New Double A-Side // 17 November

On 17 November, nine months after the release of my debut poetry collection Nail Varnish, I’m finally releasing new material! ‘I’d Like to Perform a Perfectly Choreographed Dance Routine’ and ‘Beachhouse’ will be released on Soundcloud.

POETRY - I'd Like to Perform.. Announcement v2.jpg

Both of these tracks were originally part of my next collection, but it felt more fitting to release them beforehand, to bridge the gap between Nail Varnish and what’s coming next. I debuted ‘I’d Like to Perform…’ at Nail Varnish Live last week, and someone kindly said it was their favourite from the night. I’m really proud of these tracks, so I hope you enjoy!

Each poem will have an individual cover, but for now you can enjoy the beautiful promo photo (which unfortunately I didn’t take.) The image may be a little hint as to what’s in the poems, but there’ll be more about that in the coming weeks.

You can follow me on Twitter at @jmortimerpoetry, Instagram at @jamesmortimerpoetry, and like my page on Facebook, ‘James Mortimer Poetry’.

And yeah, I am kinda having some regrets about giving a poem a name that’s 11 words long. It’s a pain to type tbh.

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A Thank You to Orphan Black

In somewhat of a detour for this blog, which I haven’t updated since February, I wanna talk about Orphan Black, and share a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.

Orphan Black has been incredibly important for me as a writer and, frankly, as a person. Within it’s opening ten minutes it felt like it was achieving more with it’s approach to characters than most series get close to in their entire run. It felt like it was tuning into something deep within me; something personal. I showed it to my closest friend, who is the person I read all my poetry to first, and one of the friends I write endless scripts with. It tuned into something within her too. We’d always written together, but through Orphan Black we found a common ground, and our writing has gone from strength to strength. We’re truly on the same wavelength, and Orphan Black is on that wavelength with us.

It’s a show that celebrates uniqueness and diversity. It embraces people’s differences, showing the full spectrum of people you encounter in your life, and you find in yourself. It’s achieved something so powerful, and it’s made massive changes to television, as well as my own life. It’s aspirational. It’s important because it shows you that you can live the life you want – and you can live the life you want through and in spite of what is given to you. But you can also fight to change your fate. Living the life you want to live is worth fighting for – the people in it are worth fighting for. Life is worth celebrating, and being proud of. Orphan Black’s characters are unashamed in pursuit of themselves.

Me and my friend owe so much to this show. To Graeme Manson and John Fawcett for writing a series we could believe in and fall in love, and for creating characters who are modern, real, vibrant, emotional, funny, and whoever they want to be. That’s such an important message to send to an audience, and to me when I found this show, and I will forever be grateful for.

But most of all, I think, me, and my friend, owe the greatest thanks to Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris. Their intelligence and sensitivity when playing their characters – and talking about them/the show/the fans behind the scenes – has been so important. They have brought to life characters who are unlike anything I have ever seen. Characters I have fallen in love with, and who I shall forever try to emulate in my writing, and as a person. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and absolute fucking brilliance in developing and playing these characters. They, and this show, are an inspiration.

The show has tuned into something in everyone I’ve shown it to. When I arrived at university, just before Season 3 aired, I showed the first two seasons to my flatmates. It tuned into something in all of them. It wasn’t the conspiracies, it wasn’t necessarily even the plots (all of which I have enjoyed and been inspired by anyway), but it was the people. This show has been incredible and it will take a long time for me to feel this connected, emotional and passionate about something.

So, in 2015, I think, I wrote this poem. It’s addressed to my closest friend and about our writing and our lives. She has read it, but I was never really planning to share it. It sums up, however, how much this show has meant to us, and I can think of no better tribute to it. It’s about how much this TV show has inspired us and actually, I think, brought us closer together. As we go on in our lives and Orphan Black fades into the past, it will have informed our future. We could not be more thankful for it x

Music Tatiana Maslany Will Like

There’s our John Lennon glasses in our short pockets,
There’s our bands round our wrists, our rings and our lockets
From a love, from a shop, and we keep talking
On the paths through the trees, through the city,
Through train stations, and the stars are so pretty,
When we walk around at night, the starlight
Over the market, the churches, the bats in the cathedral,
And we create our worlds, map them onto these paths,
Then we go our separate ways, back home, back to Bath,
With ideas in our head, casting in our minds,
Writing series and music Tatiana Maslany will find.

We picture the vehicles, the beats that people swing to,
We imagine the offices, the kitchens, the old and the brand new
Romances and interactions, we write their lyrics,
Write their words, orchestrate their attraction,
Decide what’s playing through their headphones and their spirits
From the clubs, how they dance, what they do,
How they love and how they choose,
And then we build up our worlds, we build up their words,
We turn to books and to music, work and spoken word,
We go off dreaming that the dream is near,
Writing words and lyrics Tatiana Maslany will hear.

Neither of us want office jobs like drones,
Driven to create by words and by clones,
Everyone builds their utopia,
So we build ours hoping her
Lines will be hers, and our characters come to life,
We go off writing music Tatiana Maslany will like.

Rock and Roll. Until the next time, Clone Club x

OrphanBlack_clone dance party

 

 

 

 

NAIL VARNISH // OUT NOW

Nail Varnish, James Mortimer’s debut poetry collection, is out now! Click on the cover below to buy it on Bandcamp! (Lots of other places coming soon!)

poetry-nail-varnish-final-cover

Nail Varnish is a 17-poem collection, recorded in January this year at Riverway Studios. These poems explore honesty, missing someone, alter egos, dancing, mental health, sex and lots of other stuff. I’m so excited and proud to finally release these poems, and I hope that you enjoy them. I hope they speak to you in a way poetry hasn’t before – and I hope that even if you hate poetry, you give them a chance. These are for you.

