Join us for our second Verve Poetry Press launch event of 2019!
Jasmine Gardosi and Ben Norris are both poets known for their amazing performance ability. And while on this occasion they’re pamphlets Hurtz and Some Ending are written very much for the page, we know they will be brought to vivid life on this wonderful night.
Supporting them are two top stalwarts of the Birmingham poetry scene – one who we see all the time and one who we don’t see nearly enough - Sean Colletti and Hazel Sealeaf!
Jasmine Gardosi is a Birmingham based poet of national and international standing and renown. She has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, BBC Asian Network and Glastonbury Festival. As well as performing regularly around the UK, she is expanding her international reach. Most recently, she had been featured by Button Poetry, the world’s largest spoken word platform, after being awarded an Honourable Mention for Oustanding International Entry in their 2018 video contest.
A Ledbury Poetry Festival board member, she also runs West Midlands Poets’ Place for Apples and Snakes, and regular school and community workshops, where she continues to combine sex education and creativity. Verve are thrilled to help finally bring this important poet to print.
Ben Norris is a poet, playwright and actor. He is two-time national poetry champion – 2017 BBC Poetry Slam and 2013 UK All-Stars Poetry Slam – and has appeared everywhere from Latitude Festival to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. His debut solo show. ‘The Htichhikers’ Guide to the Family’ won the IdeasTap Underbelly Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before touring the UK and Australia, and his first short film, commissioned by Channel 4, was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award. He is currently developing a new show about elite sport, ‘The Distance’.
Ben is from Nottingham and is currently poet-in-residence for Nottinghamshire Libraries, and a Creative Associate at Nottingham Playhouse. He also plays Ben Archer in ‘The Archers’ on BBC Radio Four. Verve are so happy to be working with the amazing poet.
Tickets are £5 but can be refunded against the purchase of either pamphlet.
... A spoken word evening in aid of the International Humanitarian Charity, SKT Welfare.
-All proceeds from the evening will go toward providing emergency food, water and sanitation to those affected by Cyclone Idai-
An up and coming poet taking Birmingham by storm. Jemima has been in the performance poetry space for only a year, her themes focus around mental health and the passion found in her delivery is second to none.
Next Featured act TBC
The When's & Where's etc.:
•Doors will open at 19:30 and we're due to start at 20:00
• Hosted by Birmingham's beautiful Cherry Reds we'll be upstairs in the Bosta Room
•Tickets are £5 on the door in aid of Cyclone Idai survivors
What better way to spend your Tuesday evening?
So come along, share some thoughts, watch creativity and observe language leaving peoples mouths while supporting a fantastic cause!
It's NOT to be missed.
To book your open mic slot drop me an email: email@example.com
Twisted Tongues is a monthly open mic night for spoken word artists: poets, story-tellers, comedians, singers/musicians. Open to all level of performers.
Twisted Tongues is a Derby based open mic night but we are now bringing it to Birmingham!
Come on down to The Station in Kings Heath for an evening of poetry, drinking and chatting. Watch Birmingham's bardic talents strut their verbal stuff, or get behind the mic yourself and read us your own words.
Open mic slots will be available to book on the night, but 6 pre-bookable slots will become available a week before the event!
SLOTS ARE 5 MINUTES.
Doors open 7:30pm/ 8pm kickoff
£2 entry for students (bring your student ID!)
£3 entry for everyone else
It's a DOUBLE HEADER! Not only do you get the marvelous John Lawrence, but you also get the equally marvelous Clive Oseman. We're just too good to you poetry loving folk. Open mics slots available and still just a fiver to get in.
Open mic: Up to 5 minutes, slots are given out on the door
Entry: £3 - this gets split between the featured acts
Open mic-ers go freeeeeee (but are given out on the door ONLY, and on a first come, first served basis. spaces are limited so be quick!)
Stirchley Speaks and Artefact continue to invite all perspectives, experiences, and ways of telling them, through its doors. No censors. All we ask is you be mindful of any content which may be traumatic for others in the room. Merci bicoup- Stirchley Speaks
As Poetry & Music collaboration night Funkenteleky returns home to The Edge, nothing is quite as it seems… While Funk was on a city break to Verve Festival, rumours have been spreading over Digbeth. Whispers of poems you can’t dance to, tunes allergic to words, and worst of all a prohibition of barely planned shit happening. There can be only one thing behind this… that’s right, we fear this is the work of… FUN-CAN’T-ELEKY!
So, if you fancy helping quash/pacify/empathise-with this newly infamous force (or just having a lovely evening) come on down to Funkenteleky! We’ve amazing Poets and out-of-this-world Musicians making new things together live on stage for one night only. We’ve a Poetry Slam beyond compare. And most of all we’ve you and your love for all this and more (don’t forget it!).
