My Creepy-Crawly Story House
My brand new spoken word show for children previews as part of the Southend Library's Summer Reading Challenge Programme.
The show is aimed at children 4 plus and performances take place at Westcliff Library (Tuesday August 6th, 10am -12noon), Saturday August 10th (Leigh Library, 10.30am - 12.30pm), Thursday 15th (Thorpdene Library, 2pm -4pm), Saturday 24th August (Kent Elms Library, 2pm-4pm). Tickets in advance directly from the libraries (and if available on the day) are £1.
Through interactive poetry, song and art, My Creepy-Crawly Story House charts some hilarious encounters and spooky adventures with bugs, mini-beasts and fantastical creatures. You can also invent your own poetical pest to be a special guest at the end of show Creepy-Crawly House Party. (More info in the show section.)
Thank you to Southend Libraries for inviting me to do the shows. Please support the campaign to save our libraries!
Trip to Shanghai
At the end of May, I travelled to Yew Chung International School in Shangai, China to celebrate the school's Book Week. That's the furthest distance my poems have taken me, so far. I delivered performances and workshops across all key stages to junior and secondary school children and there were also enjoyable sessions for teachers and parents. It was a week of inspiration all round, climaxing with some fantatstic performances from the young people themselves.
One Way Ticket
I was delighted to be invited to write and perform for poet Rosemary Harris' new spoken word project "One Way Ticket" in conjunction with Apples and Snakes and the Half Moon Theatre. Working alongside Rosie and fellow performance poet Sophie Rose, we wrote and developed a new show aimed at children 8 plus, responding to the theme of the British Child Migrant scandal, an injustice that sent over 10,000 British children to children's homes in Zimbabwae, Canada and Australia in the 1940's, 50's and 60's.The scratch performance at the Half Moon was well received and plans are being made with the aim of further developing the piece for touring in spring 2014.
Sundown's 10th Birthday Party
The guys at Sundown Arts are fabulous. Promoting a magical mixture of live literature, cabaret, music and stand-up they've brought some brilliant acts to Southend.They've been doing it for ten years now and on Saturday September 21st they are having a party. I'm performing and there's an excellent line-up for children and families, including very funny kids stand-up James Campbell and recent Essex Storytelling Laureate Mike Dodsworth. Visit the Sundown Arts site for more details.
I'm delivering an exciting one-off workshop for children, alongside Jacqui at my favourite independent kids bookshop Jacqson Diego's Story Emporium in Westcliff. Mixing poetry and craft, we are going to turn our families into fruit bowls. It's on Sunday15th September, 2pm - 4pm. To sign up visit Jacqui at Jacqson Diego. Jacqui and I will also be launching Literacy Outloud in the autumn, a collabarative programme of literacy and literary activities and workshops for schools.
Born to Giggle
I have two poems in a new anthology edited by Ian Billings, raising money for Save The Children. Born to Giggle also features comic poetry from the likes of John Hegley and Ian Macmillan.
National Poetry Week
I'm spending this year's National Poetry Day - (Thursday October 3rd) in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, running workshops and performances at Salehurst Primary School during the day and performing and hosting an open mike at The Ostrich Pub in the evening. This year's theme is water so it's appropriate to be spending it in a town that's has an impressive history of flooding.
I regularly visit schools across the country spreading my enthusiasm for spoken word and poetry. If you are a teacher and interested in what I can offer as a poet in schools to inspire pupils to talk, write, perform and have fun with words, do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Acknowledgements: (Cover photo taken by Peter Fry, other photos by Peter Fry or Alan from Pilton College, Barnstaple. Ilustrations are by Ed Boxall).