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Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I wanted to curl up on the soft sofa, but the yurt is always packed. People shuffle up and perch on armchairs, always room for one more the merrier.

I sat in the tent with my hazelnut milkshake, and listened to the girls sing. It was an Irish song; close vocal harmonies, flowing up and out of them in cyan and green.

The stories were sublime tonight. A man and woman from Bristol sat or stood at the front. Him, reciting stories about Old Tom, his grandfather; her, playing vivid violet violin or her acoustic guitar, which sang in a deep sonorous blue. And the man from Bristol, oh, he built pictures so carefully, neatly alliterating the pictures in our minds. I wish, I wish, I could do that.

I am not a storyteller; I am a writer. The difference is tangible and harsh. I want to be a storyteller; I want to have the stage presence to take a roomful of adults on a journey; but I have seen my face when I speak and it is still and lifeless. I have seen my body when I move and it is awkward and girly. I have heard my voice when I talk and it is unclear and lazy; my once-sharp-cut vowels atrophied through years of misuse. I no longer talk to myself. That's where I lay the blame.

Spoken-word poetry is an art form. I have watched enough online in the past couple of days to stir up a longing in me. I want to be a performer. I am a poet, but not a performance poet. So what's it to be? Well, Anna? Are you going to sit behind your screen and write dead words for others to read? Are you going to spend your time alone? Or are you going to learn to eNUNciate! DRAmatise! emphasise! Are you going to learn to speak?


  1. I'd love to be a storyteller too. If you find a good place to try out some material, let me know!

  2. ah, I love that Yurt. I've only been there once, though, and it didn't look anywhere near as pristine as the pic!

    I've thought about looking into storytelling, because I love telling stories, I always relish telling people about what happened THAT night or if anyone needs a recap of an episode of (insert nerd show here). But suffer from similar obstacles to my delivery. Ever seen the Christmas episode of Father Ted?
    Yeah, in my head, that's my voice. Which I don't mind, as I'd like an Irish accent...
    We both need to be the one at the back.
    Ah, that is the BEST Christmas episode of anything.

    Just don't forget that the written word can dramatise in ways nothing and no one could ever hope to!
    (see also: why horror films are usually rubbish)


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