Who I am...
My name is Bohdan Piasecki, and I am the Programme Coordinator for the West Midlands; I’m based at the mac in Birmingham. I work with artists and audiences to promote spoken word poetry, bring great acts to the West Midlands, and show off our poets to the rest of the UK – and, why not, the world! The West Midlands is home to many talented performers, devoted promoters, and poetry lovers who support them. I try to engage all of these communities to provide poets with as many platforms to present their work as possible. I also hope to create opportunities for them to inspire new voices, by helping them develop both as artists and as educators.
Where we are
Spoken word really is an important element of the West Midlands cultural scene. Take Birmingham, for example: Benjamin Zephaniah was voted the city’s favourite poet, and the title of poet laureate has regularly been bestowed on artists working in performance, such as Spoz, Dreadlock Alien, and Charlie Jordan, to name but a few.
Apples and Snakes run a monthly night at the Victoria called "Hit the Ode", with each edition featuring a guest from the West Midlands, another from elsewhere in the UK, and one international act; there are also open mic slots to allow you to share the stage with our featured artists. We also run a highly successful workshop series in Worcester, Learn:Eat:Perform, and collaborate with a number of promoters to make sure performance poetry is as accessible as possible in the region. From open mics, like Coventry’s Night Blue Fruit or PureandGoodandRight in Leamington Spa, to carefully programmed showcases like Rhymes or Speak Up, in Birmingham, it should be easy to find something in your neighbourhood.
What I can do for you
If you are a poet, I would love to talk to you. Whether you are new to the scene and looking to develop your talents, an experienced performer on a quest for gigs, or a creative mind looking for a challenging project, I will do my best to help you. I cannot guarantee anything, as my time and resources do have their limits; however, odds are I will at the very least be able to point you in the right direction, and help you find workshops, contact venues, or develop your ideas. I would also love to simply find out more about your work – so send me links to your website, bring me a CD, or just come for a chat and tell me what you have been up to. In fact, whatever might be weighing on your mind, get in touch! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need poets to perform at your event, to teach a workshop at your school, or for (almost) any other purpose, I would be happy to help. Simply drop me a line or give me a call: together, we can work out exactly what you require, and I will try to put you in touch with the right performers.