Laments & Incantations – News! News! News!

News! News! News! I’ve been lax with the blog….

So – June/July sets to be busy. It has been a wild few months. The chapbook is out (more details below) and launched on May 9th. There are now 70/150 limited edition copies left which you can purchase directly from me (send me a message)or at one of these events where I will be performing/reading from the collection.

Dates for your diary June/July:

June 15th – London Fetish Film Festival – 8pm. Poetry performance with Hen Ni Linnea on violin. Details to follow. You can purchase day or 3 day passes for the Festival at The Hen and Chickens Theatre, London.

June 22nd – Poetry Brothel London – Midsummer Ball at the Kings Head Private Members Club. This event focuses on Poetry as a decadent indulgence. We have ‘open readings’ where poets and musicians perform. I will be working with Hen Ni Linnea on the open performances. The gem of the night is purchasing private readings from the poets. (It’s not called a Poetry Brothel for nothing!). It’s a beautiful, sensual and multi-sensory experience in the lush surrounds of a private members club.

June 27th – Advantages of Age hosts 6 poets over 50 at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden. It’s a fabulous line-up of poets, curated by the marvellous Rose Rouse. The Poetry Cafe hosts wonderful events – in a lovely, cosy, Covent Garden room.

July 6th – The Crimson Word will be performing 1-2-1 intimate readings at a special Mansion Party in Brighton. Details to follow. Follow our page for updates.

July 7th – The Bloody Poets: From Darkness with Hen Ni Linnea. This is a great night of more experimental ways of presenting poetry and music, curated by the great Mad Pirvan. At SET in Dalston. It’s a great line up.

The Launch Event:

The ‘Laments & Incantations’ chapbook launched on May 9th with my music partner Hen Ni Linnea. We were joined by Machig de Valence Matig launching her first collection, ‘Your Body, My Poem’. It was a beautiful event with music and readings from some of my favourite artists. Poetry readings from Katie Haworth and Tom Bland and music by Picturepoems and Gabi Garbutt. It was a collaborative affair – and it was wonderful being joined on some poems by Picturepoems and Gabi Garbutt. It really elevated the poems to have other musicians work with us. Of the 150 limited edition copies, I know have 70 left, which you can either buy directly from me or at events at which I am performing. Copies are £10 per book plus p+p Send me a message or follow my fb page for news of events.

Laments & Incantations is here!

PictureCredit: Alexander Blair
Picture Credit Alexander Blair

We did it! ‘Laments & Incantations’ has arrived from the printers and we are having a double book launch with Maching de Valance’s ‘Your Body, My Poem’ on 09.05.2019

It has been a pleasure getting this collection together with editor Katie Haworth, whom I met as a fellow performer at The Poetry Brothel London. She has such a light touch and sensitivity , but is not afraid to suggest radical changes and to challenge me when I get too stubborn! Her diplomatic skills have clearly been honed by her editing day job! The collection is so much the better for Katie’s kind eye. Katie will be reading from her own work at the event.

This collection is very much the written text of oft performed poems. Hen Ni Linnea and I have been publicly performing poems in this collection over the past two years and I have done countless private/intimate readings of these poems at events like The Poetry Brothel London, The Curious Invitation (with the Crimson Word) and other events. People often ask, ‘Where can I find your work?’ and now, at last, I can say, ‘Here!’ The previous collection was published very much as a D.I.Y. chapbook to take along to the Poetry Brothel – but it has been almost 3 years between the two. These are not all the poems written in that period – just a sliver of stuff I was putting together in my head as ‘Laments and Incantations’.

Also launching in London, is Machig de Valence with her collection ‘Your Body, My Poem’. I met Machig in Berlin,where she runs The Poetry Brothel Berlin. Machig speaks of her work as “Tantric Poetry”. “Your body, my poem” was born out of the visceral need of Machig to bring some kinky heartfelt sexuality in contemporary poetry. The pictures in the book are often raw photographs, shot on smartphone, of Machig’s own erotic journey.

We will be joined on the night by poet and singer-songwriters responding with their own sensual and persuasive works. I am delighted to be joined in the night’s revelries by fresh punk- rocker/singer/songwriter Gabi Garbutt and Picturepoems (Alicia Maracanas). The two artists are completely different, but both bring a forthright honesty and emotion to their work which I find really inspiring.

Finally, performer and writer Tom Bland will be joining us. Toms will be reading from his poetry book, ‘The Death of a Clown’. Tom manages to combine therapy, clowning and asphyxiation. His is a unique voice; humane, open, shocking, compassionate and funny.

Tickets to the event can be booked here. We are running a waitlist – so do put your name down if you are interested in attending.

Bad Feminist

So, we ran an open mic night at The Crimson Word, called ‘Gender: Mind your own Body’. I wrote a poem for the night. A rumination on my relationship with my body and my gender over the years. My friend, the poet Tom Bland came to read for us. He has started a new online magazine called ‘Spontaneous Poeticals” and has published my poem ‘Bad Feminist’ in it. You can read it here.

Tom has recently published a poetry book, ‘The Death of a Clown’, with Bad Betty Press. It darkly funny, philosophical and kinky. You can purchase it here.

