I've just got back from a weekend of drinking, late night feasting, poetry and karaoke and it has taken me a few days to get over the hangover. What a party! If you haven't heard of The Loud Poets you've got to check them out. They're a collection of incredible artists. I first got to share a stage with a bunch of them in Edinburgh a couple of years ago and I've really enjoyed seeing their nights go from strength to strength. This year, for their Birthday, they asked me to join them for two gigs - one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh.
I've never been to Glasgow before, but man, I had such a great time. The Loud Poets perform with a live band, who improvise a backing track to each poem that's delivered and I loved getting to muck about with them. One of my poems, 'Keith' was totally transformed as they played this haunting march throughout. They've got me rethinking a few of my pieces now and considering ways I could work with musicians in the future - it was so cool getting to collaborate with them on stage.
When I was in Glasgow it was also great to bump into a local hip hop artist called Spee whilst walking down the street to the venue. It turned out that he was running a night next door to our poetry gig- he asked if I'd pop next door after our show and get involved. I've not performed in front of many hip hop crowds, so I was a little nervous, but it's not often you get the chance to do two gigs in a night.
The highlight of the whole weekend was getting to see these guys, though - this is Roy and Hannah. I met them a whilst performing with Loud Poets a while back - they'd been in the audience and had talked to me afterwards about a few of my poems.
Hannah then messaged me afterwards to ask if I'd write them a poem for their wedding - as a bit of a surprise for Roy. It was a real honour to be asked and I managed (finally) to come up with something that I was happy with. This photo is the first time I've seen them since I sent the poem through. I really enjoy writing commissions for people, but Roy's response was pretty overwhelming and I'm really honoured to have contributed towards their special day.
As always, I loved spending a couple of days with Loud Poets - they're such an inspiring and welcoming collective - and they put together incredible events. I could talk for hours about each and every one of them and how talented they all are. Honestly, if you get the chance you have to check them out - why not start here?