Chris Young is an alto saxophonist and composer based in Birmingham. He is one of the most in-demand players on the scene, fronting his own bands including Orbits, JACKED, and countless dazzling [insert number]-tets. He has played in the award-winning Beats and Pieces big band, and co-promotes Jazz at the Spotted Dog, one of the country’s most well-regarded gigs. Chris is one of the city’s brightest stars – we’re super hyped he’ll be laying it down at Funkenteleky VI! "Lyrical – a real tour-de-force.” London Jazz News
Malaika Kegode is a poet, promoter and workshop facilitator based in Bristol. She has performed at celebrated events around the UK such as Tongue Fu, Out-Spoken at The 100 Club, WOMAD, Boomtown Festival and BBC at the Edinburgh Festival. She was shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award 2019 and has acted as tour support for Saul Williams. Malaika works as assistant producer for Blahblahblah at Bristol Old Vic, and is a founder and director of Milk Poetry, a poetry organisation that produces innovative spoken word events in a supportive environment. In 2018, Malaika was included in the The BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s 100 most influential black & minority ethnic people. Her overall themes of family, mental health, addiction and love always have an undercurrent of optimism and strength. Her performance style has been described as “filmic” and “musical”. Malaika’s debut poetry collection Requite was published by Burning Eye Books in 2017.
Luke Kennard is a poet and novelist who lecturers at the University of Birmingham. His last collection, Cain (2016), was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and his first novel, The Transition, was published by 4th Estate in 2017. His latest pamphlet, Truffle Hound, was published by Verve Poetry Press last year. In collaboration with our musicians, Luke will be performing brand new material from a yet-to-be-released work...!
Wuzzamill [Wuzza Razz]
Wuzzamill is an influential poet, songwriter and rapper from Birmingham. He has performed with THSH, supported Suli Breaks on his first UK tour, influenced the Birmingham does Bhangra weekend with Selfridges, channeled his inner Raphaelite working with BMAG; a resident Poetry Jammer, Wuzzamill’s infectious energy has no end. Wuzzamill uses poetry and rhythm to explore the seven deadly sins, although rarely name dropped, it is a constant theme that everyone lives through and understands but only to the extent that they want to understand it. Welcome to Wuzzamillia: a place where you can unapologetically feel, a reminder of what is real.
Jess May Davies
Jess May Davies is an artist from Redditch, and now a part of Birmingham’s poetry community. Jess is the founder of Stirchley Speaks – a monthly spoken word night in Stirchley, a writer and a workshop facilitator. As a self confessed introvert, Jess uses poetry to explore their own identity in relation to mental health, environment and their sexuality.
In a Funkenteleky first, Funk VI will feature improv comedy (in live collaboration with improvised music) from the acclaimed squidheart! A two-person improvised comedy show created and performed by Kate Knight and Suzie Evans. Inspired by a single word from the audience, they create an entire world featuring a range of hilarious characters and compelling stories. The result is a satisfying blend of offbeat comedy and genuine emotional connection. With every scene created moment to moment, each show is a thrilling and unique experience, never to be repeated. Previous audiences have described their show as ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’ and 'surreal genius’.
Andrew Woodhead is an award winning composer and musician working across a wide variety of contexts, taking in jazz, free improvisation, electronica, folk and new music. As well as performing around the UK and abroad with his own and other peoples’ projects, he also curates Fizzle, an Improvised Music concert series. Andrew is co-director of Ideas of Noise festival, which celebrates experimental sounds from the Midlands and beyond.
We think this might be one amazing lineup. Hopes you agree :)
THE FUNKENTELEKY POETRY SLAM
A space for spoken experiments, a chance to try something new, a platform to push the poetry boat out in front of peeps who are already on-board.
If the Funkenteleky Slam is a Pokémon it has evolved… At Funkenteleky VI, there are five slam entries available. Each poet will perform in a live collaboration with one of our musicians, paired together in a live draw on the night. These duos will be ‘assessed’ ‘via’ the time-honoured ‘criteria’ of Jeapoardy, Wha!? and Funkenteleky + an yet to be discovered metric represented by this question mark: ?
Time limit = 5 mins… we chill so no scores docked for going a bit over, but duos dropping an Iliad should be aware they risk ejection from the stage via the Funkblaster Funkthousand (an actual thing).
So excited to announce that our Slam Judges will be: Emily Dickinson, John Coltrane, Maya Angelou & LK.
3 advance entries for poets are available till the day before gig & 2 more on the night. These entrants will be chosen at random if we are oversubscribed. If you’re a musician and want to get involved, get in touch – we may be able to pair you with a poet for a freewheeling wildcard duo.
