Brave New Words: This Will End

This will end.
This March our second instalment of the legendary Brave New Words returns to the digital stage.
Our March edition is on the theme of ‘hope‘. What are your hopes for the future? What do you think will happen next?
We want to go all out and are inviting filmmakers to share their work on our unique platform, so dust off that video machine or, you know, an iPhone and get shooting!
How to Watch
We’ll go live via the Stove Network’s YouTube Channel at 7PM on the 26th of March.
How to Submit
Brave New Words is for words spoken, sung, shot, signed and silenced. So if you’ve an original piece of work you’d like to share, why not record it and send on through?
Any questions, please email martin@thestove.org or message the Stove Network/Brave New Words Facebook pages.
Video submissions are now open! Deadline is 5PM on Wednesday the 24th of March. Videos to be no longer than 8 minutes in length. Submissions to be sent via www.WeTransfer.com to martin@thestove.org
As always, be brave.

Brave New Words: Hello 2021 [Online]

Brave New Words returns for its ‘not quite a fresh new beginning because nothing seems to have changed’ special 2021 January lockdown edition! To return we’re inviting submissions on the theme of ‘Let it all out’, because if you can’t vent on the internet, where are you going to go?
We’re moving from our regular wee spot on the social media interweb and moving to the delightful Stove Network YouTube channel – so everyone is welcome!
Video submissions are now open! Deadline is 5PM on January 27th.
Videos to be no longer than 8 minutes in length. Submissions to be sent via www.WeTransfer.com to martin@thestove.org
As always, be brave.

How to Watch

Brave New Words: Hello 2021 will go live on youtube at 7pm on Friday, 29th January. Click the link below to view!

Categories
Musings

Quarter-Life Crisis: Where was Martin Joseph O’Neill at 25?

By Hayley Watson

Feeling secure in your 20s is tricky at the best of times, and our generation are lucky to have a housing crisis, yet another recession and a global pandemic punctuating our continued ‘coming-of-age’ panic. Add a desire to pursue a creative career into the mix – if you’re reading this I don’t need to tell you how unstable this can feel because you likely already know – and you’ve got a recipe for a real headf..iasco. This interview is part of a series where I ask established creative professionals, people you and I might view as ‘real adults’, what they were doing at 25. I have my suspicions that they were probably as confused then as we are now and I’m determined to prove it.

This time around, I spoke with Stove curatorial member Martin O’Neill. Martin is a Dumfries-based artist, writer and producer and hosts The Stove’s monthly open mic night, Brave New Words. Looking back at his 25th year, Martin reflects on leaky flats, cats and the power of language.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re at now!

I’m a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and producer who’s trying to find a less pompous way of describing himself.

I live in Dumfries, born and bred.

As a ‘practice’, I’m interested in spaces, people, stories and inviting the imagination in. I’m sort of all over the place in that. But it’s usually about telling, and inviting the stories, that are often unheard, undervalued, or underappreciated. I also want people to have fun and share unique experiences together, even if it’s not in the way that I might have planned or predicted. All the better if that’s the case.

 

You were 25 between 2015 and 2016 There’s a lot going on in the world in 2020, but what was happening in 2015 and 2016? What’s the biggest news event you can remember from this time?

I can’t really recall what happened last week, so five years ago is sort of like a half-remembered dream, foggy snapshots of bad lager, cash in hand jobs, leaky roofs and 3AM jam sessions. That said, I cheated, and a quick Google search reminds me that the atrocious Charlie Hedbo attacks in Paris happened in January of that year and 2016 brought with it a new raft of misery in Brexit, Trump, the death of David Bowie and the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando. I remember quite vividly the news of the shootings in Orlando. As a gay man, this was particularly devastating. Shaking me to my core, it brought with it a stark reminder of the work yet still needing to be done in the fight for LGBT rights across the world, and a shiver that it could well have been me in that room.

Where were you living? Who with?

I was sharing a leaky 3 bed flat with two female musicians at the time. And a cat. And then several more cats (she had kittens).

 

Did you have a job? What was it?

I had started as a CT member at the Stove Network in, I believe, May/June of 2015. I was also working 7 days a week in the magnificent Coach & Horses.

