The annual competition for citizens of Exeter to elect their next Bard took place on Sunday 28th April at Exeter Phoenix.
Wordsmiths of all kinds competed by delivering a performance of their own work and presenting their vision for the Bardship. Tim King, Peter Roe, Adam Skerrett, Richard Green, James Turner all presented enthralling offerings and the evening concluded with inspirational poet Melanie Crump being appointed as the new Bard.
In her Manifesto, Melanie pointed to the underrepresentation of women in spoken word and over the next year she aims to support female artists, as well as putting energy into the existing poetry scene and running educational workshops.
Exeter is one of only a small group of cities with the right to appoint a bard, in a tradition that dates back 200 years. The role is kept for one year and a day and the Bard is said to represent the land and the people of the territory.
To conclude the evening, outgoing Bard Kimwei McCarthy was also awarded the role of Grand Bard by outgoing Grand Bard Jackie Juno. This role is 7 years and Jackie has notably organised the record breaking Grand Witches Tea Party at Rougemont each year under the role. The coming year will tell what Kimwei will do as Grand Bard.
Songs, stories and verse! What more could you want? Award winning poet Fiona Benson, international storyteller David Healthfield and myself bring you a wondrous night out at Gallery 36. In case that isn’t enough, enjoy all of this whilst surrounded by Veronica Goslings energetic and unique artwork.
This is a Bardic event, showcasing the Bardic arts (songwriting, storytelling and poetry) whilst doubling as the launch of my long awaited album “Nothing’s Binary”. You can pre-order the album HERE
Since numbers are limited, please book through Gallery 36 to avoid disappointment :
If you do have to cancel, let us know asap so we can offer the space.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Love and light
Singer-songwriter Kimwei brings captivating songs that unravel and bring light to the darkest corners “as though he’s giving each member of the audience an individual hug” – Blue Walnut, Torquay. (Featured on Sky Arts, BBC Radio Devon)
Fiona Benson is an award winning poet who’s work is brave, searing and deeply powerful (Forward Prize 2018, Seamus Heaney First Collection Poetry Prize 2015, Radio 4). Watch her read, here: FIONA BENSON
David Heathfield tells stories from around the world transporting us to every country with his warm charm, showing us the joys and sorrows of the human heart.
Kimwei is the Bard of Exeter and presents the evening as part of his mission to bring together the Bardic Arts: Storytelling, Poetry and Song.
One thousand pounds you say?! Plus £4 extra for sweets? My word! Thanks so much to my 53 backers for making this happen and to everyone who came forward during the campaign to contribute to the album itself.
I’m proud to announce that the launch will be on Dec 1st at Gallery 36 in Exeter. If you would like a launch to happen nearer you, then message me and invite me to you area for a living room gig!
There’s a bit more to do on the album, but mainly what I’d like from this Kickstarter, is to be able to get the Vansion I live in ready for winter. It would mean the world to me if the people who love my music would contribute to how I live as a musician and help keep me warm this winter.
The main cost is a diesel heater at £740, but if the target is exceeded or a cheaper heating solution is found, then I could also get all manner of bountiful things such as:
-tongue n’ groove wood cladding for the interior walls
-insulated window panels
-an additional cupboard (to help make room for the heater)
If you have something to contribute besides money, please get in touch, whether you have materials going spare, or can help to build, or to install the heater. If you have any of the following to give/lend, please let me know:
-A winter duvet
-Use of a sewing machine/workshop where I can make and install better curtains.
-A studio in London where I could record a drummer.
In summer 2014 I took my own, self-designed £0 Challenge, to run out of money on purpose and then build back up from zero without begging borrowing or stealing. Here’s my video series about the experience, which I’m now making 4 years later. A new instalment is uploaded each Tuesday, so subscribe to avoid missing any.
The section of my weblog that chronicles this in text starts here: £0 Challenge
Kimwei takes his “Nothing’s Binary” workshop to the legendary Summerhouse Weekend at the end of August, as well as performing songs exploring gender and consciousness. This event is sold out, but watch this space and nothingsbinary.com for more gender-spectrum celebrations from Kimwei!
London folk, don’t miss The Togetherness Festival on June 17th, where Kimwei will be running her latest workshop, entitled “Do You See Me?”
We all have the desire to be fully accepted, yet being truly understood is rare. Why is this? When have we been asked to decide between inclusion and self-realization? When has it seemed necessary to go against our true nature in order to be loved?
Since May, the Nothing’s Binary project has grown to the point that it needs its own dedicated home in cyberspace. Find it at nothingsbinary.com
I’m thrilled that what started off as me writing one song about being non-binary and recording it with Billie Bottle, has expanded to this point now. It’s included performances, hosting events and running workshops, by myself or with Billie too. I’ve also spoken on BBC Radio Devon, and Beyond The Binary magazine. I’m grateful for the opportunities to contribute to the breaking down of gender stereotyping and celebrating all genders. Long may it continue.
Billie and I had such a great time playing at Exeter Street Arts Festival at the weekend. Thanks to all those who came, and who stayed on to chat with us too. We’re cooking up more so stay tuned if you’re up for a Nothing’s Binary gathering in the near future.