Ayup mi ducks!

Apologies that it’s been so long since I wrote a blog post- but yer know- man’s been busy winning awards, releasing books, gigging and educating the fine folks on the art of poetry etc. So where do I start? That’s the question I’m asking myself! It’s been an absolutely crazy year. I’ve tried to update everything I’ve been unto in the media and press/published sections (but I’ll have undoubtedly have missed something out so please forgive me if I have).

So last year, last year, last year: I was proud to score a hat-trick at the Saboteur awards where I picked up the title of ‘Best Spoken Word Performer in the UK’ along with ‘best regular spoken word night’ for my baby that is Word Wise, we also scooped ‘best collaborative works’ for the Man-Up project which I was lead writer on with the wonderful folks at Restoke. Last year also saw me perform live on the pitch for my beloved DCFC three times and I was lucky enough to do it once again just last week against Manchester United in the F.A. Cup. My ‘We Are Derby’ poem also made it onto the big screen at Wembley stadium for the EFL playoff final. I was also lucky enough to be commissioned by the BBC and National Poetry Day and my poem ‘Nowt But Pride’ was the main poem on the BBC website, I also got interviewed for the Contains Strong Language Festival by the legend (and fellow football poet) Ian McMillan. I also appeared on BBC Radio 4 on a programme called Powerlines which was all about us working-class scruff that operate in the poetry world! (I’m gonna try and get a load of the radio stuff I’ve done clipped off and onto Soundcloud in the near future). I also released my second collection ‘Our Man’ through Burning Eye Books, which can be bought here: https://jamiethrasivoulou.bigcartel.com/product/our-man I also toured the collection as a one-man-show at the Edinburgh, Greater Manchester, and Buxton Fringes and did my first Scottish tour with the lovely folks at Sonnet Youth back in December. I also ran loads of education projects, fulfilled tonnes of commissions and loads more, thanks for everyone who supported anything I did.

So what for this year? I’ve started a podcast called ‘Word Wise Podcast’ which you can access via Spotify and the usual outlets (There’s a link to it and the Youtube version after these brackets): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_giYD2Sqoo

I’m also running plenty of educational projects in schools, prisons, colleges etc. I’m also still doing a bit of lecturing at the University of Derby. I’m also working on some interesting commissions and collaborations so keep popping back and I’ll do try and do better to keep this blog updated. (But please remember that the sign of a busy writer is one that doesn’t have time to update their website!) 😉

Best wishes and take care

J

Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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Saboteur Awards Shortlist!

Ayup people,

I’m absolutely over the moon to announce that my work has been shortlisted in no less than 3 categories for the Saboteur 2019 UK Spoken Word Awards. I’ve been listed for Best Spoken Word Performer in the UK, Word Wise has been listed for ‘Best Regular Spoken Word Night’ and ‘Man Up’ by Restoke has been listed for ‘Best Collaborative Work’. We’d be wholeheartedly grateful if you could vote for these projects using this form: https://form.jotformeu.com/91033853215350

Exciting times indeed! Let’s bring it home!

Until next time! J x

Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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2019 is shaping up nicely!

Reciting the We Are Derby poem to over 400 pupils @ Lawn Primary School

Ayup people!

So 2019 has definitely gotten off to a bang! I’ve been rushed off my boots with lots of education work. This includes my first ever requested encore in a school assembly to over 400 kids, who were chanting along to my We Are Derby Poem (See photo above). I’ve also enjoyed being one of the lead writers visiting schools on behalf of SLAMJAM in Lincolnshire. I’ve also recently been involved in the This Is Derby project on behalf of the wonderful team at Deda. I also held a series of workshops as a visiting lecturer at both Keele and Derby Universities.

The next instalment of last year’s ACE funded Travelling Band project (Constell8) is also off to a start! Keep checking back for more dates on that one! In March I put out a new live video for my poem COBWEBS from the February UNISLAM victory which has been getting some good reactions over social media, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKs596bNhU4&t=94s There’s also some footage of me reading some new material that was recorded live @ Side Gallery for the Small Town Inertia exhibition in Newcastle back in January, Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zExJzq05NGs&t=348s

I’m lucky enough to have had my new show accepted for a week-long run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the fantastic people at Laughing Horse. Our Man will feature from Monday 19th until Sunday 25th August at the aptly named Raging Bull from 6:00 PM each night. The show is made up of poems from my next collection of the same title that is due to be published through Burning Eye Books in July. The self-titled poem was published recently in the Morning Star newspaper and can be read here: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/c/poetry-picketline-our-man-1

