Deborah, a performing arts powerhouse, was followed over her Year Dot, from starting uni to making it as an urban poet...

Deborah's Story

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Deborah Stevenson

Stand and deliver

08/12/2008

Deborah tries out the Creative Writing Society... and they get to sample some of her Deborahful poetry. Is it a marriage made in Nottingham?


Deborah's to do list

  1. Gain the utmost confidence and experience in my performance as a poet and workshop facilitator.
  2. Create a poetry performance society in my university which in turn works with as many other societies as possible in performance.
  3. Push performances and workshops into the community, and share new-found knowledge with other networks so they can do the same.
  4. Build contacts with other universities to start similar projects and maintain a sense of diversity.
  5. Schedule performances for young people that are publicised and designed by young people.
  6. Create an active community amongst schools, local areas and universities not only inspiring and educating but creating job opportunities.
  7. Find sufficient funding so that I can comfortably concentrate on working with young people whilst eating!

Deborah's big plan

Posted: 30/06/2008

The next year is going to be like one long performance and poetry filled rave! Designed, presented and created by young people, I want to push workshops away from being summer schemes made to postpone teenage pregnancies and the inhalation of a zoot rolled up at lunch break. I want workshops to stand in conjunction with education, school and the prospect of earning independence and money. Creating job opportunities that don’t just manifest in the performing arts but in advertising, managing, set design and so on. Ultimately I want to showcase performances that get young people paid and noticed as individuals that understand themselves.

Deborah's journal

Final Update: 03/09/2009

WATCH OUT FOR ME

Every year, at around 11pm on the 1st of April (my birthday) I feel like a manic depressive. Because after the most amazing and significant day I feel ruinned, like the only way after that is down...

After this past year, i has been tempted to feel like that, because I was tempted to think Year Dot, uni, Turning Point, Popcorn and Politics...were the highlights of my life rather than the beggining. But I have taken the summer to cool down. I have decided I want to stop working to other people and start working for myself. I am reading books! (If you didnt know i have never read a book of my own acord before despite being a poet) I am spending time with the people that really mean something to me, I am trying to talk to my mum and she is trying to talk to me, I feel like I know my brothers as poeple rather than just brothers, I am drawing every day, keeping a journal, making a scrap book... dont get it tangled Im still a raving loonatic that cant tell her toes from her belly button but I am on the road to being the person I want to be...

AND YOU KNOW WHAT? The person I want to be is constantly going to change so this is the beggining of a never ending road and its emotion, very emotional (ask my boyfriend because I think he gets the worst end of the deal on that note)...But I am coping...well even when I am not coping I am learning to cope which counts for something right?

So whats next for Debris huh? Well I want to start up my own company, Writing, performing, colaborating, drawing, selling...I will give you more details when its more solidifide in my own mind but WATCH OUT FOR ME, and if anyone knows how to help me make a CD please add me on facebook because thats something I really want to tackle asap.

I really do miss you guys, and the other 14 of the 15 and the camera men, and the irritating phone calls telling me to write another blog. There was a point after Year Dot stopped filming that I thought 'Sh** I'm on my own' then I realised nothing could be further from the truth because I have an amazing group of friends, family, a gorgeous boyfriend and a Deborah, that I am learning to live with day by day. ANDS YOU GUYS SO NEVER LEAVE ME ALONE!

Miss you x

Read all of Deborah's blogs

Still want more?

Want more info on spoken poetry and how to get involved? Looking to share ideas in your classroom? Check out the sites:

Poetry Slam

Online Writing Community

English Teaching Online

Primary Teaching Online

Your messages

Deborah has had phenomenal support from you guys:

Picture of Deborah A StevensonYay, thankyou, make sure you add me on facebook. Stay in touch because a mixtape is coming out soon if you want to hear more?

Deborah A Stevenson (1837 days ago) Report Comment

Deborah, heard your piece at the miles bar open mic nite the night nurse poem,it was so good couldn't get over how good. you definately are raw talent. totally loved how real it really was.

keep it up.

Chandni (1852 days ago) Report Comment

hi deb
wat u saying u looking sexy on tv doing ur poetry but keep it up and never put ur head down ur gd girl and dnt let no1 tell ur not, i need to get some of ur inspreation into my bars in my music its would be sick if u could get u on a beat x

rhys (1874 days ago) Report Comment

hiya
my name is terri i am 20 years old and i have bin righting peoms since i was 16, i find you amazing because you have shown poetry comes in all forms and ideas and that you dont have to be experenced writer to write down how you feel, the amount off times poeple have laughed in my face because i am dislexic yet i want my writing to get out there, sometimes i have left like giving up. can i ask you one thing did it scare you to let people here and read your more personal poems?
all my love and best wishes terri x

Terri hill (1882 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Deborah StevensonHELLO EVERYONE!

