News: Modernist Beat @ Stanza Extravaganza

My first headline gig after just over a year of performing!

Yes I am honoured to announce that I will be headlining at this month’s Stanza Extravaganza at the Artizan Gallery in Torquay, Devon. I will be reading a selection of poems from my new collection Songs of Benevolence & Rageplus other poems from previous collections with the addition of music. As well as my performance there will be performances from a number of local poets. Providing an eclectic mix of wonderful spoken word. For me this is a landmark opportunity as I never imagined a couple of years ago that I would have reached this point – or even have the confidence to do such a thing. Yet- here I am! Inspired by Beat Poets, I am actually following their lead and sharing my work not just through a written page – but actually by standing up and sharing my words in a much more resonating style. Robert Garnham has called me a ” laid back” performer. This maybe so as I am not a shouter – but I do like to think that my passion is evident in my words and delivery. Music plays a big part in my work. This will be evident on this evening as it is something that those who have seen me perform are aware of. Here is a video of one of the poems from my new collection:

This particular evening will also serve as my official book launch for Songs Of Benevolence & Rage

Which you can buy here:
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Songs of Benevolence & Rage, and Modernist Beat

From the time I started turning my hand to poetry, it was clear that my influences were writers, and musicians firmly placed in that world of “The Cool” I was inspired by Jazz loving Beatniks and the Original Beat Generation writers, but also by Gil Scott Heron, the jazz- hip hop style of Galliano, British musician Paul Weller, The lyricism Of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes etc. I could go on and on. Even now I can be clearly influenced by what I define as “cool” Obviously what I term “Cool” is subjective. But, the point is, is that these things that shape me as a person, whether it be stylistically, musically or even literally are things that I have admired, sometimes trying to emulate in some way (more often than not failing), that which drives me. It has allowed me to discover myself. Maybe I am a little obsessive, and even insecure- but if it wasn’t for what I have discovered on my personal “road trip” I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now. In 1996 I wrote a very slim collection of poetry titled The New Beat Generation. This title came from a poem I had written. It’s not a ground shaking Howl or a great opus. It was just a call for something to happen. The writers I admire are the ones that say things as they are, and highlight things that are sometimes wrong, or are so perfectly wonderful that there should be more of it. Things can be fickle and fast moving, or languishing in a luxurious state of enrichment, enlightenment and wellbeing. It could be simple or not – but we are signposted by their eloquence to put into words or music that which needs to be said.

Here is:

The New Beat Generation

Remember the Beat Generation?

Black rollnecks and shades, Jazz clubs and blades

Open minds and open hearts

On the Road is where Jack Kerouac starts

Take his example

Take to the highway

New sights and sounds

Interests with no bounds

Lap it all up like a bowl of cream

Make this reality realise it’s dream

Look and observe different lives come and go

Enjoy, recognise and learn to know

The Beat Generation knew the score –

And after all what are our lives for?

The time has come for a New Beat Generation

The time has come for a New Beat Generation

Where excess beats moderation

And love rules over the nation.

Peace.

Jason Disley (1995)

That poem was the catalyst too my endeavours as a poet. Roll on to the present day and my style has evolved as it naturally would, although my ideas of influences remain the same. I am constantly looking for inspiration from somewhere.

Now for me as an individual the call for The New Beat Generation is long gone. There are many great poets and artists out there. Each generation brings about their voice. Some are heard, like say Kate Tempest for example, who is very popular these days. Others are heard more locally in their own areas – all spreading their words, some are full of angst, some are full of romance, but all are full of passion. But, moving on and back to what I write. Many that know me know what my influences are – and this is where Modernist Beat comes in. I am in many ways a product of my own influences, like a sponge I soak in what enthrals me. I then take it in the direction I want. I write being true to myself. Serving up spontaneous verse that reveals where my head is at, at that time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it may not. But my efforts are always about creating something. Poetry is my thing. Not everyone will understand it, not everyone will appreciate it. Some will think it’s namby pamby nonsense. But to those who do read my work, I hope that there is something they recognise and identify with. These days like the Original Beats, I get to perform. Something a couple of years I never thought I’d ever do. But it is the natural progression. It is the evolving path I find myself on.

My new book Songs of Benevolence & Rage is a collection in two parts. It shows that I am still as angst ridden as I was when I was in my twenties when I started writing, but it also shows how I perhaps understand life a little better.

There are poems about enlightenment, love, war, frustration, kindness, thankfulness, loss, anger and the needs for change. All brought together to give you -as fellow poet Robert Garnham writes –

a fantastic collection of heart and feeling, which leaves the reader genuinely uplifted

Songs of Benevolence & Rage is available for £7.99

Here

So for now – The New Beat has become The Modernist Beat, and I hope to continue to evolve. and maybe other writers will join me along the way.

Jason Disley (February 2018)

February News! Modernist BEAT:

Well! Things are getting more exciting- I have my new collection of poetry out now and it is currently available at Lulu.com

It is a collection titled: Songs of Benevolence & Rage. It is my sixth collection and will be available via other online retailers soon. If you are interested in any of my work feel free to contact me via the contact page on this site.  This collection is a book in two parts and has a foreword written by Robert Garnham, a very well respected performance poet, who has performed extensively throughout the UK as well as New York and Germany.  Here is what Robert has to say about the book:

“This is a fantastic collection of heart and feeling, which leaves the reader genuinely uplifted. Jason finds joy in the world in spite of his rage, and, as he writes, ‘I do not look to the future, nor back in anger, I breathe the now’, which is as good a philosophy as any. It’s great to know that the spirit of the Beat poets, the jazz mystics, the dreamers and the believers, is still going strong in the work of  Jason Disley. Luxuriate dear reader in this book, and let him take you to ethereal places.”

Robert Garnham

 

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Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

 

I also have had the real pleasure of continued work on my forthcoming collaboration with Rick Blackman on the “Speakeasy” spoken word album. I am thrilled to say that it is heading in a very real and exciting direction. With contributions from other writers and artists whose work I greatly admire. I wish I could say who they are  -but at this point all I can say is this album will be very different and will have a great international feel with a 1960’s vibe. Once the final mixes are in the bag -I will obviously share more information here.  The Speakeasy album is a real collaboration with my poetry being at its core -but, is vastly enhanced by the great music and the scene it depicts.

 

Other news is that I will be performing a slot at Stanza Extravaganza which is held at The Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street, Torquay once a month on the 26th. At this event I hope to perform one or two poems from my new collection and maybe another piece I have recently written.

Two days ago I had the pleasure of meeting The Vinyl Avengers at one of their enjoyable evenings of  Mod, Soul and Ska -and was asked if I would like to perform at one of their events this coming Easter. Naturally I said yes -the performance is for a cause that is one that many will see as worthwhile. The Teenage Cancer Trust. Every year those who enjoy the Mod scene will know that each March nationwide there are events to raise money. These events are called  The March Of The Mods, and this will be my second time appearing at one of these events. The  first being last  March in Paignton where I read my poem Down At The Flamingo with the fantastic Mod Anthem Green Onions playing in the background.  To be asked back again is  rewarding.

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That’s all for now. I will share more news next week. Feel  free to contact me for any more information. Jason Disley