Finally in this news round-up I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ll be supporting the legend Linton Kwesi Johnson as part of his performance @ Nottingham Poetry Festival on May 4th! More Information here: https://nottinghampoetryfestival.com/events/npf-ntu-curated-and-created-present-linton-kwesi-johnson-jamie-thrasivoulou-bridie-squires/ I’ve also got a tasty appearance for the opening of Cheltenham Poetry Festival on 25th April-tickets can be bought here: https://cheltenhampoetryfest.co.uk/outspoken-trailblazing-spoken-word-and-pioneering-poetry/

Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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Collaborative Poem with Martin Hayes

Pleased to have a collaborative piece with the brilliant Martin Hayes published via the Culture Matters Website. Hit the following link to access it! http://www.culturematters.org.uk/index.php/arts/poetry/item/2991-pigeon-problem

Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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A Great Start to 2019

From Left: Jamie Thrasivoulou (AKA: Moody Me), Jonah Corren, Chloe Bettles, Hannah Ledlie, & Memory Bhunu- AKA Team BRUM: UNISLAM 2019 Winners

Ayup mi ducks and happy new year to thee!

I’m thrilled to report that the year has started in style as my ace University slam poetry team-mates and I, managed to finish FIRST PLACE in the 2019 UNISLAM finals. We saw off another 24 universities in what was a completely enjoyable and gruelling experience in equal measure. The standard of poetry was second-to-none and I firstly want to give a huge shoutout to our fellow finalists: Strathclyde, Durham, and Leeds Universities who finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively. Also a massive shoutout to all the other teams involved with particular mentions to: Leeds Becket, UEA, Derby (of course), Leicester DMU, Loughborough, Bath Spa and Sheffield, whom we all particularly bonded with over the weekend. Massive hats off to Toby Campion and his team of willing volunteers, judges, and hosts who truly made it a great event. The picture above is taken from the Grand Finals at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham, prior to our victory; hence my moody expression. Look out for us as we’ll be back performing at the Old Rep Theatre on Saturday 16th Feb, as well as the Hammer & Tongues final @ The Royal Albert Hall next year!

In other news I’ve been back at work at HMP Foston Hall and I’m happy to say we have some new group members who’ve been a pleasure to work with. Their poetry never ceases to amaze me and I look forward to more slick bars being presented. I’m also happy to announce that my next book and show Our Man is still on course for a July release via the wonderful people at Burning Eye Books I’m very proud of this one, expect a plethora of live dates around its release (more about this in due course). For now though I’m happy to confirm dates at The Chesterfields Labour Club on March 2nd and also cracking the seal on The Cheltenham Poetry Festival on April 25th! (see live page for details). There’s also some videos from my Pride Park performance back in December, which are linked underneath the picture below! I’ll also add them to the videos section! There’ll be a new studio version of We Are Derby along shortly with a stinking new video. I’ve not forgotten you Rams fans. Expect to hear my gob on Radio Derby’s Sportscene in the not-so-distant future as well! There’s also a nice review of my 2017 debut poetry collection The Best Of A Bad Situation from Write Out Loud head over to the review section to see that.

Link to WE ARE DERBY video below:

https://youtu.be/cq2dptV9Jso


Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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A great way to end the year!

So on Monday 17th December I was invited by Derby County FC to recite my poem ‘We Are Derby’ live at Pride Park Stadium for the East Midlands Derby between Derby County & Nottingham Forest. Here’s a photo of me sound-checking the Friday before.

I’m happy to say I survived the onslaught of the Forest fans & smashed the poem out word-for-word. To perform to that many people provided a ridiculous buzz & I can’t thank the Rams fans enough for the gratitude they’ve shown for the poem. There’s a video of me performing it on the pitch at the game to follow so keep your eyes peeled for that. I also have reason to believe that this makes me the first ever poet to read at an East Midlands Derby, as well as many other possible claims to accolade! I’ve begun my investigations so I’ll keep you updated as to when my notoriety is confirmed 😉

I’m also happy to announce that my first date of 2019 is an opening for the exhibition of J. A. Mortram’s Small-Town-Inertia exhibition @The Fantastic Side Gallery in Newcastle.

In other news: I’m happy to say that I’ll be teaming up with a load more great artists for the second phase of the Ace-funded Travelling band project; ‘Constellations’ will start in 2019 so keep your eyes peeled for that.

