Francesca Beard will be the headline poet at Rally & Broad ‘The Apology Shop’ on Friday 23rd January at The Bongo Club, Edinburgh (£5 on door or advance tickets!). We thought we’d ask her a few questions to break the ice. We got some of favourite answers yet…
1. All hail the Queen of British Performane Poetry*! Why performance poetry, for you?
I was writing very emo, obscure page poems and having fantasies I’d be like Emily Dickinson. After my death, someone would find my poems in a drawer and declare me a genius.
Then I sent some of these emo, obscure poems to a literary magazine and they got rejected.
I had read a Paul Celan poem which likened writing a poem to sending off a message in a bottle and this had seemed very beautiful at the time but then I remembered Paul Celan committed suicide.
And I thought, ‘Well, f*ck this for a game of soldiers.’
So I went to an open mic night and read those emo poems. It was then I realised they were rubbish.
I was so grateful not to have wasted my life, sadly writing rubbish emo poetry, that I decided then and there to devote it to spoken word.
2. What, for you, is important in a good performance poem?
An element of improvisation, of liveness. Of being a voice amongst other voices. The quality of coming from a place of listening, of being one of the stories in the room that wants to be told.
3. Do you think performance poetry has changed in the years since you started?
I have clearly evolutionised performance poetry by starting to be part of it and find it implausible to talk about, outside of myself. Did it exist? Did anything exist?
4. Where is the best place that poetry has taken you?
A Colombian prison? Rally and Broad? My own human heart?!
5. Where is the worst place that poetry has taken you?
6. And finally…what would be in your Apology Shop**?
Words collapsed in on themselves, a cage barred large as the world, strange matter made into a song, a stained but clean glass blanket of folded up space-time.
Also, over-priced orbit chewing gum and a lack of advertised as discounted kettle chips.
**the theme for Rally & Broad in January is ‘The Apology Shop’ – see the website for more details!
So…you want to come and see her in action, aye??
Ours is a sniff of remorselessness and a hatchet job of life. See ye at the front!