 

Is there something you did when you were 25 that no one knows about?

Mostly everything I did at that time in my life was pretty public, either in a desperate attempt at notoriety or just the nature of what I was up to. Gigs, Brave New Words, installations, it was all there in the public domain, and still is, in all their amateur glory thanks to social media. Some awful graphic design was done in that time. And poetry. Bad, bad poetry.

 

What was your dream job at the time?

Whatever it was, it was usually about wanting to tell stories, so whether that meant being a poet, novelist, folk musician or dramatist, it revolved around that constant need to keep writing. I was also beginning to explore my practice as a visual artist and designer. At the time, I was way too conscious of the ‘27’ Club. Not so much for the untimely tragedy that befell them, but how much, and the quality of the work, their elite members had achieved in the time it took me to get a flat, find some steady paid work and land the occasional gig for extra cash.

 

If you had to choose one memory from your 25th year, what would it be?

The first Brave New Words. A really special night where some mad idea that folk might want to hear poetry together actually paid off. Who’da thunk?

 

If you could tell your 25-year-old self one thing, what would you say? And what do you think your 25-year-old self would say to you?

To my 25 year old self: You should be writing.

My 25 year old self to me now: You should be writing.

 

 

Are you where your 25-year-old self thought you’d be now?

 The last five years are such a blur of anxiety and chaotic thinking, that any thought of where I’d be in five years was clouded by some self-imposed pressure to complete something so short-term I can’t even recall what it might have been. Turning 30, that pressure seems to have eased off a little bit. You never do your best work when you’re worried about how you might be perceived. It’s better to just get on with it. And if it fails, move on, fail better.

We sometimes focus too much on success and forget how much our failures help us grow. What were your biggest failures from back then?

Too many to name. Mostly to do with poor communication. Mostly every problem is down to that. Just make sure you’re on the same page as others.

 

Finally, do you have any ‘words of wisdom’ for the 20-somethings reading this?

It’s not that far away from me so take this with a pinch of salt, I’m barely 30 as it is! But I suppose there’s an energy in your mid-twenties that’s really powerful, especially when you’re working with other, often older, more experienced people. You’re questioning, provoking, challenging and you’ve all the time in the world.  And that is so important. Be loose. Be creative. Make the mistakes and don’t overthink everything. But be mindful of others lives. Everyone has something to bring to the table. Everywhere. Also, language is a really powerful thing. Don’t let others use it to disempower you or make you feel small. But also, don’t play into those hands in thinking that is the ‘norm’ and adopting those same bad behaviours, it’s not, and it’ll bite you in the ass one day. Make sure to step outside of yourself every once in a while. There’s a whole world of lives herein, allow yourself to be passive. That’s when the best ideas come.

Categories
Events News Opportunities

Brave New Words: What Now?

Brave New Words: What Now?

A Brave New Words update from founder and director, Martin O’Neill

This year has been quite the rollercoaster, hasn’t it?

With next year looming round the corner, we’re asking ourselves, what will it bring? Global societal change for the better? Universal basic income? A fairer and more just world? Or, judging by this year, is it all going to go a bit belly up?

Well, we hope not. But let’s ask the questions.

What Now?

Over the next couple of months we’re holding back our usual Brave New Words Friday night mash-up live-streamed extravaganzas in favour of something a little bit different. To end our year, we’re inviting creative writing submissions around the theme of ‘What Now?’ with contributions making up our first ever printed newspaper publication. We’re looking for submissions from poetry, short stories, flash fiction to text-based art from writers young and older, professional or just dabbling. Think of it like an open mic, but as a newspaper!

You can submit up to three pieces to be considered.

That said, just like our open mic, whilst every effort will be made to ensure your piece ends up in the final print we will be limited on space and can’t guarantee that everything will make it through, so do think hard on what you’re sending in.

This is a completely open submission for anyone based in Dumfries & Galloway. You don’t have to have been at a Brave New Words before, and we’re always looking for new voices to showcase.As always, we encourage you to be brave and put yourself forward.

