With Elbow Room coming to an end, and the final volume and live night fast approaching on Nov 3rd we are handing over the blog to our contributors. Over the next few weeks past contributors will share their thoughts and stories since they appeared in Elbow Room.
First up- Claire Booker who will be taking to the Elbow Room stage for the final live night!
Endings so often send us hurtling back to beginnings. I’m proud to have sneaked (almost from the off) into Volume Two, alongside poets Jonathan Butcher and Harry Man and artists Maren Reese and Jayne Smith.
That was 2012, and ElbowRoom Live was one of my first feature slots. Camden Town’s hip InSpiral café was the venue during a cats & dogs night of rain. Scuttled umbrellas rubbed spokes with organic smoothies and jazz cello, some great poetry and the awesome band Mina’s Ghost. The volume was a sell-out.
Four year’s later, I found myself in ElbowRoom’s orbit again. This time with a poem in their very first Broadsheet (a paper-folder’s joy), alongside such poets as Richie McCaffery, Jason Jackson, Nikki Robson and Wes Lee. Another ElbowRoom Live, this time at the Harrison, King’s Cross, where my fellow features included Stephen Bone, Louise Buxton, Andrew Wells and some wonderful singing and technical bravado by Andrea Kempson.
And now, by good fortune, one of my poems is popping up in the final Volume.
Over those seven years, I’ve explored my poetic voice, featured at venues across the UK, had a pamphlet published (Later There Will Be Postcards with Green Bottle Press) and appeared in a wide range of publications, including Ambit, Magma, Rialto and The Spectator. One of my poems has been set to music and performed at the Actor’s Church, Covent Garden, and I’ve even had a poem published on a Guernsey bus! Best of all, I’ve met some great people.
ElbowRoom’s curators can justifiably be proud of their twenty wonderful volumes, the ethos of the project and their fabulous live nights. So a big thank you and congratulations to Rosie Sherwood and Zelda Chappel. One small step, perhaps, but a giant leap of talent and imagination that will continue to make ripples for years to come.