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Highams Park Live

The simple aim of Highams Park Live is to provide a platform for local songwriters, poets and storytellers to share their creative writing, perform, and engage with local people within the community.

The Highams Park Live events have been established by Nigel Mear and Paula David who are both passionate about live music and live literature in Waltham Forest, and giving local artists the opportunity to engage in creative writing and performance.

Both from Highams Park we connected through our shared love of creative writing and performance and last year joined forces as the song writing partnership ‘HeadSpace'. We are both active members of the Highams Park Plan Arts and Culture working group, and Paula is also founder of The Write Network supporting new writers in performing and publishing their work. The Highams Park Live events are curated and hosted by

After completeing a BA in Creative and Professional Writing I began to experiment with my own brand of performance poetry. This took the form of spoken verses with  sung choruses. What I enjoyed about perfoming poetry in this way was the fact that the words weren't masked by music and I still had the added advantage of melodic enhancement in the chorus. I've performed my poetry in places such as Bishopgate Instute and the London Poetry Festival. After about a year of performing the urge to write over took the desire to perform. Relentless performing does not leave much room for writing.

I have included a poem performed at Stratford Circus. Take a look at the end of this page.

My first poem was published by Shangwe:

Recent Projects include:

The Great Book of Tottenham
I was part of a group of writers and artists that were commisioned  to produce poems, stories, artwork and music to reflect the diversity of Tottenhams commnunity.

Carnival of Monsters
As part of the No Official Name project I wrote some poetry in response to art created by Halkawt Tahir. An anthology is due to be published Spring 2012. Please see example of art and poetry below.

Tahir Untitled
Dense memory and stark reality
gather and collect
mingle and connect
with matter creating tangible emotions
the past and present
reaching into you and making you feel
We see him
staring up into the darkness
shades of loss and despair
opportunity and disappointment
curve into the beauty of hope.
A focused glance can reveal speckles of glistening promise.
In a fleeting moment one hand holds back the darkness
and the other captures and nurtures the upward spiral of ambition, aspiration and success.

Please see below a performance poem written and  performed at Stratord Circus July 2010.


Take one child,
add a cultural heritage that is fragmented in one part of the world,
and an outcast minority in another.
Fold in
an urban culture that superficially ties his identity only to music and sport,
his respect for an authority that only sees him as a threat or a failure.
Grate and sprinkle generously
despondency and a distorted view of his own potential.
Skim and discard
any grains of hope and inspiration from his parents.
Stir in
the believe that hard work produces hard knocks.
Whisk vigorously
until drugs are seen as an escape, hustling as an alternative, and prison the result.
guns and knives and a community in despair.
any visible blame from society and place it squarely on the baby’s shoulders.
Sprinkle with pain and destruction,
and leave to ferment until society as a whole, comes together for change.
Take one child
Surround it with a cultural heritage that is accepted, respected and encouraged.
Fold in
An urban culture that is free from negative role models, restricted expression and media scorn.
Remove the stop and search law that is publicized as random but encourages discrimination.
Grate and Sprinkle Generously
a nurturing education system that will understand the cultural needs of the individual.
Skim and Discard
the expulsion of pupils who do not fit into the straight jacket of a school life that only works if your childhood has been without trauma, your parents are well balanced, and there are two of them.
Stir in the belief
that differences should be celebrated and can enrich every society.
Whisk vigorously
until every part of the community takes on an open mind, an open heart and shares in the joy of progress.
funding for youth centres, support for single parents and mentoring schemes.
the responsibility for the communities ills from the shoulders of the young and place it squarely on those who have the power to exert change.
Sprinkle with hope and inspiration
and leave to ferment until society as a whole, comes together for change.

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