Originally from Brighton, Elle has lived in London for the last 12 years. After dabbling in various poetry nights across the UK, she won the Genesis Slam in 2019 and is going ahead to the Hammer and Tongue National Finals at The Royal Albert Hall that was slated to take place last year. In 2019 she also performed as Boiler House London’s International Women’s Day Poet. After winning the Imperial College Nature Slam in 2020 with her piece FOR FREDDY, she was then the International Women’s Day poet for Imperial College London in their 2021 celebrations, running a bespoke workshop for doctors, mathematicians and scientists.
Her debut play HoneyBEE, a spoken word solo show, received 5 star reviews, sold out at the Brighton fringe and VAULT Festival, and won both the Three Weeks Editor’s Award and Best Newcomer from The Scotsman in Edinburgh. She wrote and recorded an original piece of poetry for ‘Experimental Words’ collaborating with Scientist Sam Gallivan launching in June 2021,
and also recently recorded her second spoken word solo show MEAT, collaborating with musicians and sound designers Porscha Present and Emer Dineen. The audio recording will be released as part of Flugelman Productions’ 6-part podcast series of plays Make Me in Summer 2021.
Elle has had several pieces published by Dear Damsels, and was last year longlisted for the Pentabus Writer-in-Residence. She has been featured on Tyrone Lewis’ Spoken Word channel Process Productions and regularly records with MuddyFeet poetry. Her favourite poets producing the works most dog-eared and well loved on her bookshelf are Ocean Vuong, Polarbear, Cecilia Knapp, Caleb Femi, Kae Tempest, and Vanessa Kissule.
She facilitates poetry and performance, direct, and mentors at several establishments in London including charity and community theatre YATI (Young Actors Theatre Islington), East 15 Acting School, and for Mountview Drama school has been commissioned to write various new pieces of Spoken Word for Generation X, an outreach project designed to engage with groups of teenagers in the Peckham Community entitled My Generation.
Maladaptive is Elle’s first collection of Poetry.
Maladaptive is about identity, wintering, womanhood, love and home. Exploring the loss of self and homesickness for that which is no longer there, grief for those gone and the rebuilding of hope and finding the light in the dark.
Whilst being a hugely honest, personal and vulnerable collection, Maladaptive is accessible, relatable and comforting. A raw exploration of mental health with a necessary, playful dose of finding comedy in unexpected places, a mindfulness in the natural world drawing on Elle’s growing up by the seaside and feeling a strong drawing to the water. And sourcing the bonds that connect us all as much more than monoliths, that which make us feel we belong.
Flecks of burning
Searching for companion galaxy
Interacting triggers black holes of
Constellations of conversations on the cusp of
She cuts off her hair, declares ballet is not for this girl
Explosion of potential leaves trail behind
Mum watches through a far away telescope
She is the astronaut of imagination
Daydreams on thumbsucks
Tumble tucks into pools outside of school playgrounds
Pounding feet of older children
Year 6 supernovas who don’t know her but show her COOL
Her territory lies in pages of stories, thrust into selecting her
Little cheeks erupt in apology
Flecks burning red
Her mouth clusters of dust.
Elle Dillon-Reams takes to the Genesis Grand Final stage with a powerful poem that deals with the rise of sexual assault on the tube and why feminism is so essential in the battle against such abuse. Filmed December 2019.