Poetry

Mine, and occasionally others'.

Lighting, Rigged

Lighting rig

Thirty-five years ago, I was sexually assaulted at a gig. I never told anyone. But over the last few years, some stuff has prompted me to finally address it - by writing this poem.

 

 

Standing by the ticket table,
flogging run-off, stapled zines
Hold as much as I am able,
twenty pences in my jeans

Responses

Janine at The NHS vs The Big C, Hackney, 17 October 2019

How do people respond when you tell them you have breast cancer? Janine Booth's poem considers some common reactions.

Performed at The NHS vs The Big C, organised by Hackney Keep Our NHS Public and Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party, 17 October 2019

Telling Time

Janine at The NHS vs The Big C, Hackney, 17 October 2019

Janine Booth performs Telling Time, a poem about the marks that life has left on her body. the event took place in Hackney, hosted by the local Constituency Labour Party, to help build the campaign to save the NHS.

This Place

I come to see you in this place
A train, a bus, a longish walk
A mask of growth veneers your face
We picnic, catch up, laugh and talk

A train, a bus, a longish walk
They brought you here to make you well
We picnic, catch up, laugh and talk
You've questions, jokes and tales to tell

Imaginary Poetic Justice

Imagine if every time someone died
on an NHS waiting list
A scar appeared on
the skin of a Tory MP

If every time an MP failed to turn up
to an inconveniently-arranged appointment
They were sanctioned
​their state handouts stopped

Imagine if every time a person went to a food bank
a Tory MP had to go too
Not for a photo opportunity
but because the cupboard was empty

The Big J (and the NHS) vs The Big C

BJvBC tour leaflet

Poet, author and activist Janine Booth was part of the ranting poetry movement in the 1980s, performing as ‘The Big J’. In late 2016, she discovered a strange indentation in her right breast and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Her new book is a collection of candid and enthralling journal extracts, poetry, meticulous research and substantive politics, in which Janine details her journey from detection and diagnosis, through surgery, to ‘getting over it’.
Janine will be reading from the book at a series of events around the country, where she will be joined by comedian Kate Smurthwaite, local poets, and/or speakers from local campaigns in defence of the NHS.

Details of each event: www.janinebooth.com/events-BigJvsBigC

Thursday 12 September: Doncaster
Friday 20 September: Reading
Friday 4 October: Liverpool 
Thursday 10 October: Forest of Dean
Tuesday 15 October: Windsor
Thursday 17 October: Hackney, east London
Wednesday 23 October: Portsmouth
Thursday 14 November: Harrow
Thursday 21 November: Doncaster
Wednesday 18 December: Cardiff

More dates to follow!

Cardiff: The Big J vs The Big C

18/12/2019 - 14:00

@Company of Words presents The other side of Christmas with guest poets Janine Booth and Alix Edwards with Open Mic

@ fabulous new cafe:
CafeGo
28 Tudor St, Cardiff CF11 6AH

Tired of lists, Christmas shopping, stuffing the freezer and bierkeller vomit?

Come and enjoy some great performance poetry from Janine Booth, stories from Alix Edwards - and share some of your own Christmas gems!!

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