What a year it was. A year so vast and eventful that it shunted my brief look back at it a few weeks into its much anticipated follow-up - 2015: The Fifteenening! The final event in the most eventfullest of years has been the moving of house which has forced me off the grid into the wasteland of non-internetness. Seriously - has anyone tried it lately? It's bleak out there beyond the web wall - it's like an entire world as barren as myspace.
Anyhoo - survived did I the abyss of a wifi depleted world and now I return to you even more entwined in the realm of the cyberwebs than ever - I may well have an ethernet cable plugged directly into my earballs. Although surely if technology was advanced enough to jack straight in, one would also have a wireless capability in one's brain no? These are just some of the things your brain can get to musing over when left without the constant distraction fodder of the internet - seriously just a few weeks and the lack of constant interweb stimuli has sent me all peculiar.
But. I digest...
The point was (yes I had a point - shush yo face), that 2014 was quite the year. We had weddings, awards, gigs by the bucketload, interviews, festivals, anthologies, more gigs, awards, and a hug or three.
In addition to getting to hang out with some ace people who I've been a huge admirer of for years (some pictured, others less so to spare their embarrassment and shame at having hung out with me), I was and still am utterly dumbfounded and delighted to have been nominated alongside poetry Gods such as Kate Tempest, Hollie McNish, Sophia Walker, and Lucy Ayrton, for the Saboteur Awards. I still have no idea how I won the thing let alone got shortlisted but thanks to anyone who gave me a vote - I owe you all drinks and hugs and anything - hell, take my guinea pigs if you like, you've earned em.
Getting to meet the Sabotage Reviews team was a bit special too - previously they'd just been names that had wrung a certain awe out of me - but it turns out they're just lovely normal(ish) people. Seriously if you see Claire Trévien in the street, you have my permission to just go right on up to her and offer her a hug (though doing so is still at your own risk).
Here's what James Webster (spoken word head honcho) had to say about the award:
"One of the best things for me about the Saboteur Awards is that so often the nominees are performers or events that just haven’t been on my radar and this was definitely one of these cases. While I was familiar with the genre-subverting brilliance of Lucy “Lullabies to Make Your Children Cry” Ayrton, the word-whirling hilarity of Hollie McNish and the lyrical, phrase-turning joys of Sophia Walker, there was one big surprise on the list for me. Which is probably mainly due to my being a Southern philistine who rarely ventures further north than Birmingham, but still…
What made it doubly surprising was that the winner managed to shove Ted-Hughes winning spoken word superstar Kate Tempest into second place. Tempest was aptly described as a “poetry god” by voters and is Spoken Word’s biggest name, so to take the top spot from her is no mean feat.
And in the end Steve Nash was the performer to do it. He wowed us during the day with a performance dripping with charm and stage presence, then won over the audience all over again with an amazingly humble acceptance speech. Voters said:
“more charisma than your average rockstar”I won't bore you with all the ins and outs of every event and article that I was fortunate enough to darken with my oafish presence, but here's a few links to some of my personal highlights:
“an incredible package”
“Because he’s brilliant. But I am voting from a weatherspoons so maybe my vote should be discounted”
Ryburn Ramblings said some lovely things about my scribbles:
Click here for the Article by Simon Zonenblick
One&Other did a Q&A with me (I especially enjoyed this as it was one of my former students who was doing the grilling for the publication):
Click here for the interview with Beth Copeland of One&Other
Then even Write Out Loud were willing to come chat to me. I felt like a geeky girl in an American romcom who'd just removed her glasses :) - Strange really as this was the year I finally got my first pair of glasses - the world truly is a mysterious vortex of magical improbabilities no?
Erm, so, yeah here's the Write Out Loud chat:
Click here for the WriteOutLoud interview
And then, YorkMix asked me to write about myself - which was excruciating but here it be anyway:
Click here for the YorkMix article
Big final thanks need to go to those who had me come guest for them at some amazing events or for letting me share a stage with them - Helen Mort (fellow Chez Vegas alumni), the inimitable Kate Fox, Kieren King and Ella Gainsboro @ Evidently, Genevieve Walsh @ Spoken Weird, Izzy and Darren @ Artsbridge, Mycall Isrell @ Step4word, Jim Higo, Andy Humphrey, Dai Parsons, Matthew Hedley Stoppard, Sarah L. Dixon, Greg White/ Flopsy, Jem Henderson, Steve Toase, Vicki Bartram, Oz Hardwick, Claire DeTamble, Dom Smith, my fearless publishers Stairwell Books - Alan & Rose, Miles Salter, and everyone else I'm definitely forgetting.
Looking forward to all 2015 has in store including the Quiet Compete Tour, York Lit Fest and hopefully plenty more - but no more car crashes (well only the ones on stage).
Here is a massive cyber hug for you all:
Give me a shout any time - let's do something together in 2015.