As I undertake the final year of my MA studies, I’ll also be performing as part of the University of Birmingham Slam poetry team in the Unislam finals in February.

More announcements to follow but until then enjoy the festive season.


Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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Gigs galore & Residency

A-up mi ducks,

It’s been a very busy time: I’ve countless readings/performances coming up so head over to the live/readings page to find out when and where!

I’ve also secured a position as the shadow-writer-in-residence for the Writing East Midlands:Write here-Sanctuary Project. This is a project aiming to support refugees and Asylum seekers in the facilitation of their own stories written in English. I’m ultra-mega-proper happy to be involved in such a wonderful venture and I’m looking forward to doing my bit to make refugees welcome here in Derby!

I also have some other amazing news but I’m not allowed to tell you that yet….

In the meantime check this, buy tickets and come!

https://www.facebook.com/events/275324729502452/

Also I’m performing at this

https://www.facebook.com/events/1629371534042050/

And this:

 

 

Author: Jamie Thrasivoulou

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Bleak, blank, black and white dots

 

Originally Published In CITY-ZINE: Issue 14, July 2011

 

Bleak, blank, black and white dots

 

Today; let’s paint a picture, nothing perfect, but something truly unrepresentative of the truth; Part-scandal/part-fact/part-fiction

The F.B.I decides to take a grassroots approach in a bid to locate and capture an 81-year-old Mafioso member…he’s evaded you long enough let him die running…milk carton advertisements are so last decade.

Will Cheryl and Ashley’s marriage work itself out? Who gives a shit?

There’s loadsa bee’s swarming down Regent Street; a real dilemma for the rich businessmen and their suit-tailoring monopolies; nature has them down on all fours licking the pavement for remnants of honey to soothe them for their loss of money.

Reasonable force can now be used to protect your own property! About time you daft twats- Not that I’d need permission to batter a thief for breaking into my yard; I always use the powers of the force in a reasonable manner… Like Yoda on steroids recovering from extreme- post-gangrene-treatment…you’d have thought Lucas would have sorted it out for him- but no poor old master had to wait for Obama’s health-bill to go through; it looks like he’s gonna be waiting a while for that last medical appointment and that prescription of skin-ointment; Oh to be a pretty boy like Beckham or Depp; unfortunately I left my skin products in safeway on the counter, when I suddenly came to my senses and realized I was a bloke.

Dictate not truths and burn the Thesaurus; one word is enough for any; simplify the linguistic code and replicate our tabloids; simple, short, concise words like; sun, star, and mail…not to mention pretty visions like the times and mirror, mirror on the floor smashed into a thousand pieces.

The shards of a nation fighting not to be Britain…At least we might do well at the footy in the Olympics if Gareth Bale’s on our side….but oh no, what’s this more deceit and lies- The egg firmly on Derby’s face…just what we needed! More bastard redundancies- the perfect accompaniment for a city on its death bed…A city that could be anywhere in the U.K….It’s all just as grim North of London!

Make squatting illegal and carrying a knife ok…as long as you don’t threaten anyone with it.

Teenage Hacker arrested in Essex…clever bastard…smashing geographical stereotypes.

Review the culling of badgers…rate it on a scale of one to five….Stars; just like our government celebrities from the commons,  live, on BBC parliament- Big Brother house to the politicians…Oh how they wish they were Lords…all in good time…failing to heed to warnings from unions….everyone will strike unprecedentedly for their pensions…you aint seen nothing yet Cameron…you and your mate Kenneth are gonna tackle drug addiction in prisons…but we have to ask ourselves a serious question in relation to this grotesque task- is there any gold at the end of the rainbow or is that just a fantasy…hmm the similarities are uncanny…never mind prison what about our other institutions…namely our places of education…nine mistakes on GCSE and A-level papers! Who the fuck is setting the questions? Educational ministerial monkeys…more vigilance required…stop this lingual halitosis and hire someone else to do the job properly…Life in Syria lived in weekly protest; men women and children shot dead in the name of democracy by the orders of hypocrisy…

Greeks contest in Athens-Austerity measures needed; everything is needed…we need to follow America -we can do it best through media; with televised party-debates to fool the nation Clegg’s great. But now we see the true picture and it’s bleak…black and white fuzzy dots just like when the signals lost. Hopeless but not defeated; in dire need of fine-tuning;

And so I wait for the day, when the cats at the top are in tune with us rats at the bottom…but we all know that aint never gonna happen.

