Eryn McDonald

Describe yourself in 3 words… Anxious, angry, gentle. What inspires you? Emotions and observations. I am outwardly not the angriest of people but I channel a lot of my rage into my work. I am inspired by the people around me, by kindness, resilience, and weird interactions. More recently I’ve been inspired by the seasonal…

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Lauren Temple

Describe yourself in 3 words… Eccentric. Honest. Passionate. What inspires you? Whatever makes me feel really excited! People, places, things… as long as they give me those pins and needles of excitement, it’s like lemonade fizzing through me. Often I feel inspired by the residents at the care home where I work and by the…

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Valentina Huxley

Describe yourself in 3 words… Curious, dream-oriented and my housemate just said ‘spunky’ haha What inspires you? REVOLUTION! When I chat to people about changing the world, I zoom out of myself and into collective consciousness- this is such an authentic sweet spot to create from. I am also obsessed with queer ecology and mythology….

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Dan Loops

Describe yourself in 3 words… Humorous, Versatile, Insatiable  What inspires you? The cliche, yet true answer is life. I find moments inspiring, from insurmountable sadness to boundless love.  Tell us about your worst ever gig? I once played a gig in a pub to just the sound man, not a single punter entered during the…

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Bhumika Billa

Describe yourself in 3 words… ‘Alive’, I think. Close friends call me a ‘hustler’ (I asked only the ones that like me these days!). My aspirational description would be ‘kind’. What inspires you? Anger on most days, at how unjust the world is. On better ones, beauty of all kinds—in places and people.  Tell us…

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Amy Langdown

Describe yourself in 3 words… Quirky – Vibrant – Stubborn What inspires you? This, I suppose, is an answer of contradiction. What inspires me to write does not inspire me. Often I write because of the feeling that I must – I often write about the current political climate (which is not what I would…

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Elena Chamberlain

Describe yourself in 3 words… I asked one of my best friends to help, here’s the product: “ginger, approachable, and you’ve got an artistic mind” (Thanks, Nell) What inspires you? People. I feel most inspired when I’m seeing, listening or reading from/about people who are really passionate about their craft, watching art that holds really…

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Polis Loizou

Describe yourself in 3 words… Creative, talkative, irritating. What inspires you? History, culture and weird lore. I’m also very inspired by mediocrity. Part of me thinks, “Well, I can definitely do better than that,” which fires me up to do my thing. Tell us about your worst ever gig? I’ve only done a handful of poetry…

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Tatenda Matsvai

Describe yourself in 3 words… Playful, Enthusiastic, Sporadic What inspires you? I am inspired by life the beauty the weight, the flow of it all through music movementbreath, it moves me, makes me feel present, real unreal at times and like magic, My family,my mother the story teller, my father the spokesperson, my sister and…

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Linden McMahon

Describe yourself in 3 words… Just a hopepunk hobbit What inspires you? At the moment I write a lot about the ecosystems we’re part of; my relationships with land, plants and animals. I’m also facilitating nature connection sessions, and I’ve been veering more and more towards projects which combine ecology and creativity. I’m working on…

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Muskaan Razdan

Have high standards. Be brave. Try everything. Give up on some things. There is food at home. Describe yourself in 3 words… Future fun grandma What inspires you? The women in my life. The company of creatives. The desire to anger the aunties. Tell us about your worst ever gig? It was a small audience….

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Helen Seymour

There’s no such thing as a ‘slow reader’, just read books in your own time and don’t feel like you’re ‘too slow.’ On a similar theme, running is over-rated. Describe yourself in 3 words… Worried little mole What inspires you? People who don’t take themselves too seriously and do their thing with a lot of…

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Zena Edwards

As a lover of live poetry readings as an audience member, I love to hear individual voices. You can give a chef a chicken and they can season and cook it 100 different ways. It’s the same with poetry, I like different seasonings in my poets. Describe yourself in 3 words… Playful, Serious, determined What…

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Malaika  Kegode

You can have respect for your craft, community and creativity while still embracing the ridiculousness of it all. 1. Describe yourself in 3 words… Generous, Determined, Introvert 2. What inspires you? The endurance and optimism of human beings. That we have all lived through our very worst days and just keep on going. That we’ve…

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Reece Williams

Serious poets don’t find time to write, they make time. 1. Describe yourself in 3 words… Bearded bald brotha 2. What inspires you? Most of my poems are crafted in the moments that I’m not eating (or thinking about eating) plantin. I’m inspired by the way life moves around me and I’m inspired to tell…

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Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

No one complains there are too many poems about the moon, but when it comes to poetics in the Black community, my people are pressured to question what they should write about. And when we are invited to write, we are usually asked to write on trauma as though 571 years (and counting) has just…

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Neelam Saredia-Brayley

Remember to keep consuming good art rather than just outputting all the time and getting burnt out. Don’t ignore red flags. You can survive anything.  Describe yourself in 3 words… Joyful Hopeful Queen What inspires you? Andrea Gibson’s poetry, Queer Eye, women supporting women, Jameela Jamil, strong people of colour, Aakash Odedra and his beautiful…

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Shaun Hill

If you are asking a participant to become something they have not been supported to be in society, how are you supporting them to do this? Describe yourself in 3 words @warmbloodedthing What inspires you? ‘god’, healing, critical theory. Tell us about your worst ever gig? A conference for the business sector where after the…

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The Repeat Beat Poet

Describe yourself in 3 words Hip Hop Poet (easy) What inspires you? The love, support, energy, and goodwill of my friends and family, and the people in the artistic communities I’m in. Then a guy physically took the mic and said “leave it mate”. Traumatising. Tell us about your worst ever gig? Not strictly a…

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Francesca Beard

My main motivators are wonder, rage and money, in no particular order. Describe yourself in 3 words… Poet, parent, improviser What inspires you? I’m constantly curious and questioning about everything but also mega lazy so it takes a lot to galvanise me into writing about anything – my main motivators are wonder, rage and money,…

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Shagufta K. Iqbal

Shagufta K. Iqbal: In the Spotlight Interview A+S: Describe yourself in 3 words… Deluded. Stubborn. A believer What inspires you? My children, music, Autumn & Spring, tea & cake, walks in the rain; writing is a love. Tell us about your worst ever gig? One where, male poets will walk on to stage and disrupt…

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Roger Robinson

Roger Robinson: In the Spotlight Interview A+S: Describe yourself in 3 words… RR: Curious, playful and arty A+S: What inspires you? RR: Creative Citizenship, Storytelling, Music A+S: Tell us about your worst ever gig? RR: It was at Express Excess when I was reading a really intense story for 18 mins and at the end…

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