January Snakebasket Extracts

These are extracts from January’s Snakebaskets. Sign up here to receive the whole message!


From London Coordinator Russell
Gosh, can you believe it’s 2013? When I was a lad, there was a TV programme called Space: 1999, in which glamorous aliens underwent full-body molecular transformation in the time in takes you or me to make a cup of tea. A neat link, there, to The Rememberers, Kenny Baraka’s spectacular sci-fi spoken-word show. Imagine if you knew all the accumulated knowledge of your ancestors. (Think how full your head would be: never again would you be able to say ‘Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.’). Imagine a streetwise New York storyteller projecting you into a future where such stuff is not only reality, but the very key to Earth’s survival. Stop imagining, and get yourself down – deep down – to The Old Vic Tunnels, London’s artiest catacombs between 15 – 18 January.

Who turned up for Jawdance in December? Y’ daft wazzock – that was Boxing Day. It returns to Rich Mix on Wednesday 23 January, with more open-mic slots than you can shake a mixed metaphor at. But you still have to arrive early to get one. Oh, and to help the bairns over their post-Christmas comedown, StoryCraft is back on Monday 21st. Any feedback, email me at the usual address, with ‘Space: 1999 – factual inaccuracies’ as the subject line.


From West Midlands Coordinator Bohdan
Hello all! Welcome to the new year. See any changes? Broken any resolutions? Me, I’m looking forward to what promises to be another great year for poetry, whatever the world at large might decide to throw at us. Power Plant continues on its mission to turn us all into consummate poetry pros, this time with Tim Wills addressing the seemingly unanswerable question on Saturday 12th: how does one make a living as a poet? I expect this one to be pretty crowded, so book your (free!) place early.

The world’s first live poetry chat show, Wordsmiths & Co., has been booked for another run of three fantastic nights of poetry, and we dive straight in with a show on Monday 21st featuring Inua Ellams, Jess Green, Ruth Larbey and Chris McCabe. And trust me, we have more incredible poets lined up. Hit the Ode returns from its brief hibernation on Thursday 31st, with Brummie-as-can-be Al Hutchins, the wonderful Rosy Carrick, and Ireland’s own reluctant bard, Stephen James Smith, and the usual open mic slots and shenanigans.

I can now reveal that in March, we will launching a new series of events in collaboration with Write Down Speak Up Level Up! A special evening of poetry aimed at younger people, a place where they can listen to top poets from around the country and showcase their own writing and performance skills. Much more to come on this very, very soon – watch this space! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…


From South East Coordinator Pete
Hello, 2013 is upon us, an auspiciously good year for poetry methinks, but 2012 went out with a double bang as first Big Talk at the Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate drew it’s biggest audience to see Adam Kammerling and Paula Varjack, plus a very high standard open mic. Then at 451 in Southampton we saw Tim Clare, Katie Bonna and plenty of exciting new-to-451 voices fill a rapt audience with poetic joy.

Big Talk coming up on Friday 25 January witnesses the arrival in the South East of Mark Gwynne Jones from the North West, bringing a performance style that will probably burst out of the Tom Thumb and spill onto the Margate seafront. It’ll be well worth the journey. And don’t forget Archimedes Screw at The Art House in Southampton on Friday 11 January, where Rhian Edwards will be headlining and YOU get to vote on which local poet appears at February’s 451. See you there.


From South West Coordinator Gina
Happy New Year my spoken word lovelies, January 2013 sees Apples and Snakes South West emerged in stage 1 of Word Play in Somerset. The project known as ‘maybe it’s…,’ will begin with the brilliant Rob Gee’s master-class on mental health and will help support our fantastic lead poets and shadows on their journey. Find out more at Take Art. FORKED will be back on Thursday 17 January to dazzle, demand and deliver you from post festive hangovers. The line- up is tasty, fresh and packed full of flavour! Get those tickets today and I’ll see you there forkedites!

From North East Coordinator Kirsten

Hooray, it’s a shiny new year to play with! LOTS going on, we’re hitting the ground running – if you missed Simon Mole’s brilliant show Indiana Jones and the Extra Chair at Live last November, you can catch it again at ARC on  Tuesday 29 January, with a new supporting cast of young writers bringing you their unique takes on the highs and lows of families and food. Come and enjoy a meal with the show, and find out why every family meal needs a hero… The very next night, on Wednesday 30 January, we have a special guest at the fabulous Trashed Organ – double Farrago Slam champ Martin Daws will bring you musicality and lyricism as he explore life, nature, and who the hell we think we are anyway!

Plus as ever we will be bringing you the new poets and new poems of Tyneside at our monthly Scratch Club on Sunday 20 January, now with open slots for acoustic singer-songwriters to try out their work – free, fun, informal and open to all, so why not join us? EARLY HEADS-UP – we will be running our last ever 24-Hour FilmPoem Challenge on Saturday 2 February in Stockton – a must for anyone wanting to enter our superb filmpoem competition…


These are extracts from January’s Snakebaskets. Apples and Snakes’ Snakebaskets are monthly newsletters tailored for each region we work in. Here you will find lots of exciting spoken word stuff and more about what we are up to in your area. Why not join our mailing list? Click here for more.

“just wanted to say thanks for one of the best poetry-info emails I’ve ever received. Hope to attend at least a couple of the events – brilliant!” London Snakebasket reader.