Lime interview - Books & Spoken Word
Saran Green brings the word to the people
The spoken word brings poetry alive and in recent years this particular art form has exploded on to the mainstream tour circuit. With many years of riveting performances under her belt Saran Green draws on her multicultural heritage to entertain and captivate her audiences. This poet has enjoyed playing host to ‘Rum Punch’ a once regular event which saw an eclectic mix of comedy, poetry and music. Although ‘Rum Punch’ is no more, cultural lovers need not despair as there is more to come from Saran Green.
What issues do you talk about and where do your ideas stem from?
I am inspired by my past relationships and on occasion social issues. For the large part it is personal experiences and what I go through myself.
Were you good at poetry at school?
Yes I did it at university level and quite enjoyed it and did well in it. I found it quite testing.
Do you have a favourite poet?
Yes my favourite poet is Taniya Sonko she is a fairly new artist but definitely someone you should know.
Spending your formative years in Jamaica, there is a tradition of story-telling, do you think that influenced you in any way?
Possibly, my mum inspired me, as I wanted to be an English teacher, she always read to me and my siblings, so we had that influence from a very early age.
How do you captivate and engage your audience?
You have to gauge your audience; I look at their demographic, their gender, ethnicity and age. I select my material from how I view the audience best.
Do you see any major differences between Jamaican and English audiences in the way they receive you?
I think in the UK people expect a Jamaican to only do Jamaican dialect while in Jamaica they expect me to do standard English pieces which is quite funny.
Is it a competitive field?
I don’t think so, it depends, and everyone appreciates the talent because we are all so diverse. It is more inspiring and welcoming as opposed to competitive.
What makes you different to any other poet on the scene? Why do you stand out?
I am quite eclectic in my style I am Jamaican and sometimes what I do is not what people expect. I come at the audience from all different angles.
Is performance art given the same kudos as other forms of art?
We’re definitely gaining more recognition. I think dancing and acting are somewhat higher up the hierarchy and gain greater respect.
You were the 2005 Farrago International Slam Champion and a finalist in the Spice Festival Slam, in 2008, what do you wish to achieve next?
For me it is some form of publication whether it is a DVD or a book, I want to get my message out there. I’ve been putting it off for a while now, it’s time.
Up until recently you ran an event called ‘Rum Punch’ can you tell us about it?
Rum punch was a monthly event, which I ran with my business partner Comfort who is a spoken word artist and the other half of ‘Partnas in Rhyme’. We hosted Rum Punch which was a blend of entertainment consisting of poetry & spoken word, with a fusion of singing, comedy and open mic. It had been going for about two years, but for personal reasons we have had to end it.
Why did you both decide to collaborate?
I met Comfort at a show, I was in the audience and we just clicked, started hanging, we started talking and it went from there.
How do you overcome writers block?
Sometimes I tend to have very long spells of writers block. Luckily I have a number of poems I can draw on when needs be. I have had it for over a year now. I find that when I am in a good place my creativity dries up, however when things aren't going so well that’s when may creative juices flow. For me I have no control over it, it’s like being possessed.
Has geographic travel played a role in your poetic life?
Well I would like to gain some form of accreditation in the US, poetry is quite big over there.
Can we ask you for an excerpt from your work?
I bare my feet only…
my Milo skin
exudes the scents of the Caribbean
bearing fruits of desire
to your greatness.
to your boldness...
THE GODDESS ISSUE
The best thing about being a woman is...
Having your own sense of self.
George the Poet
Trim as you mean to go on
It's Tracee Ellis Ross