Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 Accomplishments / Notice Board Resolutions for a poet in 2013

1. My first book of poems published by Burning Eye.

2. Being accepted by Goldsmith University to pilot the Spoken Word in Education MA. 

3. Being a shadow poet coach with Dzifa Benson, coaching The Albany Young Poets in the National Olympic Slam 'Shake The Dust' (Finished runners up)
4. Chill Pill receiving standing ovation after showcase in Ireland at The Liss Ard Festival.

5. Completing 14 Day Poetry Tour of Germany & Switzerland.

6. Exhibiting my first photography exhibition at The Albany and publishing my travel journal 'The Coloured Experience'

7. Completing whole summer of poetry gigs at Festivals nationwide including Secret Garden Party, Festibelly, Live & Unamplified, Lee Fest, Hamswell and more...

8. Completing Autistic Pieces EP with Alex Patten

9. Being in The Poetry Shed with Adam Kammerling

10. Having such amazing line ups (Soweto Kinch, Mystro, Sabrina Mahfouz, Harry Baker, Inja, Jive Poetic, John Osborne etc) and continuing to sell out Chill Pill poetry showcases.

Noticeboard Resolutions 2013

1. Keep myself Inspired - ("I do not write to kill time / nor to revive it / I write that I may live and be revived - Octavio Paz)

2. Maybe I'm getting to the point where my age can no longer excuse reckless love.

3. Never ever apologise for being a poet.

4. My friend Derrick Brown once said - "Do not ruin love by wanting it so bad"

5. Study hard or go yard.

6. Remember the people you love won't be here forever - sometimes they must come before everything else.

7. Sadness is ok.

8. If ideas aren't coming out as poems maybe they want to be short stories, speeches, journal entries, scripts, essays, photographs  - try not to block creative possibilities.

9. Eliminate the word "bitch" from casual speech and refer to God as "her" not "him"

10. You've said "that's gay" as a negative term for the last time in your life. Continue to challenge the language used by yourself and those around you.

11. Never say you're too busy to go to the doctor, you can't do anything without health.

12. Don't be too polite, sometimes you need to tell your friends to fuck off.

13.                                           More of this

Less of this


14. Yo! Don't forget to have fun!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Poem For Family

looking for gifts
gifts to box and wrap that will say
Corrina, Martin, Mum, Grandma, I saw this
and thought of you, thought of you like I do every living day and I love you,
I love you all like it isn’t Christmas, like it’s just another day and it might snow and that’s ok, and the fire is electric and I haven’t said I love you for a while and that’s ok because it is Christmas.

We don’t need excuses to sit together and eat Roast this afternoon, 
we don’t t need to wish merry anything,
because at least half our family is still alive and no one is hungry 
after the turkey and the pudding and the Queens speech 
and Grandma might need a nap, and I might eat another mince pie, 
and we might all watch a movie about miracles that we don’t need because the fire is still on,
                   and I love loving all of you.

Christmas in Senegal 13 years ago

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Book Review - A Difficult Place To Be Human by Anthony Anaxagorou

The common accusation from a page poet to a performance poet is that performance poets rely on dramatics rather than substance to move an audience. The page poet feels the words of performance poets aren’t as considered, they’re too abstract or full of generalisations and random flowery cliché images that don’t tie into the overall theme of their long-winded (so-called) poems.

The common accusation from a performance poet to a page poet is that they’re boring, obscure, dense, lacking in urgency or rage or any energetic emotion that could keep a room awake. They can’t speak to anyone that doesn’t give a fuck about the moon or a poetic weather report.

Both of these arguments are out of touch and poets like Anthony Anaxagorou are proof of this.

Anthony is a fiery twenty something year old from London who has just published a book of poems entitled ‘A Difficult Place to Be Human’.

Anthony is like Vladimir Mayakovsky or Yevgeny Yevtushenko on the poetic intensity scale, which is to say he is fiercely political but deeply romantic (and probably has the soul of a Russian humanitarian poet). 

I think most poetry editors would’ve told Anthony to condense his words, “too much Anthony, tone it down” they’d scream, but I know Anthony, he’s a poet integral to his charge.

