Fay Roberts is a Founding Member of the Sword Forge Collective 2022 – 2023.
Born in 1975, Fay is a classically trained singer from Cardiff who has been getting on stages since the early eighties. Ze was bitten by the performance poetry bug in 2006 in Milton Keynes, after a favour to a friend turned into a place in the final of a poetry slam, and now describes zirself as a “peripatetic, percussive, performance poet with a penchant for project management.”
Ze helped to run Poetry Kapow! in Milton Keynes from 2007 to 2011 and has been involved with the Cambridge chapter of Hammer & Tongue since 2010. Ze set up Cambridge arts label Allographic in 2011, a live events platform and small press. Ze has been the Artistic Director for Spoken Word at The Free Fringe in Edinburgh since 2013 (mostly collaboratively), and host of critically acclaimed Fringe show Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret since 2012. In 2014, ze ‘won’ the Edinburgh Fringe Anti-Slam as Melody Starchild. In 2017, zir first solo show, The Selkie, was shortlisted as best spoken word show of 2016–17 for the Saboteur Awards. Ze was Glastonbury Festival Poetry&Words Stage’s official blogger in 2019. Ze has been delivering poetry workshops and courses since 2014, and in 2017 ze accidentally became a voice actor, which sometimes feels like a dream come true.
Ze still sings – persistently, and occasionally still bangs a drum with more than metaphorical fervour. Zir work has been described as ‘lyrical’, ‘engaging’, ‘scarily good’, and as ‘musical’, ‘mellifluous’, and ‘mesmerising’.
Fay has performed in pubs, clubs, theatres, tents, malls, ships, museums, art galleries, stone circles, squats, haunted houses, and stately gardens; in open mic, slams, showcases, features, support, English, Welsh, French, BSL, accompaniment, collaboration, competition, and costume across the UK (and worldwide, thanks to Zoom!).
Zir first full collection, Spectral, came out with Burning Eye in March 2022, and ze describes it as “a kind of poetry concept album, with illustrations…”
- First full collection, Spectral, came out with Burning Eye in March 2022.
- Involved with the Cambridge chapter of Hammer & Tongue since 2010, organising and hosting it since 2012.
- Member of Cambridge arts collective Pressed Art.
- Helped to run Poetry Kapow! in Milton Keynes from 2007 to 2011
- Owner of poetry label Allographic since 2011, hosting live events and producing poetry anthologies, pamphlets, and books.
- Curator of the Spoken Word stage (Mad Hatters) at Cambridge’s Strawberry Fair.
- Artistic Director of Spoken Word at PBH’s Free Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2013.
- Host of critically acclaimed Fringe show Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret since 2012.
- Winer of the Edinburgh Fringe Anti-Slam (as Melody Starchild)
- First solo show The Selkie, was shortlisted as best spoken word show of 2016–17 for the Saboteur Awards.
- Glastonbury Festival Poetry&Words Stage’s official blogger in 2019.
- Ze has been delivering poetry workshops and courses since 2014.
- Working within voice acting since 2017.
- Poet in residence (and sound technician) for Revel Arts Women’s Radio since 2011.
- An incomplete list of featured sets include at Rhythmical Ravings and Rants (RRRants), Rickmansworth Canal Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Big Bardaid MK Book Launch, Pressed At, Shindig Gigs, Gaze is Ghost, Lyrical Ballads, Queens’ May Ball, Show and Tell 2, Walking With Women, Storytelling With Music at Festival of Ideas, BooQfest, LGBT Literary Festival, BBC Slam (2012), Chipping Norton Literary Festival, River Rhymes at Ely Poetry Festival, Utter!, LutonAid, Nozstock Festival, Rhymes – The Milton Keynes takeover, Howl and Scowl, Rebel Art Radio, Cambridge Community Radio, Whippersnapped Press, Utter! Sickness, Scribal Gathering, Mark & Mixy’s Dead Poets Show, Headstand, Aestival, Tongue in Chic, Rrranting Festival, Tongue in Chic Allstars Showcase, Buxton Fringe Festival, PUREandGOODandRIGHT, The Word’s A Stage, Apples & Snakes poetry bootcamp, Fuzzy Face, Write Way Up, Lyric Lounge, Stowe Gardens’ 18th Century Day, The Big Moo Festival, MK4U, Bedford & Jersey Arts Festival, Waterside Festival, Don’t Shush Me, Poetry From the Back End of the Bull, Stony Live Festival, The Art of Poetry, Monkey Kettle Poetry Slam, Ripping Pages, Raising the Awen, Night Blue Fruit, Poetry Busking, CB1 Poetry, WORD! at the Y, Apples & Snakes Open Mic, Camden Crawl, Farrago Slams, Poetry Stanza, Hammer & Tongue, Upbeat Open Mic, Bang! Said the Gun, Speakeasy, BEAT, Bard to Verve, Love Songs at Coffee Affair, Raise the Bar and CandleLit Sessions.
- Has shared a stage with (amongst others) Dizraeli, Amy Acre, Danni Antagonist, The Antipoet, Ray Antrobus, Dean Atta, Lucy Ayrton, Harry Baker, “Angry” Sam Berkson, Jean Binta Breeze, Sophia Blackwell, Katie Bonna, Henry Bowers, Cat Brogan, Alison Brumfitt, Stephanie Chan, Billy Childish, Tim Clare, Daurian Daucha, Young Dawkins, Jessie Durrant, Ruth E Dixon, Zena Edwards, Hannah Eiseman-Renyard, Elaine Ewart, David Florez, Richard Frost, Salena Godden, Mark Grist, A.F. Harrold, John Hegley, Alex Iamb, Sally Jenkinson, Mab Jones, Adam Kammerling, Ian Keteku, Shane Koyczan, Steve Larkin, Rachel McCrum, Elvis McGonnigle, Hollie McNish, Keely Mills, Bridget Minamore, Leanne Moden, David Morgan, Stephen Morrison-Burke, Mark Neil, Lee Nelson (the other one), Captain of the Rant, John Osborn, Tickle Person, Chris Redmond, Mixy Riccardi, Deanna Rodger, Jacob Sam La Rose, Tina Sederholm, Niall Spooner-Harvey, Ross Sutherland, Kate Tempest, Nathan A Thompson, Richard Tyrone Jones, Byron Vincent, David J Vocal Pugilist, Hannah Jane Walker, Sophia Walker, and J.S. Watts.
- Longlisted for Best Collaborative Work (for their participation in The CandleLit Sessions) in the Saboteur Awards 2022.
Buy Spectral here.
Spectral is a beautiful, fiercely personal multimedia experience. Fay crafts poetry with an expert eye for detail and a emotional literacy that few others are able to match. Zir writing is sensual, lyrical and sublime. A truly glorious collection!Leanne Moden
It is often hard to pick a favourite poem, or favourite line in a well crafted collection, and with Spectral it is impossible.Rick Dove
Reading Spectral felt like putting a kaleidoscope to my eyes, marvelling at all the colours of the human experience with oohs and aahs of deep satisfaction.Myriam San Marco
BOOKINGS / CONTACT FAY