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Penny Pepper has been a writer and activist within the disability arts movement for 20 years. She has written articles for dao, Arts Disability Culture Magazine, Disability Now and Ouch! She has also written short stories for DAO and is the author of Desires (2003), a controversially unique collection of explicit fiction focusing on disabled people, relationships and sex.

Penny Pepper reflects on Liberty 09 and the state of spoken word events

21 September 2009

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photo of writer

The Penny who needs Nine Lives to Do Everything I don't need the Nine Lives as do cats because I am reckless and have close shaves - well only a little - but because I always make a point, indeed a practice of biting off much more than I can chew. And I only have tiny cripple's jaws you understand! Liberty on Sept 5th was amazing and a little peculiar at times. I love to speculate on what the random tourists make of all these disabled people strutting their luvvie stuff in various ways. I won't...

Comments: 2

Bonfires, bugs and being creative

1 December 2009

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two artists sitting chatting

I look at my last blog and wonder if there's a conspiracy against me concerning time. It really is relative. Ok I don't know what that means exactly, but I have a twinge in my guts that it's related to um, what you are doing. So, I suppose I must be happy that time is hurtling by because I've been very creative when not doing great impersonations of a Victorian In-valid with a porcelain sick bowl. Yeah, the bugs have been at me and in me, urgh, but I'm fighting the good fight. I'm juggling the...

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Disabled labelled or not. With or without toothache.

8 January 2010

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Happy new year and all that. But without snow, please. Yes it's pretty. But, of course, not accessible. It makes me apathetic. I have so many projects on the go, and I feel frustrated many are stuck because there's this freeze up of the UK. Last month I was here there and everywhere inbetween being ill. I went and modelled for Tanya Raabe and we were on Paul Darke's radio show. I managed not to swear - I don't do that generally, but radio can make naughtiness pop out. Going up to Wolves again...

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Penny Pepper blogs a chaotic world, sudden crisis, and some creative struggle

10 March 2010

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Tonight I am doing an Open Mic slot with Jo on cello at the Apples and Snakes for women. I believe the lovely Liz Bentley is MC-ing too. Liz is a joy to watch and experience if you ever get the chance. I hope we can spin a little magic for the audience too. If you're in the area do come long. I know I'm rubbish at letting people know in advance but sometimes these things spring up. It's in Brick Lane, East London - in the trendy Vibe Bar - ooo get us. Come along if you can. Meanwhile in daily...

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Penny Pepper is looking forward to sunny days and hopefulness

21 March 2010

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drawing of woman wearing glasses

This is going to be a quick blog. I hope, I intend. I shrugged off the suit of blues, for a bit, as the sun appeared. The Up has to come, doesn't it?. I want to mention now that I am performing on 21 April at Rich Mix, in Shoreditch, at Jawdance - an Apples and Snakes event. I've been booked as one of the featured performance poets, so PLEASE put in your diaries and come along. Likely to be debuting new material, with the ever magnificent Jo Cox.  These events are fabulous and I'm chuffed to...

Comments: 4

My Happy-Sad See-Sawing Life, part 97

8 September 2010

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I survived the big 5-0 drama remarkably intact and with a beautiful party organised by lovely friends. I am not so sure about the outcome of my traumas with my council as detailed desperately in my last blog. It seems to move forward, and some help has been given, but then it gets rather sticky and slows down again. One pushes on as one must. I attempt to look forward and on that note I must thank you all for the encouraging comments left on my last blog, which made me feel less isolated....

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Penny Pepper's DadaFest Part One: Fun, Frantic, Provocative

10 December 2010

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I'm pulling my guilty face as I write this because I didn't manage to blog while I was working at DadaFest, and I really wanted to share this amazing experience. I've read the blog by Tanya, the reviews, and comments by Colin and echo the sentiments. This felt historic and it was a huge privileged to be there. Yet what a whirlwind, what an awesome frenzy. I loved every minute, even the exhausting ones. My participation in DadaFest happened despite the odds. Earlier in the year my...

