The Launch

simolep's launch album on Photobucket

So, I was officially ‘launched’ as the first Poet Laureate for the borough of Brent last Friday. Happy times at chateau Mole. For a while though I was unsure what this ‘launch’ would involve, would I be treated as a ship before its maiden voyage? Ok, I admit it, I’ve been having nightmares for weeks in which the mayor swings a large magnum of champagne full force into my hull, before pushing me off into the Welsh Harp reservoir! Thankfully, the poetry reading we held at the new Brent Civic Centre ran very smoothly indeed…

There was a lovely warm audience, and the feature poets I’ve been introducing on this blog were all as awesome as expected. John Agard performing his poem ‘Books make good pets’ in honour of the new Wembley Library was a personal highlight. I even tried out two brand new Brent inspired pieces myself, one of which I will put up as my next blog post. You can hear me reading a snippet of it as part of an interview on BBC London radio here:

As I said in the interview, as well as me writing and performing poetry about the borough, a big part of the project is creating a platform for other voices within Brent to be heard. This will take the form of a series of FREE writing workshops I will be running at different locations in Brent over the next six months.

The first one is taking place on Saturday July 6th at 2pm, in Brent Civic Centre, and will be a chance to write about places that are important to us within the borough, be that grand landmarks such as Wembley stadium and Neasden temple, or lesser known spots which resonate personally… Find out more info and book you place here!

Keep your eyes out for my first poem soon, and feel free to comment on this post with any ideas you might have for what I should write about next!

Brent Poet Laureate Launch

Brent Poet Laureate Launch
Friday, June 21, 2013
7:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Engineers Way,
Wembley ,
London, UK HA9 0FJ
Other Info
Brent is excited to announce their first Poet Laureate – Simon Mole.

Join Simon and special guests Inua Ellams, John Agard and Warsan Shire for a fantastic evening of poetry and spoken word.

This event is FREE but you will need to book tickets here:

** The Brent Poet Laureate - Simon Mole:
Simon Mole is a London-based poet, emcee, and theatre maker with an eye for the often overlooked in the everyday - his infectious enthusiasm for seeing and re-seeing the world around him is an open invitation for you to do the same.

Simon is one fifth of the Chill Pill Collective, curating and performing at hugely popular poetry nights at Soho Theatre, the Albany, and Roundhouse. His groundbreaking one-man show Indiana Jones and the extra chair has sold-out two London runs and is currently touring nationally while Simon develop his latest show No More Worries.

More about the other poets:

** John Agard
John is a playwright, poet, short-story and children's writer from Guyana, and a former Writer in Residence at the South Bank Centre and Poet in Residence at the BBC.

He has won over five awards for his works and this year is the recipient of the Queen's Award Medal for Poetry. His poem Half Caste has been featured in the English GCSE anthology since 2002 meaning that many students have studied his work. He tours regularly with literature company renaissance one giving exhilarating performances of his work and delighting audiences of all ages with his wordplay and imagination.

** Inua Ellams
An internationally touring poet/playwright/performer, Inua has seven published books including 'Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales', and 'The 14th Tale' which was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival, before a sold out run at The National Theatre. His third theatre piece, Black T-Shirt Collection also completed a sold out run at the National Theatre in 2012.

** Warsan Shire
2007 international slam champion Warsan Shire is a London based Somali poet, writer, freelance journalist and spoken word artist who uses her deeply moving poetry to voice the silenced and misunderstood. She has performed and toured extensively across the UK and North America. Born in Kenya, her poetry is mixture of English and African languages. In 2012 she published her first book of poetry, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth.

« Back to the calendar

Brent Poet Laureate Launch – meet featured poet #2: Warsan Shire

I became a big fan of Warsan’s poetry after reading her first collection last year. The book is called ‘Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth’ and is full of powerfully affecting poems documenting narratives of journey and trauma with a strikingly simple beauty. Me and Raymond Antrobus booked her to perform at Keats House as part of an event there, and this first video is of Warsan reading her poem ‘conversations about home (at the deportation centre)’ at that event.

You can see Warsan read alongside Inua Ellams and John Agard as part of the (FREE) launch event for my role as the Brent Poet Laureate, which is on Friday June 21st. All the details for that can be found here…

I wanted also to include this video featuring Warsan’s writing. It’s called ‘Excuses for why we failed at love’ and has a really different feel to a lot of poetry videos around. Great stuff.