Thursday, March 10
Internationally awarded slam poet, Anis Mojgani took to the stage and threw words down hard. That was his talk, his session – just a performance, but it wasn’t just a performance, it was inspiring, it seemed to pick up on similar themes that Miranda July and also Mallory Ortberg had presented: that influence was anywhere and everywhere, and used arrived after (or during) bouts of hard work.
Mojgani’s style is quite incredible, quite unlike any other performance poet I’ve heard – a clarity to his voice and an almost religious zeal (not quite a fervour) that drives each piece. The poems were huge – long and wordy and wonderful – and they were about everything, proclamations, reminders of the need for and use of communication, and observation. There was a solipsism at play here that felt very powerful – and hugely inspiring.
One or two of his pieces felt very much like the poems Kate Tempest closed her January show with; that is to say the same sorts of ideas – the power of the self, the decision to stand up and decide in a life of no-bullshit, of cutting through, of working hard, of finding the drive to push yourself.
It was a shame when he broke off for questions – no one asked anything that needed to be asked, and he was doing just fine explaining the words and works on his own in the context of the performance. I wish he’d performed in a pub, the real home of slam poetry. But it was great to see someone this good. He was quite mesmerising.