Life Behind Bards is a poetry anthology focussing on the voices of working and lower-working class writers. It looks at their backgrounds and life experiences, and how their class status has impacted on these.
This anthology was born of discussions surrounding gatekeeping in poetry and literature, and the self-evident fact that while lower-working classes voices in poetry are not non-existent, they are extremely sparse. Very often they may be the only participant of that description at any given poetry event – a fact of which they are often made to feel acutely self – aware.
Every poet involved in the project has at some time faced difficulty accessing poetry in some way – the hope is that this anthology will provide other poets and writers from a similar demographic with an assurance that poetry is and can be accessible; that it is not only for the educated or middle class, and that their voices and experiences are worthy and deserving of artistic consideration.
Here, each poet shares their unique experiences and perceptions. However, when brought together as an anthology, their works display collective narratives that unify each individual through the shared realities of working class life.
The project was devised, curated and recorded by Sadie Davidson, and shares the voices of Josh Chamberlain, Patrick Crowley, Sonny Green, Danny Martin, Aaron Shrimpton, and Sadie herself.
Josh Chamberlain is a barber from Southend. He has been writing poetry for approximately four weeks. He is looking forward to getting his work out and ‘ Helping people see beauty in the grime’.
Patrick Crowley is also from Southend. He is 20 years old, is studying acting and describes rap as a huge influence on his writing – particularly Eminem.
Sonny Green is a rapper, performance poet and music workshop facilitator. He is also the founder of the monthly poetry event Trouble Tongues.
Danny Martin is a performance poet from Harrow, North West London. He and Sadie Davidson met as competitors at a poetry slam more than once. They identified with one anothers work and this project was, in essence, born as a result of their resulting conversations.
Aaron Shrimpton is a film – maker from Basildon; a New Talent Bafta winner; and part time ‘poetic – ranter’. He also holds a first- class degree in photography.
You can find out more via Sadie’s Facebook page.