Spine 2024 AiRs

Desree is part of SPINE Festival 2024, along with an incredible team of poets they’ll be leading workshops and arts activities for children in Libraries and schools across London this Spring.

Describe yourself in 3 words…

Passionate, awkward, and silly! 

What inspires you?

Everything and everyone. Daily, I get to meet people who are trying to make the world better for the people around them and that pushes me to do better. That paired with a fire soca playlist.  

Tell us about your worst ever gig?

I was in New York and must have found the only poetry night in the city where the vibes were… hostile… so I went up, performed a poem called Black Girl Magic (to no applause) and high tailed it out of there. 

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

When people say they can’t write poems or that they don’t like poetry! Firstly, everyone is a poet! Some of the most beautiful and profound things I have ever heard have come from people who wouldn’t call themselves a poet. And secondly, there’s so much poetry in the world, so how can you dislike it all?! You may not like what they taught you in GCSE English, but there is so much more to poetry than William Wordsworth (no offence!)

Whose words do you love at the moment?

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha.

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

That love is magical and healing and breath-taking so give some to yourself.

How do you relate to the themes of magic & imagination?

I try to find the magic in the everyday. Like when you arrive to the station and the tube is just pulling in – magic. When my nephew runs and jumps into my arms when he sees me – magic. When the battery in your headphones runs out just as you reach your front door – magic!  

What do you enjoy most about working with children, families, and libraries?

The possibility! It feels as though anything is possible because every visit is filled with different people, from different walks of life, trying to get something different out of the workshop.

What’s one part of your daily routine that you wouldn’t give up?

My morning scroll! I know it’s bad, but that 15 minutes before my alarm goes again, gets me up rather than falling back asleep and being grumpy till 3pm!  

About Desree

Desree, an award-winning spoken word artist, facilitator, and producer, has held prestigious roles such as Poet in Residence for Glastonbury 2022 and TEDx Speaker.

Beyond performances, Desree’s work graces publications like Joy/Us, Wetgrain Poetry, and she has been featured on Life and Rhymes with Benjamin Zephaniah. Desree’s diverse contributions also extend to her role as a commissioned playwrightcurator of live events, and visual media

Her pamphlet “I Find My Strength In Simple Things” was published by Burning Eye Books in 2021, and her debut collection slated for release in 2025 with Bad Betty Press. 

Insta: @dezziiee_
X: @dezziiee_
website: www.iamdesree.co.uk.

About spine festival LITE 2024: