“It is the stars, the stars above us, govern our conditions” – so said William Shakespeare, and maybe the stars realigned themselves to let this event go ahead, a month or so after it was originally chalked up. Liverpool is in Tier 2, which means live events can take place In Real Life – rest assured that all upcoming events at The Reader will respect government guidelines on social distancing and provide a safe and secure environment to enjoy the company of some brilliant and talented spoken word artists. With this in mind, if you are purchasing multiple tickets, you must be from the same household.
The Stars Above Us is being organised by literature and reading organisation The Reader to bring some of the most exciting poets and writers from the North West (and beyond) to the Mansion House to perform their work in what are hoped will be hugely enjoyable and memorable evenings.
Due to take place in the Theatre Room at the newly restored Grade II-listed Mansion House, nestled in South Liverpool’s beautiful Calderstones Park, The Stars Above Us is being organised by literature and reading organisation The Reader to bring some of the most exciting poets and writers from the North West (and beyond) to the Mansion House to perform their work in what are hoped will be hugely enjoyable and memorable evenings. Says The Reader’s communications coordinator Rachael Norris: “Poetry in all its forms will be a main feature of our spoken word evenings, along with memoirs, stories, monologues and any number of almost-indefinable types of prose!”
The first four performers lined up are Amina Atiq, Cath Holland, Madelaine Kinsella and Saint Vespaluus.
Amina Atiq is an award-winning Yemeni-Scouse writer, performance artist, facilitator and activist. Remote writer-in-residence with Metal Southend, she is working on the project Yemeni Women at War as well as a new commission responding to the historic Sutton Manor, while her commissioned poem for the Yemen in Conflict project is part of a multimedia exhibition for the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival. She is developing a spoken word monologue with DadaFest, in which she invites the audience to a 1970s Yemeni-British household, untangling what it means to belong. Her work has been featured widely, including BBC 4 Radio, The Independent and The Skinny, and her new work can be found on IWM, Writing on the Wall and LightNight.
Based in Liverpool, Cath Holland is a writer of fiction and fact. Her fiction is published widely, including in Mslexia, and she has performed at the Liverpool Everyman, Chester Literature Festival, Bristol’s Flash Walk and the Solstice Shorts festival in Devon. Non-fiction wise, she has an essay in Dead Ink’s Know Your Place: Essays on the Working Class and she is features writer at Merseyside’s Bido Lito! and Rattle Magazine, and features editor at God Is In The TV in Cardiff. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, reviewed books on Five’s The Wright Stuff and was a regular on Radio City Talk, and she now has a weekly slot on Liverpool Live Radio talking about arts, culture and feminism.
Madelaine Kinsella is a poet from Liverpool currently studying an MA in Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work is concerned with Scouse identity, vernacular, fashion culture and how working-class femininity plays a role in that. Her work has been featured in Fourteen Poems, and she is the editor of Liverpudlian zine JARG. Her debut pamplet, Scouse Brows, is upcoming with Wrecking Ball Press and you can read some of her “Scouse proud” work in Bido Lito!
First seen performing in Cambridge in the 1980s, Saint Vespaluus returned to the spoken word scene at the Everyman Theatre this year. A recent performance at Violette Records’ Turn Your Love Around festival in September saw him performing new material to the city-centre crowds. Saint Vespaluus writes a column in cult fanzine When Skies Are Grey, and he has written for Esquire and a host of other publications. With numerous appearances on BBC TV’s Mastermind, Saint Vespaluus is described as “a clever and very funny performer”, and his tales of urban life mix humour and sadness to startling effect.