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The Hip Yak Poetry Shack

The ramshackle, interactive, comedy-poetry cabaret The Hip Yak Poetry Shack is making its fifth appearance at WOMAD World of Words, with laughter lines and fickle rhymes; pockets full of stories and eyes fierce with tears.  In these highly charged and ever changing times the voice of the poet is not only a nice distraction, it’s a call to arm; a bucket of paint in a world full of abandoned potatoes.

So gather round under the trees by the little purple tent, for some of the finest, funniest, deeply moving and profoundly right-on (but not in an annoying way) spoken word entertainment you will hear this Summer – and possibly your whole lives. Prepare to be totally flabbergasted and very pleasantly entertained.

The Hip Yak Poetry Stage at WOMAD is hosted by:
Chris Redmond
Jonny Fluffypunk
Liv Torc (producer)

Starring:
Anna Freeman
Chloe Jacquet
Chris Redmond
Elvis McGonagall
Grace Cohen
Hannah Lowe
Hannah Teasdale
Inua Ellams
Jen Hart
John Hegley
Jonny Fluffypunk
Leanne Moden
Liv Torc
Lydia Towsey
Maxwell Golden
Melanie Branton
Rebecca Tantony
Shagufta K Iqbal
Zia Ahmed

The weekend will also feature: 

SHORTS SHOWS Friday and Saturday 12noon – 1.30pm
A goodly number of the poets will perform their poems in rotation to give a broad and exciting flavour of their literary and oratory wears.

ARE YOU BEACH POETRY BODY READY? Saturday 4pm – 5.30pm
An interactive poetry panel show featuring some of the finest, funniest and fiercest female on the UK spoken word scene. Help us power up the female body through poetry, party games, paint and pants. We are going to create the perfect woman together, free from shame and self doubt and covered in words… then we are going to let you all stand inside her.

THE WOMAD 2017 POETRY SLAM – Sunday 12noon – 2pm
Hosted by Chris Redmond and Liv Torc… A fun, friendly and all embracing open poetry slam for audience to enjoy and budding poets to enter. Performed in two rounds (three poets go through to second round). Please apply at the stage and prepare two poems of three minutes or less. First 12 to sign up can perform. Prize is a 10 minute slot on next year’s Hip Yak Poetry Stage. All audience support much encouraged!

2017 Line up
Zia Ahmed

Friday, 1.30pm & Sunday, 5pm

Zia is from North-West London. He is a London Laureate, having been shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16.

He is also a former Roundhouse Slam champion and is currently in residency at Paines Plough as part of Channel 4’s Playwright Scheme.

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Zia Ahmed
Hannah Lowe

Friday, 2pm

Hannah Lowe is a poet and memoirist. Much of her writing focuses on her father, a half Chinese/black Jamaica legendary gambler. Her first poetry collection Chick won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection.

She has also published a memoir Long Time No See, which featured as Radio 4’s Book of the Week.

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Hannah Lowe
Lydia Towsey

Friday, 3pm

Lydia Towsey is a poet and performer with a Masters in Creative Writing and a devilish cat called, Jones. In 2011 she won a Decibel commission. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize.

Her experiences include, speaking at the House of Lords, performing at London’s 100 Club and presenting at Plymouth University’s Zombie Symposium.

“One of the new, intriguing voices of her time.” – Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, MBE.

“Absolutely spectacular…the audience were in the palm of her hand.” – Jo Ivie, Producer & Graham Henderson, CEO, Poet in the City.

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Lydia Towsey
Jonny Fluffypunk

Friday, 4pm

Stand-up poet. Give-up guitarist. Sustainable Nihilist. Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the poetry and alternative cabaret circuits for over 10 years.

By turns surreal, daft and oddly moving, his work is both a celebration of the beauty in the mundane and an elaborate cry for help.

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Jonny Fluffypunk
Jen Hart

Friday, 4.30pm

Jenn Hart is a DIY punk poet. Her work is biting, witty and surprising as she drags her audience through deftly constructed snippets of real and imagined lives.

Navigating through ideas about feminism, mental health and being part of a far from perfect punk scene, Jenn’s words will melt on your tongue and leave a taste that will last.

Her debut pamphlet Better Watch Your Mouth was released earlier this year.

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Jen Hart
Grace Cohen

Friday, 4.45pm

Grace Cohen began writing her poetry-diary as a slightly out of love, slightly love-handled 14 year old. Though with time her themes and style have grown, her poetry today still provides a wonderfully refreshing, unsullied view on modern womanhood.

She was also the WOMAD 2015 Slam Winner and we just can’t get enough of her or her leotards.

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Grace Cohen
Rebecca Tantony

Friday, 5pm & Sunday, 5.30pm

Rebecca Tantony has read in numerous venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, the Natural History Museum, the Arnolfini, St George’s, The South Bank Centre and Colston Hall, as well as a scattering of house parties and pub toilets.

