Saboteur Awards 2018: Spotlight on the Best Collaborative Work Shortlist

The Ambassador’s Reception by Interrobang!? and Poetry AF

The Ambassador’s Reception

There are three things you should know about The Ambassador’s Reception:

1. It is renowned for its exquisite taste.
2. The guests are being spoiled.
3. One of them is a murderer.

Poetry AF and Interrobang!? (winner of the 2017 Saboteur award for Best Regular Night) present The Ambassador’s Reception – a murder mystery in spoken word form, set in the extended Ferrero Rocher universe.

This is a place where the suspects accuse and defend themselves in verse and prose, as the audience look on as if guests at an ambassadorial event. The dress code is formal. The event is immersive. The entrées are deadly.

Featuring some of the brightest talent in the Scottish literary scene, The Ambassador’s Reception was inspired by the ancient art of flyting, crap Nineties advertising, and a really intense game of Cluedo.

Poetry AF are Andrew Blair and Ross McCleary. They put out podcasts and do weird poetry shows.

Interrobang?! was founded by Ricky Monahan Brown and Beth Cochrane. They put on excellent poetry shows but not as weird as Poetry AF’s poetry shows
Why voters think they should win:
This was, quite simply, the most beautiful one-off poetry night I’ve ever been to. A pure joy to experience.
it was the weirdest and greatest spoken word show i have ever seen

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta and Ben Connors

Dean Atta and Ben Connors

Poet Dean Atta and visual artist Ben Connors used The Black Flamingo, a metaphor used within Atta’s work to explore identities of queer people of colour, as the starting point for this collaboration.

Responding to both their own conversations and those with visitors, they created new works in the space over the course of the residency, exploring identity through poetry and visual art. Through the duration of the open studio, an expanding mural populated the walls and Connors illustrated Atta’s poems which were compiled into a zine alongside contributions from audience members.

The project launched with an opening event featuring live performances from Dean Atta, Travis Alabanza and Lasana Shabazz. On days when the pair were not present in the space, audiences responded to a series of creative prompts in the space. The Black Flamingo Open Studio culminated with a closing event on Saturday 27 May.

As part of The Black Flamingo Open Studio, we invited the public to submit work exploring the theme of identity for inclusion in The Black Flamingo zine. We especially welcomed contributions from queer people of colour. Contributors to the zine include Keith Jarrett, Lasana Shabazz, Phoenix Fagbutt and Travis Alabanza, alongside a curated selection of submissions from the public.

Follow Dean Atta on Twitter here, and Ben Connors here

Why voters think it deserves to win:

They work with vital issues relevant to marginalised groups in society, and they do it beautifully!

This was a dynamic collaboration and important collaboration, creating fantastic new work and bringing important voices not often heard or represented on such a national platform as Tate Britain

Experimental Words by Dan Simpson and Dr Sam Illingworth

Sam Illingsworth and Dan Simpson. Photo by Richard Grebby

Experimental Words is a cross-disciplinary science communications-spoken word poetry project. In 2017 we worked with 20 scientists and 20 poets in Edinburgh, Manchester, London, and Canterbury to create 20 new micro-performances. The result? A diverse display of rhyme, rhythm and reason.

Follow Dr Sam Illingworth on Twitter here, and Dan Simpson here.

Watch the intro here

Why voters think it should win:

A truly illuminating example of how poetry can be used to inform, educate, and entertain.

Brilliant, hilarious and moving performances pairing unlikely partners

Heelster-gowdie by Stuart A. Paterson and Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

‘Beul-fo-bhonn/heelster-gowdie’ is a tri-lingual publication across Gaelic, Scots and English – the culmination of a two year collaboration between these two excellent poets. It forms volume 2 of Tapsalteerie’s Biggin Brigs series, which promotes poetic connections across those three languages. The pamphlet is designed to be read from both sides: Stuart A Paterson’s original poems and their translations start from one side, while Marcas Mac an Tuairneir’s original poems and their translations start from the other.

Stuart A Paterson is a widely-published and award winning Scottish poet and performer. Most recently BBC Scotland’s poet in residence, Stuart has gone from strength-to-strength since Tapsalteerie published his collection “Aye” in 2016, cementing his position as one of the foremost Scots language poets of his generation. He won Saboteur Award for Best Pamphlet in 2016 for ‘Border Lines’.

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir is an award-winning Gaelic writer of poetry, prose, drama and journalism, hailing from York. He is the Gaelic editor for Poets’ Republic magazine and has two full-length poetry collections behind him: Deò in 2013, and Lus na Tùise in 2016.

You can follow Stuart A Paterson on Twitter here.

Why voters think they should win:

Two incredibly talented poets, working with two beautiful indigenous languages – a treat and a thing to treasure

As this help to keep the Gaelic & Scots languages alive & contemporary

Inheritance by Ruth Stacey & Katy Wareham Morris (Mother’s Milk Books)

Inheritance, is a poetry diet about womanhood, identity, motherhood and marriage. Being a mother can be incredible in many ways: awe-inspiring and tender, whilst also anxiety-inducing and isolating. This collection is about finding a sense of self when your body and mind are both ragged.

The historical connection between the female personae also attempts to articulate how powerful sisterhood can be; how thereaputic and restorative.

Ruth Stacey is a PhD student working on an imagined poetic memoir of the artist Pamela Colman Smith. Her collaborative pamphlet, Inheritance was published by Mother’s Milk Books in 2017. Stacey’s debut collection, Queen, Jewel, Mistress, was published by Eyewear, 2015. Her poems have appeared in recent poetry anthologies: #metoo (Fairacre Press), Writing Motherhood (Seren) and Hwaet! (Bloodaxe). She works as a lecturer at the University of Worcester and designs the poetry covers at V.Press Poetry.

Katy Wareham Morris is a lecturer in media and culture, with research interests in digital literature, play and identity. She is also a writer, having had her poetry published in literary magazines and journals, and also webzines. Her first collection, Cutting the Green Ribbon is being published by Hesterglock Press in May 2918.

You can follow Katy Wareham Morris on Twitter here, and Ruth Stacey here or on her website.

Why voters think they should win:

A collection of poignant synchronicity evoking the maternal tenderness and physical brutality of motherhood on the heart and body. The honesty and originality of the poems work individually and collectively very well indeed. A memorable and timeless work.

Excellent collaboration combining sharp wit & dirty home truths