The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of performing, writing and listening to amazing poetry. My feet haven’t had a second to touch the ground. I’ve met so many enthusiastic, interesting people and witnessed stellar performances of music, poetry and comedy. In short, I am having a fucking ball.
Propelled by the excitement of performing at an all women’s comedy night, reading at two Granite Noir events and participating in the Loud Poet’s slam final, I charged into March like a woman possessed, foaming at the mooth to do more.
A wee set at another all-female performance event sated my need – and what a night that was! We, of Aberdeen really do have a wealth of hidden talent here and platforms to showcase that are popping up all over the city. How refreshing to be frustrated that I can’t go to everything because there is so much happening. Kudos to the organisers and lang may it ging on!
By the time it came to leave for StAnza Poetry Festival, I was in dire need of an easy day and a chill out. My best pal was coming on Saturday and we’d booked a few things for then, so I had a ‘do as I please’ day.
I’d been threatening to come to StAnza for about three years. My bestie and I would slaver over the programme each year, but work and other commitments barred our way. This year, since I am actually now a poet, there was no way I was missing out. I was not disappointed. My summary tweet of day one says it all. StAnza Twitter post day 1
After having one of the best breakfasts of my life at the St Andrews Waffle Company, I met my friend at the station and we headed to see the wonderful Sara Hirsch followed by an afternoon snooze. William Letford and Liz Lochhead‘s headline sets at The Byre were something else and both poets had the entire place mesmerized for two hours.
Now for the stomach churning, sweat inducing Stanza Slam! Why did I sign up for this? Why are you doing this to yourself? They’re all going to hate you! My mind whirred around as I tried to sip rather than gulp water – I have made this mistake before – DO NOT drink gallons of water before going on stage.
Once I knew who the other performers were, I was even less sure of why I was there and had branded myself the million-to-one-teuchter-outsider before I’d even spoken a word.
What I love about the poetry community is that most of the people are lovely. We encourage and support one another, going out of our way to tell others when we appreciate their work. I had the multi-talented Max Scratchmann beside me, whose ode to The Broons had me in stitches. I met fellow finalist Gavin Cameron who I had seen perform at Dundee Literary Festival – he was in the same MLitt course a year ahead of me and runs Hotchpotch, a non-judgemental sharing night in Dundee.
All the performers were outstanding. I didn’t think I had a hope in hades of winning. Afterwards, I was convinced I’d wake up in the morning and find out it was all a dream. I really won it.
What an experience.
Here’s my final round performance of ‘My afternoon slumps at work are haunted by an evil spectre’
StAnza participant Geart Tigchelaar kindly filmed this and shared with me on Twitter.
I really need to stop listening to the biscuits….