NOTE – our slam is not an opportunity to take oneself too seriously (seriously) + all breaking of slam conventions is highly encouraged. The winner will receive the coveted Funkenteleky Slam Trophy, endless kudos, and the ultimate mystery prize!
And, after all of the (amazing) above, stick around as Wolva Meme his soulful self spins vinyl floorfillers till whenever you stop dancing.
Funkenteleky VI is at The Edge in Digbeth
Doors open at 7:30pm
Entry = £6 (includes a £Priceless Funkenteleky badge)
There is a bar, there will be snacks – both are cash only.
All door takings go to pay our performers for their mad skills - and this is our biggest ever lineup! If you’re super skint, though, no worries – we really can empathise with that – if you wouldn’t mind dropping us a message a day or two in advance to get PAYF entry :) All are welcome to the funk.
SATELLITE COMMUNICATION RECEIVED: Please send help STOP Fun-Can’t-Teleky invasion STOP crept up on me when sleeping in sousaphone STOP it’s everywhere STOP it says it wants answers STOP says uncertainty has to STOP my collaboration systems are failing STOP magic 8 ball reads ‘unfunky’ STOP ability to get down fading STOP please arrive soon STOP or at least by May 4th STOP arrgghhh STOP All the best, STOP Funkenteleky
Welcome to B-SIDE 2019!!!
This May will see Hip-Hop culture arise once again in Birmingham at one of the U.Ks biggest theatres Birmingham Hippodrome and what a line up we have for you!!!
A whole week of events in this great city.
For one night only in our Patrick Studio, Inua Ellams’ R.A.P Party stages a takeover. A nostalgic, no-clutter, no fuss, straight-up evening of hip hop inspired poems and favourite hip hop songs, come chill and listen to what some of the most eloquent, current spoken word poets have to say.
This event features: affiejam, Roy MacFarlane, Jodi Ann Bickley, Tapiwa Mugabe, Hannah Davies, Bodhan Piasecki, Candice Nembhard, Ayo Wrote, Amara Ranger, Inua Ellams and Theresa Lola.
Hit the Ode is presented by Apples and Snakes, England’s leading spoken word poetry organisation.
This event is presented as part of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome’s FREE annual festival, running from Fri 3 – Sun 12 May. Expect dance battles, high-energy workshops, graffiti artists, live music and DJ sets. Find out more - https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/hit-the-ode-may-2019/
Join us for the first event at the Bean Gaming Cafe! The venue will change but Some-Antics will be the same!
We will have Open Mic, a Poetry Slam, Robin O'Brien providing the tunes and the wonderful Lydia Towsey featuring! All for just £3 entry, pay with cash or card.
Open mic slots are three mins each.
• Three minutes per poet
• Points deducted for going over time
• Two rounds of slam
• Original material only
• Audience judged
• Just for fun or rhyme to the death, either way bring a smile!
*Every poet who enters the Slam take their place on our leader board, showing their best Slam score. The highest scorers will be invited to compete for the title of Some-Antics Slam Champion 2019 at the end of the year.
Get in touch if you would like to perform as we have limited spaces which get snapped up quickly!
Looking forward to this!
Nottingham's Big White Shed invites Birmingham's Verve Poetry Press to the city as part of Nottingham Poetry Festival 2019 to bring you a jam packed evening of poetic talent from some of the region's finest poets published by the Midlands Masters of Indie Publishing!
Poets: Anne Holloway, Jim Otieno Hall, Neal Pike, Chris McLoughlin, Casey Bailey, Trevor Wright, Akor Opaluwah, Milla Tebbs, Bea Udeh, Nafeesa Hamid, Hannah Swingler and Jack Crowe.
Monthly poetry open mic event. All welcome - poets, performance poets, slammers, MCs and anyone happy to listen to some poetry. (We're also open to very short flash fiction.)
Open mic slots available on the night (approx. 5 minutes).
If you're travelling far to get to us, contact Raef Boylan ahead of time to book a slot.
Bring friends, bring poems, or just come along for a listen.
Tea/coffee/beer/wine/pop and cakes available for purchase.
Special guest poet:
Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the surrounding Black Country. He has held the role of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate and presently the Birmingham & Midland Institute Poet in Residence.
Roy’s poems have appeared in anthologies; Filigree (Peepal Trees 2018), It All Radiates Outwards (Verve Poetry Press 2018), Disonance (Hesterglock Press 2017), Somewhere to keep the rain (Winchester Poetry Festival 2017), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe 2012),
His previous publications include 'Celebrate Wha?' (Smokestack Books 2011) and 'Beginning With Your Last Breath' (Nine Arches Press 2016).
