NewsI didn't mailout in Jan so this is me belatedly Happy-New-Yearing you, wishing you had a good break, lots of cheese, port (discovered I like this) and guilty mistletoe love. The year started with a bang in love, life and finance, I discovered a euphemism: “creative banking” to describe miniscule money management, everything is changing... but such is life's dynamism, its only promise, is not to. Its constant is inconsistency. We inhale, exhale and trust tomorrow to better today...

The Formula: News Items / something from YouTube The 14th Tale // Calling Maywell // Sara Shamsavari // YOUTUBE: GUINNESS

THE 14th TALE // Save the dates, March 18th, 19th, 20th. Yes yes y'all. To ye who saw it last year, the story is finshed. To ye who missed it completely, The 14th tale, my first full length narrative is round the corner. After last year's scratch run at the Battersea Arts Centre, Tom Chivers had whisperings with me of showing the finished story at The London Word Festival. Later that month, I had whisperings with Fuel, theatre company. We have now combined forces and are unstoppable. Captain Planet can't touch us.

Publicity says: “The 14th Tale is a free flowing mellifluous narrative that tells the hilarious exploits of a natural born mischief growing from the clay streets of Nigeria to the roof tops in Dublin, and finally to London. Inua vividly recreates the characters that punctuate his upbringing in deft and beautiful poetry, while challenging the audience’s expectations of what it is to be a young, black male in London today.”

It begins... “I'm from a long line of trouble makers, of ash skinned Africans, born with clenched fists and a natural thirst for battle, only quenched by breast milk.”

Come see! Look for it on Facebook. Details: The 14th Tale. // 18th, 19th, 20th March. 8.15pm // Cost £9/£7 // Bx Offc: 020 7503 1646 The Arcola Theatre // 27 Arcola Street E8 2DJ England.

CALLING MAYWELL // Last year, I started a 10 week course on play writing, just to experiment, try other written art forms. There were 16 others on the course run by the Soho Theatre, and it was real. I mean 'real' in the street speak sense. Hard core, fast paced, demanding, deadlines, the thick of things. I eventually churned out a 2 character, 20 minute script about a poet and his friend/nemesis/antithesis. I thought it was.... okay, so was completely shocked when it was one of the six chosen to be staged. A 'rehearsed reading' (pretty much exactly what you think it means) of the play happened at the Soho Theatre on the 26th of Jan and it was quite an experience.

Usually, when I write, I work out rhythm, intonation, breath control etc as I go, knowing I will read the created work. I tried not to do so on this occasion, to leave it all to the actors to sort out themselves. I had two brilliant award winning actors, but the gentleman playing the poet had by far the greater challenge and unfortunately could not quite get to grips with poems he had to 'perform'. I have never felt so naked on stage, and I wasn't even on it. It was revealing, I never saw the tightly structured, yet strangely loose way I write poetry until I heard it from the lips of another. There is a possibility of the play being developed, in any case the director of the project advised me to stick another feather in my hat. I am now a playwright. I want to do it again. Commission? Anyone?

LOVE IS CHANGE // I wish I could romance a camera, its ideals parallels poetry: both are concerned with capturing a moment, celebrating it and what is captured can only be of the present... they footnote and journal us. I subscribe to photography blogs as I can't keep up with real exhibitions, but one photographer I've followed is Sara Shamsavari. Last year, the lensed lady flew to Chicago to shoot just after Obama's victory and exhibited her findings in TopShop, Oxford St. London. The work was GOOD, colourful, vibrant, inclusive, real and her next exhibition begins today, Monday 9th, titled 'LOVE IS CHANGE'

Press release: “This exhibition of photography reveals love manifested in physical form. It provokes viewers to reflect on the particular conception of love expressed, and to consider how this relates to their own experience of love. In contemplating a photograph, our mundane perception is challenged: we see the world through the eyes of another and our understanding is transformed in the process. Love is Change!”

So at tonight's launch, I have been invited to read a poem or two on the theme of Love. Sara invites visitors to write down their thoughts on the power of love and these will be added to show, so go down over the next two weeks, check it out.

Details: Love is Change! // 9th-22nd Feb // 63 Broadwick Street // London, W1 // England


There once was a black man in Dublin Who'd bet on horses stumbling. He died his hair blonde When a bet went wrong Now Guinness is what they call him!

I am a Guinness man. Extra cold. It sits in the belly like a meal. Musa Okwanga, Joshua Idehen and I have spent many a time over a pint of Guinness pint discussing pints of Guinness. The limerick above was written for a song during my ill fated attempt at rapping as part of Musa and Josh's band 'Benin City'... My father was a food technologist in Nigeria who worked to develop home grown ingredients for Guinness. They support a lot of Africa-related events, worked with the legendary Roger Robinson to release a cd of poems... anyway, it was my wish to be the first poet to do one of those cool Guinness adverts but a fellow poet beat me to it. But he is a friend, we have the same publisher, he did a great job, I bear no bitterness. This month's offering comes from Ainsely Burrows, Sit back and enjoy.

Stay Cool x