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Fay Roberts

Updated: Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:14 am

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Born in 1975, Fay is a classically-trained singer from Cardiff who has been getting on stages since the early 80s. She was finally bitten by the performance poetry bug in Spring 2006 after a favour to a friend turned into a place in the final of a poetry slam. These days she describes herself as “a performance poet and peripatetic percussionist who by day pokes projects and by night projects across a microphone...” Find out more at Hear more at See more at She has been involved with the Cambridge chapter of Hammer & Tongue since 2010, organising and hosting it since 2012, frequently performs across the Central and South-East England, and is part of a Cambridge arts collective calling themselves Marmalade Panic (she hasn’t asked why yet). She set up her own poetry label Allographic in 2011, hosting live events and producing poetry anthologies, pamphlets, and books. “We need more poetry like this... funny, confident, modest and a really bloody good poet to listen to.” - Hollie McNish, Former Glastonbury Slam Champion and co-founder of “Page to Performance” As well as curating the Spoken Word stage (Mad Hatters) at Cambridge’s Strawberry Fair again, this year (2013) she somehow found herself agreeing to be Artistic Director for the Spoken Word section of PBH’s Free Fringe at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In her spare time, she sometimes sleeps. “... her poetry combines lyrical flair with a solid emotional core. In a scene full of copycats and trend-chasers, there is no one quite like her...” - Tim Clare, Founder member of “Aisle16” Fay’s poetry is both thoughtful and heartfelt, with plenty thrown in about love, relationships, the perils of getting older, illusion, delusion, and problems with the colour orange. A proponent of free verse and paperless performance poetry, she likes to play with haiku and senryu in her spare time along with the odd obscure pun. “Fay performs her poetry with confidence, passion and an intimate, hypnotic vibe.” - Elaine Ewart, Fenland Poet Laureate 2012-2013 Her work has been described as: “lyrical”, “engaging”, “scarily good” and, memorably: “too many words... I got lost...” Her voice has been described as “musical”, “mellifluous”, and “mesmerising”. Fay has performed poetry in pubs, clubs, theatres, tents, shopping centres and stately gardens, in Open Mic, showcases, features, support, collaboration, competition and costume. Sometimes she bangs a drum, and sometimes she performs in silence, while the words flutter in front of her... “... a dragonness of a poet who will seduce you with her musicality...” - Tina Sederholm, Co-host of “Hammer & Tongue” Oxford, Shadow Artist at the “Shake The Dust” program 2012


