Shake the Dust…what a great idea! My name is Laurie Bolger and I am the Digital, Marketing and Communications Intern for Shake the Dust. I first came across poetry like many, in GCSE English whilst studying poets like John Agard and Carol Anne Duffy in the old school AQA anthologies. Poetry was the only module that really gave me a buzz and I began to write and perform silly riddles in class to my mates during classes. I also wrote loads at home and loved reading poems aloud to myself. My English teacher, Mr. Chater would often make me and my mates get up and read poems in class and these, for me, were the best lessons I ever had…cheers Mr. Chater you absolute dude!

So with a decent English teacher and a love for language I never let Poetry go like I did with many of my other subjects! I first came across performance or slam poetry when I was at University. My good mate Jenny Walter was running her event called, Poems in Pubs as part of the Bath Lit fest. Jenny was always asking me to read but I always chickened out. That night whilst in the Raven Pub, she asked me again. I thought “if you don’t do it now Laurie then when are you and what is the worst that can happen” and all those things we say to ourselves when we get nervous….

I read a comedy piece and the response was amazing, it gave me a total buzz…I still get as nervous when I perform now-a-days days but the more I perform the less I shake and the buzz is always just as amazing. My advice, just do it mate!