Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes

Kahlil Joseph is an amazing director. This is poetry in motion. That is all.

Until the Quiet Comes feats Erykah Badu, Thundercat and Thom Yorke and is out October 2. Pre-order here.


Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

William Blake Gets a Gospel Makeover

What do the blues have in common with William Blake? Well according to indie soul artist Martha Redbone a hell of a lot. It took Martha five years to apply the poetry of Blake to her rootsy style on The Garden of Love and astonishingly it works perfectly. She  plants romanticism’s sensual relationship with nature firmly on what you’ll imagine to a Mississippi front porch or an enclosure in the forest filled with the sound of African-American spirituals.  Have a listen here.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Recap – Poejazzi at The Thames Festival and Bestival

Poejazzi is suffering from a rather indulgent condition: it’s called festival fatigue and affects a small percentile of the population who make it their business to be at every festival going every summer. Over the weekend Poejazzi featured at The Thames Festival and founder Joshua Idehen worked the Bestival crowd with Dan le Sac and at the friendly behest of Scroobius Pip’s Satin Lizard Lounge. The weather was consistently fabulous  and both the gorgeous Amphitheatre and Bernie Spain Gardens were rammed full of poetry lovers, new inductees and curious sun worshippers. The weekend left us with warm, fuzzy feelings inside about the future of poetry in particular and shaking off that legacy of being a slightly dirty word, see below for a Before and After:

Before (when poetry was a dodgy word in entertainment):After (YAY!):

The Amphitheatre @ Bestival 2012

Poet Harry Baker @ Bestival 2012
Our brilliant host Yomi GREEds Sode, lovely musicians Fiona Bevan and Theo Bard, poet Deanna Rodger (Come Rhyme With Me) and king of the “Slash/Slash Generation” poet/musician/coat designer James Massiah.

Fiona Bevan @ The Thames Festival

@ Thames Festival

Joshua Idehen on the Replay stage supporting Dan le Sac @ Bestival. Watch here 

Lastly here’s a video of Mr Motivator at Bestival this year drawing a humungous crowd that rivals Poejazzi’s double whammy weekend…just for the nostalgia factor…maybe we need to invest in some acid green lyrca?

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Kate Tempest – Brand New Ancients (Ends Sep 22nd)

Kate Tempest’s show Brand New Ancients, based on the intertwining lives of two families unravelling against the backdrop of the city and mythology, has garnered one of the biggest bouts of buzz surrounding a spoken word theatre piece probably ever! Recent excitement over this show has only been matched by the prospect of seeing Inua Ellams Black T-Shirt Collection at The National Theatre. So it’s really a case of when you’ll be going to the Battersea Arts Centre to see this epic piece on the everyman, accompanied by a live orchestral and electronic score, rather than if. Previews of Brand New Ancients have elicited cries of “incredible” from audiences ranging from Latitude to Edinburgh.

The Guardian says:

Spoken-word theatre is often heavy on words and light on theatre. Tempest’s piece follows these conventions, but transcends them. Just as in her narrative, the ordinary is lifted into the extraordinary; score, writing, band and voice come together to create a package that never makes you question why you aren’t just reading or listening to this. That’s because Tempest, fierce and shy in the same moment, is such a genuinely galvanising presence and acutely responsive to her audience. It matters that we are there; it matters that these stories are told. It matters that we listen.

We will be viewing (and reviewing) the show on 19th September, all other dates are sold out so get a move on and get your tickets for that afternoon or evening before you miss the opportunity to see one of spoken word’s most respected grow to wider loved proportions.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

#followfriday LAPKAT: The Spoken Word DJ

How many spoken word DJs can you name?…exactly. Assuming you know of none or very few we think you only really need to know about one: LAPKAT. The phenomena that is LAPKAT is actually a lovely lady called Lisa Greenway who used to edit publications by our blog crush Going Down Swinging. Originally based in Australia LAPKAT’s mix of diverse global beats and storytelling has taken her across the world as she travels throughout Europe lending her unique sonic experience to poetry and music gigs. Check out her blog, where she shares all the inside knowledge on the artists who are blurring the line between poetry and music and most importantly delve into her mixes section where Woody Allen interspersed with electro swing will suddenly sound like the best idea you’ve ever heard. The way in which Lisa mixes languages, cultures and sounds is a form of poetry within itself (and over 1000 blog followers agree) So this Friday we salute you LAPKAT, for fighting the good fight to keep poetry evolving. You can keep up with Lisa’s movements and follow her on twitter here.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Melbourne Planetarium Poetry Collaboration

Yea we’re kind of late on this one but who cares? Our belated timing doesn’t deter from its beauty! We love this video featuring Emilie Zoe Baker’s poem Dark Matters which was from a larger performance piece originally written for the Melbourne International Arts Festival and performed in the dome theatre at the Melbourne planetarium. You can view more of these collaborations here.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

If Poejazzi could be anyone for a day we’d be Going Down Swinging

Going Down Swinging has unwittingly become one of our “brand-spirations” with their can do attitude to everything poetry: Gorgeous publishing digitally and in print, a highly functional and yet aesthetically pleasing blog and well loved events. Check them out regularly for info on multimedia poetry projects as well as their own publications (that I am currently finding very difficult to resist buying all of) They publish the best Australian poets but also cast their eye globally for content. They have managed to achieve this level of quality and consistency through major funding for all aspects of their organisation and being able to hire extremely talented staff which makes us ever so slightly wish the UK would support more innovative arts organisations/collectives and put their money where their mouth is when it comes to entrepreneurialism.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Review: The Roundhouse Poetry Slam Final

