Ep. 128 – Bridget Hart (Punk, Poetry, and Publishing)

Top tier guest this week, it’s Bridget Hart of Burning Eye Books, who are the UK’s leading publisher of spoken word artists. They’ve published landmark UK poets like Salena Godden, Rob Auton, Jess Green, Vanessa Kisuule, Hollie McNish and endless more besides, building a reputation as a trustworthy, independent, and politically progressive press, and much of that is down to the uncompromisingly caring work of Bridget Hart as BE’s co-editor, a glowing arrow in an artistic quiver including Bridget’s other creative work as a producer and poet themselves, always delivering a no-nonsense DIY attitude.

Bridget Hart (they/them) is where poetry and punk intersect, they’re a poet who explores resilience and survivorship in work that’s as comfortable on the traditional poetry page as at a raucous punk house show, and when they’re not writing or editing, they’re producing shows and workshops for women and gender non-conforming people with For Books’ Sake. In the episode Bridget states “In a time where you have to stand up for what you believe in, we stand for dignity and equality for all,” and that’s the statement that represents Burning Eye Books – aiming to properly support and uplift the artistic voices and lives of a diverse collection of performance poets. The poets on the Burning Eye roster are as autonomous as the legendary (in that I heard about it before I met Bridget) Nerd Punks poetry tour that Bridget and Henry Raby did in 2015, travelling around in vans, performing feminist poetry, eating lots of chilli, and blaring pop music at the end of punk nights (Carly Rae Jepsen ftw). Nothing more punk than Bridget Hart, who keeps authenticity at the heart of all of they do, and I feel that comes across in this episode.

Ep.128 is available wherever you get your podcasts, incl Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Soundcloud. The full transcript will be here soon and the next episode will be with Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan (The Brown Hijabi) on Feb 17th. We’re going with weekly episodes until the end of February at least, and I’ll be writing a short blog on my favourite LPP archive episodes too. Lots of great poets coming up, stay with us for the journey!

P.S, the Burning Eye submissions window for pamphlets and collections is open until 28th Feb.

P.P.S you can read my latest poem ‘What Does Black Power Mean?’ in the Black Anthology, Language, edited by Sofia Amina and published on 1010 Press! Get it at or your local independent bookshop or request it to your library.

Hope everyone’s keeping safe, staying positive and testing negative, and staying hydrated both literally and conceptually.

PJ, The Repeat Beat Poet
linktr.ee/repeatbeatpoet

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