At the beginning of the year, we had a Zoom call with poet and producer Dan Simpson and he told us all about his ‘Experimental Words‘ project. He’s producing it in partnership with Dr Sam Illingworth, and as the final pieces fall into place, it looks awesome.

The end result is an audio album, which features 10 pairs of poets/scientists, and soundscapes designed by Chris Drohan. Poets include Joelle Taylor, Maria Ferguson, Momtaza Mehri, and Shareefa Energy.

The ‘Experimental Words’ official album trailer

The album is being released digitally on Wednesday 23 June, with a launch event taking place over Zoom that evening at 7.30pm BST. Tickets are priced at £3, £6, or £9 – depending on your income – and can be purchased here.

It’s a brilliant project that showcases the potential of spoken word and spoken word poetry in particular. The calibre of scientists and poets involved is awesome, and the work that they’ve done with the soundscapes and algorithmically generated graphics is like nothing we’ve experienced before.

So, check out the project – come along to the launch event if you can – and keep an eye out for the album from 23 June onwards! We’re proud to be supporting this and can’t wait to see it venture out into the world. The project is being part-funded by Arts Council England.

The ‘Experimental Words’ album cover

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 Romina Ramos! Romina is a gender-fluid Portuguese poet living in England. She is about to graduate with a BA in creative writing from the University of Bolton, where she has been developing her poetry for the last three years. Prior to this Romina trained and worked as a chef for 10 years and had no experience in the poetry world.

Recently, Romina has had her work published in The Bolton Review, showcased on SoHo radio, and been shortlisted for the Merky Books New Writers’ Prize. In the future, Romina hopes to work in the community to not only make poetry more accessible to everyone but to encourage the youth of today to use poetry and other creative endeavours as an outlet to deal with different issues, including but not limited to mental health and poverty.

Insta sessions #47: Romina Ramos on Tuesday 8 June

This session will be hosted by Matt Abbott. Our previous sessions are available to stream back in full on our Facebook page, YouTube channel and IGTV channel. Find more information and share the event over on Facebook. Our recent session with Joe Williams is available to view below.

Insta sessions #46: Joe Williams

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 Joe Williams! Joe is an award-winning writer and performing poet from Leeds. His latest book is ‘The Taking Part’, a short collection of poems on the theme of sport and games, published by Maytree Press.

His other work includes the pamphlet ‘This is Virus’, a sequence of erasure poems made from Boris Johnson’s letter to the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the verse novella ‘An Otley Run’, which was shortlisted in the Best Novella category at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. Despite all of that, he is probably most widely read thanks to his contributions to Viz.

Nymphs & Thugs | Joe Williams
Insta sessions #46: Joe Williams on Tuesday 1 June
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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 Rory Aaron! Rory is a poet, writer and performer born in Derby and currently based in Manchester. He his debut pamphlet ‘Doglike‘ has recently been published by Bearded Badger Publishing.

* Due to unforeseen circumstances, this session has been postponed and will be rearranged ASAP *

Nymphs & Thugs | Rory Aaron
Insta sessions #46: Rory Aaron on Tuesday 25 May
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Our first in-person ‘LIVEwire’ event will take place at Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds on Thursday 10 June! I can’t tell you how desperate I’ve been to type that sentence. Our special guests on the night are Tony Walsh, Kayo Chingonyi and Maria Ferguson. It’ll be hosted by Matt Abbott.

This is a socially-distanced event with a limited capacity. Tickets are available here.

Nymphs & Thugs | LIVEwire Carriageworks
LIVEwire at Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds on Thursday 10 June
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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 Roy! PJ Smith was born in North Liverpool. Just another one of the kids growing up on Newby Street. He followed a path, lost his footing and fell, his long fall was broken with the help of a net: creativity. Writing, just getting it all out of your head and onto the page. Roy was born.

The fella least likely first walked onto a stage four years ago and took the mic. He immediately grabbed and held attentions and effortlessly led them through the streets of his imagination introducing the weird and wonderful characters of his, and your, conscious, subconscious and unconscious past.

Nymphs & Thugs | Roy
Insta sessions #45: Roy on Tuesday 18 May
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We want our ‘Disarm Hate x Poetry‘ project to engage as much of the LGBTQ community as possible. As part of the project, we’re staging to free virtual workshops with poets featured on the album. This is linked to a public call-out for audio submissions (more info here).

The workshops encourage LGBTQ writers to shape their responses to the ‘Disarm Hate‘ documentary. Writers of all experiences, abilities, and backgrounds are invited to register. All you need to bring to the workshop is a free Zoom account, a reliable internet connection, and something to write with.

Each workshop is limited to 20 participants each, and we encourage you to only choose one, in order to maximise the number of potential participants overall. Our guest tutors are Joelle Taylor on Monday 24 May (tickets here) and Andrés Nicolás Ordorica on Wednesday 26 May (tickets here).

‘Disarm Hate x Poetry’ workshops

The album ‘We Will Keep On’ is available to pre-order on 2LP gatefold vinyl and digital here.

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 Otis Mensah! Otis is a writer and performing artist with an alternative take on Hip-Hop music and abstract poetry. Focusing on art as a means of documenting journeys of introspection, Otis’ work aims to demonstrate the personal and political power of vulnerable expression.

Nymphs & Thugs | Otis Mensah
Insta sessions #44: Otis Mensah on Tuesday 11 May
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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 Patrizia Longhitano! Patrizia was born in Brazil but for most of her life, she lived in Italy with her adoptive parents until 2005 when she decided to move to the UK. Since then, she has been living in London working as a nanny.

Some of her poems have appeared in Painted Spoken, Harana Poetry Magazine, the Un Nuevo Sol anthology, The Rialto Magazine, and The South Bank Poetry Magazine.

Nymphs & Thugs | Patrizia Longhitano
Insta sessions #43: Patrizia Longhitano on Tuesday 4 May
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