We’d like to say a colossal thank you to all of the poets who performed at our ‘LIVEwire’ events in 2018. We staged a UN Women #HeForShe event in London in March, we delivered the ‘LIVEwire Salon’ to Byline Festival in August, and plus a quarterly night at Seven Arts in Leeds.
The ‘LIVEwire’ events will be a big focus for us in 2019, and we’re excited to hear from potential festivals, venues and producers. These events champion troubled poets; rebels and renegades; personal and political voices that rally against the establishment. We pride ourselves on programming a diverse range of acts from around the UK.
Here’s a quick biog for the class of 2018 (clockwise from top left)
- Joelle Taylor is an award winning poet, playwright, essayist and author, and the founder of the Poetry Society’s national youth slam championships. She has performed her poetry in venues ranging from the 100 Club to Parliament, and is the host for Out-Spoken poetry and music club in London. Her highly acclaimed new collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me was published in July 2017 by Out-Spoken Press.
- Inua Ellams is an award-winning poet and playwright. He is the founder of the Midnight Run and author of award-winning Barbershop Chronicles. Identity, displacement and destiny are reoccurring themes in his work. Inua was the Tower of London’s official poet for 2018.
- Lisa Luxx is a British-Syrian writer, performer, philosopher and activist. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, VICE, TEDx, BBC Radio Leeds and heralded as one of the UK’s top four queer poets by Diva Magazine.
- Sabrina Mahfouz‘s prize winning plays include With a Little Bit of Luck and Clean which transferred to New York in 2014. The poetry collection How You Might Know Me was published with Out-Spoken Press and the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write is with Saqi Books and has been long-listed for the Grand Prix Literary prize.
- Michelle Fisher is a writer and performance poet from Glasgow. She’s a Resident Artist at the Roundhouse, and has supported some of the UK’s top performers including Kate Tempest and Hollie McNish.
- Selina Nwulu is a writer, social researcher and campaigner, who has recently finished her tenure as Young Poet Laureate for London. She is currently Writer and Creator in Residence at the Free Word Centre and Wellcome Trust.
- Sarah Crutwell is a spoken word poet and creative events organiser based in Stockton-on-Tees. Her work aims to address “the things we lower our voices to talk about”. Her poetry takes on issues such as mental health, sex, loneliness, politics, ingrained sexism and a woman’s right to chose.
- Toria Garbutt is a poet from Knottingley; a deprived ex-mining town in West Yorkshire. As of April 2017, she has been a regular support for Dr John Cooper Clarke on his continuous UK tours. N&T released her album Hot Plastic Moon a year prior to this, and her collection The Universe and Me was published by Wrecking Ball Press this spring.
- Connor Byrne has been writing and sharing his work for two years, including at Trans Pride Brighton in the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes. He was Roundhouse Slam finalist in 2017.
- Sophie Cameron is an extraordinary performance poet, who aims to hold a mirror up to the everyday highs and lows. She runs a regular cabaret night in London called Red Raw.
- Nafeesa Hamid is a British-Pakistani poet and playwright based in Birmingham. She was included in The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, and is alumni of Mouthy Poets and Derby Theatre Graduate Associate Artists. She runs Twisted Tongues, an open-mic only poetry night in Derby and Birmingham. Her debut poetry collection Besharam was published by VERVE this year.
- Michelle Madsen is a poet, theatre maker, activist and investigative journalist. She has performed on four continents and is a regular at Glastonbury, Port Eliot and the Edinburgh Festival. She is the host and creator of the world’s only poetry panel game, ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t Haiku’ and writes on fraud and corruption for Private Eye and the Independent. Her debut collection Alternative Beach Sports is published by Burning Eye.
- Scarlett Sabet has given poetry readings at City Lights in San Francisco, MOPOP Museum in Seattle, Bowery Poetry in New York and Shakespeare & Co in Paris. In London she has read at the Southwark Playhouse, Leighton House Museum, The Groucho Club, and the Chelsea Arts Club. She regularly reads at The Troubadour in London. Scarlett’s work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, London Live TV, GQ and Dazed&Confused. Scarlett has her own publishing company which just released her third collection Zoreh.
- Oakley was the winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Page Poetry 2018. Oakley was part of Apples & Snakes’ Writing Room for emerging poets led by Roger Robinson and since then has performed at Jawdance, Citadel and for The RSC. Their collection of poems whilst Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate in the dark times is published by Black Pear Press.
- Maria Ferguson is a writer and performer from Essex. She has been commissioned by BBC Radio 1 and Royal Academy of Arts. Her debut show Fat Girls Don’t Dance sold out nationwide as well at Edinburgh Fringe where it was met with critical acclaim. It won the Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show 2017 and is published by Oberon Books. Maria is currently performing her new show Essex Girl.
- Dzifa Benson is a multi-disciplinary live artist, currently studying for an MA in Text & Performance at Birkbeck and RADA. She is also a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic.
- Louise Fazackerley was N&T’s first signing in 2015. Her double album Council House Poetry includes Bird St. and Love Is A Battlefield. The latter was the result of a commission as part of BBC Radio 3 show The Verb’s New Voices. She has performed at events and festivals around the UK, and has been hailed by names ranging from Will Self to Attila The Stockbroker.
- Cecilia Knapp is a writer, performer, theatre maker and poet. She was an artist in residence at Roundhouse, and more recently she’s been artist in residence at Pimlico Library. Her poetry has been played on XFM, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 1Xtra. She was recently commissioned by BBC iPlayer and the Tate Britain. Cecilia is currently working on a novel.
- Oli Spleen is a poet and musician from Hastings. Hospitalised and fighting for his life in 2000, aged 22, Oli Spleen had an epiphany that he must follow his heart and write his way toward a better future. The resulting book Depravikazi was published in 2003 by Running Water Publications. He is currently living in Brighton where he performs and writes with his bands Pink Narcissus and Spleen. He is also in the process of recording his second solo album Gaslight Illuminations which incorporates themes of psychological manipulation and the emotional fallout of a toxic relationship.
- Iona Lee is a poet, artist and performer from East Lothian. Now based in Glasgow, Iona is an illustration student at The Glasgow School of Art. Iona fell in to spoken word at the tender age of 17 as a way of getting in to pubs underage, under the watchful eye of Salena Godden; later winning the title of Scottish Slam Champion. Iona fronts a band called Acolyte and her debut pamphlet was published with Polygon Press in 2018.
- Salena Godden is the author of poetry collections Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press) and Fishing in the Aftermath: Poems 1994-2014 (Burning Eye Books); literary childhood memoir Springfield Road (Unbound); and Shade, published in the award-winning essay anthology The Good Immigrant (Unbound). Her live spoken word album LIVEwire was released by N&T in spring 2017 and short-listed for the Ted Hughes Award. Her latest work, Pessimism Is For Lightweights: 13 Pieces of Courage and Resistance was published by Rough Trade Books this summer.
- Matt Abbott is a poet, educator and activist from Wakefield. After fronting indie band Skint & Demoralised from 2007-2013, he returned to his first love of spoken word and has since established himself on the UK’s thriving scene. He formed N&T in spring 2015, and his one-man show Two Little Ducks received critical acclaim; first at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and then on a 22-date UK tour this autumn. This was accompanied by a book on VERVE and a digital studio album on N&T.
We’re available for performances worldwide, and will curate each specific line-up according to availability and the nature of your event. If you’re interested in programming us for 2019, get in touch via the contact form and we’ll reply ASAP. Thanks.