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That’s What We Said at Verve Poetry Festival


19 Feb 2022

19.30 - 21.30

Birmingham Hippodrome

For Books’ Sake will be at Verve Poetry Festival in February 2022 – our first in-person event since early 2020 under our new name That’s What We Said!

We’ll be kicking off with this very special edition of That’s What We Said on Saturday night (19th Feb) of the festival with guests: afshan d’souza-lodhi, Rosie Garland and Maz Hedgehog!

There are six open mic slots available for the night, open to marginalised genders. Email

The event will be also BSL interpreted and live-streamed.

Visit Verve’s website for the full programme of events and accessibility information.


Check out our Writing Your Intuition workshop the following day >>>




afshan d’souza-lodhi

afshan d’souza-lodhi was born in Dubai and bred in Manchester. She is a writer of scripts and poetry and was recently commissioned to write and direct a short film for Channel 4 An Act of Terror and a radio play for BBC Sounds Chop Chop.

afshan is currently a Sky Writes writer-in-residence for Rotherham, a partnership between Sky Studios and New Writing North. She is also currently developing a TV series with Sky Studios. afshan has edited many anthologies and has an essay featured in Picador’s collection by Muslim women called Its Not About The Burqa. Her debut poetry collection ‘re:desire’ (Burning Eye Books) has been longlisted for the Jhalak Prize (2021).


Rosie - credit Arcane Sin med

Rosie Garland

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.


Maz Hedgehog

Maz Hedgehog is a writer, editor and performer working in the spaces between real and unreal, poetry and theatre, self and other. Their work has found its way onto stages and behind mics from Edinburgh to Brighton, working with organisations like MiF, CBBC and Penguin. Fond of fairies and folklore, Maz’s work is imaginative, lyrical and occasionally a little surreal. Their debut collection of poetry The Body and Its Seasons is out Spring 2022 with Burning Eye Books.


Bridget Hart

Bridget Hart (they/them) is a writer, performer and creative producer based in the South West.

Bridget is the former long term editor of Burning Eye Books, and continues to help performance artists transfer their work to the page as a freelance mentor. They have appeared on panels and hosted live poetry events across many UK festivals including Verve, Leeds, Cheltenham Poetry Festivals, Shambala, Uni Slam and the Poetry Book Fair.

As a performance poet, 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 Boomtown, Shambala, Manchester Punk Festival and Edinburgh Fringe. They have published two collections of poetry, Better Watch Your Mouth, and the latest Chewing Gum – a queer reimagining of Grease published by Small Press (Tangent Books).

Bridget is the co-ordinator of For Books’ Sake’s non-binary writer’s group They//Us.

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