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This year Totnes held their very first Sea Change Festival. Hosted by Drift Record Store, it was the first of its kind to bring a host of artists and musicians to the small town of Totnes, and of course we at Apples and Snakes just had to be a part of the small revolution. We headed over to the Birdwood House on Saturday 27th August to present Forked with Mama Tokus, Rose Cook, Rob Barratt, Jackie Juno and Londoner headliner, Kayo Chingonyi!

Mimg_6718aking my way on the train to Totnes, everything ran smoothly – until I got to the new town and was instantly confused by the entwined hilly roads. Navigation isn’t my strong point, but luckily I’d got there with enough time to get a little bit lost and helpfully rescued by the locals.

Mama Tokus hosted the night brilliantly as always – this was her last hosting performance for Forked, and I was glad to be there for her last one. Her performance poetry, all about vaginas, was written and performed in classic Tokus style; shockingly provocative and hilarious.

Jackie Juno brouimg_6719ght out some motherly instinct in her first encapsulating poem, and flipped it on its head with some sassy feminist poetry. In her classically lavish style, she seduced the audience into laughter and amusement with her dulcet and husky tones.

Next up was Rob Barratt; having no idea what he’d be like, I really enjoyed his performance. A former teacher, he had all the characteristics of that larger than life teacher that made your lessons worth going to. He was lively and full of spirit, and performed what he said to be an ‘uncharacteristically sweary’ poem that cracked up the audience even more.

Totnes based poet Rose Cook was next to grace the stage with her poems based on the theme of  ‘sea change’ and the feel of change in general. Her poetry was sombre and thought provoking, not to mention beautifully performed. I would recommend that everyone go and check out her poetry!img_6720

Last but not least was London based performance poet, Kayo Chingonyi. Performing poems based on his childhood in London and what it’s like to have a name no one can pronounce (and as someone with the last name Kiremitcioglu, I fully understand the pain involved with this). He was an absolute delight and sprung to life with confidence throughout his performance.. I enjoyed how he narrated his poems with humour and modesty.

If you haven’t been to an Apples and Snakes evening, I would definitely recommend that you come along to one. The next Forked  will be in Plymouth on September 22nd, featuring our very own Hollie McNish!

Seren Kiremitcioglu is a freelance writer based in the South West. She writes for Tribe Magazine and runs her own blog, www.thursddayaddams.wordpress.com. You can find out more about her over at her website, www.serenkiremitcioglu.com.

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Seren Kiremitcioglu interns at Apples and Snakes HQ for a week, here she blogs about her experience…

In March 2016, I discovered the wonderful world of Apples and Snakes. After getting back from a spontaneous trip abroad, I was frustrated – I wanted to constantly feel purposeful and excited for life, not just when I decided to hop on a plane. So, I started looking for opportunities that would provide me with some purpose and ‘get up and go.’ Spoken word was always something I was intrigued to watch, especially when friends sent me videos on YouTube – but in no world did I expect to be given the incredible opportunities I have been by England’s biggest spoken word and performance poetry organisation. I was really excited when South West coordinator Gina Sherman reached out to me; when she asked me to write for Forked back in May, I was really excited to have my name published over on the blog, but the opportunities didn’t stop there. I was offered the chance to volunteer and take over the social media platforms for the South West while the incredibly lovely Gina took maternity leave, and it felt like a big thing to be trusted with their social media accounts!

Best of all, I was offered an all expenses paid internship to the Apples and Snakes head office in London. Everyone in the office was extremely accommodating; when I couldn’t do a 3 month internship due to university and a part time job, they allowed me to create my very own time slot. I decided to go up for a week as I didn’t have any contracted hours at work that week, and it was one of the best and most valuable experiences I’ve had to date. Best of all, I didn’t have to make a single hot drink!

Travelling to London, I felt incredibly nervous. Being born there and raised in Kent for the first 13 years of my life, it had been a while since I’d properly felt the relentless pace of capital city life. It was slightly anxiety inducing – I live in Plymouth where the most exhilarating mode of transport is a bus and if I’m honest, I barely even use that. However, my great friend Fi took amazing care of me during my stay in London and even took me on a dummy run of what would be my daily commute. The overground is a lot less daunting than it seems, if not a little packed!

On my first day I was really warmly welcomed by everyone in the marketing department and very quickly felt at ease. I was given a seat in front of the John Hegley Mac (all of the office Mac’s are named after famous IMG_6175poets – a little touch I really loved!) and Nina, the lovely Marketing and Communications Coordinator made me feel right at home and showed me all the ropes. Once I was familiar with everything going on, I cracked on with scheduling tweets and Facebook posts, as well as researching more of what the company does around the country, rather than just in the South West.

