Category Archives: Uncategorized

Broken Biscuits No.6.

Was a great night at the last Broken Biscuits… Here’s Idle Eye’s Doug Thorp with some kind words, read on for more including a great 4 minute clip from my performance on the night:

“Joe Duggan kicked off the evening leaving no stone unturned. I’ve tried to give a flavour of just how varied and powerful his work can be in the below edit, but to get the full hit you really need to be there in the flesh. He is blessed with not only the words, but also a voice that soothes on the one hand and kicks off with the other. An extraordinary talent.”

Idle Eye

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And they just get better and better. Always lovely to do a gig in the manor but oh, Crystal Palace, you surpassed yourselves! Have a biscuit. Let’s break it down, because that’s what you know and love:

Sadly, Michael Legge couldn’t be with us for this one, but the unstoppable Jenny Vegas kindly agreed to take another day off her Bernard Matthews tour of Norfolk to join us once again. And this time, we got the full Manky Shanka, yes we did! God only knows how she manages to walk to Jobcentre Plus every morning.

Jenny Lockyer‘s hilarious, delicate and beautifully delivered songs ranged from a five-year-old’s wry observation of her mother’s appalling driving skills, to the quite brilliant Agnetta Askeholmen doing a ditty about a little dolphin and a magic fish; and anything in between. She’ll be joining us again in Bognor so if you missed this, for God’s sake get…

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Broken Biscuits No.6.

Idle Eye bang on about the upcoming Broken Biscuit on 29th October – looking forward to be being a part of it !

“I know I bang on about the respective BB line-ups a fair bit, but bloody hell, look at this one! This will be our third at leafy Crystal Palace’s fabulous Antenna Studios and sixth overall, s…

Source: Broken Biscuits No.6.

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Knausgaard: The Man Who Writes About Nothing

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Karl Ove Knausgaard’s “My Struggle” series has been described as a literary sensation by the Guardian and The New Yorker, and he has sold one copy for every ten people in his native Norway, where it achieved a cult following. And yet he writes about nothing. A lot. In detail. For six volumes. How come?

…..So he’s going for it. He’s doing that thing that many writers’ aim for, in some ways the Holy Grail: to capture reality in all its ordinariness and (if that’s the easy bit) to take the reader with them on the journey.   

Read more in my article about Karl Ove Knausgaard over at The Honest Ulsterman, alongside lots of other great features

 

 

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The Bourne Academy : Time To Jump Out The Window

USA : Film "The Bourne Ultimatum"

The Bourne Academy: Jason Bourne Dares To Investigate Academy Chains

Ok, I’m not going to hang around with this one. I need to fax it to all my contacts before the cars screech up outside my door and some big shouldered bloke in sunglasses takes me out with the toaster lead. So, quick let’s just take a look at this article on today’s BBC Website. It went up 3 hours ago:

Pupils in England ‘lag behind international peers’

The article presents evidence from “Centre Forum”. Ever heard of them? Me neither, but hey it’s on the BBC and needs to be taken seriously. Even though my trust in media is running pretty low, I still expect a think-tank to be described as “right-wing” or “left-wing” or some other description that might identify any possible bias or vested interest. You know, like “Cadburys Find Chocolate Extends Life Expectancy”. But the BBC hasn’t done that, so these guys must be straight down the line, independent, only the best interests of our children at heart, with no major vested interests that might make them want to take a pop at state education in this country.

Erm no. This is where I had a quick google, and ended up in one of those conspiracy movie moments where Jason Bourne realises the head of CIA is actually the one who’s after him and he better switch mobile phones and jump out the window to a thumping techno soundtrack. But the thing is, I didn’t actually go to some ranty conspiracy website. I went to the Centre Forum website itself, and here’s what I found. You can listen to the track  at the end of the Bourne Ultimatum to put you in the mood if you like.

And you can browse the website for yourself  and get more interactive – here’s the link 

But if you’re in a rush there’s five people on the board. The chair is Paul Marshall:

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And next along we have Sir Theodore Agnew, surely he’s not going to be anything to do with academies……

 

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About

Sir Theodore previously served as a non-executive board member at the Department for Education, where he was chair of the department’s Academies Board from 2013 to 2015.

Sir Theodore was appointed a deputy lieutenant (DL) of Norfolk in 2013 and was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to education. He was appointed lead non-executive board member at the Ministry of Justice in July 2015.

He is chairman and sponsor of ‘Inspiration’ a multi-academy trust based in Norfolk with 11 schools.

