March Snakebasket Extracts

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


I don’t know about you, but I feel like things are constantly speeding up in the poetry world. Wouldn’t you agree? Take a look!

Level-Up-Logo-100x100The big news this month is the launch of Level Up on the 28th in collaboration with Write Down Speak Up and with the support of a grant from the Birmingham City Council. It’s a quality spoken word night aimed squarely at young people – if you’re aged between 12-19, this is your chance to make your voice heard… And to meet some of the country’s best performers. We haven’t published the full line-up yet, but because it’s you, I’ll give you some names: Polarbear. Hollie McNish. Dizraeli. Kate Tempest. Dreadlock Alien. I know, right? More good news: Poets’ Place returns in a new venue – so once again you can use your Saturday afternoons to chat, write, and share tips with fellow poets. That’s the 9th and 23rd!

Word-Smiths-175x200After a successful run of 7 workshops, Power Plant has come to an end. If you attend one or more of the sessions, I’d love to hear from you – tell me what you thought of them, whether you think the series was useful, and what you would like future masterclasses to focus on. Let’s make the second season even more powerful. And, er, plant-like, I guess. There’s more – a very special Hit the Ode on the 21st, Wordsmiths & Co. featuring Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze and Daljit Nagra on the 13th, and some real gems in the “recommended” section – but you can check all this yourself after the jump.

See you very soon!
Bohdan Piasecki, Apples and Snakes West Midlands Coordinator


March is chock-full of events and opportunities from Apples and Snakes, so please excuse the less-than-ambling preamble and allow us to sprint straight to what’s happening this month.

Two workshops in March to put you on the path: this very Friday (the 1st) the masterful Steve Tasane leads our Poetry Toolkit masterclass in being a performance poet – and he should know, having made a living from it for 20 years. A month of back-to-basics, then, as we explore all things digital on the 28th with Charlie Dark and our very own Digital Marketer Dan Simpson at our Social Media for Beginners workshop.

WaS-100x100Event-wise, we’ve something for everyone this month. If you find yourself around St. Thomas’ Hospital on the 11th then you’re in for a treat, as Zena Edwards and Hollie McNish perform some Spoken Word at Lunch – sort of a Mother’s Day / International Women’s Day special, that one. We’re supporting new work too, with Si Mole and John Berkavitch scratching shows on the 15th at that fancy new Culture Space in Canada Water, before The Word’s a Stage on the 20th at the Gallery Café sees four exciting poets each perform a new 20 minute piece they’ve written for the occasion. Is that enough newness?

thumb100x100No? Well how about our two participation projects, SPINE and SWITCH? If you (or someone you know!) are aged 12-19, you get to work with Malika Booker and be part of Vauxhall Voices – that’s SPINE! As for SWITCH, 15-18 year olds write with Charlie Dark in bringing spoken word and climate change together. And then there’s The Writing Room for 16-25s on the 28th, this month led by Inua Ellams – find out more on our new Facebook page! All exciting projects – email Daisy ( to find out more or to take part!

Two regular events at Rich Mix too: StoryCraft for the 2-5s is happening on the 18th, plus our big open-mic night Jawdance rounds off the month, this time hosted by Paula Varjack – usual day (4th Wednesday of the month = 27th), usual place (Rich Mix – but you know that by now, right?). And lastly, Apples and Snakes has been awarded a grant from the Clore Poetry and Literature Awards Duffield Foundation in order to deliver a series of storytelling and creative writing sessions to young patients at The Royal London Children’s Hospital in Whitechapel, together with Vital Arts, the arts organisation for Barts NHS Trust. Look out for that later this year!
Russell Thompson, Programme Coordinator for London


This March a spoken-word spring is … er …springing, with performance poetry events popping their heads above the soil all over the place like bright little croci. February’s 451 was packed out (apologies to those who turned up and couldn’t get in) and rocked to the sound of the open mikers, the Fairbridge Collective, Stewart Taylor, Michael James Parker and Joelle Taylor.

BigTalk-Logo-100x100March brings a flurry of new events around the region alongside the regular open mics and slams; including a new slam in Tunbridge Wells and a veritable spring blossoming of spoken word in Southampton with both Mark Grist and Steve Larkin performing one-person shows and the Biscuit Poets of Totton performing their first ever poetry show with Jonny Fluffypunk on the 15th. There’ll also be Big Talk at the end of the month (the 29th!) in Margate with the brilliant Francesca Beard and young slam-champ Tom Sissons – see events below for details.

And don’t forget that the deadline for Glastonbury Festival poetry falls on 10th March, so if you haven’t sent your CV and samples in to them, get sending!
Pete Hunter, South East Coordinator


Hello my lovelies! You won’t believe how much great stuff I’ve got for you …

Amuse_Bouche_100x100Amuse Bouche comes to Live Theatre on the 19th, so all you Tynesiders can get a free dose of specially selected spoken word from Andrew Sclater, Elaine Cusack and Rowan McCabe. Scratch Tyne on the 17th is a party with Material Magazine launching their March edition AND celebrating their first birthday – expect a new poets, live music from Miss Danby and Dead Peasants, and a truly bizarre and kitch post-show playlist if current Facebook track suggestions are anything to go by. And Black Light Engine Room on the 22nd gets their first dose of Apples support as we bring the wonderful Anita Govan down from her native Edinburgh to headline this Boro institution!

Kirsten Luckins, North East Coordinator


May_100x100FORKED is back on the 21st with another great line up, including Exeter Poetry Fest 2012 Slam champion, Robert Garnham, young gun Ben Norris and Bristol poet Liz Greenfield. Keeping you on the edge of your seats the headline act is still to be confirmed! You will just have to turn up and find out who will complete your poetry plate this month, or keep an eye on facebook!

The culmination of Word Play is happening too – The Thing Is… showcase will see participants who have been work-shopping with poets over the last few months come together and demonstrate their new found writing and poetry skills, in an array of interesting ways.

Until next month!

Gina Sherman, South West Programme Coordinator


These are extracts from March’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.