Starting from poems … ending with a spoken word show

So… I am developing a show for the Edinburgh Fringe. 50 minutes of spoken word. Moving from doing open mics to doing a whole performance is quite a shift. My motivation for doing the show is exactly this – to learn from this process and hopefully create something entertaining and worth watching in the process.

MexicoDF.metro

Navigating my way around poems…..

To support my learning I am sharing some of my challenges here. Please share comments and ideas – I need support – your input is welcome!

My show concept is a journey through 3 countries where I have lived. Nicaragua – Egypt – Burma. I hope moving between the countries creates a flow which gives the show a narrative.

Here are some of the challenges I have encountered so far:

  1. Is it too serious? I write about issues of social justice, travel, political change, revolution. Some of these issues are quite heavy. Although there are light moments I am a little concerned about whether there will be enough humour. I am working to see how to build something funny into the moments between individual poems.
  2. Will people get bored of the sound of my voice? Maybe this is a challenge for all solo shows – but I am a little worried about people having to hear only my voice for 50 minutes. Is there a way to vary this? I am building in some music and space between countries to attempt to give people a break and a chance to absorb some of the ideas.
  3. Does the narrative hold up? I am writing about 3 countries. The journey between the countries creates a narrative and a progression which helps to hold the show together. My concern is about the narrative I tell of each individual country. I only have a short time to create a picture of each place. I am attempting to carefully chose poems which help to create a snapshot which is interesting and also challenges preconceptions. The poems also need to work as performance pieces – so this is not always easy to create. Given the choice between performance and narrative I am favouring performance at the moment. This means I might not be able to share everything about these countries, but that I have something more dynamic to perform.

Do you have any ideas about how to work around these challenges?

More reflections on the fringe soon.

My Journey to Edinburgh Fringe

Hello everyone,

I am writing to let you know I will perform at for 10 days at this year’s Edinburgh PBH Fringe. My show is called Out On The World. It is a journey through poems across 3 countries: Nicaragua, Egypt and Nicaragua. Expect to go on a journey.

I will share more information about the show and preparing for the fringe here. At the moment I have been developing my flyer, reaching out to poetry and spoken word organisations in Scotland and finalising my script and wondering what I might have forgotten to do! There is a lot to remember!

My plan with the show is to learn by doing – how to create a narrative and a journey through poems which is entertaining and interesting for an audience. This is my first time to do something like this and developing an interesting hour of spoken word is not easy. Wondering – will people get tired of the sound of my voice?

I will share more as I get going in this month of preparation.

Looking forward to read your advice! Please share in the comments.

16.15_OutOnTheWorld

Draft flyer – 3 images of 3 countries.

 

I am writing a poem a day for April

Hello everyone,

April is National Poetry Month. Once again (for the third year in a row!) I am writing a poem a day for Tiferet Journal as part of their poemathon fundraiser.

*You might remember this and this from last year or this from my first year.*

A poem a day seems a lot, especially when you have a lot to do, but each time I commit I like the practice. I have found that a lot turns up in my writing by having to produce someone else will read at the end of day. It is also completely counter my tendency to write and then wait a long time to publish. It is a different rhythm and a good one. Things come up – both good and bad – then you can write about them.

This year I am enjoying writing about the changes in Yangon, as well as observing what comes up from my sub-concious. I hope to also explore some more performance poems, if I find the right inspiration.

You can read what I have been writing here and here I will also post poems to this site.

Also – very importantly – you can show your support to this creative month and give a few dollars to poetry by sponsoring me. Follow this link and click on the sponsor a poet button.

Lots of love,

Mandala

A lovely mandala which was shared as writing prompt. 

New Poem: The Start of The Past

Hi everyone,

A new poem of mine is published in Liminality Poetry Journal. I wrote this piece about seven years ago when I visited Mexico. I was fascinated by Mayan temples, the life of Frida Kahlo and the names of the metro stations, all of which feature in the poem.

“Diego paints streaming skyscrapers which Frida
climbs to a mega-top.
Daring to look down she exclaims:
I know this view but it is… only you!”

MexicoDF.metro

I was happy to finally find a home for this piece. It gave me hope to keep persisting through the many rounds of submissions to find a home for  individual poems.

Each poem was worth the time and energy it took to write, so it is also worth the time and energy to find it a literary home.

Thanks for those at Liminality for accepting it to appear beside some other great poets.fr

You can read the poem here.

freida-kahlo-with-monkeys