Our first Sofa Sessions event took place on 9 June with amazing performances from award-winning young poets and musicians from diverse backgrounds. You can watch the recording on our Zone In Instagram.
Emcee: Nabeelah Hafeez (poet)
First half: Will Harris (poet), Kirsty Taylor (poet), Lisa Luxx (poet)
Second half: Phoebe Wagner (poet), Matt Abbott (poet), Karim Kamar (pianist)
Phoebe Wagner is a poet and theatre-maker from London. She is a Barbican Young Poet and part of Living House Theatre. She studied at Rose Bruford College on the European Theatre Arts course. Her debut pamphlet 'The Body You're In' is out now with Bad Betty Press and explores the fierceness of vulnerability and the politics in the personal. She is developing an online scratch of her show ‘Crep Protect’, exploring the mundane stories in her trainer collection with Omnibus Theatre. This will be video called to the world at the end of May. Her quarantine goal is to dance in her room alone more when she’s feeling sad and perfect the 'social distance' dance on her daily walks.
Matt Abbott is a poet, educator and activist from Wakefield. His debut one-man show Two Little Ducks earned 5* reviews at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and on a UK theatre tour in 2018. The show’s poems were published as his debut collection by Verve Poetry Press in 2018.
Matt’s debut kids’ poetry collection A Hurricane in my Head was published by Bloomsbury in July. It channels playful rebellion, school life and home life, challenges societal stereotypes, and finds joy in the world without the need for technology. Matt is an ambassador for Eureka! The National Children’s Museum and Trinity Homeless Projects.
Will Harris is a writer of mixed Anglo-Indonesian heritage, born and based in London. He has worked in schools, led workshops at the Southbank Centre and teaches for The Poetry School. He is a Contributing Editor at The Rialto and a fellow of The Complete Works III. Published in the Bloodaxe anthology Ten: Poets of the New Generation, he has been featured on Poetry International and in ES Magazine as part of the “new guard” of London poets. His poem ‘SAY’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018, and he won a Poetry Fellowship from the Arts Foundation in 2019. His debut pamphlet of poems, All this is implied, published by HappenStance in 2017, was joint winner of the London Review Bookshop Pamphlet of the Year and shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. Mixed-Race Superman, an essay, was published by Peninsula Press in 2018 and in an expanded edition by Melville House in the US in 2019. He co-edited the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review. His first full poetry collection, RENDANG, is published by Granta in the UK and is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in the US.
Lisa Luxx is a queer writer, performer, essayist and activist of British Syrian heritage. She writes for freedoms, for healing, to mobilise and to inquire.
Luxx is winner of the Outspoken Prize of Performance Poetry 2018, and was shortlisted for both Peace Poetry Prize 2016 and Sabotuer Awards Best Spoken Word Performer 2017. She was also nominated for the Arts Foundation Fellowship in Poetry. She regularly headlines literary events internationally including shows at Royal Albert Hall, Latitude Festival and Station Beirut. She's done readings for Burberry, Selfridges and her local Women's Centre. Her poetry has been broadcast across channels including BBC Radio 4, VICE TV and ITV. She was named one of the top 4 queer poets by Diva magazine.
In 2017 she released a collection of poems and essays called The 4th Brain, which follows the journey of a millennial searching for connection through internet, sisterhood and [r]evolutions. Published by Prowl House Books and illustrated by Elizabeth Clough, curator of London’s Red Door Studios.
Luxx is currently researching and writing for upcoming projects - Breastmilk Martini and Honey Eyes - and is splitting her time between London, Huddersfield and Beirut.
Karim Kamar is a neo-classical pianist & composer from London. He has been performing as a solo pianist since 2013 and has performed at almost every major music venue in London including: The Jazz Cafe, The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scotts, Southbank Centre and The Royal Albert Hall. Along with Writer & Poet, Anthony Anaxagorou, he also runs a monthly live music night called Out-Spoken, which showcases poetry recitals and new music.