However, every good poem needs a head and a heart but when you have a head like Anthony (the man is a walking encyclopaedia of history, politics and poetry) you can’t say that his inspiration (and heart) isn’t informed.

Anyone out there doing a thesis on the Spoken Word needs to study Anthony Anaxagorou on page and stage. Poems like Surgery, The Blind Beggars Grave, Non-Believer, Counterpart are wonderful testimonies to Anthony’s page craft. He achieves a control of language, subtlety and a condensation which well-read poetry readers could fault on his more “performance based poems” like ‘What If I Told You’ and ‘The Masters Revenge’. It’s clear that Anthony’s raw and rugged style is what makes his poetry exciting and accessible and this has resulted in him having one of the biggest followings on the London Spoken Word circuit.

His poems, ‘I Mean’ and ‘The Science Borrowed From Stars’ are two favorites of mine because they move me equally on page and stage, which is a rare experience. A poet that comes with lines like “you listened as a leaf does to its season” just has to be listened to.

“That night I whispered in your sleeping ear / that life isn’t always about following your heart / not everyone we meet is good / in a world where love is the only war we’ve yet to wage”

Anthony writes poems that address the light, the darkness within himself, the people he loves and the world. 

He makes Kafkaesque music with lines like “the world did not know us / but we knew it / as a wounded dog that needed death”.

But Anthony is not self-loathing or cynical like Kafka, he’s too well travelled for that. A Difficult Place To Be Human urges people to be informed political campaigners for humanity, while knowing how to love ourselves so we can love each other. 

Pick up a copy from his website now -

Concrete Disco - Sounds of the Void feat Raymond Antrobus

Thursday, 13 December 2012

How Spoken Word In Education Is Changing The Landscape For Modern Poets

This year Goldsmith University launched their first Spoken Word Education module as part of the Teacher / Writer MA program and I’ve been lucky enough to be one of the six London Spoken Word poets piloting it. The other five are Indigo Williams, Keith Jarrett, Dean Atta, Cat Brogan and Pete The Temp – If you know your Spoken Word poets you’ll be familiar with these names.

Since September we’ve been going into a secondary school in East London and leading lessons on poetry and performance as well as setting up a Spoken Word poetry after school club which had over eighty sign ups from years 7, 8 and 9.

Peter Kahn coordinates the program, a teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Chicago. He runs the largest school-based spoken word club in the world and is featured in the award-winning documentary Louder Than a Bomb. 

The project is also partnered by some of the UK’s leading institutions and organisations such as Apples and Snakes, Avron and Spread the word. 

We challenge the idea that “poems are old fashioned and have to rhyme” and we get students talking and writing from their personal experiences to generate poetry in their own voices. Many teachers have already given positive feedback about the impact of having poets in their school. Some students really open up in their poetry and it can get emotional. This has been a good way to hear the kids that are calling for help. Ultimately we have a lot of fun with language, performance games and watching the kids develop as young poets. We’re all coming across more and more talented young poets and we call it our mission to nurture talent and give poets higher platforms to aspire to. This will change the landscape of Spoken Word and poetry for a new generation. 

I didn’t discover Spoken Word until I was twenty but if a quality poet came into my school when I was fourteen I definitely would have been hooked sooner.

Some of the top Spoken Word Educators in the country including Jacob Sam La Rose, Simon Mole, Polarbear, Charlie Dark and Hollie McNish all make a living mentoring young poets and improving the standards of Spoken Word poetry nationwide.

The more exposure top quality poets receive the more impact Spoken Word poetry will make as an art form.

If you know of any schools that would be interested in setting up a Spoken Word Club please contact :

Monday, 10 December 2012

2 Poetry Shows Not To Miss (Outspoken in London & Speak Up in Birmingham)

...and then December 19th I head to Birmingham to speak poems at Speak Up with superstar poets - Jodi Ann Bickley and Alex Gwyther.

Speak Up with Jodi Ann Bickley & Alex Gwyther

And Now That It's Cold

Street lamps don’t turn off without me seeing you
in a dream
that by morning blows fuses in my chest.

I am faulty without you.

