Hello all! Just a quick post today to introduce you to a resource on UK spoken word that I’ve found really interesting and useful. The lovely London-based poet and filmmaker Tyrone Lewis has been interviewing UK poets about their practices and local scenes and turning these interviews into documentaries which he posts on his YouTube channel Process Productions. These documentaries are freely accessible to all and contain some fascinating insights from the UK’s top spoken word artists. In our art form which so rarely receives the critical attention it deserves, these interviews are a great resource for thinking critically about our craft, how we build communities, and how to challenge ourselves to innovate.
The first documentary, ‘NEW SHIT! The Open Mic Documentary’ focuses on the role of the open mic in scene building and supporting emerging artists. It’s linked below:
Tyrone is currently working on a series of episodes focusing on the poetry slam, entitled ‘Scores Please?’ Episode 1: Welcome to the Slam, and Episode 2: It’s All About Style are linked below. Disclaimer: Tyrone kindly interviewed me and several other Loud Poets for this series while he was up at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer, so you may see a couple of familiar faces 🙂
Hope you enjoy, and do check out the rest of the Process Productions YouTube channel – it’s a great resource not only for documentaries but for poems as well! -Katie
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged documentary, interviews, oral poetry, performance poet, performance poetry, poet, poetry, poetry slam, slam poet, Slam poetry, spoken word, UK poetry
Last night I had the pleasure of performing at Vineyard Arts, which is a lovely biweekly arts group taking place in a church space in Partick. That evening—a very rainy one, even for Glasgow—the attendance was fairly low, and the folks who showed up were mostly fellow spoken word artists. I realised that most of the pieces in the spoken word set I’d prepared would be familiar to most of the folks in the room, so I decided to scrap it and instead read from my collection, Homing. It was a surprisingly lovely experience: I almost never read publicly from Homing, since most of the time I’m booked as a spoken word artist and expected to perform off-book.
Th experience of sharing poems from the book reminded me of the experience of putting Homing together last spring—it’s hard to believe it’s been out for nearly a year! The whole process, from the initial idea to drafting to printing to selling the books, was such a whirlwind journey in which I learned a huge deal about the process of funding, compiling, publishing, and marketing a poetry collection. So, here I reflect on that process and on some of the realisations it gave me about my own work and creative practice.
Cover photography & design: Perry Jonsson Art.
Posted in Creative Practice
Tagged collection, pamphlet, performance poetry, poem, poet, poetry, poetry collection, publishing, self-publishing, Slam poetry, spoken word
Ed note: This week we’re featuring a guest post from writer Derek White. Derek’s post considers something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: how do we determine whether a poet is a “proper poet” or “professional poet”? What differentiates those “formal” poets from the “amateurs”: money, talent, publications, experience, how they market themselves? Derek’s post explores these questions through personal experience and reference to American literature. Enjoy! Continue reading
A couple weeks ago, in the first seminar discussion for the Constructions of Scotland class I’m auditing at Strathclyde, we were introducing ourselves and the professor (Dr. David Goldie) said he’d heard I was a Scottish poet. “Well,” I fumbled, flattered but confused, “I do write poems and I’m in Scotland…” He replied, laughing, “There you go! A Scottish poet.” He then went on to unpack this and led us into a discussion of what constitutes identity, particularly in the literary world. It’s a question that’s been working in the back of my mind for weeks now: can I, as an American citizen freshly moved to Glasgow, really assume the title of Scottish poet? It’s true that I’ve written poems while physically in Scotland, as well as poems about Scotland. And I’m active in the Scottish slam scene while I’ve never taken the stage in the U.S. But still. My Philly accent gives me away as American the moment I open my mouth to read stanza one. It’s caused me to think: how do we define who is a Scottish writer? Or a Scottish dancer, or artist, or whatever one’s craft may be? Continue reading