Barbican Young Poets 2018

I feel so peaceful and fortunate now after having the time to get to know the wonderful Barbican Young Poets and getting to be part of the work shared at the 2018 showcase on March 18th. It was something special to just experience so much energy and a room full of changemakers on stage and in the audience.

Forever grateful for having the opportunity to be part of this community and to learn with such good people. To support one another on this path we walk on is always going to reinforce the fact that light propels light.

I’ve been reading through the Barbican Young Poets 2018 anthology and I know I keep saying it but I really do feel so thankful to be part of this community of talented creative people. Soon the book will be available to buy in the Barbican Centre gift shop and online.

I have written a blog for the Poetry Translation Centre about some of my feelings about the programme which I will be sharing soon but there will never be enough words and even though this photo may not reveal how ‘jumping up and down happy’ I am, I really can’t stop smiling whenever I realise that we did it. We made a thing! We are part of a process that will go on to inspire more people as it has in the last 9 years. Even for those who don’t read or who find the world of poetry a bit unapproachable, I feel like now more than ever is a time where we should be encouraging one another to come together and feel part of a community.

Every action we take has a wider impact upon the world and when we step beyond ourselves and mix with people, laugh and create, that’s when we can enact the change we want for the world. I went to a talk yesterday where environmentalist monk Dada Jyotirupananda spoke about the need for us to see the ‘We in Me’ and flip the script on our relationship with the planet. Someone in the audience accused him of spouting hippy rubbish but actually there’s a bravery in admitting we need to come together to do the truly great things. You don’t need to do everything alone and there will be always be someone around you that you can share your path and energy with. As much as certain motivational posts on Instagram and beyond will say otherwise, the answer is just as much in the world around you as it is within yourself.

Photo by Catarina Rodrigues, Barbican 2018

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Alex Ohm Releases At First A Drop, Then A Flood EP | FMS

A throwback to my review of Alex Ohm’s stunning debut EP for FMS Magazine. A humble and talented man who’s passionate about achieving his musical dreams. He’s had a long career in music but this is his first solo outing! 

https://fms-mag.com/alex-ohm-releases-at-first-a-drop-then-a-flood-ep/

Art Night | REVIEW | a melting-pot of art in extraordinary spaces – The Cusp Magazine

‘There was an energy felt amongst the crowds of people that evoked a dream-like sense of wandering in us all.’

Follow the link for my review of Art Night 2017 in The Cusp Magazine. A night of fluttering from exhibition to exhibition with a free spirit and an open mind.
http://thecuspmagazine.com/showcase/art-night-review-melting-pot-art-extraordinary-spaces/

Interview: Leo Wyndham of Palace 

This week I interviewed Leo Wyndham, the frontman for the London alt blues band Palace, talking poetry, touring life and music that hits you in the gut.

It made me realise how inspiring it is to connect with people who are realising their dreams. Light propels light. One persons creativity unfurling loosens the tongue and mind of another. Take in the talent you see around you. Allow it to turn your sights to the things that you wish for and never forget to tap into the resources you have for constant inspiration, in my case here: music. 

To read my interview  follow this link to the London Student site:

http://londonstudent.coop/review/2017/03/29/palace-imperfection-music-beautiful-thing/

Making Art Speak

Making art speak out on issues affecting modern culture can be a forced exercise structured around perceived and expected responses. While deriving more than pleasure from a text adds a new dimension to it, recognition of the racial didacticism of The Sellout should never override the wealth of ideas explored in this year’s Man Booker prize winner.

To read more of my article for Savage Journal follow the link below.

http://www.savageonline.co.uk/our-london/making-art-speak/

Gentrified and terrified 

Gentrification when the ones that paint streets are told they’re not tagging they’re creating. As though our names mean more when they don’t spell out war. They show you rainbows and renovate coffee factories into plush offices but in all that quirky beauty are any problems solved? Art can be futile sometimes but maybe shapes and measures can be blasted into making something good. Something that tells people that they will have their homes, educations and hope. Big cities and small towns have room for us all. Room enough to make clear that we haven’t got ghettos to segregate the rich from the poor anymore. These places are changing and we’re all going to enjoy the change even if we have to paint our presence all over concrete that’s new.

Night Blossoms 

Spring comes and with it comes more beauty in the night that I’ve been used to on my midnight strolls through alleys on the way home. I never really thought about the way I feel deep fear every night. Every night I cross the road if I see someone strange approaching me. I regret the flash of skin that I have let happen when I dressed myself in the morning. But we take risks for beauty. I saw a tree on the way home, a lonely blossom in the night and it found me. It found me and I couldn’t help but stop my usually brisk walk. Some things capture us even when we are at our most hardened. We can be soft in our fear. We can soak in our world. We can slow down and take it all in.