This is what it is to have my heart
standing in the shower at 6am
wearing a T-Shirt you slept in,
I am not clean 
because I can still smell our summer
because it is December
and this morning I’m not your coffee
                            I’m not your coffee.
I am alone
in the kitchen staring at the fridge -
how cold
the distance between us?

I don’t know why it matters
now that I’m barefoot in the bedroom
and suddenly warm
in the thermal
of that day in Bristol,
when I fell down the stairs
in a sleeping bag
and you laughed
but only after you knew I was ok.

If I dress in all-black, like a Chilean poet
you will miss me tonight and
I will write the saddest lines.

But now I’m pulling out 
all my clothes from this closet
finding nothing you haven’t seen me in,
today is the same
and the barriers at New Cross Gate
tell me again,
I am not Pablo Neruda
I am on Platform 1
It’s 7.32am
and the train I want is somewhere else
            with other passengers
and that has to be ok.

I’m not living with a shadow
that might push me on a train track,
I am learning to fall down my own steps
to get up alone in the dark,
laughing at my own jokes 
                  but only after I know I’m ok.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Pre-Order Shapes & Disfigurements Of Raymond Antrobus (Poetry Collection)

Pre-Order Your Copy Here -
“…all you need / are the right words,” writes Raymond Antrobus, but as this all-too-brief collection, Shapes and Disfigurements, demonstrates, the best poets need also compassion, insight, craft, taste, and a pitch-perfect ear to the cadence and tones of the human voice and mind. Antrobus has these gifts in buckets—his monologues are stunning studies of voice and substance, and his lyric poems are graceful and finely crafted. Yes, he is a poet to watch, for sure - 
Kwame Dawes (Poetry Professor at South Carolina University & author of Wheels)
"truth resonates throughout this work, whether it is giving voice to the voiceless through experimenting with monologue, dialogue and duologue in a poetic container or using the right pitch, tone and language to create beautiful eloquent lyrical poetry that 'interrogates depression' with poise delicacy and a precision that leaves the reader wonderfully moved." -
Malika Booker (Poet & Author of Breadfruit)

"'This is a poetry of conversations and chance encounters.  Raymond Antrobus gives everyone a hearing and he weaves their voices into astonishing poems of grace, generosity and compassion.  In 'One Night at Zulu Bar in Cape Town' a girl cries out 'This music is so good it hurts', the same could be said of this collection.  Buy it and cherish it.'' -
Professor Sean Eliott (Poet & Creative Writing Professor at Birkbeck University, Author Of Waterhouse & The Tempest)

The reason that Spread the Word tries to support writers like Raymond is because of collections like this. Raymond's poetry is vivid and emotional, raw at times or just plain funny. This honest and engaging first collection takes the poetry of the everyday global encounter, and speaks it vividly onto the page.
Spread The Word

Blistering. Raymond's verse have sharpened tremendously in last few months. And in his 'A Conversation With...' pieces he's found his own voice. And what a moving voice it is too. - Poejazzi

'Imagine what a sentient creature must feel seconds before facing its death in the slaughter house. Imagine dying from heart break but having to still remain alive. Indeed that is from where Antrobus lives to write - those places that are forever hurting while quietly begging for grace - 
Anthony Anaxagorou (poet, author of A Difficult Place To Be Human) 

''If aliens came down to earth and asked me to provide them with a document on humankind, I think I would give them Shapes and Disfigurements of Raymond Antrobus. And hope they read English. Because unlike a lot of people, Raymond listens. He listens so well. And he scribbles and he remembers and I think there is something so special about a poetry book which contains one voice but so many people’s stories. So many poetry books ignore people, this one gives their words the pedestal society won't.
My first time hidden in the back of the Poetry Café in London, scared to read my own pieces, I saw a young guy approach the stage. Cool, calm, book in hand. And I still cannot believe the passion that broke from his lips when he parted them. I had never seen anything like it…and still haven’t. I haven’t forgotten that moment, the point when poetry was thrown into the air and blown out into the audience like a sweet scented hurricane that reached me right in the back corner. This man has so much to say, not because he likes his own voice, but because he likes words, poetry, people and sharing all of these observations with us. And no matter how many times I now see Raymond perform, I can never catch everything in one reading. I am madly happy that now the notes in his hand I saw years ago in that dimlight room in London have found the credit they deserve. I have now read this book nine time this evening and still haven’t caught it all yet. Thanks goodness. What a perfect collection.'' 

