Born in Tripoli, Libya in the 60s, a middle child of an older brother and a younger sister. At two years old she and her family returned to England, her parents separated three years later. She was raised by her mum in a flat above one of the first independent fashion boutiques Honeyspot in Kettering, Northants. Whilst her mum ran the business Kez and her siblings were taken care of by a host of bohemian and artistic childminders. As a teenager, her confidence grew whilst she worked in the boutique on Saturdays and modelled in fashion shows around the county. At almost 16 she worked in a beach restaurant in the South of France in between business and English studies at college. She married her first love at 19. In her twenties and thirties, she had 5 children, was a school governor, ran mums and tot’s groups and later youth groups. She organised and put on live music events and annual festivals for under 18s whilst working with her partner to run their T-shirt printing business.
She wrote her first poem aged 12 and it was graded A+ which her literature teacher then crossed out and wrote underneath “Is this all your own work?” Thirty years on, one of the first poems she wrote as an adult was Complicated Love (The Hidden Poem) noticing and writing how unhappy she felt in her relationship. She continued pouring her heart onto paper and subsequently separated from her husband three years later. Those raw emotions and observations of life were to become the basis for a lot of her poetry.
Kezzabelle’s debut performance and inspiration for her name came from a gig in a vaudeville playhouse in between burlesque and belly-dancing sets. The audience’s response was so encouraging she continued to read at open mic nights around Northamptonshire. A year later she published her first book Truly Me followed two years later by her second, slightly tongue in cheek, Kezzabockerglory (with extra sauce) which she released and sold whilst performing at festivals, cabaret nights and spoken word events. Her third book All The Loves followed a couple of years after and led to even more performances and local radio interviews.
To share her knowledge and inspiration learnt from over five years of performing and attending numerous writing workshops; she started to run a weekly creative writing workshop of her own called Weaving Words. She also used her 10 years’ experience of youth work at Keystone, Kettering to run creative writing projects for children and young people. She played a pivotal role in winning a Community Award for Creative Writing at the Montagu Monuments under the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum Awards.
In 2016 ever expanding her experience and looking for ways to communicate with her mixed audiences, she recorded her fourth book When You Say Yes. Kenneth J Nash was so impressed by her beautiful collection of poems he signed her to the Old Hotel Records label, assisting with her cd and audio releases.
Kezzabelle went on to run her Weaving Words workshops in the community too with disabled and vulnerable adults’ groups and in mental health wards, to help people to express their thoughts and feelings. She facilitated the writing, editing and production of a book of poems for her Corby Creatives writing group, from the Corby Woodland Volunteers Project and continues to help encourage the creative voice in others in her workshops.
Her fifth book Permission To Speak was launched in October 2018 connecting her work from the previous decade with new poems about green issues, mental health, racism and much more (plus random comedic observations) She recorded this book too including the poem War Born Things which Kezzabelle sings acapella.
Meeting eclectic poets, bards, storytellers and rappers on her travels she now curates and hosts The Kezzabelle Connection to entertain and connect with diverse audiences. She mixes media, Weaving Words into Art at exhibitions, galleries and independent bookshops and loves working alongside creatives including those met on set in her first small speaking part for the Alan Moore/Mitch Jenkins film The Show in November 2019.
Kezzabelle’s one woman spoken word show tours the country, sharing her mischief, adventures, wit and wisdom, baring all in her craft. She exudes passion and energy, her love of people and words is boundless x