Home Speak@ SOAS – Happy International Mother Tongue Day!

It was with great pleasure, I collaborated with the brilliant minded Mandana Seydfinnipur to create “Home Speak” as part of the School of Oriental and African Studies ‘Language Festival 2017.’ Seydfinnipur, director of the Department of Ancient and Dying Languages wanted to shake up the SOAS Institution for a moment for International Mother Tongue Day….

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…

Human Code Computer Tongue

University College London, Apples and Snakes poetry organisation and poets, Zena Edwards from Verse in Dialog in collaboration present Human Code Computer Tongue. When: Monday 20 February 2017, 10am-4pm Where: UCL, 5th Floor Reception, One Euston Square, 40 Melton St, London NW1 2FD (Please report to the ground floor reception) Tickets: FREE – but booking essential! Booking: To book…

Legacy – Step One in Being a Freelance Artist

“Legacy” – Writing to make footprints that won’t blow away on the wind This goes without saying when it comes to the arts. I have been involved in youth arts (via writing and performance mainly) since 2000 and its youthful voices that re-imagine our worlds, the physical and emotional world, the fighting and resting world,…

What Women Believe – finding our poetry

What do you believe? Take a moment. Sit with that question. Bullet point your conclusions on a piece of paper and ask yourself, “could that change tomorrow?” Every second of the day we are asked to believe in something.  Something nor from us. Particularly as women. Often we are asked to believe in something that…

Mind Meandering #6 – Happy International Women’s Month

Be your own bright dawn and your own bronzing dusk Love your own onyx shadow and bunished ivory tusk Be the steady hand that holds the quaking other Be the found one to the life you lost Be the open door when hurt closed the heart in your chest Learn to love the very body…

Ekphrasis in Action – An Out-Spoken Masterclass

I have been attempting to vocationally reconcile my love for photography and painting, sketches and imagery with my love of poetic writing and and would be more fitting than to run a masterclass on Ekprhrasis. I’m also in the headspace that art has work to do and I want to see incorporate politically charged with…

Blind Spot – Race and Environmental Activism

When Virtual Migrants were set to devise a new production, “Continent Chop Chop”, directed by Amanda Huxtable, performance poet, editor, activist and fellow Shake! core team member, Simon Murray asked me on board but in video presence. “What is CONTINENT CHOP CHOP? ‘Continent Chop Chop’ is a touring transmedia production linking narratives of climate change…

LLSB – Long Live Southbank

If you’ve heard about the Long Live Southbank campaign, then you’ll know it was 180,000 members and signatories pushing back against the Southbank Centre, a national arts venue, trying to take over a nation treasure to build coffee shops and schmancy restaurants.  When I heard about the campaign I got it. As a poet, I got…

Mind Meandering #1 – On Storytelling

What started as short blurb with an image for a Facebook post turned into a small project for me – Mind Meanderings. FB: what’s on your mind? What’s your mood? Me: …….*sighs*…. Zena Edwards79 strongly believes #CreativityIsLife #Stories:ReflectionsofCreationWeAre I often go on and on about Storytelling. Because we live by them. What we speak, what…

‘Othered’ Eco-Activism and a Jacket Potato – a poem

In January, fellow poets Sai Murray, Selina Nwulu and I were commissioned to write poetry in response to an event called Weather Fronts exploring the storytelling of climate activism and sustainable futures. The lab-type event hosted by Free Word in Farringdon, London had attracted a healthy number of scientists and writers to see if the…

The Voice of Burntwood Girls

Last Summer, as part of the Battersea Arts Centre Heritage Project, I worked with a group of young women whose creative maturity really inspired me.  Given the freedom to use film, paint, mixed media and photography to express themselves, they took basic ideas about the representation and power of girls and women’s voices and ran…

Tribute to Jayne Cortez & a Poem

So so moved and honoured to be a part of this line-up. Voices like Jayne’s returned my voice to me through their works – the one that permits me to be the Artist and Woman and Human of African descent I am wholly meant to be. The voice that permits me to raise it from…

Meet – Proms Plus Late

BBC radio invited me to perform for a series of after Prom show events called  ‘Proms Plus Late.’ I performed 4 pieces and the Freddie Gavita Quartet played two tracks of epic proportions. Editing must have been tricky. The producer of the show chose my poem ‘Meet’. There was really great sound in the venue…

Meet – Proms Plus Late

BBC radio invited me to perform for a series of after Prom show events called  ‘Proms Plus Late.’ I performed 4 pieces and the Freddie Gavita Quartet played two tracks of epic proportions. Editing must have been tricky. The producer of the show chose my poem ‘Meet’. There was really great sound in the venue…

Meet – Proms Plus Late

BBC radio invited me to perform for a series of after Prom show events called  ‘Proms Plus Late.’ I performed 4 pieces and the Freddie Gavita Quartet played two tracks of epic proportions. Editing must have been tricky. The producer of the show chose my poem ‘Meet’. There was really great sound in the venue…

What an absolute privilege…

… an honour, blessing, and  a straight up bligh of the greatest degree. To perform on the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage with Baab Maal, to have him compose music to your poetry, to sing on the same stage and have him say in his alert, bright voice, “Yes you. Very good, you are very good….

Travelling Light Goes to Canada

At present  I am sitting in a hotel room in downtown Winnipeg unable to sleep because of jet lag. Its 2.16am Canada time, 8.16am London time. I am here because of FEMFEST – a festival of women playwrights and performers who battle hard to get their work produced because it is a very  masculine dominated…

Writing for England – a Young Black British perspective

Last month I was privileged to work wth Talawa theatre company on a new Young Peoples Theatre production called “I am England” directed by  Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh. My role was to engage the `Young People (or YPs) with writing, with the narrative of a new young and black british government being elected when the country finds…

BREAKIN’ CONVENTION

Yesterday it was all about the power moves and the sweat pants and hairspray. I have never seen so many mad hair do’s stuck to foreheads, flying off every which-a-way. Then there was the ants-in-yer-pants massive, jiggling bodies in tank tops or heavy cotton sweats. So many budding young dancers itching in their seats to…