With a presence that fills the room and an effortlessly silken voice, Natasha Moskovici is perfect as a performance poet. Lucky then that she is exactly that. Shaping words to create pieces of joy, despair, confidence and doubt, Moskovici tells us stories we have never heard, but somehow already know. Human experience transformed into beautifully metered fiction.
Today she performs two works for Annexe. The first is her poem, Dylan. The second is Wild Geese, a poem by Mary Oliver.
Dylan – Natasha Moskovici
Wild Geese – Mary Oliver
How did your love of poetry start?
I was really inspired by other performance poets. I think the first time I heard anyone perform was Ventriloquist. Chris Redmond, who presents tongue fu at the Richmix did a poem called Get Up Cold and Walk, with Tom Baxter and Charlie Winston improvising musically. It’s a ten minute poem and I’d never heard anything like it. It totally blew me away. I’ve always been deeply into language and I’m a literature graduate, but I’ve always wanted to write and never really found a medium. After maybe a few years of watching other people perform something must have said, whether it was conscious or not, that maybe this is for me. Certainly longer prose wasn’t really for me. So, I was travelling and just started jotting stuff down, writing it all down. It wasn’t for another couple of years that I actually performed. There was an open mic night in the area of Thailand that I happened to be in at the time. I started to do little bits and pieces, in fact I started off doing some jazz style singing, but that slowly became something else as I slipped in a poem here and there. It was then that I started really writing. Crafting long narrative pieces. That was less than two years ago and since then it’s become a really important part of my life.
So, you started off singing. Do you considered yourself a musician as well as a poet?
No, I do a little singing, but I’ve always been much more nervous and anxious about that because somehow my voice is unreliable and so, although poetry is in some ways much more vulnerable as you are exposing who you are and there’s the fear that you might forget the work, I feel i can be much more reliable. It just takes a lot of rehearsing and really being present. With the singing I would always think ‘how can I be better than Ella?’ I was just kind of parroting really. I didn’t feel I had the voice to be as creative.
What made you choose Wild Geese as your second poem?
There were many I wanted to choose. I’ve only recently discovered Mary Oliver and she actually brings in the other strands of my life. The other stuff I do is around coaching and training. It’s all about being authentic and empathy and compassion. How we communicate with other and our place in the world. That’s what I work with people to do. I see the poem being exactly about that. It’s about your place in the world and sharing despair and coming back to who you are. Just being. Having the capacity to say that in just a few lines without being really twee is a powerful thing.
Natasha Moskovici is a poet and life coach based in London.
To find out more about her work you can message her at email@example.com
Illustrations by Nick Murray