From the fringes to the Edinburgh Fringe- In Conversation with Andi Talbot a Poet on a Mission.

Bio: 

Andi Talbot is a writer and performance poet from County Durham. Since July 2019 he has performed over 30 times in various locations across the North East of England and beyond (literally anywhere that will have him!).

In his free time he enjoys reading, drinking rum and getting lost in unfamiliar cities. 

He is an avid Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks and Newcastle United fan.

RLN: What inspired you to write and perform poetry as a genre?

AT: Growing up, like a lot of people, I wanted to be in a band, so in my teenage years I wrote a lot of (terrible) songs!

I’ve been writing ever since but only taken it seriously for the past 2 or 3 years.

I’m not entirely sure why I started performing poetry, it’s so out of my comfort zone! I had taken some time off work in Summer 2019 due to poor mental health, and upon returning I knew I wanted something new, something different, something more.

So, I challenged myself to perform at an open mic that week, no matter what! I was so nervous but I went through with it and haven’t looked back since! 

RLN: Which books did you read that left a lasting impression on you and who are your favorite authors? 

AT: My favourite poet & author has to be Charles Bukowski. His novel, “Post Office”, had an impact on me for sure, not so much for the content, although some of it was relatable, it’s his casual, almost conversational writing style that really drew me in.

I would say for sure he is my biggest influence.

I also enjoy the work of Hunter S Thompson & Chuck Palahniuk. 

During my set at Crossing the Tyne Festival in North Shields. 

RLN: What has been the highlight of your career as a performance poet?

AT: Oh wow, that’s a tough question! 

I grew up in Edinburgh, so actually performing at The Edinburgh Fringe was a huge deal for me! I’m so thankful to Lita Doolan (@Litadoolan on Twitter) for hosting the “Love Poetry on the Royal Mile” event and for being so enthusiastic about my work! 

RLN: From the fringes to the Edinburgh Fringe, summarize the feeling in a few words?

AT: It has been a whirlwind to be honest!

I’ve thrown myself completely into it! I’ll travel anywhere even to do ONE poem! It’s always worth it for me, meeting new people, hearing their work, networking with fellow poets and performers.

RLN: What is your view of the poetry scene in the North?

AT: It is INCREDIBLE! It’s like a secret world I had no idea of until late last year.

There are so many great events around the area, from Black Light Engine Room in Middlesbrough to The Stanza in Newcastle, Poetry Jam in Durham and the newly founded Ealuscops poetry night in Whitley Bay.

Everyone has been so encouraging and friendly and welcoming! It’s a huge family and I’ve seen nothing but positivity in the scene! 

Performing at “Off the Ground Coffee” for Black Light Engine Room in Middlesbrough.

RLN: If you are to write a book comprising three themes, what would that be?

AT: Love, sex & hope.

RLN: Some magazines and online blogs have published some of your poems; Can you share some of these outlets with us?

AT: I have been very fortunate to have been published in a few magazines/collections over the last 18 months or so, such as Vamp Cat, Bonnie’s Crew and Paper and Ink Zine, as well as the collection ‘Passionate Penholders’ by Ruchi Acharya (of Wingless Dreamer)

Some of my work will feature this Spring in an upcoming edition of Periwinkle Literary Magazine and the online publication Fragmented Voices (run in part by Newcastle based poetess Natalie Crick).

Both publications can be found via twitter and Instagram and are currently open for submissions.

Performing at Word Vomit in Leeds.

RLN: Analog Submission published Your debut collection, tell us more about your collection and where we can buy it from?

AT: Burn Before Reading is my first ever officially published collection, and it contains a lot of the poems which I read during the first few months of performing. I am so thankful to Marc Bruseke over at Analog Submission Press (@analogsubmission on Instagram) for having faith in my words.  

Some poems featured were from my self-published chapbooks, “To The Beat of a Dead Heart” and “Literary Nothing”.

Burn Before Reading can be purchased at the following here

There aren’t many copies left, I would love to get them sold out!

RLN: What would you want to be remembered for as a creative writer?

AT: Someone who paints intimate pictures with words without being a victim to style! 

RLN: Kindly share your key principles since you started performance poetry so newbie poets can benefit.

AT: You can say no to anything BUT try to say yes when an opportunity presents itself!

Don’t be afraid to travel.

Always listen to other poets and be respectful when they are performing.

Mingle afterwards, meet your fellow poets, share opinions, give feedback, and hopefully receive some too!

But, most of all, just enjoy it! 

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