Hollie Mcnish (Author of Paper & Multi Slam Champion)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Autistic Pieces (Poetry EP) Reviewed by Huffington Post

Pleased to wake up today to see The Huffington Post heard the Autistic Pieces EP I recorded with Alex Patten and liked it enough to review it.
"Autistic Pieces marries the vivid images from Raymond's words to the subtle atmospheric soundscape and vocals from Alex resulting in an honest storytelling wave that just washes over you with a sea of feeling and emotion."

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

It's Saturday & It's Not Too Late

I got home last night
drinking and missing you
and thinking how
if you walked me home
you’d have seen a taxi
kill a cyclist and we could sit listening
to bedroom music and light
candles by the window
and I would say
we may die soon so I might as well
let myself love you.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Lyric L - Doot Dude (See her LIVE this Thursday at Chill Pill)

Chill Pill is this Thursday (29th Nov) at The Albany and it features Lyric L, watch that video and tell me you can't wait to see her live. You saw the Q&A with Euro & World Slam Champ Harry Baker (whom is also featuring) well there will also be a performance from The Albany Young Poets who were the runners up of this summers London Olympic 'Shake The Dust' Slam and 6 Open Mic slots!

Details & Booking info -

Tickets £7
Concession £5

Box Office - 020 8692 4446

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

You Lost Two Years

You tell me you lost two years
to the last man you loved.
You say if you write a poem
                   don’t mention me,
mention the night and what
you see in the street.
The parked cars
    and how tires rest with the dirt
   they’ve rolled over, how houses
have locked doors
 and one glowing window.

Mention how sad the sky is
because the person it loves
won’t look at it. Mention a storm
             but don’t give it my name,
say it’s what love does to people,
say there is a man inside the house
next door, he is half naked
with a tattoo across his chest
that says “what doesn’t kill you
makes you stranger”,
say she can't forget the way he kissed her
               in the restaurant smoking areas.

mention a woman 
that was saved by the rain
but don’t give her my name,
say she is a smoker
that survived her own fire
and has not since stood
       under an umbrella.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Q&A w/ Kenyan Born Somali Poet Warsan Shire

“I have my mother’s mouth and my father’s eyes; on my face they are still together” - Warsan Shire  
Warsan is a Kenyan born Somali poet based in London. She’s also one of my favourite poets alive and she’s only 23. ‘Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth’ is the name of her first collection of poems.

Q1. Warsan, what’s more beautiful, midnight or midday?

midnight because it is quiet and all black is beautiful.

 Q2. The poet is often perceived as a tormented character, a lot of your poetry explores trauma. When you write are you in a certain mood?

probably crying, but not because i'm tormented or traumatised, but because something finally fell into place. 

Q3. You’ve started working with script writing, how does a poet work on scripts?

I thought film was poetry?

Q4. True, ok, if a love poet, a political poet and a preacher sat in a room together what would they talk about?

loss (my first answer was brittany murphys death, i don't know about everyone else, but personally i still have so many questions.) 

Q5. You’re reading a set of poems at Keats House on Sunday November 18th. What do you think makes a good poetry reading?

Intimacy, safety, relief between poems in the form of inappropriate humour. 

Q6.  So there’s this genre of poetry called ‘Spoken Word Poetry’ which has become quite popular… What’s your take on ‘Spoken Word’ as a form of poetry?

when it's done well, it's so good, so beautiful, that i die a little bit.  when it's bad, i just want to die. but that is true of most things, a bad cup of tea is tragic. a good cup of tea is a small heaven. 

Q7. I was teaching a year 10 class at school last week and I asked the class what they know about poets and a girl blurted the word “poverty!” across the room. What can up and coming poets aspire to apart from poverty?

Well, she had a point, you do aspire to be poor, but also, to be so deeply fulfilled that sometimes, you just sit with your face in your hands, in awe of it all. 

Q8. Finally Warsan, did you tell your mother she has a beautiful daughter?

