So, I met my next guest, Dan Simpson, last October when he was the judge of last year’s Canterbury Festival Schools Poetry Competition, and – not surprisingly given his experience – he managed to coax amazing performances out of all the children. It was a fantastic afternoon, topped off with a great performance from Dan himself.
Dan is a spoken word poet and compère, poetry projects and event organiser, workshop facilitator and writer. His poetry deals with “love and literature, science and stars, ex-girlfriends and Xboxes: all that good geeky stuff.” And luckily he is spending more and more time performing and organising events in Kent, and he’ll be performing at the Wise Words Festival in Canterbury during the weekend of 8th and 9th September.
Here are Dan’s sentences:
When you were small, you wanted to … drive a flying car. I was convinced that by the time I hit 18 we’d have them – it’s what all the sci-fi films and books told me. I’m still a little bitter it hasn’t happened yet. Either that or become a bank manager – I thought you could help yourself to money from the vault at the end of the day. Given the recent revelations in the world of finance and the way some bankers have behaved, I turn out to be fairly correct on that one.
The one thing you can never resist is … reduced price food in a supermarket. Especially bread. Seriously, I have a problem.
You may not say it aloud but… if you write it down it can be used as evidence.
The last time you went ‘WOOP’ with excitement was … winning a boardgame against some friends. I love games, especially ones where you get to be sociable too. I think the idea of play is hugely under appreciated, especially by adults.
Your five favourite words are ….
“Can you perform for us?” closely followed by “We’ll give you a fee”.
Favourite writing place in Kent: Train stations: Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Paddock Wood, Marden, Staplehurst, Headcorn, Pluckley, Ashford, Wye and all the other places I pass on the train to Canterbury. Coming to Canterbury feels like coming home in many ways, and I use the time to get there to write or edit. I love the time I have on a train: anything you accomplish feels like a bonus, like you’ve somehow won a victory over the necessity and sometime inconvenience of travelling.
A book about Kent or by a Kent writer you would recommend:
As a performance poet or spoken word type, it’s got to be Patience Agbabi. She’s a very strong writer, and that comes across in her readings and performances, which are equally powerful. She’s a brilliant example of how writing can inform performance, and vica versa, and she does it with sincerity and touches of humour. I can’t wait to see what she’s done with the Canterbury Tales and her modern rewrites of the stories!
Thanks, Dan. And here’s a little gift for coming on here:
Don’t say I never spoil you….