Submission Details

If you need any more information on the publication please get in touch through our social channels or email martin@thestove.org.
Submissions should be sent to: martin@thestove.org in PDF or Word format (please don’t put your submissions in the body of the email)
Deadline: 1st December.
Get writing, & be brave.

With Love,
Brave New Words.

Categories
Events Musings Projects

Five Years of Bravery

It was 2015. A year in from the Scottish independence referendum, when stickers faded pale on lampposts and flags fluttered limply in the breeze, or un-tethered, clung to high fences like a loose pair of nickers. It was as though some basic law of thermodynamics failed to take place. As if that fiery energy ought to have moved on. Heated up some other vessel or agitated another movement. Instead, it lingered in the air, resigned itself to the bar stools and blogs for the time being. And most people just got on with their lives, some relieved, some numb and others, angry as ever.

Writers Sarah Indigo and Eryl Sheilds concocted Brave New Words as a space to confront some of that undirected energy left from the referendum. We worked with them on structuring the day, talking with schools, community groups and others to come along and work it all out through a series of writing workshops, discussions and debates. That evening, we hosted the first Brave New Words Slam, an evening of spoken word, performance and beat-style poetry, reminiscent of the back alley bars of Brooklyn circa 1960 lit up the High Street. Well, not maybe not quite like that. But in my head, everything feels a bit like that. The poets played a blinder. From the ages of 14 to 80, it felt like something pretty special had happened.

A year later, we lost Sarah too soon. A light went out in the spoken word community in Scotland, with tributes pouring in from the central belt to the Galloway coast. Her work broke stigmas, challenged the status quo and energized everyone she came into contact with. Each birthday since then is not only a celebration of words spoken, sung, shot, signed or silenced. It’s a tribute to our founder and visionary.

This year, as it stands, is so unlike all the others. We’re not able to meet. And whilst we’re all weary of the rolling lockdowns, the dead air of pubs without music, the face masks, the rumbling anxiety of purchasing a pint of milk from the supermarket. It seems that now it’s more important than ever to celebrate as we once did and to share our thoughts, feelings, creativity and power with each other is so vital in making sense of the world around us. Beyond the peeling vinyl stickers of the town centre and the tequila-scented hand gel.

Just as in 2015, there’s an energy now that lingers in the air. What it is we can’t be as certain of what it is as then, but it comes out in the quieter moments of our lives. That’s when stories are written, songs are sung and creativity thrives.

Brave New Words is not possible without people. Literally. I’ve tried. More than a couple of empty mic nights confirm this. It’s the space to take a chance, often when you never you thought you had it in you. And each month, it’s completely different from the last. From epic poems on elderly cats, to Kate Bush inspired fluorescent neon dancing, 10 minute silences and rabble rousing political speeches.

So join us as we celebrate everything Brave this September. I mean, what else is there to do?!

Be Brave.

Brave New Words *NOW AT HOME*

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (Maya Angelou)
In light of recent events (you may have read about it), we obviously won’t be going ahead with this Friday’s Brave New Words or its sister play, Lowland. But, in line with our theme (which, by the way was strangely decided ages ago – before all this kerfuffle) of ‘Home’ we’re inviting YOU to share any poetry, music or words with us over the coming week (from yer hooses mind). This can be a poem, a short story, flash fiction or a video! Fire your submissions via facebook direct message to The Stove Network or Brave New Words or email martin@thestove.org.
We will then share your submissions via social media from 7-9PM this Friday. Feel free to fire anything over during the night as well – should ye feel all tingly and brave.
Also, we know you all love a party on the last Friday of the month so why not have your own Brave New Words at hame via all this new fangled technology? Or, like me, you could gather the neighbourhood cats and perform your one man show ‘Living With Edith’ (A Memoir).
Solidarity, insight, open-heartedness and perseverance is at the core of Brave New Words – exactly what we need right now, eh?
So – fire those words over!
For words spoken, sung, shot, signed, silenced and isolated.

