A Lovely Word outdoors and online

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet and performer Curtis Watt.
Poet and performer Curtis Watt.

A Lovely Word outdoors, 1 July–5 August 2021, free entry - Visit now

The team at A Lovely Word have joined forces with the Unusual Art Sourcing Company for two one-off specials taking spoken word outside – the first on Thursday 1 July at St James’ Gardens below the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool city centre and the second on Thursday 5 August at the wooden henge in Princes Park. Audiences are invited to gather (in a socially distanced manner, of course) to watch the performances in situ or catch the events via a live stream on YouTube, meaning you can watch from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are.

It combines curated performers and open mic opportunities to offer a warm and inclusive atmosphere, nurturing local talent and drawing poets and crowds from all over the North West.

A Lovely Word has been running monthly since 2014, usually taking place in the Everyman Bistro, and is free to attend, supported by the Everyman & Playhouse and Arts Council England. It combines curated performers and open mic opportunities to offer a warm and inclusive atmosphere, nurturing local talent and drawing poets and crowds from all over the North West.

The 1 July event features Curtis Watt as headliner. A socially conscious poet, author, musician, actor, presenter and creative workshop leader, Curtis is featured in Michael Rosen’s A-Z: The Best Children’s Poetry, from Agard to Zephaniah (Puffin). He has worked internationally on both stage and screen, he has helped develop poetry for National Museums Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum and is proud to have lyrics quoted on the Freedom Wall, and he is recognised as one of Liverpool’s most versatile artists, voted 43 in Diverse Magazine’s Top 50 Black Merseysiders.

A Lovely Word outside on 5 August sees Manchester’s finest rapping grannie Joy France take to the stage. A regular on the spoken word scene in Manchester, teacher turned battle rapper Joy is also the creative-in-residence at Afflecks Palace, and her poetry has featured on Voices Nationwide and TEDxManchesterUniversity.

This summer’s alfresco specials are tried and tested – the Everyman & Playhouse, who support A Lovely Word, teamed up with Liverpool-based performance art project the Unusual Art Sourcing Company last year to put on the Liverpool regular in the great outdoors. Seating is ‘bring your own blanket/chair for your comfort’, with stewards assisting with allocated seating spots to ensure safe social distancing. Face coverings will be required according to current Government guidelines.

Both A Lovely Word at St James’ Gardens and A Lovely Word at Princes Park will see the featured poets perform alongside open micers. Whether you are a new poet performing for the first time or a seasoned poet who wants to try out some new material, you are invited to sign up to read on the open mic. Alex Ferguson, producer and host of A Lovely Word, says: “Getting into poetry can be really transformative for people’s sense of self. It’s really positive to see people getting involved with the workshops we’ve had so far and I’d encourage anyone who is interested to give it a go.”

Fancy giving it a go? Email alovelywordpodcast@gmail.com (submissions close 25 June for the July event and 29 July for the August event) with your full name, mobile number and a confirmation that you sign up to the principles of the open mic: performers are allowed a maximum of four minutes, no hateful language is tolerated. “Show your love and appreciation for all other poets,” says the ALW team, which aims to support both emerging and working performance poets through artist development and advice (keep an eye out for their workshop programme). “A Lovely Word is an open, nurturing space for poets to perform, grow and express themselves.”

A Lovely Word outdoors

1 July–5 August 2021
Free entry