SPINE Festival – Introducing Lewisham Artist in Residence Adam Kammerling

Spoken word artist Adam Kammerling gives us an insight into his work and what he has planned for SPINE Festival at Catford Library in Lewisham.

Google Maps is a liar. Google Maps told me, despite being given all the correct information, that Catford Library is in Halfords. I stepped onto the industrial estate and thought to myself — ‘Well this is a slightly dystopian setting for a library. An island of peaceful learning in a heaving ocean of trade and capitalism. Interesting.’

But it turns out Catford Library is not in the Halfords, or the Jewsons, or the Argos.catford-library
It’s just up the road a bit. Over the bridge.
Now you know.

I love working in libraries. The very basis of my teaching practice is to provide a fun application for literacy skills and without the library I definitely wouldn’t be a writer today. It’s the circle of life and I am Rafiki the baboon, thrusting cubs into the glorious sunlight of literature appreciation. But safer. Yeah?

As a spoken word artist my practice incorporates rap, poetry, story telling and everything in between. Often I’ll be bringing different skills to the same workshop, because rap is poetry, right? And if a participant’s prior knowledge of creative language is based in the world of rap, even the money worshipping, aggressively misogynistic type, we can harness that creativity for the powers of good.

As part of SPINE Festival, we’ll be running a series of rap and poetry workshops for secondary schools during term time. They’ll probably be more poetry based, but as I said before, you never know.

Adam Kammerling April 20thAnd there’ll be a full day of workshops on Saturday 14 March to close the festival, with a performance from all the young people that have taken part.

There’s an impressively large nursery group at Catford and they are getting some poems to go with their nursery song session. I am battling an aversion to audience participation, but the group’s lovely little faces are spurring me on. Zoom Zoom Zoom, we’re going to the moon.

I will also be spending some time in the local history archives at Catford and Lewisham and putting together a poetry piece and a massive workshop from whatever magical nuggets of local information I dig up there. Really looking forward to that bit.

Keep your eyes on the Apples and Snakes website for details, and remember if you’re travelling to Catford, the library is not in Halfords, Jewsons or Argos. It’s at the bottom of Laurence House, with the big windows, where all the books and nice people are.

For details of all Adam’s SPINE Festival events,visit his events pageKeep up with Adam throughout SPINE Festival by following @adamkammerling #SpineFestival.

SPINE Festival is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with library authorities across London as part of Apples and Snakes’ work as an Associate Bridge organisation. For more information visit the SPINE project page or follow #SpineFestival.