Friday, 30 August 2013

Chill Pill EXPANDS with OPEN MIC NIGHT (Chill Pill EAST from 4th September)

We at Chill Pill (Mista Gee, Raymond Antrobus, Deanna Rodger, Simon Mole, Adam Kammerling) are excited to announce a new Open Mic night called 'CHILL PILL EAST' which will be launching on 4th September at The Star by Hackney Downs to coincide with our showcases at Soho Theatre and The Albany.

It's a bit of a back to roots night for us as we started out in 2010 as a free open mic night in a basement in Bethnal Green which grew in popularity by the week. It was a safe environment for poets and musicians to perform their work in progress without the expectation of a paying audience. From September 4th we're BRINGING IT BACK, although it'll be monthly not weekly.

Dates For Your Open Mic Diaries

Wednesday September 4th
Wednesday October 4th
Wednesday November 2nd

Our next showcase is at The Albany, 19th September.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Roger Robinson's NEW BOOK 'The Butterfly Hotel'

Roger Robinson has written some of my favourite poems ever. His first collection 'Suitcase' is still one of my favourite poetry collections of all time. I've even recommended his books to students and it inspired some of them to read poetry, so I always look out for his work. Every artist needs an inner Roger Robinson.

The Butterfly Hotel On Influence from Roger Robinson on Vimeo.

10 Quotes I Have Used In My Poetry Classes

"I refuse to become a seeker for cures. Everything that has ever helped me has come through what already lay in store for me" - Adrienne Rich

"When you are joyous look deep into your heart and you shall find that it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight" - Kahlil Gibran

"You have all the ingredients you need to make your life a nightmare, don't mix them" - Hafiz 

"Poetic language has two functions; to make things clear and distinct where they weren't, and to join them back up again when they were broken apart" - Don Paterson

"The poet mind is obsessed with the connection between things" - Nick Makoha

"It is only when language has gone beyond itself, however slightly, however briefly, that it ceases to be information and has a chance of becoming art" - Cole Swensen

"Poetry is the distillation of language to its purest form" - Rita Dove

"If you get all your culture from pop culture then it is as bad for your health as a fast food diet" - Peter Kahn

"Writing inside of a problem often generates answers" - Junot Diaz

"“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answers" - Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, 16 August 2013

When I Saw The Pictures Of Cairo

When I saw the pictures of Cairo
I wanted to talk to someone with words
that can make sense of what is responsible.

I thought of my friend Sabrina, she speaks Arabic,
maybe she'll say the translation of revolution is death
in any language. Maybe resolution
sounds impossible in the Egyptian ear.

Is there a language where war sounds like stop?
where military sounds like peace conference?

Can western privilege ever come at no expense?
If that happens will I be safe?

I should have better words
as someone who lives in a country
where the government doesn't jail poets
(unless they're poor or immigrants)

Are my words too privileged
to make sense of what is responsible?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Conversation With A Ugandan Carer

I won’t say much you’ll remember, you’re the poet, I’m the carer who says goodnight to dementia patients in nursing homes, making sure they’ve swallowed their medication, making sure I am giving smiles and getting them back before I turn out the lights. I am from Uganda, I like England because my dreams are different here, I mean that they are comfortable. I wake up younger if I think about Lucinda. She’s the Jamaican lady in a wheelchair, 79 years in her body, one leg cut off from diabetes but missing no happiness. She’s like a child when she sees me, enough watts in her face to light up any place. Every night she says “hello Africa Man!” and calls me “the happiest neighbour she’s ever had." The dementia tells her that it is 1960-something in Montego Bay and she is living with her father who is a butcher, that’s dementia, an illness with a cleaver. She asks when’s her father’s coming back, I say “soon” and she sits there looking soulful. One night she asked me if I’ve seen many oceans, I said that there aren’t any oceans in Uganda, just lakes and I never had the time to visit them; she says that there is always enough time in our lives to do what we must. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Rappers That Look Like Poets...

Adam Kammerling - A Rapper that looks like a poet or a poet that looks like a Rapper?
Camp Bestival was mega fun, thanks to The Guardian Literary Institute and Scroobius Pip for having Chill Pill on site... I'll be at Boom Town next week ( in the meantime (for no reason) here's some American rappers that look like poets I know...
Lars Rupple
Burnt Toast
Mos Def
Anthony Joseph
Talented Dizraeli 
Not so talented Vanilla Ice