She said you should come over for Somali tea, Ray.

Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth
DON'T MISS Warsan giving a reading of her poems at the Keats House Open Mic event on Sunday November 18th, 2pm - 4pm. (FREE)

Keats Grove, 
London, Greater London 

Follow Warsan Shire on Twitter - @warsan_shire
Keep updated on her blog 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Q&A With World & National Slam Champion Harry Baker

Harry Baker is odd… he’s a poet even through he was born in the 90’s. Actually he’s more than that, he’s the UK, European and World Slam champion and he’s doing a set at Chill Pill on 29th November at The Albany

When on tour in Germany almost everybody knew Harry Baker, he’s referred to as “the perfect Slam Poet” and I don’t think anyone can disagree. I caught up with him to interrogate this young poetry star. 

Q1. Even though I’ve seen you wear orange tights you’re a pretty cool dude…. how can people adopt the swagger of a young poet? 

Thanks - my edinburgh show this year involved the tights, some tartan trousers and a dressing gown amongst other things... I think if you're trying to be a cool poet you're doing it wrong. I generally go for the shy awkward teenager vibes… it takes years of practice.

Q2. When you and Keith Jarrett (former UK Slam Champion) went back to back at Chill Pill, that was magic and I remember watching that thinking “that’s how you know they’re both Slam Champions… what makes a good Slam Poet? 

 That was a good night - I'm looking forward to the next one! I used to think you made a good slam poet f your poems happened to be around 3 minutes long, but as I've seen more of it there are common themes. Partly you've gotta have something to say. Once you get to a certain level as a spoken word artist/poet/whateveryouwannacallit you can make anything sound nice but with slam here's a definite message behind it, you've only got to look at all the big political American slam poetry to see that. For me it's more about being aware of your audience. Make them laugh, or cry, or shiver, or wet themselves.. Slam works because they have a say, if you've just spent 3 minutes listing everyone you have had or want to have sex with etc (I've seen some weird ones) then quite right they can give you 3 out of 10.
Harry Baker is not rubbish
Q3. You’re like 19 man…. Wtf?

20 now! I love that I've got into it this young. Managed to do a gap year of open mics and saying yes to every gig, i did 12 festivals over the summer and 2 shows a day at the fringe, and I'm currently doing 17 gigs this November (all building up to the fabulous chill pill) so Its not like Im inexperienced, but i guess it means I'm funding it from a student loan rather than arts council grants.. and I'm still doing it because i love it. 

Q4. If your poetry was a wrestler what would it’s special move be?

Beach elbow. (Ray wishes Harry said "The Proper Pop -Up, Purple, Paper People's Elbow)

Q5. Edinburgh Festival had its first official Spoken Word programming; you were at Edinburgh and had great success, you working on a show? 

 I've done two shows in the last two years, both went fantastically, you hear all sorts of horror stories about having audiences of 2 people and losing loads of money but everything fell in place nicely. I think I'm going to have a year off next year - make the most of the 'world champion' title and go back to the states where they care about such things, then by 2014 I'll have potentially had a year in Germany and have something new to say. 

Q6. Wtf! I just tried to tweet you! Did you UNFOLLOW me on twitter? 

Gosh. yes, it was either too profound for my tiny head to comprehend or things that you tweet like this - “That moment in the barbers when you have an itch on your head & the barber runs over the spot with the razor #Bliss” 

Q7. It's true! I thought that was kinda profound... anyway, you’re studying medicine.. or was it maths? either way you’re a bit of a brainiac and you’re being a poet. Don’t your parents think you’re wasting yourself? 

Maths and German. I was going to study medicine but got into poetry so the obvious choice was to switch to math’s. I think my parents were relieved because if you're good at science at school they try force it on you but it wasn't for me. There's 4 people for every place doing medicine so someone far better would've taken my place, but if i don't write poems about dinosaurs and dessert, who will? My parents are incredible. I remember first seeing poets do incredible pieces about how their dad's weren't there for them and thinking my life was too boring to write about in comparison so stuck with prime numbers and bees for a while. But they're fully supportive and have got into it, My dad even quotes kate tempest in the foreward to his latest book! 

