So… This post is intended to serve a number of purposes. It is initially to announce that as of now, I will be using this website more regularly. The things I will aim to cover regularly are as follows: –
- What I have been doing from a poetry/ rap point of view.
- A small write up on an artist or particular piece of work that I want to share/promote.
- Anything coming up that I am looking forward to, or would like support at.
I will also cover any issues, topics that are, for whatever reason, attracting my attention at the time. Please feel free to comment, share and like the blog on whatever media that you receive it and provide feedback.
The second reason for this post is to begin with this new, regular blogging chapter of the page. So… here goes…
What has been going on?
July 12th – Exactly a month ago today – PQA Solihull BRAP Workshop.
On July 12th I ran a BRAP workshop at PQA Solihull in Shirley, Birmingham. This was a fantastic experience, as all of my work with PQA to date has been. I was blessed to arrive on the same day that the kids at this performing arts academy were set to perform at Shirley Fete. The energy was brilliant, the engagement with the workshop was great and some of the work produced was outstanding. As always we started with a room of full of kids telling me that they would not be able to rap… and as always we ended each hour session with the same kids getting up in front of their peers and performing their own rap to the group. A stand out performance was by a young lady (around 10 years old), who wrote and performed a story in a rap format, which was about domestic violence. She assured me it wasn’t a true story, but having seen advertisements about it on TV, she thought it would be good to write the advertisement in a different way. I have to say, her version appealed much more to me than any I have seen on the television. All around there was great work produced and great fun had, mainly by me!!
July 25th – Holistic Day at Work – BeatFreeks and Bar Bullyz
At the academy that I work, we have an extra week on the end of the year where pupils transition into the year above, including year 6’s coming up. All in all I think this is a great idea, and experiencing it for my first time, I have to say it worked very well. This week ended with Holistic Day, where in my position I was tasked in getting a company into the academy to work with a cross section of the kids. I contacted the amazing team at BeatFreeks, and was happy to agree for a team to come in and run a number of workshops on the day (Poetry, Music, Dance, Drumming and Theatre). Without going into a massive amount of detail… BeatFreeks were amazing, every workshop getting rave reviews and Amerah Saleh (Birmingham poetry powerhouse and general warrior of the arts – @voiceofthepoets – go follow) running the show with ‘diamond like’ precision.
When BeatFreeks left the building, I was left to deliver the last assembly of the year (and the first that my new year 7s would see by me). I decided to discusses progression, hard work and responding to set backs… touching on the inevitable link between these things. To grab the attention and imagination of the pupils on the last day of term I decided to get a good friend of mine, D-Dubz (@dubzbarz on Instagram) from BarBullyz (@barbullyz on instagram) to come and assist me. The master in calisthenics that he is, he came in and performed a few exercises for the pupils, before discuss the hard work and steady progression that has lead to him being so highly skilled in his field. The pupils were amazed an astounded and went away for the summer holidays with a positive message bouncing around in their heads. I’ll take that as a win!
Poetry Poetry Poetry!!!
On the 26th of July I had the pleasure of meeting up with Bohdan Piasecki and filmmaker Pippa Riddick to film a video for my poem ‘Genocide’ as a part of a project called Power Plant. I can’t wait to see and share the results… The video should be up on this site by the start of September.
On the 3rd of August I was invited to perform at Sunplugged at The Sun at the Station in Kings Heath. I performed five poems and was generously received by the crowd, as I broke up a number of acoustic musicians. Having received positive feedback and securing a second booking for a return date on September 28th, I must say I was very happy with the evening!
On the 7th of August I attended the latest instalment of the amazing Poetry Jam – at Urban Coffee Co – put on by BeatFreeks (@beatfreeks). I performed an acapella version of a song I wrote years ago, and was once again blown away by the amazing performance poets, just floating around this city! My favourite poem of the night was performed by Jasmine Gardosi (@Jasminegardosi) – An amazingly witty and imaginative tale of a female, lego army cadet who found out she was a girl when experiencing her first period whilst on parade. The word play and puns were absolutely mind blowing!
What’s Coming Up?
28th September – Performing at Sun at the Station in Kings Heath – Sunplugged starts at 6ish.
Collaborative Collective – Myself and a number of other poets/ creative people are looking at coming together to inspire, encourage and push each other to do and be better… watch this space for an update.
PHD Films – Myself and my brother Robert Lawrence at PHD films will soon be putting together some videos to promote my own and hopefully some other poets work… again – watch this space.
The rest of this year will hopefully filled with workshops, performances, gatherings and taking in some amazing poetry, I will endeavour to keep you updated!
Thank you for reading.