If there’s anything I’ve pretty much always loved, it’s reading and writing. Poetry has always had a place in that, but I have to credit Apples and Snakes in particular for providing myself and many people all over the UK with access to spoken word and performance poetry. I have been along to a handful of their events now, and I’m always happy when a ‘FORKED!’ event is coming to town. It’s cheap, it’s cheerful, and it’s a chance to indulge in poetry performed by some of the UK’s most exciting writers!
A ‘FORKED!’ night runs as follows: a host will introduce a variety of acts who come on stage and perform some spoken word poetry for an enthusiastic, poetry-loving crowd. It’s simple, and a fantastic opportunity to see some of the UK’s best talent. Gina, the South West producer of Apples and Snakes, works hard to get these acts together for her region – and she pulls it off every time.
Last time, in October, Alexander Rhodes hosted the evening. He introduced James Turner, and to quote him directly, he’s a guy ‘two years older than the NHS.’ Now, I have to say that he is (to-date) the most bizarre poet I’ve ever seen perform. From one-word poems to very literal and unromantic poems about rivers, he is odd yet funny. Don’t let the weirdness fool you, though – he’s worked on poems to challenge domestic violence, and he is an Exeter Poetry Slam Winner. Throughout his segment, my boyfriend loved him and couldn’t stop cackling. He wasn’t the only one.
Lucy Lepchani followed with a truly enchanting stage presence. A natural born storyteller, she had poems of horses, chocolate, politics, and femininity. I loved her descriptions of snow – they were indulgently vivid, atmospheric and sensory. Her poems had strong narratives with flowing prose which was lyrical in sound and bursting with character.
Biby Barclay really set the bar for the next generation of performance poets. The way she performs, the power in her voice, the intellect in her words, and the intelligence in her emotion is compelling. She’s energetic, impulsive, boundless, enigmatic. She writes and speaks about lost love, teenage rebellion, and the Parkland shooting. She says, ‘you can’t get lost if you don’t know where you’re going’, and asks ‘how could anyone be hers without being stained or marked forever?’
I was really enraptured by her performance, but when I heard she is THIRTEEN YEARS OLD I wanted to burst into tears of joy – she is so ahead of the game, she is so intelligent, and she is living proof that girls and women are really out here doing it and getting stuff done. She is out there, she’s making her name known, and she’s doing it at thirteen. WOW.
Dr. Rosy Carrick concluded the night and made her way into my list of favourite poets with her dripping-with-charisma stand up. She absolutely loves Arnold Schwarzenegger, she has a doctorate in Russian literature and she loves to say fuck off. Her poetry includes beloved Arnold, conversations with her then 5-year-old daughter, and a love poem to an ankle. She shares her revelations over Wind in the Willows and immediately after she walked off stage I went and bought her book. You can buy it too, here.
Seriously – if you love poetry, and you love supporting artists, make sure you give Apples and Snakes a like on Facebook and attend one of their events near you. They have so much on, all around the country, and they are so cheap for what they offer you. Explore a whole new world and discover some amazing people!
FIND THEM ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/applesandsnakes/