Say Owt at York International Women’s Festival

Local performance poets Stu Freestone and Henry Raby are bringing another night of spoken word and poetry to York for York International Women’s Festival.

Over 2014 and 2015, Say Owt Slam has held a number of high energy, sell-out showcases of talents from across the city, and beyond.  It has been attended by poets from Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Durham and, of course, York.

Say Owt is proud to be part of York International Women’s Festival to present an eclectic collection of women’s voices talking about their personal experiences, feminist politics, the history of women’s rights and current issues.  Expect funny, fiery and fierce poetry!

Say Owt returns March 11th at York City Screen Basement, £7 entry, doors 7.30.  But instead of our usual format, we’re proud to present Sophia Walker and her solo show, Cult Friction.

Sophia Walker is a globe-trotting powerhouse of a poet. If you were at Say Owt Slam #2, you’ll have been blown away by her frank and electric spoken word. She’s bringing her latest show, Cult Friction, which won the Best Cast for a Spoken Word Show 2015 at PBH Edinburgh Free Fringe awards. She also represents the UK in the World Queer Slam.

Sophia has performed everywhere from Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, to Royal Holloway Prison, with a TEDx talk for London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in between. She is the host and organiser of the annual BBC Slam Championship, now viewed by many as the most prestigious slam on the UK circuit. Her poems have aired on BBC iplayer, BBC Arts, Radio 4, Franceinter and stations across the US, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Italy and Ireland.

Sophia also writes plays in spoken word. These solo shows have toured through theatres in the UK and internationally to critical acclaim, winning Best UK Spoken Word Show 2014, Best Spoken Word Show on the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2013 and 2014, and Best Cast for a Spoken Word Show on the Edinburgh Free Fringe 2015 (for a six character solo show).

Cult Friction is a multi-character solo show where Sophia explores how, from Apple to the food industry, they’ve got us by the hormones. When neuroscientists and marketers collide, free will is the first casualty. Cult Friction is a crash course in the new field of neuromarketing, and all the ways it is being used to exploit us.

Other guest poets are Adele Hampton from Washington DC, an incredible and emotional spoken word story-teller.  Marina Poppa, lynchpin of the Yorkshire poetry scene.  Rose Drew, fairy Godmother of the York poetry events and committee member for YIWF.  Lily Luty, actor, writer and winner of Say Owt Slam #6.

In addition, there will be an open mic beforehand for anyone to come and read some poems.  This is open to people of any (or no) gender.  Sign up via email, or put your name down on the door.

Sophia is also leading a writing and performing workshop for us on 12th March 1-3pm at York Theatre Royal’s De Grey Rooms, a mere £5, pay on the day.

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