Britain on Trial – a public debate

The August ‘Youth’ Riots/insurrections was the tilling of a dry and cracked soil. I shall be attending and facilitating creative writing and performance responses at Britain on Trial this weekend. Young Voices Speak out against the way they’ve been MIS-represented in a dynamic event with film, spoken word discussion and debate in a judicial court stylie. COURT IS NOW IN SESSION!

As the re-trial for justice for Stephen Lawrence (Guardian article) begins, we ask “where are we now” through a day of workshops and an evening performance to expose Britain’s injustices.
Concerned about how young people are being treated? Get the feeling that justice is becoming more and more hard to find? That institutional racism is alive and kicking the next generation? Deaths in police custody. Increased surveillance. Fortress Britain. Cuts in education. Protests, ‘riots’ and looting…

Young people from Leeds Young Authors and Shake! alongside community activists, academics, and artists ask what does the present and future hold?

Participate in the discussion. Take part in creative workshops to find another way. Celebrate the struggle against injustice with two landmark films.
Admission is FREE but email for a place



I finally have one. “Ok why another blog?”, you might say.

Well, this blog is dedicated to the BIG projects and productions, the ones that take me all over the world, challenge my working artist head, that push my career as an artist forward. These blog posts trace the trajectory of the working poet that is “Zena Edwards”.

Zena Edwards BlogSpot is the intimate Zee.  Purely poetry, some photography, some  muse sketchings and a book review every now and then. There may be a duplication or two but check the archive and the labels for more of my work. Thanks for your support.

Go to Zena Edwards BlogSpot for my latest offerings

WHEN THE 33’s SPIN – Music, Race & a Little Girl – Pt. 1

 Its Black History Month in the UK and the other day I remembered what I used to do as a little girl child, subconsciously, to retain a sense of self as a child of colour. This poem came out, the memories came out and it was hard to stop…
Eleven and home alone
with the turntable
and the shiny liquorice  platter
playing a set
for memories to be made
treasures and cuckoo stories
of broken hearts, of lost things found,
of courage liberated
the triumphant fist of blues
the spectrum of emotion played  in those grooves
onyx plates of Soul Food
Bobby Womack’s gravel molasses tones
riffs stretching notes  beyond the elasticity of time
Funkadelic dooloops scoop me on my roller skates:
ripped carpets, broken door handles 
Let’s Get It On – big peoples music, it felt new
Marvin understood the expanse of a night for lovers hue 

and why did Anne watch and listen to the rain 
if it made her feel so blue?
I would come to understand, as woman, later
but I know something in my new soul moved
as they crooned…
Written By Zena Edwards©

FEMFEST – a Festival for Women Playwrights – an interview with Hope McIntyre of Sarasvati Productions

“FemFest was developed in response to my hearing from women playwrights that they were having trouble getting their work produced. It was clear that by not getting productions it was then harder to get more productions. We established FemFest to break this cycle and in hopes that by showcasing the work of women playwrights, more of their work would be picked up by other companies. We also set up FemFest to allow for a networking opportunity for these women. Having a place to come and share work, learn from other artists and just talk about being a playwright seemed invaluable at the time and
continues to be important. In the long-term we’d love to get to the point where women are being produced so much that we don’t need a festival to showcase them. We are working towards a day when FemFest is unnecessary, but we know that is a very long-term goal. For our immediate future our hope is to continue to find ways to offer women artists what they need most. We don’t plan to grow any larger but do plan to continue to explore new
initiatives to work with the community.”

What Hope had to say – A review of my Artist-in-Residency for the FemFest, Canada, 2011

Here are a few words from Hope McIntyre, the Artistic Director of Femfest, who took a risk and invited me to come to Winnipeg, Canada, and be artist in residence for FemFest.
It was an honour.

“It was an absolute pleasure having Zena Edwards in Winnipeg for FemFest 2011. Our theme was ‘Staging Inspiration’ and she certainly inspiredaudiences and emerging artists who had the pleasure of coming into contact with her.

Over 100 students at the University of Winnipeg Department of Theatre and Film attended a lecture she presented on her work. The students were engaged throughout the lecture and found it valuable in relation to their future career paths. Hearing about Zena’s journey, they realized that there are other forms of artistic practice besides traditional theatre and
they also learned the importance of experiencing the world they live in. Zena also facilitated Continue reading “What Hope had to say – A review of my Artist-in-Residency for the FemFest, Canada, 2011”

I SPEAK FROM… a “lecture” by Zena Edwards for students of Winnipeg University – An hour of sharing the life and times of a writer performer.

Imagine being asked to speak for just 10, maybe 15 minutes about your life and how you came to be where you are today. There are two reactions to this request. Cold fear or hot excitement, both to the thought  of having the spotlight on you. In either case, respectively, you would speak too little, missing out the juicy bits you’d kick yourself later for not having said (could have made you sound a whole heap more interesting). Or  there’s speaking too much, starting from your first tooth falling out to the day you realized that mortgages are no fun. What do you leave out, or put in and why should people care anyway? Continue reading “I SPEAK FROM… a “lecture” by Zena Edwards for students of Winnipeg University – An hour of sharing the life and times of a writer performer.”

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