www.myspace.com/cravengriffiths Andy Craven-Griffiths, 23, was born and bred in Leicester. He is the middle child of seven and always had to fight for attention. He started writing out of anger and carried on because he loved saying things and liked it when people listened. He has won some slams and had some poems published and intends to be an infinite length of string with one end tied to a boomerang. Andy also writes and performs with his band Middleman. www.myspace.com/middlemanpop Andy has appeared on many stages and in many magazines alongside the likes of John Hegley, Jean Binta Breeze, Adrian Mitchell, Lemn Sissay, Roger McGough, Simon Armitage... He has also won various slams including Manchester Lit Festival Slam 2004, Glastonbury 2005 and most recently Munich Slam May 2007 where he thinks they gave him top marks mainly for his lovely English accent. He is part of poetry collective The Urbanian Quarter along with Polar Bear, Inua 'Phaze' Ellams and John Berkavitch. Here are some things people have said about him: “Andy Craven-Griffiths will blow you away. He’s new, exciting and strong. A talent for the page and the stage.” Lemn Sissay "If Macbeth had been into hip hop, he’d have sounded a bit like this.” Apples and Snakes “A wordsmith supreme (the girls like him as well)” Brian Patten “100 miles per hour. That was my heart, and the poems weren’t too bad!” Salena Saliva Godden “Andy Craven Griffiths, so good they named him thrice.” Tony Walsh “He had every woman in the place fancying him. Crafty C***.” Liam O’neil (audience member) "He's like a prettier version of me." John Berkavitch “Criticism is the best thing that can happen to a strong artist, and the worst thing that can happen to a weak one. I think Andy's rubbish, but he's a strong artist.” Andy Craven-Griffiths
STICKS AND STONES Sticks and stones can break your bones, words manufacture daggers, make difference a scapegoat and scatter our cadavers. The variety we erase is part of the human race we’re losing, I always knew diversity would prove too human. There’s no blood streaming in the street and there shouldn’t be a trickle, shed on the grounds of whether erythrocytes are sickle cell or whether a cross section of hair is more circular or oval, whether we fare better in hot weather but never whether acceptance is global. Distressed by ugly words worth nothing but hatred issued by bigots not even worth words of explanation, whether our flesh is dressed in green, blue, white or black prejudice will turn us into wounded haemophiliacs. Sticks and stones alone won’t break your bones but ignorance’ll go that far, a lack of social education wielding a crow bar. The variety we erase is part of the human race we’re losing, I always knew diversity would prove too human. Those lacking mental capacity have a capacity to be mental, mad scientists who couldn’t guess the extent the experimental impacts upon the facts of life and incites race killing, sending dog shit through the post and boasting about it to their children who then follow the misplaced footsteps of their misguided parents tracking the innocent like dogs into a deep and dark forest until they can’t even point to where the figurative light is. Yes, everybody’s blood is red, but theirs is short erythrocited. Sticks and stones won’t build you a home that’s safe from airborne bricks thrown by huffing puffing wolves, those wounds are too deep to be licked. The variety we erase is part of the human race we’re losing, I always knew diversity would prove too human. Other people are human commodities, rungs on a social ladder where every step matters more than the last and our only chance of ascending is through a suck-up structure without capillary behaviour. We like keeping above the Jones’ and trampling on our neighbours who have dissimilar faces that become similar in disfigurement who build their lives on quicksand and strangle each other with bare hands. Who should all call a spade a spade, and stop believing we’re all trowels who shouldn’t boast about a digging power that isn’t ours. Sticks and stones can spark a fire to lapdance in our eyes but in lighting up our lives it exposes difference we despise. The variety we erase is part of the human race we’re losing, I always knew diversity would prove too human. Universally reliant on our solar system sun God we like to discriminate on the basis of colours of faces that are tanned and darkened by the light that exhibits our skin-deep difference with a combined face value of moral insignificance. The ignorant are blind to explanations of the visual and only see the similarities in what they feel. We could incinerate their families and make the pain comparable but fighting fire with fire and sticks and stones would make us animals. Sticks and stones can break your bones, can manufacture daggers, both could draw blood but shouldn’t and needn’t scatter our cadavers. A flower smells as sweet and a thorn still hurts despite a rose’s name. Sticks and stones are only as good as their use, and words are the same.
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