A van full of poets, poetry, and the means to engage with and create more poetry.
Vanguard Poetry on the move
We go to our audience rather than expect them to come to us.
Setting up the van
For the first Vanguard Poetry event Alex and I drove from London to Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL). We arrived at Medicine Bar in the early evening, met with Maisie Gibson and Francesca King (our local Vanguard organisers), and positioned the van. This involved several seven-point-turns and exagerated gestures.
We ran a workshop
We didn't just bring poets, we also ran a creative writing workshop. The one hour workshop was all about collaborative writing and was held just before the reading. The man in yellow is me, Steve. I led the workshop (you can check out my website here). I'm holding a crow (lifelike, but not real) that has been attached to a hammer. I'm talking to the group about how disjuncture can be used to good effect in their writing. We've just been using cut-up techniques learned from European Dada. You can see the evidence on the table. On the right is Eley Williams, the first poet to read at the night. During the workshop the group wrote a poem that they later performed from the van.
Back at the van our audience gathers
Forward Prize winning poet Kei Miller read from his recent collection: 'The Cartographer Tries To Map A Way To Zion'
Lots of student poets read as well
And lots of people watched them
The collaborative workshop poem was read
As well as taking part in the collaborative reading Rose Walker also spoke about the work she's been doing with RHUL Femsoc and the #uglygirlsclub campaign, which had made the national media that day. Prue Chamberlain is an academic at RHUL who has been a great supporter of Vanguard Poetry.
London poet Sean Bonney read last
You can read Sean's poety on his blog Abandoned Buildings.
The audience dispersed and this was the end of the road for this night's Vanguard
Vanguard Poetry departs
When the poetry is over Vanguard Poetry drives home, listening to 'At Sea' by Rumour Cubes, which is the song you're listening to now.
(Unless you're listening on a mobile device that is). :  :
Have you come to this site from www.stevewilley.com? Want to go back there? Here you go.