Jodi Ann Bickley is the fifth poet from our big red Rhyming Thunder anthology that we would like to draw specific attention to for two reasons:

1. Because if you have not come across Jodi you are behind the times and need to get you eyes and ears back in the game! Where have you been? You really do need to pay more attention (for goodness sakes!). Jodi’s work is lyrical, bittersweet, witty and has an simple authenticity that is unworked and natural, (by which I mean not contrived). She is quite possibly one of the most talented and original young spoken word artists working in Britain today and has the potential to grow into a significant literary talent. She runs Speak Up, a spoken word night in Kings Heath in Birmingham and regularly appears around the UK. The video above shows what was one of her breakthrough poems: Funny Girls Don’t Get Laid. She will be in Bristol on Sunday 11th November appearing at Poetry Pulpit which is of course hosted by our very own Sally Jenkinson. And Jo Bell will also be there so you know where you should be!

2. Because she has been thrown a health nightmare that would have driven most of us into hiding and yet continues on with a positive attitude. Around 18 months ago Jodi contracted encephalitis from a tick bite and suffered a stroke which left her needing to learn to walk and write again. The ongoing complications leave her with shudders and seizures and all manner of other issues. Her family and friends are raising money to help her get further medical assistance that is not otherwise forthcoming.  To this end a Fundraiser For Jodi’s Brain is being held next week, Nov 14th: full details here. Be there if you can. Take money.