Category: Previous Headliner Archive

Previous Headliner

Malaika Kegode May 22nd 2024

Malakia Kegode

Malaika Kegode is an award-winning writer, performer, creative producer and Associate Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth. She is based in Bristol and Plymouth. Her work is focused on uplifting and celebrating the overlooked and misunderstood. Beginning her arts career as a performance poet in 2014, Malaika has since developed her practice to encompass theatre, radio and film writing. She is a vocal advocate for creativity as a tool for healing and connection. 

Winner of the Kevin Elyot Award (2022) and shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award (2019), Malaika has also been included in the BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s most influential Black & minority ethnic people, and was a 2021 recipient of the Apples & Snakes Jerwood Arts Poetry in Performance Award. She has performed around the UK at a number of celebrated venues, festivals and literary events, including The 100 Club, WOMAD and Hay Festival, and has worked with a wide-range of organisations as a writer, teacher and performer.

Malaika has been performing with folk-inspired prog-rock band Jakabol since 2018. Together they have performed at music and theatre venues alike – bringing a unique, exciting blend of poetry and music to diverse audiences. In 2021, Malaika and Jakabol collaborated on Outlier, which became the first piece of new writing produced for Bristol Old Vic’s main stage in 2021. Directed by Jenny Davies, Outlier fuses spoken word, original music and digital projection by Christopher Harrisson to tell Malaika’s autobiographical coming-of-age story of friendship, isolation and addiction in rural Devon. The show received critical success and fantastic audience reaction, and returned for a second run at Bristol Old Vic in 2022. The playtext for Outlier is published by Salamander Street.

Tackling themes as wide ranging as incel culture and identity in the internet age to millennial queerness and dinosaurs, Malaika’s writing has been performed around the country, including at Lyric Hammersmith, Watford Pumphouse, and Barbican Theatre Plymouth. She is an associate artist for Bristol Old Vic, part of the 2023 English Touring Theatre Nationwide Voices cohort and the current writer-in-residence at University of Bristol Theatre Collection.

As a workshop leader and mentor, Malaika has worked with organisations such as Arvon, Synergy Theatre Company and Narcotics Anonymous. As a trauma informed facilitator, she has specialised in running workshops with young and/or vulnerable people to help them realise the value of their stories. Many of the individuals Malaika has mentored have gone on to forge exciting and fulfilling careers in the arts.

Malaika has also worked film, and was the 2021 recipient of the the Eslpeth Kydd Memorial Prize for her screenwriting portfolio. She has been a curational associate for Watershed, a resident artist for Encounters Film Festival, and programme selector for a number of film festivals including Queer Vision and Tallinn Black Nights.

In 2015, Malaika founded, and continues to be artistic director and host of, Milk Poetry, an organisation that produces innovative spoken word gigs and workshops in a supportive environment across the South West, with monthly events at The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol.

Other projects as writer and/or producer include:
Rot. (tiata fahodzi); Field Notes (BBC Radio 4); Hear Her Voice (Neoteric Dance Company); Own Skin (Random Acts); The Best Ones (Inn Crowd); SheSpoke (Strike a Light); Level Up (Blahblahblah); Gloucester Slam Heats (Roundhouse); Finding Queerness in Kenya (Modern Queers); We are Not All Each Other (Black Ballad); Return to Form (Loud Poets); and her poetry collections Requite, Thalassic and Body Buffet.

Current projects include: The Colour of Dinosaurs (OTIC, Bristol Old Vic & Polka Theatre); The Combe (English Touring Theatre); Ruby, Baby (with thanks to the Kevin Elyot archive at University of Bristol Theatre Collection).

On the John Sebastian Lightship

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Amy Acre SOL Headliner June 26th 2024

Amy Acre

Amy Acre is a poet and editor, born in London and living in Nottingham. Her debut collection, Mothersong (Bloomsbury, 2023) is shortlisted for the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, and was named a Book of the Year in The Telegraph, The Financial Times and California Review of Books. She runs award-winning indie publisher, Bad Betty Press.

Amy is the author of pamphlets, And They Are Covered in Gold Light (Bad Betty, 2019) and Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads (Flipped Eye, 2015), both selected as a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. She’s written for Radio 4 and featured on The Last Dinosaur’s 2020 track, ‘In The Belly of a Whale’. Her work has been selected as a BBC Pick of the Week and a London Review Bookshop recommendation.

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Eryn McDonald 24th April 2024

Eryn McDonald is a multi-disciplinary artist from the South-West. They write a lot about gender, sexuality, politics and, more recently, health and burnout. They are currently co-creating a show about transness, masculinity and girlhood with Satellite of Love’s very own team members Aish Humphreys and Cal Wensley.

They recently completed a short poetry film commission for Apples & Snakes, and are the director of a short documentary on drag and gender identity called Queer Is A Tender Feeling.

They are driven by political rage, love for community, and a burning desire to infiltrate capitalism.

Eryn’s promotional picture was provided by Kathryn O’Driscoll

Jemima Hughes Headliner SOL Feb 2024

Jemima Hughes is a multi slam winning performance poet who will sweep you up and drag you through the “mindfield” of the unorthodox, swiftly spinning it into the ordinary. She brings you into the storm, pauses for breaks in the clouds, and sits with you in the aftermath to discuss how to rebuild. Jemima’s debut poetry collection ‘Unorthodox’, published with Verve Poetry Press in 2020, challenges perceptions of living with sexual trauma and mental health issues through personal experiences. Her new 2023 collection ‘Into The Ordinary’ aims to change perspectives on how we can make the world a more accepting, understanding and comfortable place for those living with these experiences. 

