After experiencing catastrophic production delays which wreaked havoc around Europe, we finally have our Disarm Hate x Poetry vinyl! Firstly, we’d just like to apologise profusely to the customers who’ve pre-ordered these and have been waiting patiently for them to arrive.

The records were pressed at Deepgrooves in the Netherlands, which is the greenest pressing plant in the world. But when we sent them our masters back in spring 2021, not even they could have predicted how long it would take for the job to actually be finished. It turns out that COVID + Brexit = quite the combo.

But the important thing is that they’re here now, in all their glory. And as pre-orders are shipped around the UK, out to Europe, and over to the US, the remaining copies are available to purchase here for £20 plus P+P.

You can read more about the Disarm Hate x Poetry project here. And it’s important to note that all profits from these vinyl sales will be split between LGBTQ charities. Apologies again for the delay. And fingers crossed you’ll all love this album as much as we do…!

Some of you will have attended one of our ‘LIVEwire’ events over the last 5 years. And we’ll keep staging them, in various shapes and sizes, whenever the opportunities present themselves. But if ‘LIVEwire’ has a home in Leeds, it’s Hyde Park Book Club. And so, in introducing a regular event in Farsley, we decided to create a new night altogether.

So, we’re dead excited to introduce ‘Tubthumping’, which we’re presenting at The Constitutional in partnership with the team behind Trouble At Mill and The Old Woollen. As always, it’ll provide a rip-roaring evening of the UK’s finest spoken word poetry talent. And we’ll have a showcase section at each event, featuring some of the best emerging talent in West Yorkshire.

Tubthumping at The Constitutional, Farsley on Friday 4 March

Our first event takes place on Friday 4 March, with none other than Salena Godden occupying the headline slot! Salena’s profile continues to rise and rise as her debut novel ‘Mrs Death Misses Death’ flies onto bookshelves around the country. And support on the night will come from fellow Nymphs & Thugs star Kirsty Taylor.

The ‘Tubthumping’ events will be hosted by Nymphs & Thugs founder Matt Abbott and Forward Prizes Highly Commended poet Maria Ferguson. Tickets for the opening event are available here for £10 plus £1 booking fee.

Also, if one event isn’t enough for you, you can also get ahead of the game and book for our event on 14 April! This second installment stars Vanessa Kisuule and Toria Garbutt, and tickets are available here. Our 2022 series of events is being part-funded by Leeds Inspired, which we’re hugely grateful for. See ya there…

After a sold-out show to kick-start our 2019-20 LIVEwire tour, we return to The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre in Manchester for another evening of electric spoken word poetry. Your guests for the night are Toria Garbutt, Maria Ferguson, Andrew McMillan, and Ella Otomewo.

Tickets cost £14/12 and are available here.

LIVEwire Manchester on Thursday 11 November

Toria Garbutt is a poet from West Yorkshire who has toured the UK and Europe with Dr John Cooper Clarke. Maria Ferguson is a poet and multi-award-winning theatre-maker. Her poem ‘My Letters’ was Highly Commended for the Forward Prize 2020.

Andrew McMillan is a Manchester-based poet whose début collection ‘physical’ was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. And Ella Otomewo is a Manchester-based poet and educator and a member of the acclaimed Young Identity collective.

You’ll recognise Toria as one of the stars of N&T and also Maria from previous ‘LIVEwire’ events’. And you’ll recognise Andrew and Ella from the Disarm Hate x Poetry project. We can’t wait to see it all come together in person!

The inimitable Joelle Taylor is touring her new collection ‘C+nto & Othered Poems‘, and we’re over the moon to have linked her with The Leeds Library for the Yorkshire leg. She’s at the stunning 253-year-old venue on Friday 3 September.

Tickets cost £5 and are available here.

Joelle headlined the first-ever ‘Chelping at The Leeds Library’ event way back in April 2018 and we’re honoured that she’ll be joining us in Leeds on this new tour. Get tickets whilst you can…


A quick update on our We Will Keep On vinyl. Firstly, huge thanks to everybody that’s pre-ordered it so far. For all little indies, whether it’s record labels or publishers, pre-orders make a colossal difference and make life much easier in many ways. So, thank you!

Originally – when I first started building the project last autumn – I wanted the vinyl to be released alongside the digital album on 12 June. When our first Arts Council England bid was unsuccessful, I tweaked the plan so that the vinyl would follow later in the summer (ideally mid-late August).

However, due to the beautiful combination of COVID-19 and Brexit, all of the vinyl manufacturing plants are experiencing severe and unprecedented delays. It mainly relates to metal shortages, as far as I can tell. But either way, timescales are like nothing ever seen before.

The current estimate for the We Will Keep On vinyl is mid-late October, which is obviously far letter than I ever imagined it would be. So, to manage expectations, we’re tentatively planning for a November release.

Our designer’s mock-up of the We Will Keep On vinyl

We want to coincide this with a special screening of the Disarm Hate documentary at the OnePulse Museum in Orlando, which takes place on 19 November. Our plan is to host a virtual launch event, featuring a combination of poets from the album and also cast members from the documentary.

So, I wholeheartedly apologise for any disappointment caused. If it were up to me, you’d all be holding the vinyl in your hand right now! But these are crazy times, and I know that our plant are going to work as hard as they can to turn this around for us.

In the meantime, the album is available digitally via most major stores and streaming sites. And if you haven’t pre-ordered the album yet, so you can do so here!

Last night, I was joined by Jonathan Kinsman for the 50th and final Insta session. It still hasn’t properly sunk in that there won’t be any more. And as I’ve said a few times, these sessions have been a real crutch for me since the pandemic struck.

Like most people, I disappeared into a bit of a shell when Lockdown 1.0 was first announced towards the end of March 2020. I wasn’t sure how to respond as a human being, let alone as a record label boss. But during April, I decided that we’d combine our first-ever virtual event with the label’s 5th birthday – seeing all of the acts performing on the same bill for the very first time.

The event took place on 29 April, which was supposed to be the date of our LIVEwire Colchester event. It felt so good that I decided to start a regular event off the back of it, and dreamt up the format for relaxed 30-minute weekly ‘Insta sessions’. I approached Nafeesa Hamid to do the first session, she agreed, and we were off.

Our 50 Insta sessions from May 2020 – July 2021
Continue reading “Thank you for supporting our Insta sessions”

Since the beginning of May 2020, we’ve hosted (almost) weekly Insta sessions with guests from all over the UK and further afield. These relaxed 30-minute sessions have blended performance with insightful conversations from leading and emerging poets.

For our 50th and FINAL SESSION, we welcome Jonathan Kinsman! Jonathan is a trans poet from Manchester. Raised Church of England and with a background in theological study, he lives his life marrying his spirituality and their sexuality.

As well as being founding editor of Riggwelter Press and associate editor of Three Drops From a Cauldron, he is also a BBC Edinburgh Fringe Slam finalist. He received a distinction for his MA in Creative Writing at the University of Sheffield. His début pamphlet & was joint-winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2017 and his second, witness, was published by Burning Eye in 2020.

Insta sessions #50: Jonathan Kinsman on Tuesday 6 July
Continue reading “Insta sessions #50: Jonathan Kinsman on 6 Jul”