September sees a cultural avalanche hit Nottingham courtesy of the World Event Young Artists as part of The Space. From Friday 7 September for one week only, one thousand artists from across the globe will take over various locations across the city and entertain us all for free. We're absolutely spoilt for choice and so it's hard to pick out the best literature events given the sheer scope and variety of the performances - and the fact that most of the events are already sold out - but here’s three events in particular that we’ll be looking out for. All events can be seen on the booking website.
More Than One Anchor
Choman Hardi (featured in the video above) came to England as a refugee in 1993 and has published three collections of poetry in Kurdish. Her first English collection Life for Us was published by Bloodaxe in 2004. Four of her poems were selected onto the GCSE Syllabus in 2010 which might explain why kids, if we’re going by grades, are taking a greater interest in the written word.
Gaylan Nazhad has been making documentaries for thirteen years and has now formed his own company GAYLAN DOCROOM. He says his inspiration comes from ‘the uniqueness of human beings’ which has led him to ‘think about the misunderstandings on the planet in which we live’. He sees life as ‘a big painting which we all have a hand in painting’ and that it is our role to find our own 'space' on this complex canvas.
Shane Shabhu creates dynamic theatre rooted in the traditional South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam, which to the uninitiated is absolutely mental but addictive dancing. He started busting his moves when he was eleven not because he felt drawn to this artform but because ‘my mum thought I was fat and could do with losing some weight.' Mothers in Britain take note...
The Lyric Lounge featuring Mouthy Poets
The Lyric Lounge will also be offering two days of spoken word celebrations on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 September
which will feature an all-day jam session, chances to perform, workshops, writing clinics, live music, art, circus, theatre and prizes. Heading up the celebrations will be Mouthy Poets (see above video) who were commissioned to work on the project by East Midlands charity The Mighty Creatives. “We’re already working with young people across the city creating new spoken word pieces which will be recorded and worked on by musicians then made into CDs and DJed as part of The Lyric Lounge set” said Mouthy founder, Deborah Stevenson
. Deborah will be performing a collaborative piece with cellist, vocalist and composer Ayanna Witter Johnson, who is one of WEYA’s invited artists.
If you want to get involved, look out for a massive inflatable tent in Old Market Square from 1.30pm on Monday. Things start earlier in the same place on Tuesday at 10.30am with the chance for aspiring writers to get a critique of their work from the Mouthy Poets team, listen to some tunes from Vinyl legend Charity Shop DJ or big-it-up at The Poetry Party finale at 6pm when Mouthy are joined by Ayanna Witter Johnson and Francesca Beard.
Nottingham Writers' Studio: Festival of Words
Our third highlight is the Nottingham Writers’ Studio launch of the city’s first ever Festival of Words at Antenna on Wednesday 12 September
at 8pm. The event is being put on as a sneak preview of the forthcoming festival programme (which will bring around one hundred events and activities to Nottingham for two weeks in February 2013) and will include readings from Booker-longlisted novelist Alison Moore (The Lighthouse
), Carcernet poet and EMBA shortlisted Gregory Woods
(An Ordinary Dog
), dramatist Stephen Lowe, Punjab writer Santokh Dhaliwai, spooky storytelling offering a new perspective on the Egyptian revolution, Mouthy Poets and Little Gem Storytellers, live poster art by Sue Bulmer and some music from American band Border Crossings.