I also have to thank Alice Frecknall – she was always really happy to answer my questions, no matter how complicated or silly. Before the internship I could barely even open Photoshop, let alone use it, but with Nina and Alice’s help I soon designed some Facebook headers, event banners, ‘What’s On?’ images and even the Apples and Snakes poster for the September 2016 edition of Forked! I was so grateful to cultivate some awesome new skills.

I gained a lot of insight into the company when attending the staff meeting; it allowed me to understand how the office worked and what everyone’s roles were. It was a really positive place where everyone’s ideas were discussed and supported, and I truly loved the atmosphere. Everyone was really nice to me throughout the whole week and I learnt an insane amount about how marketing works, what goes into coordinating a UK wide company, how to strategise social media outlets and most fun of all, how to use Photoshop. Not to mention a great hour of yoga with my fellow colleagues.

The internship showed me that I’m definitely invested in a great company where I’m appreciated and valued for who I am and what I do. As for now, I am acting as a representative for the company, going to events in the South West – watch out for my review of Forked at Sea Change Festival!

Seren Kiremitcioglu is a freelance writer based in the South West. She writes for Tribe Magazine and runs her own blog, www.thursddayaddams.wordpress.com. You can find out more about her over at her website, www.serenkiremitcioglu.com.

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Nestled in the cobbled streets of the Barbican, surrounded by velvet curtains and candle light, you will find the FORKED poets ready and waiting to entertain… FORKED first-timer, Seren Kiremitcioglu, reviews Plymouth’s favourite spoken word night…

On a rather drizzly and wet Thursday 19 May, I made my way over to The B-Bar in Plymouth with my good friend by my side; sitting down in the warm, inviting room with Thai food and beer in hand, I fully enjoyed a night of entertaining, insightful and thought-provoking performances of poetry and spoken word.

As I sat down in my chair, I was immediately engaged with the environment around me. Everyone was happily chatting and being sociable – I didn’t see one person on their phone. It was a truly sociable event where everyone was really excited to interact and see the acts perform. Under a canopy of red curtains and twinkling fairy lights, the place was set for the poets to take the stage and wow the audience – which they definitely did.

RikkiLivermore-ForkedBlogFirst up was Essex-based performance poet ‘RikTheMost’, who approached the stage with a relaxed and welcoming manner. His opening rap caught my attention quickly, and sustained it with his engaging talk of current affairs and politics. He performed one of the most memorable poems of the night, ‘Trauma’; a poem on personal grievance, which left the room in silence and transported me to a place I’d long forgotten. A fantastic opener, he was a great choice for the line-up, as well as a truly gracious, welcoming act to my very first poetry and spoken word evening.

FeatureImage-SaraHirschNext up was Sara Hirsch, a bubbly and lively London-based performance poet who not only is a former UK Slam Champion, but also third place runner-up of the World Slam Championships 2014. The runner of the Genesis Slam opened her segment with a ‘joke’ that spoke of how she’d rather have a tough life than an easy one, whilst her concluding excerpt from her upcoming project comically pointed at all the distractions of life; iPads, apps, dieting fads and the like. A comedic and spritely performer, she made the audience laugh with her more than amusing poetic creations.

Selina NwuluThis was no doubt a tough act to follow up, however the current Young Poet Laureate for London, Selina Nwulu, definitely managed it. Making her poems politically personal, she reflected on what her life would be like had she been brought up in a third world country rather than in her home in Yorkshire. However, she brightened the serious topic up with her self-deprecating reflections on being single, with a poem based on the rather renowned concept of online dating; something most, if not all of us could relate to on some level!

However, the star of the night had to be Zena Edwards. Edwards had a brilliant introduction by our rather quirky and highly entertaining host and poetess, Mama Tokus. Tokus not only hosted the night in her own fantastically bizarre way, but she performed some poetry that left the audience in fits of laughter. Introducing the Tottenham raised poet, Tokus told the audience how Edwards has made her way around the world by performing some true 21st century literature.

Zena Edwards webZena Edwards was down to earth and realistic in her performance; telling her audience the story of a homeless woman on one of ‘the richest streets in London’, her poetry was politically fuelled and left us all literally singing at the end of it. After teaching her audience the words, Edwards got everyone to sing along with her, bringing the shyest of people out of their shells and showing me a whole new side to performance poetry.

Thanks to Apples and Snakes for making Forked happen, overall it was an amazing introduction to Spoken Word and Performance Poetry; I would recommend this night to anyone and I can’t wait to go again!

forked-general-banner_696x260FORKED returns on Saturday 27 August as part of Sea Change Festival, with an amazing line-up including Ria Hartley, Rose Cook, Rob Barratt, and Jackie Juno, hosted by Mama Tokus! Details here. Keep up with Apples and Snakes in the South West: Facebook | Twitter

Seren Kiremitcioglu is a 19 year old freelance writer and editor based in the South West. You can read more about what she’s up to, at www.serenkiremitcioglu.com

 

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