017 and we will be focusing in the next two months on evaluating the past 2 years of activity and wrapping up the office and administrative systems.

 

We hope to end with a day of evaluation/ round table discussions with partners, participants and Alumni in Nottingham on the 11th of Jan 2017 with a little party after. If you are available to come, please let us know and pop it in your diary!

 

Please spread the word and if there are any evaluation/ legacy or archiving support you can give us, or if you just want to let us know what impact we had on you/ someone you know/ your organisation – please let us know on Debris@mouthypoets.com

 

Warmest Regards,

Mouthy Poets CIC

 

It happens on a balcony — Beccy Shore SST10 performance draft

28 Jan

Hey. No idea what will happen to the formatting when I press publish, but I didn’t want to attach it as a file cause then you all have to go to the effort of downloading it 😛

 

It happens on a balcony

 

Like this isn’t extraordinary – being alive

without walls or ceilings, when we’re humming like fairy lights.

 

The generator, for a few beats

stops

 

breathing. We look up, like the eyes

of someone who loves you, as you walk in.

 

Constellations I don’t

recognise

flicker on. Clouds steal our breath

the moon shows scars

 

and all the stars point

to you

 

and to everyone else. To you –

all the stars point. The moon shows

scars.

 

Flicker on, clouds, steal our breath. Constellations

I don’t recognise, the eyes of someone

who loves you

as you walk in. We look          up,

the generator, for a few beats,

stops breathing.

 

We’re humming like fairy lights,

without walls or ceilings, being alive

 

like this isn’t extraordinary.

 

 

BeaBop: Tribute (SST10 Final Draft)

28 Jan

 

She lived for that green
the shade that bled the sun through
tall stems full
of the stuff of life
laying foundations in the moss
cultivating a kind of eco-festival
full of cool, hip-for-you stuff
-BEAT-
She hailed from Masaka in royal Uganda
she whispered evergreen national parks
wore celebrations piled atop afro coils
a silent disco danced behind cocoa eyes
and like a sister
yet more a daughter, she wrapped me in tribute
Pursing lips to my dimples

Once, I thought I had jailed my chance
to mother after severing myself from a house
full of too many women
growing big for their boobs
I kicked the dirt and left my idea of family
to flap in the cross-winds
in a pea-green boat
-BEAT-
She was the road sign green
that directed me back to motherhood
back when truth was wedged
between puberty and middle classdom
a detour made through males too old to be boys
I would hide my dreams behind
a padlocked Brady Bunch

Her face was the key
opening the old fashioned golden door
a beacon for folk to stay awhile
empty their souls
rest up and ease lines
carved across play dough
whilst sharing a little philosophy
-BEAT-
Her voice was the architect
plucking my dimples
to loosen my shadows
The chef: pressing jerk, pimento
scotch bonnet, garlic cloves
into my middle
seasoning me for motherhood
-BEAT-
She loved the little bit of apple mixed with olive
the kind that took the edge off a hard day
of walking wards
in worn-in clogs
her uniform a starched green
the type that made you stand to attention

Or hide your boyfriends attitude
until he wanted to do the right thing
all by himself

And she would call me

-BEAT-

Now she whispers to me

-BEAT-
And I mother a handful now
using those tints
of her cool, hip-for-you, stuff of life

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.

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 – Final Draft Auditorium show #SST9

6 Jul

Current Length: 5min

I will definitely need:

-1 Handheld mic + stand

-Track will have been mixed into one

-Audio Track – this will be with you by Friday.

I might need:

-ambient mics

-20 chairs

I may be using:

-A loop pedal – I am looking into this at the moment.

Performance wise:

-I am hoping to work with Hannah Silva and my partner to create a bit more texture using Mouthy’s on stage to create a sense of togetherness and seperateness, maybe saying some of the refrains with/ over me, and laying them up using a loop pedal. This is only a maybe at the moment as it depends on time and resources really.

Lighting-wise:

-Beyond what I have stipulated below – I really trust you and Laura on this one, what is making it difficult at the moment is not being 100% clear on the way I am going to perform it but I think there definitely needs to be a sense of being on a train but also being in a Grime setting with that strobing, darkness, and togetherness at the same time as being apart.

Key:

EMOTIONAL CHANGES

TECH/STAGE DIRECTIONS

Human Farm 

.

20 MOUTHY POETS SET UP ON STAGE IN RANGE OF AMBIENT MICS, THEIR SILLOHETTES BUT NOT THEIR FACES SHOULD BE LIT.

 .

DEBRIS WALKS CENTRE STAGE TO WIRELESS MIC ON STAND CENTRE STAGE.

 .

START TRACK.

 .

TIRED, FRUSTRATED AND DISCONNECTED.

//

//

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.

.

BECOMING MORE ACTIVELY FRUSTRATED WITH THE SITUATION, SPACE BECOMING MORE PACKED AND LESS CONSIDERATE.

.

It’s only a reservation –

trying to feed them both from her seat –

no other space to squeeze their feet.

Have we made life so neat?

A reservation?

//

//

REVIEWING THE SITUATION IN HER HEAD – WINDING HERSELF UP IN AN ATTEMPT SHE CAN THINK OF A SOLUTION.

Lady sits with bags, baby just blinks

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

her hands hook pits, her hands look tough,

but skin splits // like her bags lookin’ rough.

Sittin’ here, two seats apart on the train,

Reddening she’s staring 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.

.

PISSED OFF

I wanna say –

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

                                   Plenty other seats on the train, cotch!

.

FEELING STUPID AND HELPLESS

But – down the aisle wheelchairs (three) –

sticklers claiming seats

now elders with priority.

Awkward, I pretend I don’t see –

.

SLOWLY HOPE IMMERGES

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.

(Hands as a home).

//

//

Commuters journey,

suited kindly other offers cover

commuters journey,

Tesco bags pram past stags,

commuters journey,

adjacent // stacks of fragile patience,

commuters journey,

Calm, baby offers palm.

.

HOPE LOST

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?

DISPAIR

.

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.

SHOCK/FRUSTRATION/HOPLESSNESS

//

//

//

//

START NEXT TRACK

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

Strangers offering hands, but baby screeches, baby squirts.

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

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

.

ALMOST COMEDIC ANNOYANCE AT THE REDICULOUSNESS OF THESE WOMEN

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.

//

//

SMALL AMOUNT OF RELEIF FROM THE WOMAN GETTING OFF THE TRAIN

Only a reservation,

others assist with muggy buggy.

Only a reservation,

champers ladies ignore her like a druggie.

Finally at her station

and I wish I could say I’d done less harm,

.

REFLECTION/ REALISATION

whilst I was sitting here

thinking

human farm,

//

human farm,

//

human farm

human farm

human farm,

x3

human farm

human farm

.

DISAPOINTMENT

Thinking here –

I was just sittin’ here

sitting here thinking human farm.

sittin’ here

sitttin’ here

.

Thinking.

.

Was I doing

any less

harm?

.

FADE OUT TRACK.

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.