Talisman Poetry Showcase

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The irreverent Talisman Poetry & Spoken Word bring a special showcase to High Street, with performances from Karen Gemma Brewer, Trudi Petersen & Rebecca Lowe.

Free entry. 7PM for 8PM start.

Karen Gemma Brewer:

“Irreverent, sexy, political in the best way, and as good in live performance as on the page, Karen Gemma Brewer is a writer to watch and enjoy!” – Robert Minhinnick

“I love the lyrical beats, the ‘old three chord tricks’, the confidence of the experimentation and risk, the sureness of self but never pretentious. The folklore and the future, both grounded and galactic, all audience-participation-ready for a togetherness we have spent years longing for, written with our collective coming together in mind. Action Dad and All The Words I Never Said made my heart skip beats, generous poems that remind us that there are no rulebooks for bonding and sometimes we are all the better for it. From one proud Swansea Girl to another, this collection truly is just like Dancing in the Sun.” – Rufus Mufasa

“I am a great fan of Brewer on-stage and hear her voice so clearly in many of these poems, a very distinct poetic voice but also in my head a distinct performance voice.” – Dominic Williams

“Karen Gemma Brewer builds on her eye for incisive imagery and her trademark humour to weave together a vibrant assortment of poems – her second full collection – that dance beneath the sun. Slipping between startling and sombre eco and political poetry, and ridiculously joyful nonsense rhymes, the reader is kept engaged and entertained up until the last page.” Carly Holmes

“I first came across Karen when we were working on the same TV programme in Wales. She, I was led to believe, the light comic relief. Certainly not to be taken seriously by the likes of me. I learnt a lesson meeting Karen’s poetry. She is so able to take a very ordinary situation and give it the meaning it deserves. Funny and profound.” – John Eliot

“Chants, songs, elegies, celebrations; Dancing in the Sun has brought, smiles, tears, laughter and joy.” – Mel Perry

“I can’t begin to remember the number of times that Karen Gemma Brewer has made me laugh or smile or wonder at her wordplay – I mean, where does it all come from? Whether they’re spoken, sung or written, words are her friends and she shares them like the seeds of a dandelion – dispersing them like royal favours at a jubilee. The number of times I’ve sat mesmerised listening to Blind Dogs For The Guides or Dissident Sausage with tears rolling down my face are innumerable and in this new collection, as always, there is a counterpoint between the silly and the serious, poems that make you laugh and those that make you think. If you’re only just acquainted with Karen Gemma Brewer this is a good place to start and if she’s an old friend just let the journey continue. Verba sunt amici.” – Michael Kennedy

“This accomplished new collection of poetry from Karen Gemma Brewer is a brilliant mix of sharp wit, irony, gentle humour and moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, all adroitly merged with serious takes on some of the most disturbing problems of our time. There’s climate crisis, food security, gun crime, loss of wildlife and forests, plus the catastrophe of UK government, to name a few. Issues around LGBTQ+, sex and gender identity are here too, and personal love also features. Through some sublimely surreal scenarios Brewer manages to elucidate with sensitivity and humour some of the deeply disturbing situations in which we find ourselves as a species. She looks closely at serious questions yet this book is not dark and depressing. There are many light-hearted moments and she cleverly entertains us, so that we can laugh at ourselves and our world, and we can still ‘smile, be happy and have fun’, in spite of it all. Just what we need.” – Jackie Biggs

Born of coal-mining and farm-working stock, Karen Gemma Brewer is a writer and performer from Ceredigion in west Wales where she lives by the sea and runs a book and record shop with soulmate Niki.

A two-time winner of the Tim Williams Performance Poetry Award, she has toured two one-woman shows Seeds From A Dandelion (2017) and Dissident Sausage (2019), performed and acted, on film, TV, radio and stage, at festivals, theatres, pubs, clubs, supermarkets, shops, colleges, schools and in the street.

Her writing combines emotion and mundanity with a strong sense of the absurd, has been published in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Europe and USA and translated into Welsh, Italian and Romanian.

Dancing In The Sun is Karen’s second collection of poems, her first: Seeds From A Dandelion (2017) was reissued in 2021 as Seeds From A Dandelion – addition edition ISBN: 9781908146083 and she is editor of Write It Out – new LGBTQ+ writing from Ceredigion & Carmarthenshire (2019) ISBN: 9781908146038. A first collection of short stories From Mars To Cilcennin is due in 2023

Karen is a member of Equity, Lampeter Writers’ Workshop and Cardigan’s Cellar Bards.

Trudi Petersen

Trudi Petersen writes stuff that rhymes and is (apparantly) quite amusing. Expect menopausal rantings, poems about shoes, shopping, shakespeare, hipsters and all sorts of other random things. There is a possibility of swearing and references to sex (if you are of a sensitive disposition you might want to know this). Trudi has been shortlisted for several UK and international awards for proper (serious) poetry and is a previous winner of the Tim Williams performance poetry prize and the Coracle Europe Festival Slam.

She’s a bit lazy and hasn’t got round to collating her poems into a book or doing anything dynamic on t’internet but she says she’ll probably do so eventually. Her ambition is to have the gravitas and creativity of Kate Bush with the poetic skills of Leonard Cohen and the cool of Patti Smith. She is aware that she cannot sing and that this is impossible and that she sounds a bit like Pam Ayres.

Rebecca Lowe

Rebecca Lowe is a freelance journalist, editor, poet and organiser of Talisman Spoken Word in Swansea. Her poem ‘Tick Tick’ won the Bread and Roses 2020 Spoken Word Performance award.

She has been widely published, both nationally and internationally. Her poetry has been featured on Radio 4’s Poetry Workshop, set to music as part of a choral series on Radio 3, and turned into sushi wrapping (no, really!) Alongside her poetry, she also sings and plays the zither, which she sometimes incorporates in her performances.

Her first poetry collection, Blood and Water, spans ten years of writing. It takes in themes of motherhood, the environment and spirituality is published by The Seventh Quarry Press. It was longlisted for the 2021 Poetry Book Awards.

The second, Our Father Eclipse, is a pseudo-apocalyptic, eco-socialist, dystopian vision of recent world events. Framed amid the realities of a global pandemic and climate emergency, it speaks to a post-truth political era where neoliberal capitalism is clearly and demonstrably failing. It was described by Andy Croft of The Morning Star newspaper as ‘a brilliant, inventive and original take on contemporary feelings’.

Blood and Water www.seventhquarrypresscom
Our Father Eclipse www.culturematters.org.uk
Twitter @BeckyLowePoet
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rebecca.lowe.poetry
YouTube: Becky Lowe Swansea
Instagram: BeckyLowePoet