*Kaleidoscope* It’s that time of year People start talking about feeling blue Having the Blues. Where did that come from? I don’t get it, see, for me Blue is clear skies Wide smiles Carefree laughter. Blue is a sweet infinity. Blue is ever after. I don’t fear blue. Blue is tattoos And suede shoes. Blue is my lover’s eyes; I love blue! Black, now. Black dog on your back Black mood Black-eyed Susan, Down in the dark I don’t fear black. Black’s cool! Black you can decorate - like stars in a night sky. Black is stillness. Silence. Black doesn’t ask why. Black is a blank slate For projections on my closed eyelids Sleep in darkness and awake in light. Black doesn’t last. Orange, however... Orange is my enemy. The opposite of blue: Wild, sleepless, Nervous snickers Orange doesn’t rhyme! Nothing links to orange! Unnatural, fast-moving, out-of-control, Bitter taste in my throat, Stinging eyes, Brightly-coloured lies, Hackles rising... Shut up, orange! (noisy bastard) And then there’s grey. Grey does scare me. Grey’s a maze of blank walls A pall of cloud, sour A stale-breathed blanket wrapped around your head. Thick with the taste of mildew, And the smell of dead hair And sick grandparents. Grey’s a fog, suffocating fire Leaching sensation until everything looks the same, Smells the same, Tastes the same, And people vanish. I don’t want grey Grey stops my breath, Numbs my fingers, Clouds my eyes, Muffles music. No. No grey. Give me a cool, blue day And a warm, red night (which is a different poem altogether...) Anytime. Give me all the colours of the world. (except for orange, of course) *Song to the Sea* A glance disarms my invention My tongue tangles itself, tripping me to drown headlong in two eyes Like the sea at sunrise – the exact colours of a long, drawn-out summer dawn in Orkney, Reflected. Brain neglected, I happily bob and sway, Shamelessly – well, nearly – floating in the sea of your regard. That small shame, That... crimson shame threads through the blue Like spice – cutting those cool sensations with hot, sharp intentions – The edge to every catching breath, Striking deeper into my chest with every push and cresting wave and every tug and sighing release. Oh, my love, for you I’d turn sailor, Learn to read the weather of your ways, and Ride the tides of your affections. No longer shipwrecked, I’d reconstruct your gifts – Those glances given, smiles bestowed, and words exchanged. Then, on that craft of sighs and hungry nights I’d traverse you ’til I lost All sight of land. And there, rocking on the belly of the murmuring mystery, I’d weave my net of words and music and cast to catch the moonlight, Glinting from your wavetops, and bring it home with me. Come, mermaid, and I’ll sing to you, To tell you of a love between the elements. You’d see me true and shore to you – holding, encircling, Delineating but never limiting, Smiling as again and again you throw yourself into my arms, then run your fingers down my cheek With a sigh like all the world’s hurt... Easing. *in darkness* If you’re seeking guidance this month, look up. Venus lights the sky; a wet and naked, full-grown birth set to music, dancing to the waves’ order. A name to bind the cruel, moist, hardening fire; the dark, organic cleft beneath the marble lines of Governance. From this insistent voices issue, prophesying ivy to twine around those columns, birds to nest in gap-toothed roofs, and those stiff lines softened, broken and concealed by weather, theft and newer gods, whose love is spoken differently. As you travel, you will find that Names can be slippery. Up where the sea is colder, and these waves crash heads and foam at the lips, follow Loki’s light - a spear thrown across the sea to bring ash and blood spurting from a lust for gold and screams. And further yet, In another country, that bright, consuming mystery has yet another name. For love of freedom, Lucifer ignites the eastern sky.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.


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Hover over an event to see the details. (Open Mic open mic event, WOL Write Out Loud event)

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Cambridge »

7:30pm for 8pm start at Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1DB, GB

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Big Sal

Mon 29th Jan 2018 13:29

As a singer, writer, and poet, you may enjoy a song called, "Orange", by an American artist named Sadistik. Either way, great samples you have here.

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Fay Roberts

Fri 11th Oct 2013 14:51

Otis, I'm sorry it's taken so long to respond...

Thanks for the excerpt - lush! :D More poems need duende... :)

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Fay Roberts

Fri 11th Oct 2013 14:50

Richard, that's very kind - it's a recording of a live version of "Kaleidoscope". :)

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Fay Roberts

Fri 11th Oct 2013 14:49

Thanks, Charles! :D

I'd never really noticed that before, but yes - it does work like that, doesn't it? :)

<Deleted User> (11485)

Tue 1st Oct 2013 13:08

"Song to the Sea" is stirring and deeply touching. The fourth stanza knocked me off my feet- to my eyes, a single poem.

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Fri 10th May 2013 15:29

Hi really enjoyed the poem on your audio clip Blue is it?
Well whatever the title I enjoyed )


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Fri 20th Jul 2012 18:42

"KALEIDOSCOPE" A colourful poem from Cardiff beautifully recited enjoyed it --well done

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J. Otis Powell!

Fri 13th Apr 2012 13:58

Dear Fay: Your humor has brightened my day, thanks. This is a response to your lack of appreciation for orange, it's from my poem Free Jazz on my blog

True blues isn’t news

But baritone notes from a tenor horn

Can move ancestors

Fire is needed more than light

So orange lilies scream at the Sun

That’s duende I announced

I scream to ease my troubled mind

She said

To breathe inside thickness and doubt

To throw others off my scent

That’s catharsis we agreed

A flower is a lovesome thing

When it screams
J. Otis Powell‽ (with interrobang)

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Fay Roberts

Thu 4th Mar 2010 14:23

Thanks, Andy! There are more of my poems on my personal site ( along with recordings and stuff.

Now I'm off to have a keek at your profile! :)

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Andy Humphrey

Thu 4th Mar 2010 13:58

Hi Fay, good to see you on here. I've admired your poems since the Milton Keynes days and I'm delighted you've made it onto this site. I look forward to reading some new samples when you get the chance to post a few more!

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