Q8. Finally Harry, if it breaks will Jim fix it? 

ummm no? Obama might.

Follow Harry Baker on twitter - @harrybakerpoet
website -

Again, come see Harry alongside Lyric L & The Albany Poets at Chill Pill on 29th November!
We tend to sell out so book advance tickets here

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

My Universities by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

dedicated to all students of life.

My Universities

I learned not only from those
who brightly beam out of golden frames,
but from everyone whose ID photo
didn't come out quite right.
More than from Tolstoy
I learned from blind beggars
who sang in train cars about Count Tolstoy.
From barracks
I learned more than from Pasternak
and my verse style was hot 'barracko'.
I took lessons on Yesenin
in snack bars from invalids of war
who tore their striped sailor shirts
after spilling out their plain secrets.
Mayakovsky's stepped verse
didn't give me as much
as the dirty steps of staircases
with handrails polished by kids' pants.
I learned in Zima Junction
from my most untalkative Grannies
not to be afraid of cuts, scratches,
and various other scrapes.
I learned from dead-end streets that smell of cats,
from crooked spattered lanes,
to be sharper than a knife,
more ordinary than a cigarette butt.
Empty lots were my shepherds.
Waiting lines my nursing mothers.
I learned from all the young toughs
who gave me a whipping.
I learned
from pale-faced harried hacks
with fatal content in their verse
and empty content in their pockets.
I learned from all the oddballs in attics,
from the dress cutter Alka
who kissed me
in the dark of a communal kitchen.
I was put together out of the birthmarks of the Motherland
from scratches and scars,
cradles and cemeteries,
hovels and temples.
My first globe was a rag ball,
without foreign threads,
with brick crumbs sticking to it,
and when I forced my way to
the real globe,
I saw-it was also made of scraps
and also subject to blows.
And I cursed the bloody soccer game,
where they play with the planet without refs or rules,
and any tiny scrap of the planet,
which I touched,
I celebrated!
I went round the planet
as if it were a gigantic Zima Station,
and I learned from the wrinkles of old women,
now Vietnamese, now Peruvian.
I learned folk wisdom
taught by the worldwide poor and scum,
the Eskimo's smell for ice,
and the Italian's smiling non-despair.
I learned from Harlem
not to consider poverty poor,
like a Black
whose face is only painted white.
And I understood that the majority bends
its neck on behalf of others,
and in the wrinkles of those necks
the minority hides as if in trenches.
I am branded with the brand of the majority.
I want to be their food and shelter.
I am the name of all without names.
I am a writer for all who don't write.
I am a writer
created by readers,
and readers are created by me.
My debt has been paid.
Here I am
your creator and your creation,
an anthology of you,
a second edition of your lives.
I stand more naked than Adam,
rejecting court tailors,
the embodiment of imperfections-
yours and my own.
I stand on the ruins
of loves I destroyed.
The ashes of friendships and hopes
coldly fly through my fingers.
Choking on muteness
and the last man to get in line,
I would die for any one of you,
because each of you is my homeland.
I am dying from love
and I howl with pain like a wolf.
If I despise you-
I despise myself even more.
I could fail without you.
Help me to be my real self,
not to stoop to pride,
not to fall into heaven.
I am a shopping bag stuffed
with all the world's shoppers.
I am everybody's photographer,
a paparazzo of the infamous.
I am your common portrait,
where so much remains to be painted.
Your faces are my Louvre,
my private Prado.
I am like a video player,
whose cassettes are loaded with you.
I am an attempt at diaries by others
and an attempt at a worldwide newspaper.
You have written yourself
with my tooth-marked pen.
I don't want to teach you.
I want to learn from you. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Shots From Raymond Antrobus's Poetry Tour in Germany & Switzerland

I'm back from tour, 12 shows in 12 days. Other than being constantly stopped and searched in Switzerland (for looking suspicious apparently), breaking down on a German 4am highway and missing my flight back to London, it was a great time. Poetry is a big deal in Germany, you win a major Poetry slam and it's covered in the nation papers, audiences come out in their hundreds to watch a Poetry Slam, nowhere in the world is poetry happening like it is out there. Below are some shots taken at some of the venues I performed at across the country. 
The Mic in Freiberg
The Mic in Langani
The Mic in Marberg
The mic in Frankfurt w / Lars Rupple
Setting up pre-show in Herne
Took all those shots arriving early at the venue... when they pack out they look more like this...

