I’ve Been Looking Everywhere For You – The Launch

Jemma Hathaway Book Launch Friday 7th June Doors 7pm for 7.30pm on the Lightship

Jemma Hathaway Performing

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 @bbc on Instagram. Jemma is a multiple slam-winner, was the 2020 Hammer & Tongue champion for Bristol and is a Button Poetry Short Form contest winner.

Jemma has supported Joelle Taylor, Jasmine Gardosi and Roger McGough, performed at the Royal Albert Hall and appeared on Sky Arts Life & Rhymes. She self-published her first poetry pamphlet, January in 2021. Her poems are a sticky dancefloor for the ongoing dance-off between her head and her heart. She hopes you like her moves.

About The Book

I’ve been looking everywhere for you is full of big four-letter things – life, love, loss, time and ultimately, hope. It’s a book of hellos and goodbyes, bad days and blessings, it is a healing and a homecoming … and it hopes to come home with you.

These poems take us from melanin to mountains, from stars to submarines, from hard times to soft words and set us down somewhere in that healing space between far-off galaxies and close-up magic.

This collection longs to be read in a different light – the light of midnight porches, of torches beneath blankets, of lighthouses that exist solely to warn you away from the rocks. All the lights that say, there you are. I’ve been looking everywhere for you.

‘Big things happen in small moments, writes Jemma Hathaway, and proceeds to show us just how much life can be found stuffed in the cracks of our existence.

Casting a witty, irreverent eye over the subject of her poems, Jemma chooses a playful touch which enables her to explore serious subjects without ever feeling worthy or preachy. The collection doesn’t shy away from the world’s sharp edges- racial microaggressions, homophobia, grief and mental health are some of the things she touches upon- but remains ultimately and defiantly hopeful.

The imagery swings between the expansive and the everyday, where melanin holds light like Galileo’s telescope holds the moon and Queer lives are singing kettles. Throughout, Jemma reminds the reader that love in all its various, ridiculous, wonderful forms exists in the most mundane of places.’ Kat Lyons

‘Jemma Hathaway is a beacon of light guiding you back home to yourself. Her collection is unapologetically itself and encourages you to be the same. Metaphors and similes soar, seeking to be deciphered into insightful notes of acceptance, reminding you you’re alive, and deservedly so. A vivid, compelling and compassionate collection.’ Jemima Hughes

Jemma will be supported on the night by three fantastic poets from the South-West:

Kathryn O’Driscoll
Kathryn O’Driscoll is a queer, disabled poet, mentor and editor from Bath. She was the 2021 U.K. Poetry Slam Champion and a World Slam Finalist. She was longlisted for the Disabled Poets Prize and the Outspoken Prize for Performance Poetry in 2023, and the Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Artist in 2022. In 2021 she was one of the featured poets on the (BAFTA winning) Sky Arts spoken word TV show Life and Rhymes. Her debut collection ‘Cliff Notes’ is available from Verve Poetry Press.

Jo Eades
Since her first performance set at the inaugural Hotwells Festival of words in 2021, Jo has become a regular on the Bristol spoken word scene. She has been featured four times on BBC Radio Upload, performed on the Milk Poetry stage at Valleyfest and was headliner for Heron Books anniversary celebration last Christmas. In 2023 she won both a Rhyme Against the Tide and Milk Poetry Slam and in April this year, won the Lyra Poetry Festival Grand Slam.

Jaidah’s written & spoken works are undeniably compelling, ask questions of us collectively & hold the primary focus of advocating alongside promoting human welfare & connection.
Jaidah’s journey into writing started 3 years ago in a sanctuary of solitude, which stimulated vastly journeying the world within herself & most importantly she has been inspired by listening to the language nature speaks.
Vulnerable yet powerful Jaidah’s quiet commanding presence & delivery are outward reaching & embody a courage built through her own hard-won experience. Continuously thought provoking, her words are colourful & within those colours live the essence of divine human nature.