Versify offers spoken word poets mentoring and practical guidance around their work, as well as a paid gig to spotlight their voices.
The poets selected for Versify 2019 will be awarded intensive workshops on performance, form & craft, and the business aspect of poetry, which will take place at Poetry Ireland in Dublin's Parnell Square. The series will culminate in a showcase in September.
We are delighted to announce that acclaimed poet Bridget Minamore will select this year's participants and will lead the workshops on form & craft and performance. Bridget is a British-Ghanaian writer from south-east London. She is a poet, critic, essayist, and journalist, writing for The Guardian about pop culture, theatre, race and class. She was chosen as one of Speaking Volumes’ 40 Stars of Black British Literature, has read her work internationally, and is the co-lead tutor for the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Titanic (Out-Spoken Press), her debut pamphlet of poems on modern love and loss, was published in May 2016.
A workshop on the business of being a spoken word poet will be facilitated by Emmet Kirwan and Linda Devlin.
Emmet Kirwan is an award-winning actor, playwright and poet from Tallaght in Dublin. His spoken word poetry play ‘Dublin Oldschool’ received the Stewart Parker Major Trust award. It has played seven sellout runs in Project Arts Centre, toured internationally, and it was recently adapted to film. Emmet wrote the four poetry sections of This Is Pop Baby's smash hit RIOT, including his poem 'Heartbreak' which has been turned into a short film and viewed over two million times online.
Linda Devlin is a freelance creative producer, cultural programmer and project manager. Having first gotten involved in spoken word over 15 years ago as a way of working with young people in a community education setting, she went on to co-found and manage Lingo, Ireland’s first dedicated spoken word festival which ran from 2014-17. Linda has programmed and produced spoken word events and projects for Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, Dublin City Council, St Patrick’s Festival, ILFD, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and was the creative producer of the All Curious Minds spoken word area at the inaugural All Together Now festival in Waterford. Linda has also worked in a development capacity with poets and cultural organizations to develop income streams, secure funding and create strategic plans.
How to apply:
- a one-page letter (including a brief biography) about why you'd like to take part in Versify 2019
- 2-3 poems. Please submit a video or mp3 recording of you performing each poem, along with the accompanying text in a Word document. Recordings should total no more than nine minutes altogether. Clear phone recordings are welcome.
- This opportunity is open to spoken word poets 18+ who currently live on the island of Ireland. There is no upper age limit - poets aged 18 to 118+ are encouraged to apply.
- A maximum of six poets will be selected for this year's series.
- We encourage submissions from poets who are currently underrepresented in Irish poetry, including but not limited to: people of colour, people with varied gender and sexual identities, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
- All applicants will be notified of a decision by the end of August.
Deadline: Friday 2 August