Hockley Hustled!

Well! After Sunday I feel well and truly Hustled – in the best possible way. The 2019 Hockley Hustle in the Hockley district of Nottingham is an annual event involving over 350 artists on 30+ stages in and around the clubs, bars, streets and other ‘venues’ in Hockley. Artists, musicians, poets, dancers and stage promoters come together to create an event that raises funds for charities and organisations supporting Nottingham’s most vulnerable.

I was involved in a couple of ways this year. I was delighted to perform with Two Seda, a multi-lingual trio who perform original poetry in Farsi and English, accompanied by Portugeuse music. We have had a short break from performing since Easter, but we have been busy writing and it was great to perform our new pieces, along with a couple of older favourites on the beautifully decorated Acoustickle stage, managed by the multitalented Parisa East.

Then it was over to Emmanuel House were I was hosting the We Shall Overcome stage for the Hockley Hustle. It was a fabulous line-up with many lovely. supportive and talented people – if I do say so myself! We had, aside from four brave open micers, The Rise singers with songs from Iceland to Africa, via The Flying Pickets’ song, Only You. We had top poetry from Katy Gearing and myself. We had the constantly fabulous King of Rome, including their new song Blind Eye written especially for the volunteers that go out and support the street homeless in Nottingham on a Sunday. We had Pixie Styx joined by the Bluesberry Jammers, Blue Vulture doing an acoustic set, the incomparable Marc Block leading us all in singalongs. Northern Monkey trekking over from NE Derbyshire especially to perform for us and rounding the day off leading everyone arm in arm in a great rendition of We Shall Overcome. A fabulous day’s entertainment, and all raising money and supporting the amazing work Emmanuel House do to support people suffering the effects of austerity.

After all that I barely had the energy to manage the three hours of festivalising I managed – though mostly sat rather than dancing like a lune. Nottingham, you are so good at pulling together for those in need. It’s one of the reasons those of us passing through stay. Nice one.

November is a quieter one – just the two gigs from me on the horizon –

Though you are likely to find me at Poetry Cocktail on the 15th November hosted by Gail Webb as it’ll be a good one, featuring Leanne Moden and Sue Allen – two of my favourites.

I am featured poet at Poetry Undercover on Tuesday 19th November at Ludorati. There are still a few spaces available for this, I believe.

DIY Poets quarterly showcase is Thursday 14th November and features the fine poet Kevin Jackson, you’ll find me listening to all the great diy voices.

Then on Saturday 23rd November I will be one of the chapters of But I Know This City. Find me at Nonsuch 4 – 10pm.

A book launch, a fundraiser and a reminder

Phew, I did warn you October was a busy one and we are not at the end yet!

I am delighted to report that my latest pamphlet was launched on Friday 11th October in a joint event with the fabulous poet Hazel Warren. The event, Backpack to the Moon, launched not only my A Backpack on his Backpack, but also Hazel’s To See The Moon which I can’t recommend highly enough. We were delighted that Frank McMahon, who has been instrumental in getting both of us to perform our poetry, was able to deliver a featured set, plus we had an amazing quality open mic to complement our readings. Kthtrnr has created the video below of my performance of Backbone from the event.

We began the month with Poetry Funfair at Nottingham Playhouse as part of the Quite Enormous Poetry Event hosted by the inimitable Ben Norris. Madame Poetica shared poetic truths with her customers, which was heaps of fun, plus the headliners provided an amazing poetry showcase.

Next up was We Shall Overcome awareness and fundraiser at Emmanuel House which I curated on Sunday 6th and a reminder we have an even bigger one as part of the Hockley Hustle on Sunday 27th. All proceeds and donations form this event go to Emmanuel House; and they are also one of the nominated recipients of the proceeds of the 2019 Hockley Hustle too. If you have never been you have been missing out the past 12 years! It is a one day festival in the Hockley area of Nottingham. Wristbands are purchased and allow entry to all the venues. There is music, poetry, art, street theatre and much more. You can hear orchestras, RnB, beatboxing, choirs, protest singers, balladeers, folk, rock, country and world music all right here on your doorstep. See you on Sunday 27th at the Hustle where I will also be performing with Two Seda, multilingual poetry with music!