The Poetry Archivist brings new talent to The Proud ArchivistCultureLiterature
All the world’s a stage, but sometimes getting up there makes all the difference. Billed as “London’s newest poetry night”, The Poetry Archivist brought together amateur poets, with two of the country’s best spoken-word lyricists and one singer-songwriter, to put together a smorgasbord of written, spoken and musical artistry. Whilst the format is neither new nor original, when done well it works – and here it sang.
Hosted by two professional poets, including published poet Sally Jenkinson who inaugurated the first meeting with one of her poems, the night was clearly an affair by poetry lovers, for poetry lovers. The four individuals who took to the stage having put their names in to perform as amateurs were a great way to kick off proceedings, but even if there were no main act they could have stolen the show.
A short musical interlude was provided by Monty Tom, who, with a Taylor acoustic guitar and a croon like Ed Sheeran, performed original material that would have been comfortably at home with a Thinking Out Loud, or even a Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Travis were, incidentally, playing in the city on the same evening, but Tom easily trumped them).
The headliners, Ben Norris and Vanessa Kisuule, showed what consummate spoken word poetry is about, bearing their souls and their words to a public that both lapped them up and felt every emotion. Love and the pursuit of it was a strong theme throughout the night, but Norris (champion of the 2013 UK All Stars Poetry Slam) and his poems about a Nottingham lad moving to London managed to put a fresh spin on life, loss, change, and falling for the girl. Equally Kisuule, who offered a revealing insight into not only her relationships, but also her life, proved that modern poetry needn’t be difficult or postmodern.
It was difficult to believe that this was The Poetry Archivist’s first outing – but what is arguably more unbelievable is the amount of talent casually performing around London. Those who have already called the death knell of modern poetry and aren’t convinced by this country’s current champions should come here to take a listen. Poetry is in safe hands, and in rude health.
For further information about The Poetry Archivist series at Proud Archivist and future events visit here.