Excited to be performing tonight in the spirit of sisterhood at the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester! Comedy with the talented Sadia Azmat and the inspiring Dr Shameela Zulfiqar as host! Join us xx
It’s hard to believe that it was only last week I was in the company of sixteen talented BAME or LGBTQ writers as part of Women In The Spotlight, Three Minute Theatre and Commonword at The Hurst Arvon retreat in Shropshire.
A beautiful place where we all had the opportunity to get creative far away from daily distractions and the internet. The house and gardens were the former home of playwright John Osborne. The grounds boast Redwoods, wild orchids, surrounded by the forest-covered Shropshire Hills and sits within 26 acres of woodland, with a spring-fed lake and inspiring walks.
Here under the mentorship of our two amazing tutors, Salena Godden for performance poetry and Ola Animashawun for scriptwriting, we all had the opportunity to develop our craft in ways that we needed to. Tanika Gupta, acclaimed playwright, shared an intimate evening with us. We also developed communal cooking skills, shared experiences through our work and bonded in friendship. A thoroughly inspiring week over way too soon! Xxx
Today I took an assembly consisting of 120 children between Year 1-6. Both the infants and juniors at MMPS in Didsbury this morning where great and very responsive to the way their first official poetry competition was launched.
I learnt today that call and response poetry works wonders as long as you have a narrative the children can get excited about. Fun games to learn about metaphors and exercises that teach rhyme and rhythm are brilliant to introduce poetry to children. Keeping it short, snappy and varied helps keep them focused! Will be workshopping with them soon around the theme of ‘Light’ which was National Poetry Day’s theme for this year. I even got time to read out Lemn Sissay’s wonderful tweets about a hot buttered sky and split yolk sun which prompted discussions about language and meanings!
They loved my poem called ‘The Rocket’ with names and scenarios they could relate to, and warmed to the fact that it was about Mariyah and Idreece! Best part was the chatty Year 1 boy who kept insisting he wanted to workshop with me but also why I wasn’t reading out the rest of the pages in my hand! All in all, a mighty good session with some little creative geniuses! Xxx
First time I actually made it down to Young Identity’s One Mic Stand, IV Slam Special featuring guest poets Tony Walsh and Mali Hayes at Contact Theatre, Manchester. If you haven’t been yet make sure you put the next one in for your diaries. Brilliant performances to include Elmi Ali, Reece Williams with his hat totally on point, Saquib Chowdhury, Keisha who was absolutely phenomenal and I even decided to test a new piece titled ‘A Muslim Mother’s Advice – How Not To Be A Terrorist’ on open-mic too.. 🙂
on open-mic too…
Lovely to open my emails and find that the next edition of Stand magazine will feature my poem ‘Bunting’ and online Blue Minaret are publishing my poems in the very near future starting with ‘I Am’ next week! Feeling the blessings among my stresses…. It’s been an eventful journey… Sending virtual thanks to all those who walked with me, all those who delivered the kick when I needed it and all those who pushed me with their bare hands! xxx
This festival in Bradford has been such a culmination of wonderful writers, thinkers, artists and experts from all over the world with topics exploring race, faith and culture. A true celebration of literature, history and the arts, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, met some AMAZING people and learnt so much! Can’t wait for the next one! X