Rose Condo has been working the live literature and performance poetry scene for a while now, accumulating a fan base around the North West and beyond, but perhaps surprisingly this event marks the launch of only her debut collection. She’s been busy in all that time, though, winning numerous poetry slams and taking three acclaimed and award-winning poetry theatre shows on the road – and the new book, After the Storm (taking the title of one of her hard-hitting performance pieces), contains the unabridged scripts of those: The Geography of Me, How to Starve an Artist and, most recently, The Empathy Experiment.
Rosie Garland says Rose Condo’s work is “a steadying reminder of compassion in a world tipped off its axis”, and the new collection is published by Flapjack Press on 9 November.
Written and performed by Rose, The Empathy Experiment received critical acclaim at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and was crowned Best Spoken Word Show at the 2019 Greater Manchester Fringe and shortlisted at the 2020 Saboteur Awards. It sees the Canadian poet wonder whether empathy is facing extinction as a result of our inability to survive without smartphones. Weaving together observations from her own Day Of No Mobile Phones, “ask the audience”-style live participation and expertly crafted poems, the show explores tech addiction and compassion. The first of the trilogy showcased in the book, The Geography of Me takes the audience on a trip through foreign and familiar lands, recounting hilarity and heartbreak, while the jam in the sandwich, How to Starve an Artist, is a series of poems and stories about creative nourishment and how to feed your inner artist.
Described as “innovative and inspirational”, After the Storm the paper version also includes QR codes to access accompanying original music composed by Eleonora Rosca, full colour artwork by Jen McDonald and a foreword by fellow poet and performer Tina Sederholm, who says of Rose: “One of the most polished and heartfelt wordsmiths on the spoken word scene. Her subtle lyricism cradles you in a warm embrace and then gently but firmly delivers an emotional and thought-provoking gut punch.” Her publisher stablemate Rosie Garland (whose As In Judy follow-up, What Girls Do In The Dark, has just come out with Nine Arches) says Rose Condo’s work is “a steadying reminder of compassion in a world tipped off its axis”, and the new collection is published by Flapjack Press in paperback and eBook on 9 November – the same day as this special live stream book launch – with signed copies available to pre-order now.
Based in Salford, Rose Condo is originally from Canada, where she studied Theatre & Drama at the University of Winnipeg before heading to the University of Leeds to do a Masters in Theatre & Development Studies. She was longlisted for the inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and has supported the likes of Hollie McNish. Supporting her in this live captioned event is guest poet Kieren King, spoken word artist and long-time compère and organiser of well-respected Guy Garvey-endorsed Evidently and the Word War poetry slams – Rose took the belt at Word War One…