As well as sharing my passion for small, intimate poetry, co-director of The Crimson Word, Winter James, also has a love for directing MASSIVE IMMERSIVE EVENTS. She hired me to perform poetry as ‘The Baba Yaga’ with fellow poet, burlesque artist and aerialist, Naomi Wood for her ‘Carnal Theatre’ event ‘FemmeDaemonium‘ – exploring the woman betrayed and reviled in mythology. I played the older Baba Yaga to Naomi Wood’s younger ‘seeker’. Here is Naomi’s poem, Changeling, featured in ‘You are Hysterical‘ which she had performed at the first FemmeDaemonium event and had invited me to join for the recent one. I took a huge risk in the poetry making; writing some framing verses inspired by the writings of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and then asked the members of the audience to ask a question. I tried to make my answers as poetical as possible; but I am still not sure that I pulled it off. What is poetry? I started the New Year working at an event where I had to flatter people. Somehow I inveigled it so that I dictated the content of their flattery certificates to them, and then signed, with a flourish ‘Debra Watson’ whilst simultaneously saying, “Signed: Debra Watson, Poet!” So now, I am not certain. Is it poetry just because I say it is? I am reading Michael Ondaatje’s new book, ‘Warlight’. Ondaatje is a poet. It shows through his prose. I fell in love with his work since the first pages of his novel ‘In the skin of a lion’, where he describes the building of a bridge in such beautiful detail that it instilled a love for me in bridges that I don’t believe was present before that reading. I think it also has a nun falling. At any rate, that is not important, what is important is the way in which he, Ondaatje, can write a sentence or a description that stops you dead in your tracks. The art of the story as narrative, as plot, simply disappears. The art of the story becomes the use of language to burrow holes into alternative ways of seeing, describing and being in the world. “Is this poetry?” I don’t even have to ask. Ondaatje answers anyway, ‘It is all poetry’.

I myself have no clear idea of what I want to achieve with poetry. Writing is a way of me ‘sorting things out’. I am attracted to the music and shape of ideas. To the sounds of words. To the images they paint. I have never hoped of much for poetry except that it is my way of settling into myself; a form of explaining. I am always astounded, that like a tuning fork, my words can bring me closer to people. That in some ways words, that great masker of truth, can also reveal and forge a deeper connectivity.

I’d like to know. What do you think poetry is? What is it for?

Laments and Incantations – Fundraiser

Laments and Incantations
Laments and Incantations – photo by Leif Sebastien taken on Hampstead Heath, summer 2018

In the past 2yrs I have been loosely writing  around a theme called ‘Laments and Incantations’ for performance events.  I am now running a ‘GoFundMe’ campaign to raise money to bring out a limited edition chapbook of 150 signed and numbered copies with stunning original photo by Leif Sebastien.

The poems printed will all have been written and performed for at either The Poetry Brothel London, The Bloody Poets or The Crimson Word and performed at various open mic nights. They are not all the poems written in this period, just a short collection selected by me and refinded by editor Katie Haworth, It

£10 will get you a copy of the book in the UK. Please add p+p if you are donating from elsewhere.

Click here  for Go Fund Me

Paypal me here

Please also include your physical address in your message!

To find out more contact me here:


Summer Festivals, September Fun!

Performing as Bibi Synthe @ The Poetry Brothel London, with Henni Linnea on violin.

I’m popping off to Berlin at the end of August to experience The Poetry Brothel Berlin – Bacchanal and coming back by way of a little festival in a field outside of  Amsterdam on 1st Sept.

Madly excited that our project  The Crimson Word is taking off!  We have 2 exciting events in September playing in a yurt at Wonderland Festival on 15th Sept and on the open stage on the 16th Sept and appearing at The Archway with Words Book Festival on 26th September in a show called ‘The Empire of Fluff’. We will be experimenting with form and multi-media and working with some of the finest performers and wordsmiths I know. Get your tickets before they go. You do not want to miss this night, exploring the dark heart of terrorities unknown, uncharted and ephemeral.

Also, on 20th September, experimental performances, music and poetry collective,  The Bloody Poets ,are back with a new chapter:  The Bloody Poets: Dues Irae

Then at the end of September, The Poetry Brothel London, the original poetry focused night of intimate readings returns to The Library in the West End, in a Baudelaire inspired, ‘Les Fleurs Du Mal’ inspired evening. I’ll be writing and performing new material, so come along!

October 3rd , I am appearing with Henni Linnea at Gabi Garbutt’s Music as Insurgent Art at The Monarch in Camden Town, with some great musicians and fellow poets Gabriel Moreno and Peter Doolan. Gabi Garbutt is producing a small book of poems and words for the night – so come along and pick up a copy.

Best news of all, is that my abstract for an essay on experiencing and performing intimate poetry has been accepted and I will be conducting research. If you would like to get involved, please message me and I will get in touch!




The Bloody Poets 1
Performing ‘The Fall’ at ‘The Bloody Poets: Inferno   pic: Lilith Costela

I am a creative interested in performance, media and participative methodologies. I work across a range of  platforms from community training projects through to installations and performances.  I set up the community theatre, art and media company ‘MetaPlay’ in 2005, to give access to arts participation and training to communities and groups. Alongside Metaplay, I have been developing my own site-specific, intimate and audience collaborative works.

I am am co-founder of The Crimson Word a poetry collective for shows and events exploring multi-sensory, immersive and intimate poetry.

I am also a regular performer at The Poetry Brothel London and with The Bloody Poets. I have performed poetry in Barcelona, Berlin, Utrecht, Amsterdam and South Africa.

For upcoming performances please go to Upcoming Shows/Previous shows. These are all ticketed shows.

You can find out about FREE events on my fb page @debrawatsonperformanceandpoetry

Recent other performances have been at The Archway Festival of Words,  The Poetry Cafe London at Platform 1; Bloody Poets – Victorian Anarchism; The Dark Arts Circus, Advantages of Age Viva Vintage, The Society of Imaginary Friends, Word on the Water, Once upon a Mic,

See here for Upcoming and Previous shows