Have a look at what you can view on Write Out Loud's new Patreon channel
Write Out Loud has taken another big step forward by screening the first of our Spoken Sessions shows, featuring Kirsten Luckins, Forward prize winner Will Harris, plus four open micers. It was hosted by Matt Abbott, pictured, and was – and is - available to view on our new Patreon page, which offers you the chance to subscribe for a small monthly fee. The small monthly fee can be £5 a month, or even less, depending on circumstances – about the same amount as you might spend attending a monthly open mic. For that fiver you get the Spoken Sessions show, plus earlier Caroline Bird masterclass and Saili Katebe workshop, to watch at your leisure.
It seems like a good deal to me! I tuned in on Thursday night to watch open micers Francis Golm, Pip McDonald, Lee Campbell, and Jaden Morton make full use of their opportunity, often employing the extra potential of online visuals to great effect – especially in Lee Campbell’s case. He was able to show us what we missed when a glitch prevented us from seeing the full range of his experimental and innovative visuals at the Write Out Loud fundraising night in January.
Will Harris is a young poet of Chinese Indonesian and British heritage, born and based in London. He won the Forward prize for best first collection with RENDANG, and I would describe his poetry as playfully serious. You’ll forgive me if I don’t say any more than that. Obviously I’d like you to view Will’s set yourself, and make your own mind up. Similarly with Kirsten Luckins, although you can read more about her collection Passerine here. It’s brave to focus on just one theme, but her lively and vibrant delivery made her performance mesmerising.
Watching accomplished poets perform can and should get you thinking about your own poetry. That’s the value of such events, I believe. Even more so in the case of poetry workshops. Our session with Forward prize winner Caroline Bird was a sell-out, but you can watch it via our Patreon channel. Again I won’t be giving away Caroline’s tricks of her trade – but she began by inviting participant poets to write a first line casting themselves as a character in a film: “Don’t be afraid to send yourself up.”
Then there is Saili Katebe’s workshop for beginner poets, with the word “play” very much to the fore. He was out to show how to build tools, to find a story, and told his audience cheerily: “Throw the idea of perfection out of the window … sense is optional at this stage of the process.” He made writing poetry sound fun. Sounds good to me, how it ought to be. I write this as one who hasn’t attended that many poetry workshops myself. But I can really see their value, of helping to build a community of poets, swapping ideas, prompting, triggering. None of us is that good that we couldn’t do with some help, sometimes.
So I do advise you Write Out Louders to sign up and give it a go. What have you got to lose – well, apart from a fiver a month?
All these events have been masterminded by our dynamic development manager Matt Abbott, who keeps coming up with great ideas.
As well as these performance-based and education-based events, we'd also like to introduce more content throughout the year, including a Write Out Loud podcast. We can only do that with a solid foundation of patrons. So, if you can afford to do so, please subscribe at http://patreon.com/wolpoetry. There are three tiers: £3 Discount, £5 Regular, and £7 Solidary. All of these give you access to the same content - it's simply a matter of what you can afford or are comfortable paying.