That’s What She* Said is BACK! After the raucous success of our tenth birthday party last summer and our Queer Heartbreakers Ball earlier this year, we returning for another online extravaganza in true For Books’ Sake style… by celebrating summer, Pride season, our eleventh birthday and the time of year we’d usually be at Edinburgh Fringe, all smashed together into one incredible evening of poetry and performance.
You’re all invited to come along and revel in the glorious triple-threat of spoken word superstars Brown Girl in the Ring, AJ McKenna and Rosie Garland. Missed sharing your work from our stages? We have some open mic slots available for you to show off your skillz: express your interest by filling out this form.
You’ll be hosted by our double act dream team of That’s What She* Said Bristol host Bridget Hart and London host Paul Forster, bringing you their signature pop-culture silliness between performances plus other special guests and surprises.
Break out the rainbow glitter and flags, don your summer frocks, short shorts or swimwear, set up your phone so we can serenade you in your paddling pool, and fill your freezers with all the ice-cream and cool confections you’ll need to keep you chill when we turn up the heat with this amazing line-up.
Having sold-out almost all our Edinburgh Fringe shows in 2017, 2018 and 2019 (in 2017 we were so packed that attendees literally ripped the door off its hinges to get into our final show of the series!), we honestly can’t wait to get the gang together again online and celebrate our brilliant community.
As with our Heartbreakers Ball, we’ll also be using the event as an opportunity to raise raise some much-needed funds to see us through the next few months. But whether or not you’re in a position to donate, we’d love to have you attend.
Real talk time: our live events are the only part of For Books’ Sake that make any money. With our workshops and retreats, we cover our costs and pay our facilitators, but next-to-nothing goes back into the kitty. Maybe not the best of business plans, but we got into this to build and support a community, not become millionaires.
Our monthly live events in London, Manchester and Bristol have always functioned as fundraisers that make the rest of what we do possible. We don’t get any external funding from anywhere else. So going almost eighteen months without those live events has had a massive impact, and we’re struggling.
If you want to show us some love this summer, there’s an option to make an additional donation when you buy your ticket. Everything penny you donate will go towards ensuring our survival, and you’ll get our eternal love and gratitude too.
We also know the unprecedented surrealness of the ongoing pandemic has hit some of you hard, so we’ve set aside a number of free tickets for those of you who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. If you want one of these, please just email us.
Rosie Garland writes long and short fiction, poetry and sings with post-punk band The March Violets. Her new poetry collection ‘What Girls do the Dark’ (Nine Arches Press) has just been nominated for the Polari Prize. Latest novel The Night Brother was described by The Times as “a delight…with shades of Angela Carter.” In 2019, Val McDermid named her one of the UK’s most compelling LGBT+ writers. She has a passion for language nurtured by public libraries, and a firm belief in the power of persistence.
AJ McKenna has performed poems while stripping, handcuffing herself to a microphone stand and having dry rice thrown at her in an attempt to understand the true meaning of love, though not, as yet, all at the same time. She is the author of A Lady of a Certain Rage, names and songs of women, Incidents of Trespass and, most recently, England is the Enemy. In her spare time she worries.
Brown Girl in the Ring
Brown Girl in the Ring is a writer and spoken word artist based in Birmingham. Influenced by her experience as a Malawian Indian Muslim woman born and raised in the UK, her community began migrating to the African subcontinent in the 1890s and eventually settling in the UK in the early 70s. Her love for writing and playful wordplay includes themes of survival, healing, identity, spirituality, sensuality, rediscovering pleasure, nature and music. A spirit-tugging creative healer – she uses poetry to articulate when her lips don’t know where to start.
Paul Forster has hosted That’s What She* Said London since its inception in 2015 and cites it as his favourite night of the month. Paul is focused on and committed to spearheading diversity, loves to build strong relationships with performers and is always keen to encourage writers who want to develop their stage craft. If you’re interested in a feature set or would like to be considered to headline That’s What She Said London, get in touch with Paul.
Bridget Hart writes love-letters to resilience and survivorship, with wry anger and wit that not only empowers but inspires to kick back against the world and dig deep within our own introspective selves. A master of DIY, immediate and intimate performance. In 2017, they released the debut pamphlet Better Watch Your Mouth (Burning Eye Books). Bridget has performed at a variety of events including Cheltenham Literature Festival, Verve Poetry Festival, Manchester Punk Festival, Shambala, Boomtown Fair and Audacious Women Festival. Bridget is the co-editor of Burning Eye Books, the largest indie poetry press in the UK. They produce and co-host DIY queer punk podcast Chips and Beans, and curate and host Bristol’s segment of That’s What She* Said.