Your Portrait – Observer Review 2nd Sept ’18

On Sunday 2nd September the Observer New Review published an interview with 7 Poets.  We each posed a question  600 word limit.  The questions were not light. They asked to dig deep and speak about the role and purpose of the poet in 21st century. As a poet conciseness is part of the craft of…

Eyes on the prize… award.

In February, I was nominated for the Jerwood Compton Poetry  Fellowship. I can’t deny I would have been really ecstatic to have won the £15,000 award, as well as the have had a multitude of opportunities such an ward in the world of literature affords you. It would to tide me over in the most…

Zena E’s The Writery for Freeing Writers

The Writery for Freeing Writers For the past year or so I have been collating tips, techniques and quirky writing prompts to help stay inspired for my writing. When I think about what it means to be a free writer I refer to the writing exercise of free flow, some quality free association –. Imagination…

Verbalisation with BeatFreeks at BRep

Birmingham with Beatfreeks on Wednesday 27th July. “How do you find your inspiration for your work?” is the most frequently asked question I get as a writer who performs her work. I can’t deny I am often stumped at the question. I trawl my brain for the one thing  but it just doesn’t work like…

Mind Meandering #5 – You’re Too Much

“You’re too much, too big, too open, too tall, you’re hands are too big, you’re too conscious, too choosy, too negative, too bold, too brash, too timid, too dark, too skinny, too direct, too sure of yourself, too placated, too self conscious, too doubtful, too strong, too humble, too black girl, too black, too man-ish,…

Keeping them Alive – 13 Dead, Nothing Said! – The New Cross Fire

On 25th March 1981, 25,000(!) people of African descent from all over the UK marched through the streets of London (imagine this) on Black Liberation Day as a staggering response to the deaths of 13 young people in who attended a birthday party in New Cross today in 1981.

Food Fight – Shake Youth Arts Actvism and Media

Shake! Rides again. As a core member, co-devising, structuring and facilitating Shake Youth Art, Activism and Media project, I decided to get personal in promoting the next intensive course – #FoodFight. Here is the blog entry for the project’s blog using personal experiences with my vascillating relationship with food. Thursday, 2 July 2015 Thoughts on…

The Poetic Debaters Project

I have been a-brewing a project that I have a deep connection to and I think it’s because it involves all the geeky things that I love to do behind closed doors – reading for research, writing for passion, engagement and education, and devising performance to invigorate and inspire. It has been a project nearly…

Spark – Hope in their Hearts

It was quite a daunting ask, for me to be on  panel speaking about something as abstract as ‘hope’. Even as a poet it is hard to steer clear of cliche´s about olive leaves in the beaks of birds on the wing. All we know is that it is something that can be felt  in…

The Soul Manufacturing Company at Whitechapel Gallery

Last year I was commissioned to make a series of visits to read to some potters at the Whitechapel Gallery. My readings were a part of the Visual Artist/Performer, Urban Planner and Activist, Theaster Gates,  Soul Manufacturing Company for  The Spirit of Utopia  exhibition. This interactive installation was an extension of the Gates’ previous works…

SHAKE! Youth Art and Activism – My Thought on the 3 R’s

I have been working on this incredible youth project for the last four years. Shake! is Platform London’s youth initiative which happen twice a year as a February school’s half-term and August Summer holidays intensive course. They take 6 months to devise with themes I would have been frightened of as teenager, more concerned with…

Parenting the Artist. Giving the Artist’s Manager a Break

So, we made it through 2013 in pretty much one piece. Now, to continue the quest to thriving. As I’m a freelance, self managing artist, I need to have work strategies in place for the fractious haggling of time and energy between the needs of the artist-self and the independent arts business manager/agent-self (she’s a…

Women Make Music – Yes. I do.