Erm, ok. So here’s a Baroness, let’s see what her connections are. Baroness Sally Morgan

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About

She is currently Chair of Future Leaders (a UK charity training potential head teachers for challenging schools), adviser to the children’s charity, Ark, which works in education in the UK and internationally, on the board for Frontline, a fast-track social work programme, a member of Council for Kings College London and a non-executive director of Carphone Warehouse PLC, and a member of the Advisory Board of Virgin Holdings.

Ah, that’s ok then, look she works with a Children’s Charity called “Ark.” But wait a minute, Ark?

Is that the same Ark with Paul Marshall , “chairman of ARK Schools, which is one of Britain’s leading providers of academies.” ?

So we’ve got a board of five people, three of which are clearly driving forward academies, two of which work for the same academy chain, presenting an authoritative report undermining state education, at a time when the academies are working hard to undermine state education and completely take over?  And the BBC don’t think that merits a mention as part of their coverage. Ok.

Thankfully, the questioning of the very radical academisation process is finally kicking off now as more people realise the agenda is for complete take-over. After the NUT, the NASWUT, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, the Libdems and even many Conservatives have challenged the idea of forcing this idea that wasn’t even in the manifesto on the whole population, we now have the usually moderate ATL union heckling Nick Gibbs today as he tries to sell it. So there is still something to fight for and it’s not over yet. This article in the London Review of Books suggests I’m not being paranoid enough and this is really just the tip of the iceberg….  and it would help if the BBC at the very least acknowledged the agenda of its sources. Do we need to do our own reporting and investigating ?

Another thing to take it into account is that this a pretty blatant example where it’s easy to follow the leads and find the sources, – how many times have reports been released where the fingerprints aren’t so easy to identify? But anyway at least you know the next time you are presented with a report from Centre Forum as part of the evidence – you know what to do: – stick on the music, switch your mobile phone sim card and jump out the window ….

 

 

 

 

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Rich Mix in Shoreditch – 4 London Poets

Very excited to be kicking off 2016 with a performance at this great venue in Shoreditch. The line-up looks brilliant and I’m looking forward to firing out a high-powered Saturday Night Set mixed with new material and some old favourites.  Special thanks to Graham Buchan for inviting me. And did I mention it’s free? And it’s a straight run on the Overground for any Crystal Palace heads brave enough to leave the triangle.

Read on for more info about the great line-up ……!

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Vesna Goldsworthy

At the age of 23 Vesna Goldsworthy read her poems at a football stadium to an audience of thirty thousand. Shewas born in Belgrade in 1961 and has lived in London since 1986. She writes in English, her third language. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and the author of four widely translated books: Inventing Ruritania, on the shaping of cultural perceptions of the Balkans; the Crashaw Prize winning poetry collection, The Angel of Salonika, one of theTimes best poetry books of the year; and two international bestsellers, both of which were serialised on BBC Radio 4, Chernobyl Strawberries, a memoir, andGorsky, a novel, Waterstones Book of the Month for September 2015.

“funny, painful and brilliant” The Observer, “extraordinary” The Guardian, “If there has been a more honest, calm and profoundly moving memoir in the last few years, then I’ve missed it.” Times Literary Supplement.

Joe Duggan

Joe Duggan, originally from Northern Ireland, was a founder member of the “Bunch of Chancers” Poetry Group, touring throughout Ireland and New York State. He moved to London in 2002. Joe’s first collection “Fizzbombs” from Tall Lighthouse in 2008 was highly commended in The Forward Prize. He has featured at Latitude, Cheltenham and Galway Poetry Festivals, to a full house at the South Bank, and runs a regular sell-out night in Crystal Palace. He has written stories for children and also lyrics for Irish band “Different Drums”, text for Echo Echo Dance, and recently produced a CD with ambient-loop geniuses “The Fireflies” on legendary DJ Andrew Weatherall’s new label.

“under-rated, lyrical, haunting and witty.” Saskia Sarginson, The Irish Times, “Stunning debut collection, vibrant and memorable.” Salena Godden, New Camden Journal, “Under the chatty vernacular is a lovely, casual sharpness, like an unexpected hot chilli in something sold as sweet.” Cherry Smith, Brand Magazine.

Patricia Foster

Patricia Foster is an award-winning writer, Sable Litmag Poet-In-Residence (2014-2015) and an original member of acclaimed writers’ collective ‘Malika’s Poetry Kitchen’. She hails from Lewisham, south east London. She has read poetry in Jamaica, Oslo, New York and toured The UK, The Netherlands, Antwerp and Chicago. She has also performed for Apples and Snakes, read at Goldsmith University and The Barbican, worked in the theatre and written and toured with female poetry collective ‘Thea-Poets’.

