‘I’m not weird you’re weird.’
Liam McCormick is a young poet and performer based in Glasgow. He was one of the BBC 1Xtra Words First Glasgow poets and was subsequently selected by BBC 1Xtra to represent the Glasgow scene, performing at The Roundhouse and on-air, and also gaining mentorship from Kate Tempest, George the Poet and Bohdan Piasecki from Jan – June 2016
Our Rally & Broad wunderwummin on the ground in Glasgow, Josephine Sillars, sat down with Liam to ask him some questions…
Rally & Broad ‘First Editions’ – Sunday 2oth March, Stereo, Glasgow.With Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood), Janice Galloway, Louie (Hector Bizerk) & Jack of Diamonds aka Toby Mottershead! £6 on t’door or a little cheaper in advance here.
- Recently you were selected by BBC 1Xtra to represent Glasgow as part of Words First! How have you been finding the experience, and what are you most looking forward to in the next few months?
There have been a lot of: meetings, emails, long train journeys, nights spent staring at blank page and writing. The last one more than makes up for the other four. The next stage in it is producing a 10/15 minute piece which will be performed at the Roundhouse in London in June. It’s been a challenging process, the project I have chosen to work on has been very emotionally demanding. But in my experience the more tired you are in the middle the more fulfilled you’ll be at the end.
2. You are currently in your final year of studying film and your poetry videos on Youtube are self-made. Do you find your experience in writing and performing poetry beneficial to working in film and vice versa?
Both mediums have taught me how to tell a story. The conventions and language of poetry and film do not intersect very often: but they both are founded on narrative. I’d say making films has taught me the importance of form and technique in building a story. Poetry reminds me that personality and subjective beauty are what give these stories worth.
3. The theme of this month’s Rally & Broad is ‘First Editions’ and during your recent set at Inn Deep Spoken Word you premiered an extract from a new poem you plan on performing for us! What can you tell us about it?
I can tell you it’s very much a First Edition. While I’ve been working on my 10-15 minute piece for the Roundhouse I have written another 10-15 minute piece. I’m thinking of it as a ‘B’ side to that story- there were a few characters I liked and wanted to develop. I get sidetracked very easily.
With this piece I am trying to tell a story about being a teenager. I recently turned 20 and breathed a great sigh of relief. Being a teenager was horrible and I never want to do it again- but it taught me how to be empathetic. I think this is the most important process we all go through- as without it we’d all be horrible bastards- and I wanted to write a story about it.
4. Your live performances are often very physical and lively, and as a result you seem to have been affectionately dubbed as ‘weird’ by the Glasgow and Edinburgh scene. Do you have a response to this?
I’m not weird you’re weird.
5. You’ve been spending a lot of time in London recently with your work for Words First. How have you found the English poetry scene so far in comparison to the Scottish scene, or is there even a separation?
I haven’t actually managed to see much of it yet- I haven’t managed to perform south of the border yet but that will be changing very very soon. I hope to stay in England a bit longer the next time I’m down there, so hopefully I’ll be able to answer this question better in the coming months.
I’m sure it’s much better than Scotland’s and we could never exist without it though.
6. Your poetry is mostly of a comedic and political nature. What inspires you to write?
When I first moved to Glasgow I had a job at NY Slice on Sauchiehall street. I would put on this big foam pizza suit, stand in the street and give out flyers to drunk people. If you got drunk in Glasgow between the months of April and September 2014, you have probably looked at me, taken a flyer, laughed and thought ‘what an unlucky dick’. It paid £5.13 an hour.
I feel very lucky to be able to write and have people listen. The price of that is I must write. Inspiration doesn’t factor into it. The comedy and the politics- that arises naturally because I find politics interesting and I love to laugh.
Liam, we love yer. xx