Tag Archives: Tom Chivers

Forms of Protest

My debut poetry collection has just been published by Penned in the Margins.


Having poems printed on a page like this is a bit of a new experience for me. I normally can’t bear reading my work in print, because it seems so final, and I’m never happy with it. The first poem I ever had page-published had a typo right at the end,  somehow the last letter of the last word of my poem got missed off, these kinds of little mistakes seem bigger on a page than they do in a live performance, with performance when it’s gone it’s gone, and each performance is a chance to begin again.

But, this book, far as I can tell, doesn’t have any typos or mistakes or bits I want to change or new versions I’d prefer…and it does have poems I’ve never read in front of an audience, poems that are written for the page. Poems that I don’t want to be tied to my voice-in-performance.

And the act of seeing pieces that I haven’t really known how to label, what to do with…on a page, somehow validates them. There’s something to be said for finishing things. It’s also great to have a bit of ‘Opposition’ included –  it’s a piece I’m not planning on performing again, so I’m happy there’s a trace of it in this form as well as on youtube.

Tom Chivers of Penned in the Margins was great to work with, I loved his approach to crafting the reader’s journey through the book, and we totally agreed on what should and shouldn’t be included. It’s fantastic to be able to work with someone all the way from the margins of live poetry  to the margins of a book.  So thank you Tom, thank you for supporting my work all these years, and thank you for not accepting a collection before it was ready.

It’s funny how a collection of poems seems a mammoth task in the beginning, and now, looking through the book, it seems so short. I might have to make another one.

There’s a triple/quadruple launch at Toynbee Studios on the 14th Nov, we’ll be joined by Meghan Purvis reading from her translation of Beowolf. Hope to see you there!

Penned In The Margins Triple Launch

Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street E1 6AB

T 020 7650 2350
E admin@artsadmin.co.uk

7.30pm. Free.

Three of the UK’s most exciting voices launch new collections in a night of cutting-edge poetry from indy publisher Penned in the Margins.

In Siddhartha Bose’s Digital Monsoon, dreams trigger extraordinary visions of an apocalyptic London populated by the ghosts of a multicultural city. His new collection celebrates the dynamism of urban edgelands in his trademark open field, rhythmical style.

Melissa Lee-Houghton reads from her second book, Beautiful Girls: a raw and powerful account of mental illness that has been awarded a PBS Recommendation. (‘Not a book for the feint-hearted’ – Chris McCabe.)

Hannah Silva, widely acclaimed for her innovative vocal performances, launches her debut collection Forms of Protest – her texts deconstruct the defunct languages of political and literary discourse, claiming a new space, a liminal zone between things as they sound… and things as they are.



Filed under Poetry

Opposition @PulseFringe

Last week I went back to Suffolk (where I grew up) to perform Opposition at Pulse Fringe Festival, The New Wolsey Theatre.

I was a bit nervous about taking Opposition to Pulse, because I tour it on my own now, and it’s a pretty tech-heavy show. But actually we finished our tech early. There was a great team. The sound was possibly the best it’s been. Also a great audience, sold out, or very nearly. And my parents got to see it at last (quite encouraging during the performance to be able to pick out their laughter). And I loved performing in a larger space than I can usually get –being able to project my voice and body properly. It’s a big show, my big idea – David – and we do big things – Barrack – best in big spaces, because we are at our best when we are boldest – Tony.

Finally….I managed to get the show filmed. So I’ve got rid of that old youtube clip from the preview a year ago as it was too long and I’ve re-developed the show since. Here’s my new trailer. Not perfect I know – it’s a DIY job – also…with a trailer….thought maybe I shouldn’t give away all the best bits …

One of the new sections works with that Ed Miliband public sector strikes interview loop. I added it after the interview was referenced by a couple of reviewers of Opposition at Edinburgh last year – Lizzie Stewart at the Skinny, and Tom Chivers, Hand and Star. – The Charlie Brooker feature.

…there are some great comments about the Pulse show online.

What’s on Stage came, got an amazing review from them in Edinburgh so was a little nervous but all very good, I’m chuffed (although with my name spelled wrong it weirdly makes me feel like it’s not me she is talking about…):

The whirlwind of energy which is Hanna Silva, a deliberately androgynous figure in a well-tailored business suit, grabs the audience’s attention from start to finish…Silva pours out her torrent of words often while performing an extremely energetic and acrobatic sort of obbligato to what is being said. If I was asked to name my top show from all those I’ve seen this year at Pulse, this would be a very strong contender.

And Suzanne Hawkes from ‘one suffolk’ said it was –

A tour de force of a performance – if at times a bit like spending an hour in the mad house.

I know what she means.

Pulse is a great festival. Wish I could have spent more time there, and hope I get to go again…

Read more about the festival on Catherine Love’s blog…


Filed under Opposition, Playwriting, Poetry, political theatre

Adventures in Form

Adventures in Form 

published by Penned in the Margins

Design by Henry<br /> Simmonds

A Poetry Book Society Special Commendation

Discover a multitude of new and unusual poetic forms – from tweet to time- splice, and from skinny villanelle to breakbeat sonnet – in this inspiring and inventive anthology.

Adventures in Form features over ninety poems by forty-six contributors including Patience Agbabi, Christian Bök, Joe Dunthorne, Inua Ellams, Roddy Lumsden, Ian McMillan, Paul Muldoon, Ruth Padel and Hannah Silva.

Now available to pre-order for £9.99.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry