This weekend, I somehow managed to squeeze in a workshop in Kellingley (West Yorkshire) on Thursday afternoon, a festival in Strasbourg (Northeast France) all day on Friday, and then a show in Goathland (North Yorkshire) on Saturday night.

It’s not rare that I’m running around from one gig to the next, but it’s the first time in my career that I’ve travelled abroad for work as a poet. I was commissioned to write the official festival poem for European Youth Forum’s bi-annual Yo!Fest, which was held outside the EU building in Strasbourg.

As as I’m sure you can imagine, it was a surreal experience, but being at a festival with around 10,000 young folk – all of which were attending because they were engaged with politics at various levels – was an incredible feeling.

After doing my first performance, we recorded around a dozen of the delegates each performing a couple of lines from my poem – the video of which will surface on the EYF website later this year. Of those dozen people, we had at least 9 different nationalities, which again was an incredible experience.

Apart from being stranded in Paris after the last train to Strasbourg was cancelled on the Thursday night, leaving me in a €30 1* hotel, it couldn’t have gone better. I’ll be back with the video as soon as it’s live…

poet, educator & activist

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