Lots of streaming services are coming very soon! Full details of where can be found here.

There’s still a chance to order limited edition, made-to-order physical CDs. They cost £10 and they’re individually designed. You can contact me at jrmortimer5@hotmail.co.uk for one of these.

Each track has an individual cover, which will be revealed here soon. Some of the tracks are available on Soundcloud here (recorded prior to the Riverway recording.)

To have these poems hanging around with me for so long has been a privilege, and it’s been so exciting to hear people’s reactions, people’s confidence in me and my work, and the poems spoken aloud. They exist in the world more than any of my poetry has before – and I couldn’t be prouder. (Until my next collection comes out, of course. I’ve already got about ten ideas for that competing in my head 24/7.)

Thank you for listening and for staying with me on this. There’s still a whole lot of stuff about this collection to come, and, of course, one day, more poetry… x

 

NAIL VARNISH // 17.2.17

poetry-nail-varnish-release-date

I’m super excited to announce that my debut poetry collection, Nail Varnish, will be released on Friday 17th February 2017.

The collection, an exploration of a new voice, a book about break ups, mental health, dancing, and lying in poetry, was recorded at Riverway Studios last week. It was a great experience and I can’t wait for you all to hear the collection.

The collection will be available in a variety of formats:

iTUNES – the full studio recording of Nail Varnish, available to own digitally.

BANDCAMP – the full studio recording of Nail Varnish, available to own digitally. You can buy my EP, Chipped, from there already:

SPOTIFY – you’ll be able to stream the full studio recording of the collection from Spotify and selected other streaming services.

DIGITAL BOOK, details of where to buy available soon.

VERY LIMITED EDITION MADE-TO-ORDER CD – a physical copy of the studio recording of NAIL VARNISH. Each with custom cover. £10.

For the LIMITED EDITION CD, please email jrmortimer5@hotmail.co.uk or on Twitter @jmortimerpoetry.

There’s still lots of exciting things to come for the collection around its release, more of which will be announced soon. I’ll also be revealing the cover for the collection – and the individual covers for the tracks – very soon.

You can stream some of the tracks from the collection on my Soundcloud, and find me on Facebook here.

Thank you to anyone who’s listened to my poetry; it’s appreciated so so much. Exciting things to come x

NAIL VARNISH | The Debut Poetry Collection

poetry-nail-varnish-announcement-gif

“A sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic, junkie, wannabe.”
-The 1975; “The Sound”

“Obviously, my wounds are open to see, but don’t take them seriously.”
-Keaton Henson; “Alright”

I’m proud to announce my debut poetry collection, Nail Varnish. Nail Varnish is a 17-poem collection, containing the poems from my recently released Chipped, as well as 13 previously unseen works. The collection will be released as both an album and a book in early 2017, with details of how to get hold of a copy, and the cover, coming soon.

Nail Varnish is about the expectation of honesty, and speaking in someone else’s voice, while missing another person’s. It’s also about dancing, jealousy, sex, hipsters, and many other things.

I’m super excited to also announce the ‘tracklist’ for the collection, which is as follows.

  1. Nail-Varnish
  2. Phoebe
  3. The Bloggses
  4. Dim
  5. Greek Gods
  6. Selfhood
  7. Slight
  8. Veins
  9. Untitled
  10. Friends
  11. an interlude on identities
  12. Not really a poem about road trips
  13. Felix
  14. Desire
  15. 1959
  16. Ophelia
  17. Girl

Each track has individual cover art, which will be unveiled in the lead up to the release.

I’ll be reading one of the poems from the collection on Livewire1350 tomorrow on my radio show, between 9-10.30am. You can listen here.

Thank you to anyone who has listened to my work so far. Nail Varnish has been written for about six months, so I can’t wait to finally share its voice with you. I hope you enjoy the stuff to come. x

CHIPPED – OUT NOW!

“Chipped”, my sort-of-EP, is out now! You can buy the whole thing on Bandcamp below for 99p. It contains my three previously released poems, as well as a brand new one, “Not really a poem about road trips”.

You can also read the whole thing, for free, by clicking here.

The previously released poems are still available to listen to for free on Soundcloud, and Bandcamp allows you three full plays of the whole EP before purchase. I totally don’t expect everyone to rush out and spend money on my poetry, but even if you’re just reading this, or read the written version above, or listen to a few on seconds on Soundcloud, it’s hugely appreciated.

I’m going to release one, maybe two, more poems on Soundcloud, before the full release of my collection in 2017. There’s a very exciting reason I can’t release the whole thing until then, which I’ll share very soon. I’ll be announcing details of the collection over the next couple of months.

Thank you again for listening, or taking an interest. I’d love this poetry to reach and be enjoyed by people who normally wouldn’t give it a second thought, so feel free to share.

James x

 

GREEK GODS (and an announcement)

After a great reaction to “1959”, I’m really pleased to share “Greek Gods”, the latest poem from my upcoming collection. You can listen to it on Soundcloud now.

From 6th October, my poems “Felix”, “1959” and “Greek Gods” will be released on Bandcamp as a preview of my upcoming collection. The preview, currently called “Chipped”, will be joined by a brand new poem, only available on the Bandcamp release.

POETRY - Chipped Promo Art

After the release of “Chipped”, I will share one more piece from the upcoming collection, before releasing all of it on several platforms. Details of the full collection, with seventeen poems, will be announced soon on this blog.

Thank you if you’ve listened, liked, shared x

You can follow me on Twitter and Instragram @jmortimerpoetry.

1959

I’m super excited to share my new poem, “1959”. It’s from my upcoming collection, which I’ll be detailing soon on this blog.

It would be lovely if you could listen & share. The next poem will be released sometime in August.

Enjoy!