I was recently asked to be guest of the month for The PRS Foundation because my last commission was funded by the Women Make Music Award. Why is it important for these kinds of initiatives with pots of money to exist highlights the fact, that the imbalance in the representation of women in the music industry…

Supporting the Legendary Hugh Masekela

I’m still tripping that this tour has been offered to me… I’m touring as a support to Legends South African Jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Pianist, Larry Willis. November 5th was the first date of this tour and meeting Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis was one of the coolest experiences with musicians I’ve had. Watching…

The Laugh – Zena on Def Poetry

Found this by chance. I thought I’d lost this piece of footage as Def Poetry had taken it down… In 2002, I got a phone call from my then  poetry agent, 57 Productions, that they’d got a call from Def Poetry. I was so fresh into my working career as a poet that I didn’t…

Power Plant: WPD Relationship @ MAC Birmingham

When Apples and Snakes Poetry Organisation invited me to run a masterclass session of the writer/performer relationship, I was excited about flexing this muscle again after some time. What was meant to be a two hour sesssion turned in to four hour of exchange. Directors gained a deeper insight on how to listen to the…

Guest writer for The Arts Award

<The creative work I do with young people is some of the most rejuvenating and rewarding parts of my job. So when Arts Award asked to to write about why I do it for their website, I was more than happy to. CLICK TO GO THE ARTS AWARD WEBSITE AND ARTICLE

Shake! Youth Arts, Race, Media and Power Project 2013 Is Go!

I have been a core project consultant and deviser of Platform London’s Youth Project, ‘Shake!’, and finally the time has come for it’s delivery. Shake! has been in development since it’s pilot 2010 and successfully received two years funding thanks to the hard work of Jane Trowell at Platform. I spent a day with the …

South Africa – Cultures Worth Fighting For

Today, I want to write about the South Africa I love. Not about Malema and Zuma, the travesty of the ANC legacy post-Apartheid or the shocking images of Platinum Miners in South Africa mown down by security forces (warning: graphic video) last week. I want to write about the South Africa that has so much…

The UK “Riot” Maze

My own mixed-feelings and thoughts around the UK riots have been just as compelling to me as the multitude of articles, conferences, panel discussions, arts pieces that have been born from them. I have concluded to think about the riots as a sort of “tilling the soil” for  planting seed of re-imagining, using this ‘opportunity’…

The UK “Riot” Maze

My own mixed-feelings and thoughts around the UK riots have been just as compelling to me as the multitude of articles, conferences, panel discussions, arts pieces that have been born from them. I have concluded to think about the riots as a sort of “tilling the soil” for  planting seed of re-imagining, using this ‘opportunity’…

The UK “Riot” Maze

My own mixed-feelings and thoughts around the UK riots have been just as compelling to me as the multitude of articles, conferences, panel discussions, arts pieces that have been born from them. I have concluded to think about the riots as a sort of “tilling the soil” for  planting seed of re-imagining, using this ‘opportunity’…

London University – Talk London

I was asked by Dr Monica Germana  to speak at London University on a panel for a series of lectures entitled “21st Century Writing London”, I had to speak about London and its effect on me as a writer. I was in good company:   Oladipo Agboluaje, Inua Ellams, Ben Musgrave and Nina Steiger. I seemed…

SECURITY GOES TO JAPAN

A promo snippet for Security – the Woman Show in the Shizuoka Theatre Festival 2010. Making history. The first UK show EVER to be performed at this prestigious theatre fest. Honoured.

CONVERSATIONS: TO INTIMACY AND BEYOND

I have been blessed with an amazing team of people to make the next phase of the development of the Conversations project. There is so much to talk about in terms of the dream for this project…will flesh it out later. But I will say that this is  technically phase three of the project because…

AN ARTISTS MODUS OPERANDI

Dedicated to the artist – the warrior engaged in daily struggle for all the truth in creativity, untainted and ego-free. Seeing past the masks of the industry to the reach the heart and spirit of the open ear and eye. The Artist So here it is Nothing more nothing less This My body These bones…

ITS ALL POLLOCKS!

Corr Blimey! It’s nuts!! Emails, phone calls, meetings, emails fone calls, meetings, femails, mone talls eetingz teephails lone malls peetfings…!! No food. No sleep… as for writing a poem? When’s that miracle supposed to happen?!!! ……aaaarrggh!! 😮 And I wake up some days thinking. “What the (expletive)!! What The (beep beep) am I doing all…

ALL ABOARD THE ALBANY!!

Now I gotta tell you, there is a multitude of reasons I love the Albany in Deptford. I’d go there just for the food. But what I love about the place is that as a community venue, I feel it is used BY THE COMMUNITY! There’s theatre, live (really live) music, performance poetry, evening courses,…