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Jonny Fluffypunk January 24th 2024

Stand-up poet and lo-fi theatremaker Jonny Fluffypunk has been dragging his art around the UK and occasionally beyond for over 25 years, deafly fusing bittersweet autobiography, disillusionment and wonder into an act that has established him as a firm favourite at gigs, festivals and housing benefit offices everywhere. He has two volumes of poems, micro-fictions and threadbare philosophy published by Burning Eye, and his solo ‘no-fi’ stand-up spoken word theatre shows,
including his latest, If We Just Keep Going, We Will Get There in the End, have toured extensively around theatres, pubs, garden sheds, summer houses, record shops and Britain’s other ad-hoc performance spaces in a blatant championing of homespun DIY culture. When not performing, Jonny runs workshops, putting shapes and colours into the minds of young and old alike. He’s a crucial third of Hip Yak Poetry Shack, ‘the south west’s favourite pop-up poetry event’, and also runs Mr Fluffypunk’s Penny Gaff, an alternative cabaret in his adopted home town of Stroud.

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Kat Lyons

Kat is a Bristol-based writer and performer, working mainly in the field of spoken word poetry. They are the curent Bristol City Poet (2022-2024) and were nominated for the Jerwood Poetry in Performance Award 2022. Kat has performed at poetry events and festivals across the UK, including WOMAD, Shambala, Lyra: Bristol Poetry Festival 2020 and the Eden Project. Their poetry has been featured in Under the Radar, Ink Sweat & Tears and Bath Magg and their debut collection Love Beneath the Nails is published by Verve Poetry Press. Kat has recently finished their UK tour of Dry Season – a multi-year spoken word theatre show/project exploring age, identity and menopause.

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Jenny Mitchell. SOL Headliner October 2023

Jenny Mitchell won the Gregory O’Donoghue Prize 2023 for a single poem, and the Poetry
Book Awards 2021 for her second collection, Map of a Plantation, which is on the syllabus at
Manchester Metropolitan University.

The prize-winning debut collection, Her Lost
is One of 44 Poetry Books for 2019 (Poetry Wales), and her latest collection,
Resurrection of a Black Man, contains three prize-winning poems and is featured on the US
podcast Poetry Unbound.

She’s won numerous competitions, is widely-published and has performed at the Houses of Parliament. Her latest publication is the pamphlet shared with Zoë Brigley and Roy McFarlane called Family Name.

Jemma Hathaway 27th September 2023, on board The John Sebastian Lightship

Jemma Hathaway. Photo by Sam Cavender/@samsnapsalot

Jemma Hathaway likes to put words next to one another and see if they hit it off. Her poems have been featured on BBC Radio Bristol, BBC iPlayer and she was the 2020 Hammer & Tongue slam champion for Bristol. She has supported Joelle Taylor, performed at the Royal Albert Hall and appeared on Sky Arts Life & Rhymes hosted by Benjamin Zephaniah. She is a Button Poetry Short Form contest winner and in 2021 self-published her first poetry pamphlet, January.

Last year she won the Hip Yak Poetry Shack slam at Frome Festival and performed her first festival set at WOMAD and this year she has been lucky enough to support Roger McGough.

Her poems are a sticky dancefloor for the ongoing dance-off between her head and her heart. She hopes you like her moves. She is currently working on her first full collection.

Photo by:

Sam Cavender/@samsnapsalot 

Satellite Of Summer

Wednesday 9th August 2023

Three headline poets and open mic slots on board the John Sebastian Lightship

Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start

Satellite Of Summer, a special event brought to the Lightship by Satellite Of Love Open Mic Poetry.

Toby Thompson

Previous Glastonbury Poetry Slam Champion Toby Thompson has written commissions for the RSC, The Royal Geographical Society and the National Portrait Gallery. He’s performed his work at The Natural History Museum; The Royal Albert Hall and The House of Lords. His one man poetry and music storytelling bonanza ‘For The Record’ won the Pleasance Indie Award for Best Theatre Show at at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018. His show ‘I Wish I Was A Mountain’ won the Victor Award for Best Theatre Show at Philadelphia’s IPAY Festival 2020. In 2022, Toby toured ‘I Wish I Was A Mountain’ to China for six months, and also to Ireland, where he received a 5 star review in The Irish Times.

‘Entrancing… The words tumble out of him like an extended jazz solo’ – The Guardian

‘Touching, captivating, and toe-tinglingly lovely, Toby’s work is a joy’ – Edinburgh Guide, 5 stars
‘…easily one of the most gifted young wordsmiths I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.’ – Akala

Iona Lee

Iona Lee is a poet, visual artist, music-maker, storyteller and spoken-word performer from Edinburgh. She has been a prominent member of Scotland’s live poetry scene for ten years, appearing on radio (The Verb, The Digital Human) and television (The Big Scottish Book Club), and has performed in venues and on festival stages all over the UK and Europe (Glastonbury, The World Slam Championships, the Edinburgh International Book Festival.) Iona has a BA in illustration from the Glasgow School of Art and a first class MFA in Art & Philosophy from DJCAD. Her pamphlet (Polygon, 2018) was shortlisted for a Saltire Award, and her upcoming debut collection, Anamnesis, was shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Iona’s writing has been described by Liz Lochead as “youthful, sexy, sharp, ferally female, and funny”.

Iona Lee’s photography credit goes to Laura Meek –

Ben Vince

Ben is a Bristol based poet and performer, whose work seeks intimacy above all else – be it with other humans, the more-than-human, or the spiritual. He has been published in Horizon, has edited for The Scores Journal of Poetry and Prose, and is both a commended Foyles Young Poet and winner of a Fresher’s Writing Prize.