Brave New Words *NOW AT HOME*

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (Maya Angelou)
In light of recent events (you may have read about it), we obviously won’t be going ahead with this Friday’s Brave New Words or its sister play, Lowland. But, in line with our theme (which, by the way was strangely decided ages ago – before all this kerfuffle) of ‘Home’ we’re inviting YOU to share any poetry, music or words with us over the coming week (from yer hooses mind). This can be a poem, a short story, flash fiction or a video! Fire your submissions via facebook direct message to The Stove Network or Brave New Words or email martin@thestove.org.
We will then share your submissions via social media from 7-9PM this Friday. Feel free to fire anything over during the night as well – should ye feel all tingly and brave.
Also, we know you all love a party on the last Friday of the month so why not have your own Brave New Words at hame via all this new fangled technology? Or, like me, you could gather the neighbourhood cats and perform your one man show ‘Living With Edith’ (A Memoir).
Solidarity, insight, open-heartedness and perseverance is at the core of Brave New Words – exactly what we need right now, eh?
So – fire those words over!
For words spoken, sung, shot, signed, silenced and isolated.

Brave New Words *NOW AT HOME*

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (Maya Angelou)
In light of recent events (you may have read about it), we obviously won’t be going ahead with this Friday’s Brave New Words or its sister play, Lowland. But, in line with our theme (which, by the way was strangely decided ages ago – before all this kerfuffle) of ‘Home’ we’re inviting YOU to share any poetry, music or words with us over the coming week (from yer hooses mind). This can be a poem, a short story, flash fiction or a video! Fire your submissions via facebook direct message to The Stove Network or Brave New Words or email martin@thestove.org.
We will then share your submissions via social media from 7-9PM this Friday. Feel free to fire anything over during the night as well – should ye feel all tingly and brave.
Also, we know you all love a party on the last Friday of the month so why not have your own Brave New Words at hame via all this new fangled technology? Or, like me, you could gather the neighbourhood cats and perform your one man show ‘Living With Edith’ (A Memoir).
Solidarity, insight, open-heartedness and perseverance is at the core of Brave New Words – exactly what we need right now, eh?
So – fire those words over!
For words spoken, sung, shot, signed, silenced and isolated.

Brave New Words *NOW AT HOME*

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (Maya Angelou)
In light of recent events (you may have read about it), we obviously won’t be going ahead with this Friday’s Brave New Words or its sister play, Lowland. But, in line with our theme (which, by the way was strangely decided ages ago – before all this kerfuffle) of ‘Home’ we’re inviting YOU to share any poetry, music or words with us over the coming week (from yer hooses mind). This can be a poem, a short story, flash fiction or a video! Fire your submissions via facebook direct message to The Stove Network or Brave New Words or email martin@thestove.org.
We will then share your submissions via social media from 7-9PM this Friday. Feel free to fire anything over during the night as well – should ye feel all tingly and brave.
Also, we know you all love a party on the last Friday of the month so why not have your own Brave New Words at hame via all this new fangled technology? Or, like me, you could gather the neighbourhood cats and perform your one man show ‘Living With Edith’ (A Memoir).
Solidarity, insight, open-heartedness and perseverance is at the core of Brave New Words – exactly what we need right now, eh?
So – fire those words over!
For words spoken, sung, shot, signed, silenced and isolated.

Brave New Words *NOW AT HOME*

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (Maya Angelou)
In light of recent events (you may have read about it), we obviously won’t be going ahead with this Friday’s Brave New Words or its sister play, Lowland. But, in line with our theme (which, by the way was strangely decided ages ago – before all this kerfuffle) of ‘Home’ we’re inviting YOU to share any poetry, music or words with us over the coming week (from yer hooses mind). This can be a poem, a short story, flash fiction or a video! Fire your submissions via facebook direct message to The Stove Network or Brave New Words or email martin@thestove.org.
We will then share your submissions via social media from 7-9PM this Friday. Feel free to fire anything over during the night as well – should ye feel all tingly and brave.
Also, we know you all love a party on the last Friday of the month so why not have your own Brave New Words at hame via all this new fangled technology? Or, like me, you could gather the neighbourhood cats and perform your one man show ‘Living With Edith’ (A Memoir).
Solidarity, insight, open-heartedness and perseverance is at the core of Brave New Words – exactly what we need right now, eh?
So – fire those words over!
For words spoken, sung, shot, signed, silenced and isolated.