His latest collection 'The Healing Next Time' is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Winter 2018 and he’s a graduate of the MA in Writing Poetry with The Poetry School and Newcastle University.
Working with the Poetry School, Roy Mcfarlane will be leading on a course Poetry as a Witness. Please see below for details.
Link to the course: https://poetryschool.com/courses/poetry-as-a-witness-birmingham/
All people have to do to get their 25% discount is enter the voucher code 2019sale at the checkout stage.
A Mix of Spoken & Sung Creative English.
A Bold & Exciting Mix of Spoken, Sung or Creative English. Come and Spend an Evening Enjoying Hearing Others Perform, and Maybe take a slot yourself!
We can promise you a wonderful evening of entertainment, in many different styles.
Entry is FREE, however, a requested Donation of £3 will be asked for on entry to help towards the costs of running this event.
Full bar will be available.
People wishing to perform should register before hand via email:
Can poetry be an act of resistance? Kamil Mahmood's poetry and art explores activism, the Muslim/Pakistani diaspora, politics and the narratives of the overlooked and unheard. He champions words as tools for change. Kamil talks about his radical work and reads from his new collection from Verve Press. Belinda Rimmer writes poems of ‘personal protest’. Her first collection Touching Sharks in Monaco (Indigo Dreams) deals with memory and the distortion of memory – things remembered, things imagined. The event includes readings of classic protest poems and literature of activism by writers including Adrienne Rich, William Blake and James Baldwin plus an open mic - come and read your protest poems! Tickets are £4/6
Calling all local writers, poets, authors, publishers and illustrators... The first ever Kings Heath Writer's Market will take place at on Saturday 6th April at the Kings Heath Baptist Church (80 High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ).
Poetry Jam | First Thursday of Every Month | Wayland's Yard, Birmingham, 42 Bull Street, B4 6AF | 7 til 9pm
A monthly open mic platform to jam, perform and click with a community of creatives.
Free entry. Starting promptly at 7pm to fit as many performers in as possible (advised to come early to get the best seats).
Want an open mic slot? Arrive 15 minutes before the night kicks off to sign up to the open mic list.
We welcome everyone and embrace key principals of individuality, love, innovation and creativity! The night is a beautiful combination of first time & just-starting-out poets to established & confident poets. It's a non-genre specific open mic night where pieces can go from love, to comedy to very personal topics - we don't audit or alter the artistic work so be prepared and be aware that sensitive topics and explicit words may be used.
You may hear clicking throughout the evening, this is when someone in the audience agrees, feels a vibe and/or appreciates a particular flow, style or message. Poetry Jam is a safe space for people to have their first time on a mic, meet like minded people, or just get completely absorbed in unique, raw and honest spoken word pieces.
The Birmingham Whisky Club welcomes you to Whisky & Words…
This event is an evening of open mic poetry & spoken word, together with a headline set from one of the region's most exciting spoken word performers.
There will be 12 open mic slots available - 8 pre-booked and 4 open on the door. To book a slot, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. All slots will be allocated on a 1st come, 1st served basis so get in there quick! All open mic slots are 5 mins in duration - please be prepared so as not to go over your time limit!
Entry to the event is free, but this is a pay as you feel event and a collection bucket will be available for donations on the night. As this is an open mic event, there may be adult language and content - you have been warned!!
The event will be held in the back room at the new bar.
Set up for the event:-
- Doors at 7pm
- 7:30pm start
- 9:30pm finish
When Jess joined the Labour Party at university in 2007 she doubled the number of members who met weekly in a Liverpool pub. Since then she’s stuck by the party through the downfall of Blair, the disappointment of Brown and the monolith of Miliband. Now, “after a decade of keeping her membership card firmly at the back of her wallet”, she’s fallen head over heels in love with Corbyn’s “raw socialist magnetism”. If only everyone else agreed...
A Self Help Guide To Being In Love With Jeremy Corbyn sees Jess ask how the party will ever win another general election when the left is so divided.
Following the success of her first poetry show, Burning Books which received 5* acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe and on its national tour in 2015, Jess Green returns with a lyrical, powerful and humorous look at modern politics.
“I love the poetry. I love the spirit. I love the creativity. Fantastic” – Jeremy Corbyn
“Green’s voice is urgent, important and immensely enjoyable; she deserves to be heard” – Broadway Baby
Join us for a poetry showcase event on the theme of cultural exchange with poets Birmingham poets Spoz Giovanni Esposito and Nafeesa Hamid, and Northern Irish poets Michael Wlson and Sinead Coxhill.