Its Deborah, sorry I have taken so long to get back to you all, I took the opportunity to sleep in the summer.

First of all thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my profile, thats one of the main reasons I started year dot, to talk to people and to network. Your opinions really do mean so much to me and if you want to share any poetry with me add me on facebook my name is Deborah 'Debris' Stevenson. Now to the individual comments...

TY- My to do list has changed if Im honest, as most life goals do but I am more than happy with the new directions I have chose :)

Frankie- dont ever leave poetry again!

Helen-pass me your email address through facebook or something because I am very interest and love the sound of what you are doing.

Viki- lovely to see someone else who is on hard work x

Bex- If you want me to do a workshop it can be arranged so add me on facebook and we can talk.

Mandy- Thank you for watching :) x

Holly- It really does depend on what subject and your criteria? What are you studying and what do you want to get out of uni, why are you going? I think once you have an overall perogative things can become alot clearer, if that makes sense?

Shalim- Thanks for the support, its always welcome.

Kate- That sounds amazing, I am definately interested and after a year of running all over the country I am so so so eager to focus on nottingham and the east midlands so I would definately like to meet up and have a chat. Could I have some contact details so we can get talking?

Thanks to everyone again and dont forget us year dotters, if it wasnt for you we wouldnt be were we are now I promise you that xxxx

Deborah Stevenson (1884 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Deborah, I'm the Literature Development Officer for Nottingham City - I saw you on the programme and I think you're doing some great stuff. I do lots of work around literature (e.g. community events, projects, performances, author talks, workshops) and thought there may be a few opportunities for us to work together and make connections with other writers and organisations on the Nottingham lit scene. Get in touch if you're interested, Kate

Kate Wilkinson (1886 days ago) Report Comment

hey debroah hope goes well sure waitch the pragmaer hope projces go good
age 23 south london

shalim ali (1886 days ago) Report Comment

Hey Deb just to say saw you on tv and thought u were brill. Keep up the good work

Mandy (1887 days ago) Report Comment

A quick messeage, your poetry is haaard! Im training to be a youth worker and I know that our kids would love to see somebody like you to come and do a mini workshop for the evening! Keep up the good work!

Bex (1893 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Debs,

Great year its been, hope yuo are well.
Just reading the comment below, thats fab and Helen if you have space for one more that would be great. I am older but have a lot of ambition.

Anyway Debs take care of yourself and stay true!

Hugs and stuff

Vikki x

Vikki (1897 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Deborah,

Just reading through your profile and I'm really interested in what is on your 'to do' list as well as other parts of your profile.
A business partner and i are starting charity with a lot of similar ideas as you (writing workshops, creating communities amongst schools, sponsered spoken word performances etc) and we're always looking for artists who are as passionate as we are about the subject and what we aim to do. please email me if you are interested and would like to talk more.
good luck with everything.
Helen x

Helen (1905 days ago) Report Comment

Hello Denorah, Just wanted to drop a quick note and say your an inspiration, you have got me back into poetry/urban poetry and I'm just about to get one published, so thank you thank you thankk youuu!!

Your amazing, keep on truckin!

-Frankie Talbot
age 17
From portsmouth

Frankie Talbot (1905 days ago) Report Comment

well done on your year dot... hope your really succesful... please still keep u updated on your poetry on myspace and facebook cos i really love your poetry. :)
How many of the things on your to do list did u succeed in doing ?? all??

Ty (1942 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of AkilahRead my goodbye blog...I mentioned you babe! We are getting married after all...

xxxx

Akilah (1962 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Deborah A StevensonHeyyy, this video feels like forever ago. I miss everyone so much and I cant believe yeardot is coming to an end. Please don't forget me :)

Deborah A Stevenson (1994 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Deborah. Saw you on the Underground couple of weeks ago. Didn't remember who you were til you passed me! But I just wanted to say I lovve your poems n keep doin wot ur doin init!

Bless

Regal (1995 days ago) Report Comment

Debs - you are inspirational! I feel drained too but watching your last video was emotional. Bring it on!

James Rene (2037 days ago) Report Comment

Debs, Your energy is inspiring and Turning Point is going to be a MASSIVE SUCCESS!

