The Cambridge Dictionary defines democracy as “the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief.” To read those words, at a time when people of all beliefs are feeling unheard, generates a deep sense of longing – but also of possibility.
No matter the political circumstances, day by day, as individuals we retain the option to enact “freedom and equality” between ourselves. We can bring their energies to the respect and consideration we show for each other. We can transmit them in the conversations we have, and the values we try and live by. And we can record them in the art we make, and share, as our ‘hearing the less welcome’ poetry collective will be doing at The Harrison, in Harrison Street, London WC1 8JF, within the Bloomsbury Festival, from 7 pm on Thursday 17 October.
Variously oriented, and gendered, and from around the world, our poets are committed to creative innovation and experimentation – and the realisation of beauty in multiple forms and voices. On and beyond the page, S.K Grout, Alice Hiller, Julie Irigaray, Emma Jeremy, Jenny Mitchell, Appiah Sackey, Angus Strachan and Kostya Tsolákis work though collaboration and witness to transform how our societies know themselves.
Humour, sensuality and playfulness alternate with radical, courageous exposure, to bring healing and understanding to difficult experiences, and injured places. Our ‘dark side of the moon’ poems explore migration – forced and chosen – queerness, race, mental health, class privilege and exclusion, the inheritance of slavery, gender rebellion and sexual abuse in childhood, alongside the strength that community gives all of us working to bring change.
Ghana, Australia, Greece, the Basque country, France, the Caribbean, the UK and New Zealand are just some of the many countries that speak through our queer, and queer-allied works. Tickets are free to maximise inclusivity. Booking is strongly recommended as our previous collective performance was sold out and standing room only. We will be performing two sets either side of the interval with four poets per set. We warmly invite everyone to stay on afterwards in the hospitable Harrison – to play and share with us, in freedom and equality.
Reserve your FREE ticket for ‘Moon Poems from the Dark Side’ here.
Find out more about Jenny Mitchell and order her award-winning, debut collection Her Lost Language here.
Read an interview with Jenny Mitchell at the Wombwell Review here.
Find out more about Emma Jeremy and order her award-winning debut, Safety Behaviour, here.
Check out Kostya Tsolákis here.
Poems by Alice Hiller can be found in the Poems section of this blog. Scroll back for interviews with Romalyn Ante, Natalie Linh Bolderston and Karen Smith, who are all members of the ‘hearing the less welcome’ collective. Also check out our previous, sold out MASS PUBLICATION CELEBRATION in this blog.
Warm thanks to poet, writer and film-maker Isabelle Baafi , and fellow member of our ‘hearing the less welcome’ collective for this beautiful poster.