Tell us about yourself, who is Reuben Field?
Errrrr… I’m a twenty three year old student, english, maths and french tutor; and poet (Winner of Words First Birmingham, 2015), who also loves travelling, football and painting.
How did you get involved with Words First?
I got involved with the Words First competition by recommendation, really didn’t think I’d even get on to the workshop stage let alone go on to win the Birmingham workshop so yeah, it was thoroughly unexpected!! Thoroughly exciting too, wrote a poem for it that I hadn’t planned at all, a real spontaneously free flowing piece, which is always exciting to write.
What made you become a spoken word artist?
Errrrrmmm… am I a spoken word artist? I don’t know if I even know what a ‘spoken word artist’ is, I think I’ve just appropriated a term people seem to understand to save chewing people’s ears off when I’m asked about what I do.
I write poems and then stand on stage and have a tumultuous romance with adrenaline for however long I’m on stage delivering my poems, and that’s just the start of the explanation.
There’s an overwhelming passion, cultivation period and fear you don’t often have time to discuss, so you say you ‘do spoken word’. I got into performing by recommendation; I watched performers, showed people them, then showed people my stuff, and was told they thought I was good enough to perform too. Until about a year ago I wrote what I considered to be immature and flawed lyrics.
What is your piece about and what inspired it?
My piece, Anticipation, is contextually about a boy and a girl in a relationship, but really it’s about a lot more. I’m investigating what humans hold onto, prioritise, treasure, remember, forget, distort, regret and, ultimately, love. This may be disappointing, but it’s completely fictional; none of it has happened to me. The closest thing to realism is the line ‘amber outside light in the pub car park’. I walked past a pub on the way to a bus stop and the way the outside light hit the rough render on the pub wall caught my eye. By the end of the bus journey, I’d written the second half of the poem. I wrote the first half about 5 months later and can’t recall what prompted it.
What advice would you give to young creatives?
If you have an idea, test it and see what happens. I hope that’s not clichéd. I mean, like, if I start thinking poetically, I test run the lines in my head over and over, trying to add to it, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and don’t be afraid of that.
For months after winning Words First Birmingham I got into a fearful rut of thinking I’d write nothing that was going to live up to that poem, and I didn’t write, and I was gutted and decided that I’d peaked. But I hadn’t. Suddenly something happens. This is the advice I’d give! If you created once, you’ll create again, trust it. If nothing’s working, stuff it, do suttin’ else and something will move and you’ll be back and better for it.
What have you got coming up next?
Coming up next: my 10 minute performance for the Words First Finale at The Roundhouse, on June 4th (tickets are free btw!) Then writing for the Beatfreeks & Millennium Point ‘Be History’ project which I’m chuffed about, gonna be writing about my home town, in collaboration with a music producer, with access to museum archives; can’t wait to get my teeth into that. Then developing my Words First Finale piece into a bigger, better and more interactive project/show. Oh and working more on the larger project that Anticipation is part of, lets see if I can finish and publish that. If you want to hear more of that, hit up rfspoken.
Thank you, Beatfreeks, viewers and readers, for your time!
Written and performed by Reuben Field, filmed by Lauren Jones.
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