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Words & Jazz with Reem Kelani, Mark Waldron, Fran Lock, Seraphima Kennedy, JP O’Malley, Bruno Heinen

Hosted by Nicki Heinen – poetry, music and maybe even a few cocktails…

Mark Waldron

Mark Waldron’s first collection, The Brand New Dark, was published by Salt in 2008, his second, The Itchy Sea, came out in September 2011. His work appears in Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe 2010) and Best British Poetry 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (all Salt). He’s been named one of the 2014 Next Generation Poets by the Poetry Book Society.

Fran Lock

Fran Lock is a dog whisperer, cardigan wearer, and author of two poetry collections, ‘Flatrock’ (Little Episodes, 2011) and ‘The Mystic and the Pig Thief’ (Salt, 2014). Her work as appeared in various places, most recently POETRY and Poetry Review. She is the winner of the 2014 Ambit Poetry Competition, and the Out-Spoken Poetry Prize 2015. Her poem ‘Last Exit to Luton’ came third in the 2014 National Poetry Competition.

Seraphima Kennedy

Seraphima Kennedy is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is writing a memoir called Selfies with Stalin. She co-organised The Place for Poetry Literary Festival 2015 and was once placed under armed guard in western China (for her own safety). She has presented her work in Canada, Sweden and Portugal, and most recently was published in Magma:62.

JP O’Malley

JP O’ Malley is 32 years old, from Dublin, and living in London, six and a half years. JP works as a book critic, events curator, and freelance journalist and has interviewed many prominent established literary, political, and cultural figures, both for print publications, and in a live setting.


He’s been writing poetry on and off since his teens, but has recently decided to try and bring his work- old and new- into the public sphere: especially in a live setting. He’s recently read at numerous open mic nights in London, including The Poetry Cafe, Spoken World London, and Gabriel Moreno and Frank Hutson’s Poetry and Music Night, Wood Green.

Later in the year, JP hopes to bring out a collection of some of his earlier poems, which have been lying lonely at the bottom of his hard drive, waiting to be released to the world.  JP’s literary heros include James Joyce, George Orwell and Czeslaw Milosz. And he believes strongly in W.B. Yeat’s observation ,that the only two things worth writing about in poetry are Sex and Death.

Reem Kelani

Photograph by Christopher Scholey Reem Kelani, the Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster is a captivating and inspirational purveyor of Arabic and Palestinian culture and music. Reem’s repertoire criss-crosses the Mediterranean, including songs by the Egyptian composer, Sayyid Darwish, as well as her arrangements of songs she recorded from women in the Palestinian refugee camps which featured in her classic debut album “Sprinting Gazelle – Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora”. Her second album “Reem Kelani: Live at the Tabernacle” will be released in March 2016.

For her performance this evening, Reem will be accompanied by the wonderfully talented Bruno Heinen. Reem and Bruno are currently working on a duo album of songs. “[Reem Kelani’s] off-mic introduction turned out to be an endearingly apt overture to a performance in which she combined restless energy with vigorous political engagement, persuasive audience involvement and an illustrated, impressively far-reaching musicological dissertation.” Rob Adams, The Herald Scotland, January 2016

“Bruno Heinen’s………skill on the keys deftly slips from classical jazz to Middle Eastern-inspired minor chords to 15th century troubadour. Kelani and Heinen’s musical variety shines throughout the performance. Thomas Petrie, Works In Progress community newspaper, Olympia, Washington, USA, April 2013

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