She is the author of Talk You Round Till Dusk and her commissioned short stories, journalism, and poetry have been published in various anthologies and magazines.

Her readings have led her to Turkey, India, Sweden and Italy.

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Rebecca Tantony
Melanie Branton

Friday, 5.15pm

Since taking up spoken word in her mid-40s, Melanie has represented Bristol at the Hammer and Tongue National Slam Final and her combination of comedy and more serious work has made her a popular headliner at numerous poetry nights across the South West. Her debut collection will be published later this year.

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Melanie Branton
Elvis McGonagall

Friday, 5.30pm

Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary, comedian and broadcaster, Elvis McGonagall resides at The Graceland Caravan Park somewhere in the middle of nowhere where he scribbles verse whilst drinking Scotch, listening to Johnny Cash and throwing heavy objectsat his portable telly.

Two series of his sitcom Elvis McGonagall Takes A Look On The Bright Side have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Deftly witty and subversive but not afraid to be plain daft, Elvis has been spitting his scurrilous diatribes against the powers that be since 2003.

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Elvis McGonagall
Maxwell Golden

Saturday, 1.30pm

Maxwell Golden is a new breed of theatre-maker. A versatile touring artist with a rare gift for lyrical performance. Both on and off-stage, his illustrious portfolio has captivated and challenged audiences worldwide – from street corners to the Royal Albert Hall, Edinburgh Fringe to Sydney Festival.

An accomplished theatre writer, director and dramaturg.

“A charming performer whose physical skills match his gifts for vivid characterisation and razor-sharp rhymes” – Scotland On Sunday

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Maxwell Golden
Liv Torc

Saturday, 2pm

Liv Torc is a razor blade skating performance poet, who plunges the vast caverns and dormant volcanoes of the human condition, armed with a box of matches and a sense of lyrical wonder.

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Liv Torc
Hannah Teasdale

Saturday, 2.20pm

Hannah Teasdale was born and raised in Birmingham where she first began writing. She now lives in the South West where she attempts to raise six children as a single mum – but still always with a pen in her hand.

She performs her poetry and co-hosts Hammer and Tongue in Bristol.

“Challenging, vulnerable and unapologetically honest, Hannah’s poetry reawakens senses you had forgotten you ever had” – Katie Agnew

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Hannah Teasdale
John Hegley

Saturday, 3pm

Known for poetry collections such as Those Were Your Father’s and My Dog is a Carrot, Hegley is an established comedian and spoken-word artist.

In addition, he hosted poetry-themed television and radio programs titled, respectively, Word of Mouth and Hearing with Hegley.

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John Hegley
Anna Freeman

Saturday, 5.30pm

Anna Freeman is a novelist and lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, as well as a multiple slam-winning performance poet.

She is also the author of The Fair Fight, a tale of courage, reinvention and fighting your way to the top in Georgian Bristol.

Her work is witty and humorous but with a spine of genuine pain and humiliation at the inarguable fact of her own existence.

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Anna Freeman
Chloe Jacquet

Sunday, 1.30pm

Last year’s incredible WOMAD Hip Yak Slam winner Chloe Jacquet gets her 10 minutes to shine…

Based in Gloucestershire and with a multicultural background, Chloe is a multi-slam winning poet and a rising star on the performance scene.

With a preference for straight talking and a penchant for rhymes and opinions, Chloe’s poetry is both entertaining and accessible.

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Chloe Jacquet
Inua Ellams

Sunday, 3pm

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is an award winning poet, playwright and founder of the Midnight Run.

Identity, displacement and destiny are reoccurring themes in his work in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary.

His creative work has been recognised with a number of awards, most recently, The Live Canon International Poetry Prize.

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Inua Ellams
Chris Redmond

Sunday, 4pm

Chris Redmond is a poet, musician, performer and producer. A regular at music and literature festivals both nationally and internationally, he’s been featured on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4, and Sky Arts. “Poetry, but not as you know it … amazing.”  – The Guardian

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Chris Redmond
Shagufta K Iqbal

Sunday, 4.45pm

Described as one of the most talked about performers in the region, she is a powerful and brave voice.

Shagufta K is the author of the poetry collection Jam Is For Girls, Girls Get Jam and is currently working on her second collection ‘The Girl From Nowhere Smells Of Curry’.

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Shagufta K Iqbal
Leanne Moden

Sunday, 5.15pm

Leanne is a founding member of the 28 Sonnets Later poetry collective, and part of the DIY Poets collective. Leanne was Fenland Poet Laureate in 2013, and her most recent pamphlet, Liaisons, was published in 2015.

She is currently working on the Write Here: Sanctuary project, which facilitates creative writing workshops for refugees and asylum seekers in Nottingham.

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Leanne Moden