Sian Petty (2038 days ago) Report Comment

Was nice meeting up with you & the guys 2day, hope u got as much out of the meeting as we did? Im going to pass on your contact details to a few of the clothing designers we've worked with, and look foward to hearing back from u in more detail regarding the the festival. I'm gna have t shirt done 4 u aswell b!

Nathan (2061 days ago) Report Comment

hey i just thought you my wanna know about this
Hip Hop Shakespeare Competition on bbc blast i saw it and straight thought it would be good if you entered it with one of your poems.

I love your poem from the 18 March entry.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/music_audio/hip_hop_shakespeare_competition/66026

ty (2062 days ago) Report Comment

hey deborah im guessin you may not be able to get back to everyone that writes to you, but if you get a minute i would love to have some advice on how to get my poetry out there and get involved in some of the stuff you are doing. i love the idea of young people getting together and expressing themselves through poetry etc and think what you are doing is great!i have never had any of my poetry read out in public-except for at my grandads funeral and would really appreciate some info etc. hope to hear from you x

mary (2062 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Deborah a StevensonThankyou, I need someone from time to time so that is greatly appreciated. How are you finding the show?

Deborah a Stevenson (2067 days ago) Report Comment

I have been watching your history for a while, well done, the first years are the hardest, your a fighter, if you need any help or some one to talk too, I will be here for you.

Shelly (2072 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of akilahCOME TO MY BIRTHDAY THINGY!!!!! O, and i love you twin! LOL XXXX

akilah (2084 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Deborah A StevensonI have done youthwork, and I am thinking about doing a course in it to get qualified but first and formost I am a writer and a poet. I think young people are fantastic and I want to understand them and I want to reach out to them through what I do. And furthermore I want to have the ability to change their circumstances so achieving their dreams is possible. I am getting involved in workshops woth young ppl etc as much as I can but I want to finish my course at uni for I make any career moves on that :)

Keep an eye on my blog 4 the open auditions. I love seeing creative ppl out there so lydia (also my mums name btw) and Bruno, definately keep doing what your doing. Push projects further cos it sounds like you can.

Lydia watch the blog 4 auditions. Thank you for talk 2 me (YAY i have friends lol :p) xxx

Deborah A Stevenson (2090 days ago) Report Comment

yea sorz also my passion is working with youths most deffinatly! Im currently networking in theatres,skools and community groups thats wot made u stand out frm the otheers u have simular interests as me wud be gud 2 hear frm u girl! anywayz wb wen 3 x

lydia gunning (2091 days ago) Report Comment

Hey girl! I watched the show on tv yesterday and I was well interested in the subjects you guys were all talking abot ! You deffinatly seem very switched on and talented Im a vocalist n dancer. studyin music n dance combined honours in manchester met! Youve got a real personatlity and theres somthing about which is really good, mate uve got a good vibe abot you and i wanted 2 write 2 u! I love jazz, soul ,blues n just improvising to beats hav performed in many places in Bristol! I seen you blog on the wall abot an opportunity im up 4 it if you offer me a chance ! email me if u not too busy, wana chat abot sum work !! safest lydia look forward 2 hearing from u x

Lydia Gunning (2091 days ago) Report Comment

What up D u gd? i was just watching the show and i can totally understand where ur coming from with what u wanna do for young people out there. i went college and studied some random course i wasnât really interested in then got into the rigmarole of work.i got the opportunity to become a youth worker best choice i've ever made really. i was kinda of just wonder have u ever thought of going down that round, this way it would kinda put some change in ur pocket if u needed thats support as well. some places do look for someone to be qualified but there are places out there which dont need qualification. just alittle thought..get back at man and let me no what u think. take care and stay focused B

M Bruno (2092 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Deborah StevensonHey everyone! Thank you so much for taking the time out to bother watching me and commenting on my profile...

For all you budding poets out there GET ON THE DAMN SCENE- the roundhouse, whitechaple art gallery, the albany, your local council, facebook- SEARCH FOR OPPORTUNITIES because believe u me there are loads of them out there.

Keep an eye on my blogs, on my myspace (link is to the left) I will keep u up to date on open mics, auditions, events etc. Read my blogs because there is already info on sum opps now and there sould be some open auditions coming up!

