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Women Say Stuff 5

5 March 20 interview: Ollie Heppenstall

We chat to Leanne Moden to find out about Women Say Stuff, which is getting ready to celebrate it's fifth year on International Women's Day this Sunday...

Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day across the world, and as part of Nottingham’s contribution to everything and anything female DIY Poets will be spitting straight fire at Sobar. DIY Poets, originally founded 10 years ago by Frank MacMahon, are a Nottingham-based poetry and spoken word collective who have been holding the annual Women Say Stuff event for the last 5 years.

Leanne Moden, one of the event’s organisers, said: “DIY Poets has been in existence for about a decade now, and it’s a great space for poets of all ages, abilities and styles to come together to write, talk about and be supported by poetry. When I arrived in Nottingham it was a really, really great way for me to get a feel for the city.

“This is Women Say Stuff’s fifth year, and we’re aiming to provide a space for people who identify as women to share their poetry. Sobar’s a brilliant space as well, we’ve been using it since we started putting Women Say Stuff on.”

She also said: “The numbers have been hugely positive too; we get between 40 and 60 people at Women Say Stuff which definitely says to me we’re heading in the right direction.”

As well as an open mic, Sobar will be graced by three of Nottingham’s most well-established poets. “Maresa MacKeith, who’s also a disability campaigner with Quiet Riot, will be bringing her non-verbal style to the stage – she brings some really beautiful, well-observed poetry that’s really good at distilling emotions. Lytisha Tunbridge, one of DIY Poets’ pillars, will be joining her and supplying a wide range of light-hearted, funny and deep material; as one of the stalwarts of Nottingham’s poetry and spoken word scene, she’s been doing this for years.

It means so much because there are so few platforms that encourage creativity and give women a voice. It’s a way of allowing space for those who don’t usually get it

“Finally, we’ve got some of the women of World Jam, another poetry collective which focuses on international backgrounds. There are poets who come from Eastern Europe, Africa and also British poets who have a second language – they’ve got a really eclectic mix of poetry that’s always a little bit different from the norm.” Everyone is welcome to listen on the night, and there’ll also be an open-mic, with the floor open to anyone identifying as a woman.

Speaking about what Women Say Stuff means to her, Leanne said “it means so much because there are so few platforms that encourage creativity and give women a voice. It’s a way of allowing space for those who don’t usually get it.

“We’ve been hugely lucky with DIY Poets, there’s been success from the first-ever Women Say Stuff and we see new faces every year pretty much without fail. A lot of them go on to become regulars around Nottingham.”

Women Say Stuff will be run in aid of two Nottingham-based charities; Fearless Youth Association, who work with young people who are at risk of being exposed to violence and crime, and Equation, a charity who support survivors of domestic abuse and who also provide sex education within schools.

Women Say Stuff will take place at Cafe Sobar on Sunday March 8, from 4.30pm

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