On Tuesday 11 April 2017, I performed on my own at City Voices event at the Light House Media Centre in Wolverhampton. In the past I have had help and support via friends with reciting my poetry and stories as I didn’t have enough confidence to read my work out because of my cerebral palsy.
However, over the last year, my confidence has improved tremendously. The main reason being that my work has been published by ‘Offa’s Press‘, a reputable press and my involvement with different projects and developments. I am very grateful to the positive people who have nudged and pushed me to overcome my uneasiness about performing. It was not easy but, I slowly managed to persuade myself that I can read my work in front of an audience.
At the spoken word event, City Voices, I read out loud with a microphone- a fifteen minute set of poetry in front of an appreciative audience of about forty. I read some new poems and a couple from my poetry pamphlet “Patchwork“. I spoke as clear as I could but slipped up a few times. I knew I could have done it better. The audience were very patient and supportive and they welcomed my work with great enthusiasm. I understand that for many people it must be alarming to watch a person like me on stage struggling to perform and articulate my words. Although, I would like my work to be unique and away from the ‘norm’. I know I am not physically normal but my heart, soul and mind are. What does normal mean in society? I salute celebrities such as Francesca Martinez and Laurence Clark who have made it to the mainstream and defined CP very well.
I know that I will never be a ‘perfect’ performer but with practice and guidance, I know I will grow to be better. Above all, I consider myself to be very fortunate that I have been noticed, among a vast playing field of writers and poets. It means a lot to me that I am able share my perception of life through my poetry and deliver it in such a beautiful way. I attach a short video of me performing a poem (villanelle) called ‘Survivor’.
My next performance will be ‘Stirring the Dust’ on Saturday, 6 May 2017 at Priory Hall, Much Wenlock, Shropshire at 1.00 – 1.50pm where I will be sharing the stage with Offa’s Press poets. £5.00 admission fee for an afternoon of poetry and music. All welcome.