Hannah Silva is a British poet, playwright and performer known for her innovative explorations of form, voice and language. Her solo performances layer up vocal sounds and poetry, creating sonic explorations of meaning and sense. Her latest performance Schlock! splices Fifty Shades of Grey with a novel by Kathy Acker, celebrating ‘the slipperiness of words, reinventing them so that none of them are safe’ (The Guardian). Total Man was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. She has been featured in Wire magazine and on BBC Radio 3. Her poetry collection Forms of Protest (Penned in the Margins) was Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes. Her debut record Talk in a Bit will be released by Humankind in 2018.
Silva won the Tinniswood Award for Best Radio Drama Script with her verse play Marathon Tales (co-written with Colin Teevan for BBC Radio 3); Jump Blue, an Afonica production for BBC Radio 3, about the Russian freediver Natalia Molchanova received a special commendation in the Best Single Drama category at the 2017 BBC Audio Drama Awards, with Fiona Shaw shortlisted for best actress. Her latest work for radio includes The Music Lesson (Sparklab Productions, BBC Radio 4) and Solitary, about a woman in solitary confinement in a British prison (Afonica, BBC Radio 3).
This dense, complex, intelligent hour…celebrates the slipperiness of words
★★★★ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian on Schlock!
Radical, political, courageous
★★★★★ What’s on Stage on Opposition
She uses techniques like cut-up and collage, sound poetry and physical theatre to create something that’s unique but nods to older forms like shamanism, pre-religious ceremonies, Dadaism, and the kind of games that children play with language.
Ian McMillan, The Verb, BBC Radio 3
The vocal acrobatics of musician and writer Hannah Silva test the physical limits of language. The Wire