These poems and experimental texts oscillate between sense and nonsense, meaning and music, always testing the limits of language to represent the lived world. Words are felt both as arbitrary signs and as urgent physiological acts. Ranging in form from sound poems to collaged spam email, from monologues to lists of insults, and embracing subjects as diverse as war, sexuality and giant squid, Silva’s poetry is like nothing else you’ve read. Deconstructing the defunct languages of political and literary discourse, Forms of Protest claims a new space, a liminal zone between things as they sound – and things as they are.
Photo by Nina McDonagh
Hannah Silva is a writer and theatre-maker whose work often starts from a playful interrogation of language, voice and form. As a poet she has performed at the Tokyo Design Centre, Krikri International Festival of Polyphony in Belgium, Poetry Hearings in Berlin and throughout the UK.
Her work for theatre includes the solo show Opposition, a play for a large cast of teenage girls, Orchid, and The Disappearance of Sadie Jones. She has written for radio and regularly appears on BBC Radio 3. Her latest play, Gagged, was a runner-up in the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights. She is an associate lecturer in poetry and playwriting at Birkbeck College, University of London.