After 10 months of grafting, planning, bidding, tweaking, writing, recording, mixing, mastering, designing, crying, loving, sharing, and everything else that’s gone into it…the culmination of the ‘Disarm Hate x Poetry‘ project is finally out in the world.

This ‘We Will Keep On’ album features specially commissioned responses to the ‘Disarm Hate‘ documentary from 16 leading LGBTQ poets. The poems feature alongside documentary clips layered over Ralph Stevens’ original soundtrack. And the album has been released worldwide to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the Orlando massacre.

All profits from album sales will be split between Contigo Fund in the US and Stonewall UK. There’ll be a 2LP gatefold album released later in the summer, which is available to pre-order through our Bandcamp site. We’re immensely proud and humbled to have released this album, and hope that it’s received as a valuable contribution to the global LGBTQ community.

We also issued a call-out for public responses as audio submissions. As promised, a selection of these submissions have been released on a free digital album – entitled ‘Sometimes, The Revolution is Small’.

Special thanks to Arts Council England for part-funding this as part of their National Lottery Project Funds, and to Rugged Entertainment for approaching us last summer. Enjoy…

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…

Hello!

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”

Since the beginning of May 2020, we’ve been hosting weekly Insta sessions with guests from all over the UK and further afield. These relaxed 30-minute sessions blend performance with insightful conversations from leading and emerging poets.

Up next, we welcome Mohammed Moussa! Mohammed is the founder of Gaza Poets Society, host of the Gaza Guy podcast, and a freelance journalist.

Insta sessions #49: Mohammed Moussa on Tuesday 22 June
Continue reading “Insta sessions #49: Mohammed Moussa on 22 Jun”

Our ‘Disarm Hate x Poetry‘ project saw the album ‘We Will Keep On‘ released on 12 June, to mark the five-year anniversary of the Orlando massacre. It features specially commissioned poems from 16 leading LGBTQ poets alongside interview excerpts from the ‘Disarm Hate‘ documentary.

However, we don’t want to stop there. The Orlando massacre sent shockwaves around the global LGBTQ community and we want to engage as many members of the community as possible. So, we’re issuing a call-out for written responses to ‘Disarm Hate’ and/or the aftermath of Orlando.

Continue reading “Call-out for ‘Disarm Hate x Poetry’ written submissions”