Live Canon

is creating Poetry performances, Recordings, Installations, Films and Books

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Access to exlusive patron releases (audio recordings, videos, films...)
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Access to exlusive patron releases (audio recordings, videos, films...) and we'll send you any Live Canon book or CD of your choice
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Access to exlusive patron releases (audio recordings, videos, films...) and we will send you a signed copy of every Live Canon book we publish




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'What an extraordinary artform poetry is, and what justice Live Canon does to it...' Extra Extra
The Live Canon Ensemble are a collective of actors and writers, who perform poetry (from memory) at theatres, festivals, galleries and one-off events. We also record poetry for radio, downloads and installations. We perform the back ‘canon’, spanning thousands of years of poetry, as well as working with contemporary writers.
One of the most rewarding aspects of our work is collaborating with young people in schools and libraries, using poetry and performance to build confidence and a love of language. We have run ‘poetry parties’ for children at theatres throughout the country. We do as much of this work as we can afford to do.
We are lucky to have collaborated with organizations including the V&A, Wilderness, Oxford Playhouse, Stephen Joseph Theatre, The British Academy, The Horniman Museum and many literary festivals, universities and publishers. In the last few years we have also run the Live Canon Poetry Press, which supports and develops emerging poets and publishes their early work.
We are continuously fundraising for the work that we do (and it’s a tough financial climate to be fundraising in). We have raised money for individual projects in the past through crowdfunding, collaborating with other organizations, ticket sales, charitable grants from trusts and foundations, and we have been the recipients of donations from a number of philanthropists and companies, for which we are hugely grateful.
We have joined Patreon because the greatest challenge (and barrier to creating more performances, recordings and outreach events) is not funding for individual projects (which ultimately we can always not do if we don’t get the funding); the problem is meeting our ongoing running costs. This is the stuff you can’t run a ‘kickstarter’ for. It’s the dull stuff, like our webhosting, our public liability insurance, the phone bill, the stamps, the ink for the printer (see, told you it was dull stuff). We struggle to carve enough off the top of individual projects to meet these regular costs.
And it precludes us from expanding – ideally we’d be able to pay someone to do a day of booking keeping for us a month, for a day a week of administrative support, or… dreaming big, even pay a fundraiser for a bit of their time. We are approached continuously at the moment, particularly by schools, but we just don’t have the manpower (or, more specifically the funds to pay for the manpower) to manage any more of this work. We want to operate professionally and flexibly, with low overheads, but at the end of the day, we need some funds to invest in our organizational structure.
So we are hoping that some of the many people who have told us, over the years, that they love what Live Canon do, might help us out by becoming our patrons, making a small but regular contribution to our work. Knowing that a regular amount of funding is coming in will allow us to consolidate, plan for the future and expand.
A lot of the poetry we perform was written by artists who were under the patronage of a philanthropist, who facilitated their writing. It wasn’t a bad system, and we reckon Patreon is the twenty-first century, third millennial equivalent.
We want our patrons to feel part of our organization and we’ll keep in touch, pick your brains and do our best to spread our passion for poetry far and wide for you. Each month we’ll also create a piece of work that’s just for our patrons – a recording, a performance, an event, a short film… As a way to say thank you.
If you’ve got any questions, just get in touch with us, via our website…
$36.34 of $200 per month
We would love to be able to pay a book keeper for a morning a month... Just to keep everything ship-shape... 
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