Happy New Year to you all! I’m very excited to announce our next online Rise! Spoken Word at The Bureau event is coming up soon on 21st January 2021. Our headliner will be Joy France, also known as the battle-rapping nanna. You may have seen her interview last year on BBC Breakfast, or in a Nationwide advert (she’s featured twice!), or heard her on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live on 5th December last year. She can hold her own in the fiercest battle rap, but you couldn’t meet a lovelier person. Her creative space at Afflecks in Manchester, although unfortunately closed during lockdown, has been a nurturing and welcoming space where anyone can hang out, do creative stuff and connect with others.
Joy France is a multi-award / slam winning poet, writer and all round creative who is proud to be a magnet for the gloriously weird. She engages her audience with deft (and often daft!) use of words.
Joy discovered her creativity and passion for performance poetry in her mid-50s and says “having silenced the doubting voices in my head, I have now found my own voice and will never again be silenced”
She is Creative-in-Residence at Afflecks Palace in Manchester and Poet-in-Residence with United Against Injustice. She performs and organizes events at festivals and in unusual locations. A short documentary “Joy Uncensored” by Northern Heart Films tells the story of how she went “From Retirement to Battle Rap” recently won Viewers Award at Hebden Bridge Film Festival.
As well as our headliner we have two brilliant featured poets on the night—Tony Curry and Richy Integer.
Richy Integer is a writer, performance poet and singer-songwriter from Southport in the North-West of England.
Inspired by UK hip-hop as well as spoken word artists such as Kate Tempest and Polarbear, Richy Integer mixes the two disciplines and adds a dash of humour and a good dose of social commentary.
Equally at home performing acapella or over a beat, his one-man spoken word poetry set includes a rap retelling of Aesop’s Fables for 21st century Britain and a furious diatribe against internet memes.
Richy is a well-known face on the Southport and Liverpool poetry scenes and was a finalist at the Liverpool Slam “Headliners” event in 2019.
Tony Curry is a performance poet, playwright, workshop facilitator, soundsmith and enabler. His solo spoken word shows include Brit Boy, Complicit Relations, Moving and The Odyssey, and he is the host of Word Central, Flapjack Press’s monthly open mic night at Manchester Central Library. His play the Teddy Bear was performed at The Contact Theatre in 2012. His work has been exhibited at Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Museum. He has produced two collections ‘The Noble Savage’ and ‘Tall Tales for Tall Men who fall well short’, both published by flapjack press.
“The ‘our town’ of Tony’s poetry is our town too. The smells that he evokes – fish and chips, beer and cigs, blood and spunk – these are our smells too. This is our poetry, these are our poems. They smell of home and friendship.” – Tony Walsh AKA Longfella, Glastonbury Festival Poet in Residence 2011
I will be hosting the event and sharing a couple of my poems, and we will also have a poetry open mic. Tickets for the event are £5. To book a ticket or open mic slot PLEASE CLICK HERE