Following the wonderful writing workshop with Claire Walker on the 12th August, I went home to select & rehearse my set for HOWL.
HOWL is a monthly spoken word event hosted and created by Leon Priestnall.
They have 3 headline acts each month as well as open mic slots. I was delighted when Leon asked me to headline earlier this year. The date clashed with Ledbury Poetry Festival and Ruth Stacey’s book launch. So I had to wait some extra time to grab this opportunity.
HOWL is always a great night, without fail you will feel thrilled by the performers and leave on a poetry high every time. I think this energy is how I set myself alight (not literally) – I was in the 2nd headline slot and had to make it through the first half and interval before hitting the stage. I had memorised part of my set and was also anxious to get the poems right and hopeful that the set I had selected would work, as I didn’t have my poetry notebooks with me.
I think all performers in this position worry about whether the material is appropriate, if this is the right audience.
I needn’t have worried the set was well received and I was delighted by people’s comments both on the poetry and my performance of it. I think this was probably my strongest headline set this year and I look forward to smashing through my own performance barriers another time.
The whole evening was exceptional. The open mic slots taken up by extremely talented poets.
The other headliners Sophie Sparham and Carl Sealeaf blew us all away. It was great meeting Sophie and reconnecting with Carl.
I am grateful to Leon for this opportunity and I still buzz just thinking about it!