This year’s event at the Curzon for Clevedon Literary Festival: More Than Words is set to be massive. Curated by Raise The Bar, this line-up brings the best in spoken word, and beyond, to the Curzon stage, check out the immense line-up below and secure your tickets now.
Raise the Bar is the South West’s leading live poetry night, showcasing the very best of UK poetry and spoken word since 2014. Previous headliners have included Hollie McNish, Shane Koyczan, Benjamin Zephaniah and many more.
‘Out-loud reactions are encouraged…shaking off traditional theatre etiquette’ – Bristol 24/7
‘One of the best poetry nights in the country’ – Rafeef Ziadah
DJ Ngaio (Booty Bass) will be kicking the night off with a DJ set. Blending genres that have influenced her musical journey you’ll hear afrobeat, afro house, percussive and Tribal music reflecting her Nigerian ancestry. Latin, reggaeton, moombahton, and carnival sounds from her time in South America and naughties edits, Dubstep, Grime, and Drum & Bass as a long-term lover of rave with some jazzy elements and extra bassy bits chucked in for extra flair.
British and Nigerian with a fantastical love for syncopated rhythms and bass that makes your whole body shiver, her multigenre sets promise something for everyone.
Danny ‘Craft D’ Pandolfi, a rapper and poet based in Bristol. His performances explore the crossovers between forms associated with traditional poetry and contemporary hip-hop. His debut single ‘Letter to Corbyn’ reached #1 in the UK Hip-Hop chart and charted in the official UK Downloads Chart and Amazon Music, amassing hundreds of thousands of views across social media. His work has been featured on major channels such as ITV News and BBC 1Xtra, and he’s performed at iconic venues such as Ministry of Sound and Roundhouse London. He is a 2x UK battle rap champion. His educational workshops and arts projects seek to make poetry and rap engaging and accessible for everyone, working from the firm belief that poetry and music are a positive outlet for self-expression and mental health.
“Amazing. His lyrics are fantastic.” – Lowkey
“Craft-D continually raises expectations of what poetry can be contained within hip-hop. Visionary, challenging and inspirational.” – Joelle Taylor
Kat Lyons (they/them) is a Queer Bristol-based writer, performer, workshop facilitator and creative producer whose work is grounded in everyday politics and a love of storytelling. Kat is the official Bristol City Poet (2022-2024), and is currently touring their debut solo show Dry Season, a spoken word theatre show exploring gender, age and menopause. Their debut poetry collection Love Beneath the Nails is available now from Verve Poetry Press. Kat performs throughout the UK, was nominated for the 2022 Jerwood Poetry in Performance Award and their collaborative animated poetry film Duvet Days was selected as part of the official program at ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival 2021. They are passionate about using stories to re/connect people to themselves, each other and their environment.
Vanessa Kisuule is a writer, performer and facilitator based in Bristol. She has won over ten slam titles and performed nationally and internationally. She has been featured on BBC iPlayer, Radio 1, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Blue Peter and TEDx in Vienna. She was the Bristol City Poet for 2018 – 2020 and her poem on the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue ‘Hollow’ went viral on Twitter. She wrote and presented ‘The Poetry Detective’ for Radio 4 in 2021 which has been commissioned for a second series. She has two poetry collections with Burning Eye Books and was Highly Commended in the Forward Poetry Prize Anthology 2019. Her work is published in poetry anthologies Everything is Going To Be Alright (Trapeze Books), More Fiya (Canongate) and the essay collection Black Joy (Penguin). She is the co-tutor for the Southbank New Poets Collective alongside Will Harris and is currently working on an essay collection and her debut novel.
Rob Auton: “Weirdly moving in ways I still can’t quite define. I haven’t seen anything else quite like it, or him.” – The Stage
“His absurd brand of stand-up and poetry is exactly what the country needs right now.” – Huffington Post
Rob has been performing as a stand up poet/comic since 2008, taking the mantle of “Glastonbury Poet in Residence’ in 2014, is a regular Edinburgh Fringe favourite, has had his work played on the radio by Jarvis Cocker, Cerys Matthews and Scroobius Pip and shown on the television by BBC1, BBC 2, Channel 4 and Netflix. He has had three collections of writing and drawings published by Burning Eye Books and one book published by Harper Collins non fiction/Mudlark.
Bellatrix: There are multifaceted artists, and then there’s Bellatrix. A spellbinding singer and instinctively expressive songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist, a versatile performer and former world beatboxing champion, Bellatrix complements artistic wholeness with an inventive, all-encompassing and hands-on creative vision that can’t help but resonate.
Starting out as the first professional female beatboxer in the UK, Bellatrix – who now identifies as non-binary – has been a trailblazer in their field and is a fierce advocate for those who are under-represented in their communities. Bellatrix has since made their name as both a solo artist and a highly sought after collaborator, touring internationally and performing at many of the top festivals and venues across the world.
In this incarnation of Bellatrix’s live show they will bring their music to life through live looping, including beatboxing, singing, bass guitar, double bass, synth, and uke. Come and take part in a sonic journey through the delicate, the fierce and some serious bass.