That’s What She* Said is BACK! After the raucous success of our tenth birthday party last summer, we returning for another online extravaganza in true For Books’ Sake style… by smooshing Anti Valentine’s sentiment (call us pandemic grouches, but a Valentine’s where smooching everyone is literally illegal seems a sad time indeed) with a celebration of LGBTQI+ History Month and swoon-worthy spoken word.
You’re all invited to come along and revel in the glorious queer triple-threat of this headline trio of heartbreakers: Jenny Foulds, Desree and Reece Lyons. Not to mention there will be a few open mic slots available for those of you that are missing sharing your work with the world. (Express your interest by filling out this form.)
You’ll be amply hosted by the double act that brought you Romy and Michelle skits, wigs and shaven heads at our tenth birthday party, That’s What She* Said Bristol host Bridget Hart and London host Paul Forster, bringing you their signature pop-culture silliness between performances alongside other special guests and surprises.
In addition to all that, our pals from Cipher Press will be joining to tell you all about their incredible #NewQueerVoices campaign, including what they most want to see from you in their submissions pile.
Don your ballgowns and tuxes, invite a digital long-distance date and break out the rainbow glitter. We honestly can’t wait to get the gang together online again and celebrate our brilliant community of unromantic queerdos, at the same time as raising some much-needed funds to see us through the next few months. We know you’d be heartbroken if we weren’t around, and the past year has hit us incredibly hard.
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 a year without those live events has had a massive impact, and we’re struggling.
If you want to show us some love this Valentine’s, 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 past year 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.
Jenny Foulds is a big-hearted human who has a brain brimming with ridiculous nonsense. She writes and performs rambunctious spoken word poetry about late night tales, love, friendship and misbehaving. Jenny is the 2021 Scottish Poetry Slam Champion. Prepare for a whirlwind adventure through the wonderful world of Jenny Foulds.
Desree is an award-winning spoken word artist, writer and facilitator based in London and Slough. Currently Artist in Residence for poetry collective EMPOWORD, and an Ambassador for MQ; Mental Health Research Charity, Desree explores intersectionality, justice and social commentary. Producer for both Word Up and Word Of Mouth, finalist in 2018’s Hammer & Tongue national final and TEDx speaker, she has featured at events around the UK and internationally, including Glastonbury Festival 2019, Royal Albert Hall and Bowery Poetry New York. Burning Eye republished Desree’s first pamphlet, I Find My Strength In Simple Things in May 2020.
Reece Lyons is a transgender actress, writer and poet based in London. She is a Roundhouse resident artist where her work has previously gone viral and has been watched by over 4 million people online. Select credits include: Overflow (Bush Theatre), HANNA (Amazon Prime), Life & Rhymes (Sky Arts), Fierce Sisters (Mimbre).
Paul Forster has been been co-director and events manger for FBS since 2015. Curating and hosting London’s chapter of That’s What We Said, as well organising for larger events at Edinburgh Fringe and the Royal Albert Hall. Paul is now working on other projects including his first full novel and a supporting consultant for the new chapter of For Books’ Sake.
Bridget Hart (they/them) is a writer, performer and creative producer based in the South West.
Bridget has been tearing up DIY punk shows for over a decade, cutting their teeth at feminist punk shows across the country. They have performed at festivals including Boomtown, Shambala, Manchester Punk Festival and Edinburgh Fringe. They have published two collections of poetry, Better Watch Your Mouth (Burning Eye), and Chewing Gum – a queer reimagining of Grease published by Small Press (Tangent Books).
Bridget is the former editor of Burning Eye Books, and continues to help performance artists transfer their work to the page as a freelance mentor. They are the host of For Books’ Sake’s live performance night That’s What We Said and the founder of They//Us.