I've just come back from seeing Benjamin Zephaniah reading poetry and MCing at the opening of the festival 'How To Change the World in Seven Days', being hosted by the miniscule (physically) Barbican Theatre here in Plymouth.
If ever I've questioned the point of being a writer I will no longer do it again. For those of you who do not know of him, Zephaniah is world reknowed poet and activist. The majority of his poems are political and he has come under fire as a result of this, but it is all wonderful. He hosted the event and introduced young writers throughout the evening to come up and read their poetry in relation to the title of the festival, I was too chicken shit so I withdrew my application. There was a lot of talent there and it was brilliant that all these people in the audience, some of them who I'm sure were shocked at some of the content, were being forced to listen to opinions of people that are usually ignored but were this evening presented in the best way possible!! The diversity of the 'Collective Voices' was brilliant; it went from pieces about abuse to pieces about war and hip hop (Which I NEVER listen to) which delved into similar areas and covered recent and current events such as the fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Go watch his stuff on youtube, now!! My favourite piece on there, which he didn't perform tonight unfortunately, is [link]
- Talking Turkeys