Sara Hirsch: What A Way To Tour

Performance poet Sara Hirsch blogs about her exciting future travels. Here’s to adventure, touring, and Spoken Word discoveries across the globe.

NZ tour poster[1]This time next week I will be hovering somewhere in the sky, possibly just over China, mid way through the 36 hours it takes to get to the other side of the world, as I embark on my first international tour as a performance poet. Now, that is a sentence I never thought I would write!

I am over the moon to officially announce that, after a successful application, I will be jetting off on a one-month, Arts Council funded spoken word tour of New Zealand on 23 March.

Named after my infamous clown poem, which will be making its rounds down under, the tour is titled “What A Way To Make A Living.” I am told that they do indeed have the hokey-cokey in New Zealand, however they might be slightly lost on the reference to the M25. I will keep you posted on that. (If you are confused about what on earth I am talking about click here to view the poem on the BBC).

With support and mentoring from Apples & Snakes, Jacob Sam-La Rose, Spoken Word Educator Programme, and Kiwi poet and producer Ben Fagan, I have managed to plan a month long trip with performances, workshops and a week of teaching poetry at the National Youth Drama School of NZ.

I will be landing in Auckland and, after a quick sleep to snooze off jet lag, I have my first gig lined up for the next night. I will then be making my way down the North Island, stopping to admire the scenery, do some poems and make some new friends along the way. I will eventually end up down in Wellington where I will be performing at Poetry In Motion – to Ben’s home crowd. I will then be nipping over the to the South Island and performing in Dunedin (the town that is modelled on Edinburgh, one of my favourite places ever!) before a final University performance and a week of teaching on the inaugural poetry in performance class at the NYDS.  Most of the shows will feature an hour of me so I have been developing a full length feature set especially for the tour, to give the Kiwi audiences a taste of what we do down here.

The aim of the tour, as well as to ‘have a really nice time’, is to connect the UK and Kiwi spoken word scenes and to help build connections for future poets from both sides of the globe. I hope to return with contacts, ideas, and evidence of how wonderful the world of poetry is in a land far, far away. I also hope to get a bit of a tan, swim everyday if possible and make everyone a little bit jealous by posting pictures of mountains on Facebook (sorry in advance…).

Excited is an understatement. Nervous is a given. I feel very privileged to be able to undertake such an adventure and to have so much support from Apples & Snakes over here and all the organisations and venues over in New Zealand.

Keep up with Sara on her website Twitter | Instagram | #WhatAWayToTour.