I’ve been quiet for a little while on the blog, but a lot has been happening from a writing front and I’m ready to hit 2016 with a bang as a poet.

Firstly, there is a new member of my little family. Meet Byron: my 7 month old Quaker Parakeet, born in July 2015.

Byron

Byron has provided me with A LOT of material for my new spoken word show, Six Ways To Break A Bird, which will be ready for showcase in April this year, and hopefully ready for hire by the new academic year in September 2016. Together, we are embarking on a new phase in my writing, performance and pedagogy, involving a more sensory experience for young people. Byron has also proved a lovely travelling companion for a roving poet and travels with me to various locations. He has been a hit with some of the young people I work with and has proved himself to be a very charismatic assistant facilitator!

So, what else is new in 2016? A City of Foxes is back in Reading in May and June, alongside workshops for the public, centred around the theme of identity. This show is in the process of being completely redrafted, so if you’ve seen it before, watch out for a whole new script and performance later this year!

Alongside A City of Foxes and Six Ways To Break A Bird, I’m also collating a written collection of work based around the motif of the octopus. Here is an octopus:

octopus

They’re cool aren’t they? (Byron’s not a fan!) This motif has proved extremely flexible (much like the boneless beast itself!) and, in the winter of 2015, I teamed up with the wonderful Creative People and Jelly in Reading to research and develop part of this project with a narrative poem about the octopus, man and evolution. This poem can be found on bandcamp here: https://beccilouise.bandcamp.com/album/the-octopus-evolves-perspective, you can also buy the first version of ‘A City of Foxes’ from this account. The old version will remain available when the new version is put up, so that listeners can choose which version of the story they would like to hear.

On top of that, I am embarking on a whole new adventure in 2016: moving from full time teacher to full time poet by the end of the year. I am looking for an artist in residence position with a comprehensive school in Reading with which to facilitate workshops, run projects with young people and create more art. I’m really looking forward to this year!

Oh! And if you haven’t already, check out Reading’s new Spoken Word night, SpeakBeats! You can check out our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Speakbeatsrdg/?fref=ts and we’re on twitter at @SpeakBeatsRDG. Our next event is on February 20th with two awesome poets, the names of whom are up on the SpeakBeats Facebook page! I feel pretty good about this year, and about how I’m going to develop some of these mental ideas into cohesive pieces of writing. Better get started!

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