Goodbye.November 12th, 2014 by Poejazzi
Poejazzi is cashing out.
After 8 years of promoting and showcasing some of the best spoken word and music out there, us crying happy tears into our sofas, watching the glorious successes of Jamie Woon, Ed Sheeran, Shabaka Hutchings, Kate Tempest, Scroobius Pip, Musa Okwonga and Ayanna Witter Johnson, reminiscing how we once paid them £50 to perform in a burlesque bar, eighty people max (always ended up as ninety something in the end because friends innit), we looked around ourselves, breathed deep and sighed, ‘Yep, our work here is done’.
Obvs it’s more than that: since 2012 we have expanded our remit beyond one of London’s premier spoken word/music night (Thanks, Southbank Centre!) to a publisher, an online magazine and concept show producer. We welcomed writers like Chimene (Buy her book) Suleyman, Bridget (hasn’t got a book) Minamore, Kevin Pocock, Corinna Antrobus who’ve – thanks to the recognition for their excellent work with us and elsewhere – since gone on to great things, and didn’t come back because lol quality volunteer writing is no fun on an empty stomach. We published an really good app, ran a show based around one of the most famous poets of the 20th Century. All of this, mostly off our own pocket and the hard work and support of many others in the scene.
Believe us when we say, Poejazzi has been our child, we’ve been so happy to watch it grow into the wonderful beauty that you see before you: worth every tweet, facebook spam, every late night battling the forces of wordpress formatting and planning events over a can of baked beans with slightly burnt bread on the side because the timer on the toaster broke a long time ago. We can only thank you for supporting us in every endeavour, and every kind word you’ve sent us, and every penny you have given us to run what’s sometime’s felt like Josh and Charlotte’s personal playlist, LIVE! Shane Koyczan, Jono McCleery and Heidi Vogel in the same room. Enough said.
We are happy to have been part of helping the scene get to the strongest it’s ever been – gah, poets being nominated for the Mercury Prize, poets on Jools, popular comps like the Roundhouse Poetry Slam…pinch us please – but now we have to be selfish, because we’re artists too: Charlotte with her novel-in-progress, Josh with a lot of bands. The time has come where we had to choose between our dreams and Poejazzi, and after a lot of soul searching and talks over aforementioned TV dinners, we chose to chase our dreams.
So we’d love to end this merry dance on a high. Less of a final fling/last dinner and more of a ‘weekend party send off.’ And if you know Poejazzi, you know we don’t ever end anything on a silly note: Nov 11 will be our last proper Poejazzi night, at the Royal Albert Hall, featuring Anthony Anaxagorou and Shabaka Hutchings outfit The Comet Is Coming amongst others, and Nov 20th is our final Howl 2.0 gig as part of the London Jazz Festival, featuring a live jazz band and visuals. Like we said, high note.
And after that, we’re going dark for a long time, probably forever, though we’d never say never. So for one last time: Groundwell, Applause, Rapture.
Long time supporters, ride or die devotees who would turn up or retweet for us even if no one else was going to turn up and all the computers in the world had been burnt down to sad metal clumps in a post apocalyptic nightmare. To all of you who have loved us like Beyonce stans minus stalkerish/maniacal tendencies thank you for having our collective back, you made the poetry and music scene a better place.
Special love and forever thanks to: Bruno Ramos, Mervyn Hilton-Leigh, Anna Attallah, Kelsey Mohamed, Musa Okwonga, Inua Ellams, Anna Short, Kate Allsopp, Emma Walker, Lauren Brown, Hardev Soa, Lisa Jenkins, Marina Blake, Pavel Mezihorak, Omar Barchetti, Mark Liberty, Jarrad Templeton, Nicholas Judge, Sam Stolton, Emily Kate Groves, Rishi Dastidar, Sophia Sheridan, Raz Budeiri, Gregory Cartwright