250 people in Freiburg

500 people in Cologne
                 I also sold books and CD's after the show... here's some of the happy punters!

man buys Rhyming Thunder Anthology
Man buys my book 'The Coloured Experience'
Man buys 'Autistic Pieces EP'
Here's the picture of the car I was in when heading to the airport and one of the tires randomly exploded as we skidded off the highway. We waited hours for the serviceman. It would be another 14 hours, three trains and a coach until I'd find another airport with planes heading to London.

Special shout out to poets Lars Rupple & Sebastian 23 - the tour could not have been possible or special without you.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

November Shows Include Chill Pill at One Taste, Autistic Pieces at Bang Said The Gun, Warsan Shire at Keats House & more...

Paper Tiger Poetry at Tea House Theatre, Vauxhall Walk. November 9th 2012.

Chill Pill Poets (Raymond Antrobus, Mista Gee, Deanna Rodger, Simon Mole & Adam Kammerling) - Are doing a show at the One Taste Festival. Come See Us In Full Force! 11th November 2012.

Autistic Pieces (Raymond Antrobus / Alex Patten) at Bang Said The Gun. The Roebuck, London Bridge. 15th November 2012.

Open Mic event, Keats House Poets Forum is back this month with special guest poet; 
Warsan Shire. 18th November 2012
Warsan Shire
Chill Pill is back at The Albany with multi-slam champion Harry Baker 
& amazing musician, poetess - Lyric L as well as a special performance from Albany Young Poets (Runner's Up of London's Olympic 'Shake The Dust' Slam) 29th November 2012.
(Includes Open Mic)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! New Animated poem (Autistic Pieces)

Special thanks to the amazing Armand Cordero for the animation.

Autistic Pieces is a collaboration project between musician, singer-song writer Alex Patten & poet Raymond Antrobus. Their first EP can be purchased for only £4 below.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Quick update on Poetry Tour of Germany & Switzerland

I’m halfway through the tour of Germany and Switzerland and it’s been amazing to meet and share a stage with poets out here. The audiences are big, between 150 – 350 people per night. The tour started in Frankfurt last week at The English Theatre. A sell out show hosted by my good German friend Lars Ruppel - a lot to say about this man.

Speaking English has been a barrier some nights, the audiences speak German, Swiss-German and French. I made an effort to introduce myself in the local dialect and slow down the delivery of my poems while performing.

It’s the Slam people come out to see, the German National Slam Championships are coming up in November and if you make it into the final your performances are televised throughout the country.

I’ve been participating in the slams some nights and featuring as “the special guest from London” in others. The Marburg, Gießen and Freiburg shows were mainly students from the local universities but Kressbronn was interesting because it was a Slam in ‘The Literature Hotel’. Every room was dedicated to a German poet with quotes written on the walls and various collections of their work left on the beds.

The show in Langenthal, Switzerland had the smallest crowd but has been one of my favorite shows so far because the venue was perfect, amazing acoustics and atmosphere so big up Valerio
 Moser for the space.

Switzerland was special in general, they made it snow just for me, so me and a bunch of Swiss-German poets went outside, had a snowball fight, got drunk, then went to a Dubstep warehouse rave, got drunk, had another snowball fight, then found a cozy bar and played on the pinball machine. In the morning there was a local election so I followed the poets to the polling station, then we built snowmen and spray painted them gold. After eating my Swiss breakfast of bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, croissants, tea and jam I had a lot of people to thank for the magic.

Headed back to Germany and performed in Leverkusen last night, which was an interesting show, the hosts 'Lasse Samström' and 'Catherine De La Roche' made me feel super welcome.

Now I’m in an area called Cologne for tonight’s show, Catherine took me up on a rooftop to marvel at the beautiful city.

It’s also great that books and CDs have been selling after the shows; not sure how many copies I’ll have left when back in London.

Right, that’s it for now… Heading to the theatre to prepare for the show.