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Penny blogs. There's a little sunshine and lots going on

10 March 2011

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In the foreground a woman plays a cello. Behind her a woman sits in front of a sheet on a music stand

The sun licks across my window and lures the blossom to bloom. At last! I’m bouncing off the walls, full of seesaw moods, happy-sad, melancholy-joyful, and dripping with creative sap. Mustn’t fall off the tightrope mind you. But isn’t it lovely to see some sunshine? The last week or so has been a cram of activity. A new story ‘Nippy Days’, only written about 4 weeks ago, was selected to be read at ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably?’ - a story telling event...

Comments: 3

Films, moods, protest.

14 April 2011

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Life is busy at Penny towers with much planning – and worrying – going on since I heard I had been successful with my Grant for the Arts. Of course I am excited and bouncing off the walls too. But where to start? Who to work with? I’m developing a one-woman cabaret called Adventures in the Dark and Light. Please feel free to join my Facebook page of that name if you’re interested in my work. I try to keep it up to date – latest gigs, activities and news in general....

Comments: 3

Many Many Penny Adventures

4 July 2011

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It’s all go. Go, go, go. Where to begin? Ok, firstly, on Wednesday, you can hear me do my bit on Radio Four, for Four Thought. This was recorded two weeks ago at the splendid RSA off the Strand, in front of a live audience. They were responsive, laughed in the right places – including at the sanctioned word ‘tits’ – and looked suitably solemn at the serious moments. I’ll be intrigued to see what you all think, though please be gentle with me....

Comments: 2

New York, Old London, Same Battles

4 August 2011

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I did it. Amazed myself and survived to tell the tale, crammed with feverish stories and kaleidoscope  memories. All roasted and shaken in the rich, brash, varied flavours of New York. I say roasted with meaning because it was hot. Blistering and humid, and when up the Empire State Building, I could see the thick smog arc hanging over and into the city. One day hit 39c - I don't believe I have known it that hot before in my whole life. Thank the gods for air con. Yet nothing could ruin...

Comments: 1

Splitting Penny: the ups, the downs and Ruby Wax.

5 October 2011

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I've been poorly and bogged down. Staring at the walls and wondering why I painted them like I did. One is red.   Looking at the news and thinking this is all so crazy. This is a big brew of hate bubbling to a head. Feral gangs? Criminal immigrants? Disabled scroungers? When will people rebel against this?   I know we're battling. I showed my jittery face at an ATOS demo in London, but I could not stay long. The heat and the crowds, too much.    My life is split into many...

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Writing, Ruby, madness - and those pesky Olympics.

4 August 2012

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This week my love-hate affair with writing has me in its thrilling and painful grip.  Writing is like an old friend who sometimes annoys the fuck out of me, and sometimes wraps me in arms of pure co-operative elation. Recently it’s been a see-saw between both and admittedly the ole Borderline has a role in this. But, it helps as much as it hinders. Exquisite highs bring great bursts of creativity as much as the pits of anguish that lead me to unfortunate behaviour and the whole...

Comments: 4

Penny Pepper is looking for some actors for a short film she is making.

28 March 2010

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At last I've written a film script and I'd really like to get some good actors for this 5 min short, which is for a competition. Naturally, this is an EXTREME micro, micro budget. It's me doing everything on my Sony DV Cam. I can feed and water actors and pay very basic travel out of my own pocket as a thanks. And give a DVD at the end. I've been making films for about a year now, and you can see some on youtube.com and at 4docs The short film 'Diary for Lawrence' was chosen for a showing by...

Comments: 0

Diversity and Devilment!

12 February 2012

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photo of spoken word artist Penny Pepper with cellist Jo Cox, pictured in the Liberty tent at Trafalgar Square

Please let me tempt you to be challenged and entertained by my guest slot at Soho Theatre, Feb 20th 7.45pm, where I am performing with acclaimed comedy troupe Abnormally Funny People. Reviews, press coverage, radio slots and offers of work all very welcome. I am also an eager Penny for some representation / management for my spoken word as I have too much to handle on my own. Other than this, I'm sending this invite purely in the hope that you will come along and enjoy the whole evening....

Comments: 1