 

 

Copyright © J. Thrasivoulou 2012, steal it and bear the ramifications of your actions.

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I don’t know but he does

 

Originally Published in CITY-ZINE: Issue 10, November, 2010

 

I don’t know but he does

Stewart was pacing about, looking anxious. He was waltzing around his living-room in a furious kind of dance. There was no music on. No television either, what was he doing? Was he repeating tribal rhythms in his head? Was his mind simply in another, far-out, more rhythmic kind of place?

I don’t know, but he did, sort of.

-Ware tha fuck avva putit?

I gesture at the cat for some kind of answer…

The first sign of madness is…talking to animals, asking them for answers to questions…Just tell that to the dog whisperer.

-What the fuckin’ el avva dun wivvit? I adit a minit-ago.

I’m just walking around like a complete and utter twat; looking for it. For what you ask, my marbles?

NO

Not quite, I never had them to lose, none of us did. Its water, that’s what I’m looking for. A bottle of; fresh from the fridge, I took it out but five minutes ago. But I can’t think where it is. Where have I put it? The thing with me is; there’s a talking me, and there’s a thinking me. But we’re both different. We aren’t at all the same, in any way shape or form, we are opposite. But we are one; we will always be one, but the water man the fucking water. Why the fuck are you looking in the fruit-bowl? Does it resemble ones thoughts? My thoughts, they aren’t yours no more sunny Jim, you’re a few apples, Sh-short of an orchard my boy, better call FRANK.

-FUCK FRANK, FUCK- HIM, FUCK- HIM, FUCK-HIM AND EVERY FUCKING BODY YOU BASTARD WHERE HAVE YOU PUT MY WATER? WHY DO YOU ALWAYS FUCKING DO THIS TO ME?

I’m, well him; he’s beating the wall…ha-ha, chuckle-chuckle, giggidy-giggidy.

What the fuck am I, I mean he, what the fuck is he doing?

I assure you that these are not my actions; I would never plan such a vile and stereo-typically repulsive act of self-vandalism. The whole thing is bloody preposterous.

And still no fucking water, I need water as well Stewart you buffoon. Where is it Stewart oh where is it sonny? Oh where is it Stewy boy? Where is it lad? Where is it kid? What are you crying for child? Are your hands cut? Do they hurt? Pour some vinegar in my friend, maybe some salt as well, and then tear at your own flesh, with your own teeth. It will taste good, it might hurt at first but escape the pain, let me take over. Mind over matter, you are as good as vegetable matter. A pointless existence leadeth you. Yoda is summoning the darkness, the dark-side of the force. Legislative manslaughter. Cries and whispers and murmurs. God this is fun, man, you’re real fun Stewart!

BUT NOW I’M THIRSTY…

LOOK BEHIND THE DOOR STEWY. LOOK BEHIND THE DOOR.

I’m back, hands hurting, broken but I’m all right, I didn’t eat my flesh if that’s what you’re thinking; Although I may do later, if he keeps on asking me. I don’t like to upset him; I don’t like to upset anyone.

So now I’m gonna look behind the door, whatever he, I, we, mean by that.

-FUCK IT’S FUCKING THERE, ITS THERE, ITS HERE, HOW DID YOU KNOW IT WAS HERE, YOU BASTARD DAMN YOU, DAMN YOU, I HEAD-BUTT GLASS TO FUCK YOU MOTHER-BITCH

He’s gone and head-butted the bloody glass-panel in the kitchen door now. What’s he like eh? Mad as fuck and still no water. He’s out cold instantly; the glass has severed one of the main arteries in his neck. He’s drowning in his own fluid. Blood, Puddles of blood galore, the cat looks on. His eyes remain open, his hand reaching for his own neck, trying to strangle his way to freedom, out of this life and onto another. He doesn’t want to die like this, not bleeding, not on the floor with the cat watching. Not like this.

Then the oxygen and blood, it stops. Gone forever, replaced for piss and shit in an hour or so. And then the stench, the smell of death, it will come to us all one day. But I live on watching him, laughing all the way to his afterlife.

 

Copyright © J. Thrasivoulou 2012, steal it and bear the ramifications of your actions.

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Rainathon (days of a dumpster)

 

Originally Published In CITY-ZINE: Issue 12, Feb 2011 

Online Version Available Here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/96193085/Zine-12

 

Rainathon (days of a dumpster)

I started work for an agency; I’d been there six-months (on ‘n off). One Monday I goes in ‘n they ‘ad a position on the bins. I took it; piece of cake, I was thinking.