In terms of youth projects- talk to your local council, conections, the princes trust, arts council etc. Talk to poeple already running projects and ask if you can shadow them so you can get an idea of the dynamics behind different projects and get an idea of whats already out there, aswel as clarify to yourself what you want to do. I dont think its just about the art its about managerial skill and creative industry. Alot of ppl enjoy music but making a living from it is something different. Alie?

And if your confused about what you want to do, or u are geting/ have gotten your qualification then I aint guna tell u what to do next but I can say, research and explore to the max. Try undertstand whats best for you and most productive for you- ya know? What sustains your interest? What has room for growth? What has bredth? How many opertunities are within that area? You dont want to restrict yourself...

Sorry this is so generalised, Im running to meetings in a moe and Im only in london one day a week. But PLEASE comment back, spread the word. Post short poems and I will comment and feel free to comment on my poetry. Its all about provocation, criticism, productivity and progress. And i can see your all progressing so thanks for putting a smile on my face after a 4 hour train journey and 3 hours sleep.

HEART U GUYS ;) xxx Debris xxx

Deborah Stevenson (2092 days ago) Report Comment

hey deborah, my name's holly and i'm from norwich in norfolk.I'm doing alot of volunteer work myself to do with Peer mentoring and various different youth groups and am trying to set up projects for young people to help them get off the streets and envolved in something there interested in and i believe music is the best way to do it.The reason i say this is because i speak from personal experience as a young person and found myself going off track as i thought because i wasn't accademically smart i had no future.I met my youth worker who showed me that the passion i had for music was just as important as 12 GCSE's and has completely changed my life around.I want to be able to do the same for other young people but really don't know how to go about it.I think your ideas are fantastic and we share alot of beliefs, i was wondering if you had any advice on how to get started.
The other reason for my message is my sister. She's amazingly talented. Her and her friend Dan have a band with just the two of them called Ducky Vodka, they are on 15 but write really catchy indie songs.They've been doing gigs around Norfolk for the past year and i really believe they could go alot further.They have a myspace page look up ducky vodka.Take care Holly xx

holly king (2092 days ago) Report Comment

i'm think what you are doing is amazing. It a had world out there and you've provided great opportunities. I've done my photography course and sold some of my work, but i don't know what to do next. love tiff

tiff (2092 days ago) Report Comment

really love your ideas... i'm 18 and i'm really in to art .. just did my a-levels and having a year out then going to college (didnt wanna go uni) to do art but i dont know what career i want .. i just know i want art to be involved..
how about spreadin it through the web.. like, i dunno, a website where young people can show all there creative talents.. and advice could be given to those like me who dont like know what to do next

ty (2093 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Deborah A Stevenson:)

Deborah A Stevenson (2093 days ago) Report Comment

You are fit, but you are also talented, loving the confidence and the poetry is very unique, keep up the belief and forget about the 'boring' students, I've done BSc and MSc and you get a lot of so-called ambitious people of the arts who are actually too scared to do anything different. Good to see you're not one of them. Jx

Joseph (2095 days ago) Report Comment

ur fit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

alex (2095 days ago) Report Comment

Hey, I'm sure you (used to) live in my area, because I've seen you about.I also have you on MySpace where you sent me a message about this YearDot thing but didn't really 'Get It'. Today, im home because I'm sick and I just finished watching the YearDot programme on channel 4. Went on the website and I've been looking through. Oh How I wish I was in your shoes. lol. I really applaude you for what you did at that poetry kind of group at your Uni, you were totally write in what you were saying. That guy sat on the chair and didnt seem to have given a 'performance' that would have reached out to young people, were as you did. I'm a writer myself and you have inspired me :)

Good Luck

x

Sho (2095 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Debs, loving your ideas hun, I'm a 23 year old girl from London, I've been writing poetry for years and would love to get involved with what your doing, just let me know how I can get involved... Thanks babe Diana xxx

Diana (2095 days ago) Report Comment

hi deborah,i saw a episode where u wasduin yur poem infront of the creative writin people,dey seemed like dey havent heard a poem before lol anyway i write a bit of poem my
self any advice?

sadony (2097 days ago) Report Comment

Would appreciate your advice on my poetry and in return can maybe offer you some advice from someone who identifies with how you are now as being like you when I was younger and has had over the years learned so much about life but unfortunately not so much about computers.Can you email me or post how to send a private message.Ellie

ellie (2098 days ago) Report Comment

hey what a great idea.... poetry .... im doing radio at the moment and would love to hear some more poetry you do.... email me if you want would be good to get to know you...

ryan walker (newcastle) (2099 days ago) Report Comment