Burnham poet in residence at Glastonbury

Spoken word artist Desree PHOTO CREDIT: Harry Balding

Spoken word artist Desree PHOTO CREDIT: Harry Balding

A Burnham-based poet is making her second appearance at Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts - this time as the official Poet in Residence.

Desree, a spoken word artist, writer and facilitator, first appeared on the line-up in 2019  and now the award winning performer has as the prestigious role of putting this year’s post-lockdown event into words.

On her first day she wrote a funny but touching poem entitled ‘Where’s My Tent?’ that talks about beer, rum, wellies and rain macs but also reflects on what it means to be able to get out and enjoy and experience ‘life’ again -  a bittersweet moment for those who lost loved ones in the pandemic.

'Finally, we gather. Unwashed. Unearthed. Unflinching. Undone.

So many missing laughs and tents. So many of us missing someone.

But we will dance for them this year. Two-step. Skank. Mosh.

We will raise our hearts and our glasses, remembering everyone we lost.

Glasto will feel a bit different this year, considering everything we’ve been through

But please, still save a dance for me, by moonlight, next to the cleanest Portaloo.'


Desree, who also takes the arts to schools with special spoken word workshops, was one of the three poets appointed by Buckinghamshire Libraries this year to take-up residencies across the county.

She is currently the poet in residence at Burnham Community Library where her first official task was to create a set of works inspired by the Platinum Jubilee.

Over the past couple of months, Desree has spent time in Burnham, getting to know her ‘host library’ and its surroundings.

Inspiration for four original works that talk about the quiet beauty of the village and its community came from walks around the community and the woodlands near to the Library and through observing people enjoying the parks.

As for Glastonbury she said:

“I applied to perform in 2019 and got on the line-up which was amazing, then they reached out in February this year and asked me to be poet in residence which I am wildly excited about.

“I'll be performing the poems I write at the festival so I can't be too prepared, if that makes sense!

“As poet in residence, I write poems while I'm on site and experiencing the festival so there will be some new writing. Glastonbury won't be short on inspiration.

“I'm nervous about the camping but have you seen the line up? I'm definitely excited about that.”

Desree will be performing in the Poetry&Words tent at 4pm on Sunday, June 26.

You can listen to her Burnham-inspired works via SoundCloud under ‘Buckinghamshire Libraries’.

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