Describe yourself in 3 words… 

Resilient, playful, thinker. Rebel.  

What inspires you? 

Misunderstandings and all the words that cannot or have not been said. Writing is like setting the hamsters of rage loose on the travelator of creativity. I am learning to harness the hamsters, without hurting them… 

More specifically, I write about illness, abuse, recovery, and my work in the public sector. 

Tell us about your worst ever gig? 

I can’t think of a truly terrible one, unless there’s one that was so bad, I’ve erased it from my memory, and it will come back to haunt me one day. 

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve? 

I get really frustrated by possibly brilliant poetry that is read or performed so badly that I stop trying to listen and miss something great. Even when I’m reading poetry, I’m imagining how it would be performed. That’s what makes it come alive for me. 

Whose words do you love at the moment? 

Jasmine Gardosi is doing some fascinating stuff and Vanessa Kisuule, who was my first introduction to spoken word. 

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self? 

It’s ok. Just that.  

And be kind to yourself. You matter too. 

What is one dance move you are weirdly good at? 

Having once upon a time danced a lot of salsa, I’d say that! 

About Lesley Hayes

Lesley is an actor, writer and performance poet, and also works regularly with children with additional needs and communication difficulties. She is part of the Apples and Snakes Future Voices programme, has been a Lyrafest grand slam finalist twice and been published by SlamKingsX and the Public Sector Poetry Journal, for whom she has also taught poetry writing to public sector workers.

Lesley is part of Future Voices. To find out more about the project click here

Insta: @lelhayes 

Twitter: @lelhayes88