Patricia has successfully facilitated writing and personal development workshops for ‘Every Woman Inspired’ international women’s conference in Jamaica in 2013,2014 and 2015. In 2006 she facilitated a ‘Family History’ themed writing workshop for BBC London Radio’s Family History Day.

Patricia’s poignant poetry draws on her Jamaican heritage and close family bonds. She is published inmany anthologies and publications in the UK, Norway and the USA. Her first chapbook is scheduled for release in Spring 2016.

 Alan Wolfson

Alan Wolfson is a performance poet and painter. Words and images spill out of the tumble dryer of his imagination like warm damp things that could have done with another ten minutes.

He was born in Cardiff and studied graphics at Cardiff College of Art and West of England College of Art and Design. Suddenly he dropped his paintbrushes and careered off into broadcasting.

In 2000 he began painting again and between canvases took to writing verse, revisiting his radio copy writing skills and liberating them from the inconvenient parameters of a brief and a deadline.

He is a member of the Hammer & Tongue Camden poetry team, and runs two monthly open mic events in London,’ Words and music in the Woods’, and ‘Friggers of Speech’, which he has taken to Edinburgh twice. He has performed at Latitude and Greenman among many other festivals, and two 45-minute one man shows in Cape Town.

You can join the event on facebook here, or just see you there !

 

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It’s Back …..The Overground Spoken Word Special

Bobby-Parker Bobby Parker does a bit of editing.

Very excited to announce, for the third year running, I am hosting and performing at the Overground Spoken Word night at Antenna Studios in Crystal Palace. This night has been a lot of fun in the past. It started as a smaller night downstairs and created a great buzz – with acts like Katrina Naomi, Tamsin Kendrick, David Crystal, Jazzman John Clarke, Sue Johns, Dan Holloway, Brother G and The Trouble, Richard Purnell, Emma Ako, Farhad Mirza,Louise Warren, Allie K Stuart, “The Children”, Kellie Gillespie-Wright, Sainsburys’ Check-Out Chappy, Gale Burns, Isabel White and many others – and fantastic support from a wide range of open mic-ers. We moved upstairs for the festival in 2013 and had the incredible El Crisis and David J Vocal Pugilist headlining, alongside a strong cast including some of the above and Alain English. In 2014, we had a hard act to follow – but managed it – with great features from Brendan Cleary and David Crystal, backed up with eccentric, angry and beautiful sounds from Wondermare, a great support slot from Zuli Stenson, and one of our open mic-ers, JJ Johnston, doing his best to steal the show.

So we’re back this year. On Thurday the 25th June. We have the Jazzman. We have Tamsin. And we have one very exciting feature slot confirmed as Bobby Parker – who I’ve been hoping to get down for ages. Dangerous writing, in every sense of the word. We also have a few local open mic-ers already confirmed. As always the local, unexpected talent is often a big part of the night. Watch this space. It has sold out for the last two years so come along early or you might be listening from the fire escape…..

Full Details:

Thursday 25th June
8pm – 11pm Overground Express 3!
Antenna Gallery, Upstairs At Antenna Studios. Poetry and spoken word is back at Antenna forthe Overground Festival. After the last two years’ brilliant events, we’re back with another blistering,eclectic line-up of talent. Confirmed line-up so far includes Bobby Parker, Tamsin Kendrick and Jazzman John Clarke and Joe Duggan. More names to come! Expect surprises. Not for the faint-hearted. Some short open-mic slots may be available email joeduggan215@hotmail.com for more information.Doors 7.30pm for 8pm start. Limited capacityso arrive early! Sold out for the last two years! Suggested contribution £3

2015/1984

What Clare said

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So. A Tory majority which is actually trying to scrap the actual human rights act.

And today the BBC reports that Cameron is to say: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'”

Just let that sink in. Yes, for too long, law-abiding people have apparently been allowed to get on with their lives. But David Cameron, having decided Orwell’s 1984 to be a handbook for good governance, is about to put an end to Thoughtcrime.

0760e7837523f21b05af8525b8df38acFor me, the worst thing about the election result is that it happened because of a failure of language. I can feel political discourse untethering from reality, becoming more and more unreal. There were so many empty pledges and meaningless promises on all sides. There was so much blather about hard-working families and strong economies and…

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Welcome

Welcome to my new website!
I’ll post sporadic updates on my poetry, my work with Crystal Palace Transition Town and anything else I feel like writing about.