"Raise The Bar exemplifies how spoken word has no fixed style—from the conversational to the melodic, the comedic to the poignant." - Epigram
Each Raise the Bar show promises to be a completely different and unique experience, an energetic event of the highest quality spoken word performers, at the beautiful Watershed in the heart of the city centre.
Raise the Bar's February edition of live performance poetry will feature Queen of UK spoken word Joelle Taylor, as well as Bristol-born poet James Bunting!
Hosted by Craft-D and Connor Macleod.
There is also an open mic for any budding poets with just 8 spaces, first come first serve on the door.
Joelle is an award winning spoken word artist, poet, playwright and author. She has performed across the UK as well as internationally for the British Council (Zimbabwe, Brazil, Botswana) taking in a diverse range of venues from the 100 Club, the 02 Arena, the Royal Festival Hall, the Globe, and Buckingham Palace. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society Arts in 2015 as well as being named as one of Southbank Centre’s Nelson Mandela Change Makers for positively affecting cultural Britain.
She is perhaps more widely known as the Founder and Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, the Poetry Society’s national youth slam championships – the longest running spoken word education programme in the country. She has appeared on several television (Faking It, Blue Peter, the One Show, Vanessa Feltz Show) and radio programmes (Women’s Hour, Radio 1 Extra, the Edwina Curry Show). A documentary about her life and work Life Changing Verse was made by Don Productions in 2010 and broadcast on television. She recently featured in Educating the East End for Channel 4, as well as appearing on Sky News to speak about the role of poetry in UK schools.
Her most recent collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me has been widely acclaimed, and is undoubtedly one of the best books of 2017. One of the UK’s greatest live performance poets, we’re excited to have Joelle headlining at Watershed in February!
James Bunting was born and raised in Bristol, now living in London. He started writing aged 13 and doing nothing with his poems until, at 18, a chance encounter with three American performance poets introduced him to a style of poetry that proved the jump-start for his writing. Since that night, James has performed extensively throughout the UK, including at literature festivals, music festivals and slams alongside some inspirational poets. His writing has been described as powerful and emotive, and his performances regularly leave audiences in awed silence. Conkers is his debut collection and features many of the poems that have taken him across the country over the past eight years.
A real favourite on the Bristol scene over a number of years, it is a delight to be inviting James back to the city where he made his name to perform at Raise the Bar.