Jackie Hagan is Poetry Kit's 'Best Emerging Poet 2006'. Her new book Shut Your Eyes and Put out Your Hand was published by Citzen 32 Productions in November 2006. She is a brilliant spoken word performer, taking in themes such as illness, sexuality, politics, and childhood.
John Hall made a strong impression at Antics in June 2006, and is back with more poetry, both surreal and gritty. John is editor of Citizen 32 and runs the poetry nights at Urbis in Manchester. Some of his poems are available here.
Margot Douaihy has an MA in Creative & Life Writing from Goldsmiths College, University of London. In September 2006, she was a featured poet in the Troubadour's New Voices Series, London, as well as a guest speaker at Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she is a resident writer at the Llano de la Luz Retreat in Andalucia, Spain. Read some of her poems on the nth position.
Jeff Cottrill is a writer and spoken-word performer from Toronto, Canada, whose stage act uses elements of performance poetry, comedy, theatre and storytelling. With a satirical, often darkly comic flavour, he likes to make his audiences laugh, cringe, or (preferably) both. He has also written film reviews, arts articles, and even (gasp!) relationship self-help. Jeff has performed all over North America and currently organizes the Perpetual Motion Roadshow, an indie-artist tour that hits venues in several major cities. In 2005, he released his first CD, Cracktastic!, and he has also authored two chapbooks; his third, Guilt Pasta, is due out this spring. Jeff likes movies, travel, and puppies. Visit his website, and his MySpace page.
Nell Farrell was born and grew up in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire and has since lived in Hull, France, York and Liverpool. She moved to Sheffield in 1991. She has had poems in a number of poetry magazines and journals including Writing Women, Staple, Rain Dog, Brando�s Hat, Dream Catcher and The Over-Prudent Dog. She has won runner-up prizes in The Bridport Prize and The Yorkshire Open Poetry Competition. Her short collection The Wrong Evangeline was produced by Panshine Press in 2003. Sheffield novelist Simon Crump has said of her work: 'Just when you thought you�d heard it all before, her patient, distinctive voice raises you up then carefully crushes your heart'.
River Wolton is a�Londoner by birth but has lived in Sheffield for nearly 20 years. She won first prize in the Red Pepper Poetry Competition 2004, judged by�Adrian�Mitchell who commented 'The winning entry describes the agony of survivors and yet is beautiful because it is written with great care and love for the people in the poem and for the English language'.�Recent poems have been published�in Mslexia, Staple, Lancaster Litfest Anthology, Chroma, and a sequence about Jerusalem and the West Bank will be showcased in Magma 38.
Nell and River work together in Poetry Performance Group Six Women Poets with a Kick along with Clare Shaw, Anne Caldwell, Char March and Suzanne Batty.
Anna Robinson and Jo Roach both come from London, north and south of the river, and have been published by Hearing Eye. They write about the London that has been pushed aside by the hyperbolic narratives of city bonuses, cosmopolitan culture, and rapidly increasing house prices. Their poems suggest there is something more permanent and human, a city like any other, beneath the froth of the 'global metropolis'.
Anna Robinson has South London dialect poems up her sleeves, and her collection Songs from the Flats weaves an urban dream-time round a Waterloo housing estate as she explores themes of home and rebellion. Jo writes about a world where 'squid are holidays eating calamares on the Costa del Sol', and is co-ordinator of Poetry and Jazz at the Poetry Cafe.
Eleanor Rees lives in and writes a lot about Liverpool, her home city, but studied at Sheffield University where she was part of Ozy, the student poetry society. She has continued her link with the city through participation in projects such as Verbiage and Demolition. Her first collection, Feeding Fire, won an Eric Gregory award, and she will be reading from her second collection, Andraste's Hair, published this July by Salt. 'An ambitious, experimental voice, vibrantly charged with the energy of city life' (Carol Ann Duffy).
accross the town from here, sun leaps into deep plum distance and a full-shadow midnight white raze and cut of moon on the well-lined multi-storey roof where lamp lit eyes blink now at bubbling rain-sky, fat-laden midriff-spinning end of the ocean end of an evening rain.
(from 'A Red Moon')
Matt Black will be performing 'Surf: The Adventures of Jonny Donut', about an ex-lighthouse keeper in a town something like a cross between Skegness and Cleethorpes, with or without musical accompaniment.
Matt Black is a poetry activist in Sheffield. He has been writing and performing since 1986, run a monthly poetry venue, poetry slams in schools, a writers resource centre, and worked as Course Director in Creative Writing at the University of Sheffield. His publications include In the Kitchen With the Candlestick and Squeezing Lemons. He has participated in over 500 public performances, including Cheltenham Festival, Ledbury Festival, Sheffield Festival, Chester Festival, and performed at pubs, clubs, and weddings. Broadcasts include Radio Sheffield, Radio Oxford, Radio Gloucester, BBC Midlands, Today, Pebble Mill at One, and BBC South West.
On 9 October 2007 Spoken Word Antics celebrates its fifth birthday with:
So far the line up, which reflects the kind of thing that's been going on at Antics the last few years, looks something like this:
You can hear recordings of a lot of these writers, as well as tracks from the three years of Antics night, on the Antics sound archive.
In November Antics is joined by Canadian writer Sarah Murphy, who is artist in residence this year at the Word Hoard in Huddersfield. Sarah is a translator, interpretor, visual artist, social activist, teacher, and author of five books; she was born and raised in New York City, and lived in Mexico before making her home in Canada in 1973.
Throughout her life she has worked with movements for social justice, and victims of torture and political violence as well as other forms of abuse, and these are often the issues that she explores in her work as a writer and visual artist. Her fiction is strongly autobiographical, exploring the strange alienated view children have of the adult world, and revealing the violent, absurd and comical aspects of growing up working class in New York City.
Find out more about her work at the Wordhoard.
In December Antics welcomes back Keith Armstrong and Trev Teasdel, who were our first guest writers back in November 2005.
Keith Armstrong is described by Folk Roots magazine as �a noted Geordie wordsmith, a bloke whose musings were always radical, though of their place'. This tells less than half the story. This troubadour poet has given voice to the working class culture of the North East throughout Europe.
Trev Teasdel is a lively underground performance poet and an organiser of Stockton's Writers Cafe. Find out more about him on Trev Teasdel's blog.