DorkyDad’s Last Transmission From London

The movers are here now.  I type this against the background chatter of ripped masking tape and heavy cardboard boxes being assembled by rough, experienced hands.  Tonight this flat will be empty save for two beds and the three of us.  In just under 60 hours the plane will lift off from Heathrow, bound first for Dubai, then on beyond to Melbourne.

We are away to Tasmania. Continue reading

BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam 2013

BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals

For the last two years, DorkyDad has hosted the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam. It’s an exciting thing – four nights of heats, with six poets competing in each one, and the winner from each night going on to compete in a grand final.

It has finally cured me of my dislike of poetry slams – I get all the excitement of watching great spoken word, and the pride that comes with watching him on the stage, without the nerves of seeing him compete.

I am super chuffed that he has been asked to host for a third time this year, and looking at the lineup, it looks like the best ever. The Slam features 24 of the best performance poets in the UK – 12 women and 12 men – including UK National Champions, Scottish National Champions, two former BBC Slam Champions and the Scottish Makar.

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I Am Not A Poet

I used to collect poems, like some people collect postcards or glass paperweights.

I’d keep a notebook, and if I read or heard or found a poem I loved then I’d scribble it down, as though by writing the words out myself I could somehow own them.

Sometimes it wouldn’t be a whole poem, it would just be a phrase.

a gossiping stream full of blethering pebbles

a shotgun sprinkle of freckles

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

Good poetry – even a line or two – takes your breath away a little bit. Good poets make you feel like they have peeked inside your memory and plucked out an experience that you have lived, but then gone on to express your feeling or describe your scene better than you ever could yourself.

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Slam

BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam

I love the fact that DorkyDad is a poet. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen him perform – in venues ranging from libraries to Jazz bars – and I always come away feeling proud and happy.

Except when he’s doing a slam. I hate watching him in slams. That competitive element takes all the joy out of it for me, and rather than being able to support and encourage him I turn into a jangling, fidgeting ball of nerves. Slams have always made me feel a bit sick.
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BBC Poetry Slam at the Fringe 2012

BBC Poetry Slam Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Whoop whoop! It’s almost Edinburgh Fringe time, and I am hugely excited that DorkyDad has been asked to compere the BBC Poetry Slam again.

The Slam took place for the first time last year, and it was an absolutely brilliant line-up of poets, but this year it’s EVEN BETTER! (It’s actually a bit ridiculous how good it is.) This year it will feature the 2011 BBC Slam Champion, Catherine Brogan; Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead in her first ever Slam competition; and a special guest appearance from the 2012 Paris World Champion, Harry Baker.
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