The Roundhouse Poetry Slam is one of the finest slams the UK has to offer. This year the panel included some of the most respected names in spoken word: Kat Francois (Guess Radio), Dan Cockrill (Bang Said the Gun) and lingual contortionist David J (Random Acts, Channel 4).  Having attended and reviewed Roundhouse slams previously we came to watch this year with trepidation, hoping that we hadn’t overhyped the possibilities. Luckily we encountered a pool of potential and most importantly amidst that potential there were stars. Whilst some arrived on the scene with room to grow, others exploded on the scene fully formed and waiting to be discovered. As Poejazzi is all about showcasing and investing in the future of spoken word, we’re going to talk about the people we would book in a heartbeat, the ones we think you should watch out for and why you’ll fall in love with what they do. Here’s our supergroup: the ones who won in our heads even if they didn’t win the trophies:


Kareem Parkins Brown aka Kuaint is a member of the Young Barbican Poets and was also shortlisted in the Stanza Digital Slam earlier this year. On Wednesday his poem transformed  the elderly into a “Grey Gang”:  a sector of society you should respect and fear.  It was a breath of fresh air; defying categories people will find too easy to assign to him.   He may be dealing with everyday topics but his deft, sensitive and hyper imaginative wordplay transcends the urban tag. The perfect combination of cool and clever minus the kind of linguistic geekery that goes completely over peoples’ heads, Kuaint approached the slam final with a swagger and mature assurance that you have to experience in person to get the full impression of what he’s capable of and how bright his future is.

The Next Who?: If Jay Electronica was a poet (he is of course in the eyes of many) Kuaint would be on his way to vying for his crown (and according to the Daily Mail he’d probably be too busy shooting clay pigeons in his tweeds to notice anyway)

Cheryl Dole

David Cumming aka (who came 2nd place) is an up and coming actor/performance poet/comedian who has recently been working on a project at the National Theatre Studio under the tutelage of Poejazzi’s very own Inua Ellams. However on Wednesday he appeared as his persona Cheryl Dole: the incarnation of Cheryl Cole’s Geordie ghetto past. Every obscene rant against gender relations, society, government and dodgy nightlife encounters had the audience rooting for David’s perfectly tuned characterisation of the everywoman people in ordinary circumstances love to hate. On a rerun of “Ibiza Uncovered” or on the 2am night bus Cheryl Dole might be the enemy, however, on Wednesday night she became the aggressive and righteous voice of reason. Gasp inducing, offensive and gloriously satisfying to watch; Cummings’ characterisation has cult viewing written all over his acrylic nails.

The Next Who?: No one…Cheryl Dole is a one time deal. (not one of those one time only deals in the shop that’s been closing down for 3 years, the real kind)

Jack Rooke

Having seen Jack previously at Camp Bestival we expected a high level of performance from one of the most unique and instantly likeable new poets on the scene. He didn’t disappoint, because Jack knows his strengths, which seem to lie in his confessional style of relating his experiences with family, friends and most powerfully with grief. He explored this again in the slam final, weaving pathos and hilarity in a way that belies his years. Jack is a gifted story teller who understands how to deliver an intense emotional impact with the least amount of schmaltz.  Expect to see much more from Jack (namely because we’re going to make sure of it!…cue epic evil laugh)

The Next Who?: John Osborne

Very Honorable Mentions:

Laurie Bolger: The multiple slam winner and poetry editor for Camden Radio delivered super funny anecdote poems about ingesting persil and another about the perils of venturing to Shoreditch and abandoning your local pub. Great timing, straight talking, a woman after my own heart.

Katherine Deal:  Katherine is simply lovely. Her work is full of hope and inspiration. She was emotive with a stillness that is rare and very intriguing and we look forward to seeing much more of her work and performances.

Finally check out Roundhouse Poetry Slam’s 2012 winner Hibaq Osman and her sensitive exploration of losing a loved one as a young person.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Poejazzi @ The Thames Festival, 9th September Sunday FREE

Inbetween prayers for Mr Sun to hang around but a few more weekends more, we will be running only our third festival outing ever:  Thames Festival, sunday the 9th at 4pm ! (Wooo! Yaaaaay! Confetti!)

Come see us on the bandstand stage, at the Bernie Spain Gardens, just by the OXO Tower (as part of Where the Wild Words Are; entry is FREE); we will have a fine line-up indeedy:


The Afro-Blonde Wonder is our headline act. Having gained accolades from distinguished folk such as Tom Robinson (BBC), Alex James AND toured with Ed Sheeran, Fiona’s brand of cheeky folk-meets-cabaret-meets-pop lyrics and joyously sunny vocals are bound for great things.


Our host of the eve is a mainstay in the spoken word scene; you would know this if you’ve ever been to apples and snake’s Jawdance or pretty much 90% of spoken word events in London. Down to earth, energetic and humorous, Yomi aka GREEdS does spoken word like anecdotes from a friend. One of London’s finest.

James Massiah:

How best to describe him? one part trench-coat, one part talent (obvs), one part grin, and a dash of well crafted, amazing metaphors. One of the highlights of our december 2011 gig, James Massiah is like nothing out there.


Festival favorite Theo Bard performs his first Poejazzi in four years. An amazing folk singer and a wicked storyteller; we cried during his rendition of middle class boy…


Founder of only TWO of the best Spoken word nights in London (Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me), how Deanna finds time to perform anywhere else is a testament to her organisational skills. Since the last time we booked Deanna we’ve been aching to get her back on our stage. You hear Deanna speak and you hear the care she places in her words and the beauty in her delivery.

Not too bad, huh? 4pm Sunday 9th. FREE so you have nish excuse.


Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

As Seen On Youtube: Polarbear’s ‘RepeaT’

For some reason this video has (at time of blog) 1,413 views. That’s more than madness it’s damn near depressing. Seriously, guys; press play and play again, then share like it’s the common cold. Even more brilliance from Polarbear:

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment