OK, this is our attempt to get you up to speed with the spoken word scene, with our very own, by no means definitive, guide to who’s who and what’s what.
We’ve listed a few sites to get you started and grouped them under various headings so you know where to head.
Happy surfing…(and feel free to drop us a line if you think your site should be included in this list.)
People who can tell you more
Try www.applesandsnakes.org An agency supporting spoken word and literature throughout the UK. They have a network of regional co-ordinators (see the web site for details) who will be able to tell you what is happening in your area.
www.artscouncil.org.uk The national funding agency for the arts in England, and funder of Phrased and Confused. Arts Council England has regional offices throughout the UK and each office has a literature officer who will know what is happening in their region. You can find out who’s who in your region on the site.
Most regions now have literature development agencies – it’s worth following your regional branch on social media for information on funding and professional development support. In London, it’s Spread the Word, in the West Midland there’s Writing West Midlands and the North has New Writing North.
Spoken word producers and promoters who’ve helped us with our Phrased & Confused festival stages and tours, or who we just rate!
www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk London-based Penned in the Margins promotes some of the UK’s most exciting and popular live literature events, publishes high quality poetry collections and produces cutting edge tours. Penned in the Margins is at the forefront of ‘a new breed of literary nights out, fusing poetry with beats and beers’ (Flavorpill). Tom, the brains behind the set up, used to work with us, and helped put together some of our previous Phrased & Confused tours and events.
If, like us, you’re a fan of ranting, sweaty, boozy poetry, then Stand Up and Spit, the excellent blog and gig promoter, is for you!
London has a really vibrant live scene, including regular nights by Tongue Fu and Bang Said the Gun. The Roundhouse’s annual celebration of spoken word, The Last Word, is always worth checking out for new work and emerging talent.
Around the country, lyriclounge.co.uk run regular events in the East Midlands. Release the Hounds is an annual spoken word festival in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire and it’s great! Sheffield has a vibrant spoken word scene, check out Wordlife.
The Firm of Poets are also doing interesting things from their base near Wakefield.
Getting your words heard
For an international feel to your spoken word check out www.indiefeedpp.libsyn.com Each episode features a spoken word artist performing his or her stuff together with an interview or commentary. There’s a considerable back catalogue and it’s all downloadable as podcasts. The New Yorker also has a fantastic monthly poetry podcast
The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival has a lovely archive of poetry podcasts.
The lovely Ross Sutherland has a wonderfully surreal podcast series, Imaginary Advice, with new episodes released every three weeks. Listen here.
And for those of you who like to make lists, you can find a fairly comprehensive list of poetry podcasters at www.poetrypodcasting.org