Working Class Creatives Database
Bi annual working class magazine
"GRASS is a new magazine, focusing on the promotion of literature and art from young working class creatives. Currently collecting material for Issue 1, GRASS is edited by literary specialists, Tommy Sissons and Matt Wilson and arts specialists, Corbin Shaw and Marcus Nelson. Together, they share a passion for exploring social issues and themes of masculinity and national identity, with the aim of helping to fashion an England which can represent all. GRASS is cultural but brutal, aggressively celebratory, unashamed and, in places, humorous. A powerhouse of working class identity, discussion, contemplation and expression." TOMMY SISSONS: Tommy Sissons (@tommy_sissons) is an award-winning poet, political writer, lyricist and educator. He is currently writing a book about white working class masculinity for Repeater Books, and is the literary editor of GRASS Magazine. Sissons has toured his performance poetry across Europe and worked as the poet-in-residence of Channel 4's TV series 'Four to the Floor'. Other clients have included BBC Radio 1, Red Bull, VICE Magazine, Farah, the Imperial War Museum, the National Trust and the Guardian. Sissons’ poetry has been studied at the University of Trier in Germany and he has given lectures about widening participation in education and the creative industries at a number of academic institutions. His debut poetry collection, ‘Goodnight Son’, was published by Burning Eye Books in 2016 and his debut album, 'We Were All Mud and Halos', was released via QM Records in 2018. “His poems are drive-by shootings straight to the soul" - Joelle Taylor “A one-man revolution" - Tom Charles Sayer CORBIN SHAW: Corbin Shaw (@corbinsshaw) is a London based artist from Sheffield. Corbin’s work explores the performance of masculinity in heteronormative spaces dominated by men. He makes work from his own personal experiences growing up in spaces such as football grounds, boxing gyms, and his dad’s metal fabrication workplace. He looks at the rites of passage of manhood in England, the obstacles which men pose upon each other in our society, and male conformism. He looks at how public notions of masculinity shape our outlooks, and how the traditional standards of masculinity that are hereditary in our culture can have effects on our mental health. Corbin’s work tends to focus on football as a vehicle to talk about men and his hometown. Corbin is interested in the enforcement of gender roles by the father figure. His practice tries to understand the invisible authority of our peers that tells us we should be conforming to strict rules on what our gender should or should not be. He wants to understand how gender norms become established, how they are policed, and how best to disrupt and overcome them. By documenting the spaces he grew up in, Corbin aims to understand his own idea of masculinity, and what masculinity means to people in similar environments. He documents these spaces by using photography and film, before translating ideas into sculptures. MARCUS NELSON: Marcus Nelson (@marcus__nelson) is a London based artist, whose practice interrogates modern society through recurring characters and narratives. His often cartoonish imagery can create dark and uncomfortable scenes that fit into a wider social commentary around masculinity and British identity. Marcus also leads Boys Don’t Cry UK, a London based art collective creating discussion around male mental health and suicide within the creative industry. He has both curated and exhibited in a diverse range of spaces- including The Willesden Gallery, Candid Arts Trust, The Camden People’s Theatre, Unit 8 Warehouse, The Karma Sanctum Hotel and The National Gallery respectively. MATT WILSON: Matt Wilson is a journalist, writer and academic specialising in class, literature and critical theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has trained with national papers and his work has appeared in the Press Association, the Guardian and the Guardian Review.