SOUTHSEA and PORTSMOUTH have a thriving SPOKEN WORD scene and open mic, especially

as it has a whole clientele of university students, past and present, eclectic wordsmiths and

musicians of all ages.

I am always chuffed when I am invited to perform by JOHNNY SACKETT/ELAINE HAMILTON and EMILY

PRIEST at the FRONT ROOM EVENTS in Southsea. I can’t believe I was their headliner for their very

first event over 12 months ago.

My poetry gives a voice to those who cannot necessarily do it for themselves- the homeless, abused,

rejected, and vulnerable; or it is observational poetry about those I may meet only once; people with stories to tell

whether sad, angry, or funny. Humour out of pathos is such a survival mechanism for people I have known.

They have laughed at their most horrendous experiences.

I know my RAW poetry has shocked some people, but it is based on real life experiences, and it

certainly doesn’t sanitize what people have been through. It educates those that hear it.

Such an event was the WELCOME event organised by Emily Priest at ASPEX GALLERY on Sunday 29 th

April. The day made a positive statement of welcoming refugees to Portsmouth, through music,

speeches, poetry and open mic. #YOUREWELCOME #REFUGEESWELCOME

I spoke about my experience of supporting a young woman who had been trafficked from Lithuania

at 17 years old and the damage that had caused to her emotionally, physically and mentally. Her

trafficker had received 16 years in prison, but she had the consequences of this for the rest of her

life. My poem STIGMATA is in honour of her.