Guest Programmer: Ray Shipley

August 27, 2020

It’s been a real honour to have a go at programming some events for WORD this year. In everything I write and perform, I feel like I’m walking a careful line between being serious and identity-focused, and being playful and silly – I’ve definitely fallen on the latter side here!

In Bed Time Stories For Anxious Adults, a collection of writers who write for and about adults have a go at recreating the soothing feeling of a picture book, something I’ve long been envious of children for. It’s lighthearted, for sure, and it’s also a genuine acknowledgement of how anxiety-inducing this year has been, and speaks to how a good story can always see us through the night.

Then, in Stand Up Poetry: A Quiz Show, I (arguably totally selfishly) take all of my loves of comedy and panel shows and pub quizzes and poetry and attempt to combine them. In both of these events, as well as my Late Night Poetry Hourthere’s a diverse range of writers and comedians who I admire; there’s room to experiment and play and be joyful; there’s space to curl up and get cosy. I’ve learnt a lot from this attempt! I hope you find something that warms you and makes you laugh.

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