Half an hour later the Bin-Lorry came round the corner and picked us up; I couldn’t believe me eyes; I knew one of the lads in the front; Smudge, a geezer I used to knock about with back in the day.

Him and the geezer driving (Kenny) made us feel welcome; showed us the ropes ‘n that.

That first day they stopped at the chippy for dinner; cuz I’d not brung any with me. The weather was pretty nice that day; I remember getting a right sweat on sat in the front of the lorry and yammin’ all that hot food down me gob.

We knocked off about three-o-clock that day; finished the round a little bit later than usual, Smudge ‘n Kenny said. Fuck-it though, I don’t think they was being funny about it; don’t think they were trying to hint at oat. They knew it was me first day so I think they were all good with it.

From the Tuesday onwards I got me Mrs to make us a pack-up; nice sandwiches, loadsa crisps ‘n chocolate ‘n all that.

The first week flew by, the weather was proper sound. I was buzzin’ with me pay-packet the following Monday; I’d earnt more than I’d ever earnt in me life. That night I went out on the piss proper style, me n Smudge was on-it-like-a-car-bonnet!! Avvin it proper.

The next morning me enthusiasm for the job was beginning to wear-off. At first I’d enjoyed the running about ‘n that; felt like it was doing me good ‘n keeping me fit. That morning it was different though; it just wasn’t the same. The kebab I couldn’t even remember eating started to repeat on us, I ended up pukin me guts-up on only the fourth street. Smudge ‘n Ken were laughing at us like fuck; the bastards, bet I looked a right-sight though. I vowed to quit drinking after that day, at least on school-nights.

I kept up me vows for the remainder of the week ‘n got smashed at the weekend. This became a routine for the next month or so; a true WEEKEND OFFENDER, but I was beginning to dread the Monday morning.

But despite the dread Monday morning rolled on next week ‘n I went to work. I was beginning to get really pissed-off with the way people leave their bins, always wonky ‘n full to the brim, heavy as fuck to push along when you have to do pissin’ eighty to a hundred on every bastard street. I was happy when lunch-hour came, I scoffed me food down like a savage.

A couple more days went past ‘n then it was the Thursday, it looked like it was gonna piss it down. I walked to the depot anyway. That Kenny was beginning to piss us off, he kept going on about their old-partner Dezzy; a legend him ‘n Smudge had said. ‘N that was fine; it was fine to think of an old-colleague to be of legendary status, that was not the problem. The problem was that Kenny kept dropping fucking remarks like;

Not as fast as our old ledgy-Dezzy is he Smudge? ‘n stuff like that. It was funny the first few times but I was beginning to take it personally.

By the time Kenny ‘n Smudge pulled out the lock-up and picked us up it was proper tearing-it-down, I couldn’t fucking believe it. I got in the front ‘n Kenny was grinning, the smarmy bastard, I was feeling fucked-off with it all.

We started the rounds ‘n I finished off the first couple of streets; I was soaking wet-through, I’d never been so bloody wet.

By the time I got back in the front and we were approaching the third street I’d already decided what I was gonna do. We pulled up at the top of the street; Renfew Street. ‘N then I did what I knew I was gonna do;

I ran, I ran like fuck!

Luckily me mate lived round the corner so I knew where I was running to, so I jogged on and never looked back and never set foot in the depot again. I could here Smudge shouting as I was leggin’ it-

-METZ, METZ! WHAT THA FUCKER YA DOING? DON’T LEAVE US IN THA SHIT!

I felt bad for Smudge cuz he was a good lad but me days of carting people’s shit around were well and truly over. The twats at the agency even gave me a full day’s pay for me marathon!

A couple of weeks later I got on at a factory round the corner from where I live. I’ve worked there ever since I ran away from the bins.

This job felt pretty steady until recently; all the government cut-backs ‘n that; they’ve been laying-off left, right ‘n centre. They say on the news that things will improve in the next couple of years. Apparently them Conservatives ‘n Liberal Democrats know what’s going on ‘n they’re gonna sort it out. It’s that kinder stuff that makes me not want to watch the news, sometimes I’m just not convinced they’re telling the truth; I think they might just be- all out for themselves; without a thought for you or me.

 

Copyright © J. Thrasivoulou 2012, steal it and bear the ramifications of your actions.


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