Mentoring & Facilitation Practice
I have a holistic practice exploring the principles of creative community building and the poetics of embodiment.
'Somatic Poetic Writing' is a set of principles born from my creative practice of writing from the approach of 'the body is the ear'. I believe in encouraging participants to listen with the whole body and have developed a distinct set of technique and exercises to attune to the 5 senses to bring into harmony thoughts, feelings, poetry writing abilities, an also use voice and performance techniques to enhance and encourage writing that feels authentic to the participant.
Zena studied at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) and learned about mask work and movement, improvisation and storytelling. At Middlesex University, she studied drama, media and communication studies, and theatre lighting and sound at The Half Moon Theatre. These three courses amplified her understanding of the wholistic approach a writer can take to write a poem that engages an audience entirely in the moment.
Cross Art form and Multi-Media Approach of Teaching
Zena’s personal practice for generating and developing her poetry involves using photography an mixed-media collage and visuals. For performance uses classic and contemporary theatre techniques, voice work and song, and, with a focus on writing down the bones of a performance poem and Live Literature.
to encourage complete individuality in style and voice, using diverse cultural storytelling techniques in writing, voice and performance
to develop with you a sustainable personalised practice of intuitive flow for highly imaginative creativity.
to encourage brave exploration of contemporary societal issues to autobiographic memoire.
to empower YOU, as the artist participant, to engage with the many ways poetry & spoken word serves for well being, cultural expression and an artistic outside-the-box way of processing your writing and performance.
to provide established and bespoke performance techniques for the beginner to the advanced poet so that you can improve your confidence for public-speaking and develop your self-awareness for stage-presence. Learn to fill a venue with your voice, energy and focus."
Working with Individuals And Groups
Zena can be booked for 1-2-1 mentoring sessions to upgrade your poetry and spoken word performances, and embolden your writing practice for performance.
Zena has an intensive, gentle but tenacious practice of facilitation to further empower participants to push themselves to the next level.
Working with Groups
As a poet educator and practitioner, Zena has travel around the globe collaborating with organisations and institutions such Winnipeg University, Canada; as Contact Theatre Young Peoples Theatre, Manchester, Open East School, The Battersea Arts Centre, and the British Council. Her work with schools groups, intergenerational and community groups and in the academic sphere, has led her to writing and performance poetry projects internationally.
Her work with groups is dynamic, invigorating and generates thought provoking and impact shifts in a participant's practice.
"For the practice of planting seeds, we must prepare the soil, i.e the creative space, as a fertile space for earthed, transformative self-expression and learning. " ~Z~
Previous Work & Collaborations
Manchesters Contact Theatre Young Creatives
The Roundhouse, Camden
Poet in Residence at The Poetry Society – London
Winnipeg University – Cananda
The Arvon Foundation
Apples and Snakes Poetry Organisation
BBC Radio 3 & Radio 4
Battersea Arts Centre,
The Shizuoka Theatre – Japan
Podim Moaziek – The Netherlands
The School of English and Drama
3 Faiths Forum
The Albany, Deptford
Voice That Shake
Pop Up Festival of Stories
“Zena was consistently guiding me to find my own style of writing and presentation. This felt quite radical and spacious, and gave me a lot of freedom and confidence to write in my own way without getting caught up with a ‘style’ or ‘structure’ that did not belong to my voice or mode of expression. Zena instilled a lot of confidence in my process through our discussions and has been supportive in my arts practice in general by taking a personal approach to mentoring and being an active listener.”
Live Artist and Theatre Maker, Ria Hartley
“Zena is process orientated which enables you to learn key skills instead of just working towards an outcome: you learn step by step but not through passive listening, it’s by doing. This means she not only teaches, she shows you how to teach. At the end of the process, you not only have the skills to think about your work, you have the skills to create the work, you have the language to represent your work and you also walk away with the ability to impart what you have learn.t”
– Poet, Climate Advocate, Mbali Vilakazi (SA)
“I felt that Zena was able to gauge me as an artist and understand my ambitions very quickly. This was really important for me as it allowed my development to move at a faster pace. Us both being on the same page meant that the mentorship was always moving in the right direction.
– UK Hammer and Tongue Nations Slam Champion, Solomon OB
“You supported me by allowing me to truly be free in the creative process and giving me confidence in my own voice. You also provoke me to look more in depth at the themes that I tackle. Writing therefore becomes a process where I discover, learn and grow.You have been supportive by inspiring me to write hard hitting content and giving me access to perform at venues and showcase my work.”
– Young author for Mental Health and Well Being for Young People, Poet and emerging multi-media Poetry Project developer, Annie Rockson