Billie Holiday Workshop 1: You could be my lover

billie-holiday

‘The rain is coming down, like the summer’s got the blues’
– Steve Whaling

Billie Holiday Group Poem

I remember seeing her punch holes in the pillow,
Shouting, ‘Fuck me, that’s pretty’
‘Fuck me, that’s a kick in the teeth’
You could be my lover
My scrubbing brush baby
Sit down and look at the hills
Tender as only rain can make the sky
It didn’t take long to empty our bed
Or for my body to be back in sync with my head

Exercises:

Billie Holiday frequently wrote about the blues; write your own poem referring to the blues, you can do a humorous take on this to contrast with the melancholic blues. If you get stuck for something deep you could write the ‘’doing the washing up blues’’ anything that is personal to you and makes you blue.

Free write for five minutes from the line:
‘one day a whole damn song fell into place in my head’

Select a section of this obituary for Billie Holiday. Delete words in order to rewrite this narrative focused on her drug habit.

Song: ‘Fine and Mellow’:

‘He wears high-draped pants
Stripes are really yellow
He wears high-draped pants
Stripes are really yellow
But when he starts in to love me
He’s so fine and mellow…

Love will make you drink and gamble
Make you stay out all night long
Love will make you drink and gamble
Make you stay out all night long
Love will make you do things that you know is wrong’

Write a short poem with an upbeat title and then contrast it using ‘Fine and Mellow’ for a model. Include one line that refers to the upbeat title-could be a loose sonnet form, 14 liner, with the one line as a volta.

Next Workshop:

Stirred: Good morning, heartache
Poetry Workshop at Kim by the Sea
49 Old Birley St, Hulme M15 5RF
5pm-7pm £1/2 Donation

Monday 28th September: Stirred Billie Holiday at the 3MT. 

Special Guest blog post in response to Billie Holiday:
Debbie Walsh: your passion buried

Stirred Interview in The Skinny (page 22)

Stirred in the Skinny Sep 2015

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About

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in Events, Feminist thinking, Stirred Performance Night
One comment on “Billie Holiday Workshop 1: You could be my lover
  1. […] Billie Holiday Works… on Billie Holiday Workshop P… […]

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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