Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Live Poetry This Week

A few live poetry events for this week, across the UK:

Thursday: In Bath, at the BRLSI, Rebecca Goss and Jackie Wills, 8pm start....

Thursday: London's Bang Said the Gun is back, at the Roebuck, at 8pm.

Thursday: In Swansea, Mozarts open mic night (in the Uplands). 
Friday: Lipped Ink in London.
(Lipped Ink is a new monthly event at the Poetry Cafe. With poetry open mic slots, a featured poet and a unique additional slot of guided visualisation which all explore the power of spoken words to engage, inspire and entertain. Hosted by Mark "Mr T" Thompson, founder of The Cultural Chameleon Press and Sarah Thompson. See some great poetry or sign up for the open mic slot to lip your own ink.)

The UK is big. This list is small.
Am just starting out, give me a break...

 Upcoming live events will be added when I find out about them. If you would like to know of events in a particular area of the UK, or want to promote an event, please let me know.
Be updated on twitter @SpinPoetryPof
Supportive Poets Ironing Network: critique the poetry of others and get feedback yourself, useful even for professional poets and spoken word artists. Free critiquing for poets who can't afford to fork out money for feedback. Email or join the facebook group:

Monday, January 13, 2014

SPIN Poetry and Poets on Fire

SPIN poetry Poets on Fire


Supportive Poets Ironing Network


I have taken over the blog of Poets on Fire, a blog dedicated to promoting live poetry throughout the UK. These updates will now take place through Twitter, so if you have a reading or event to promote, in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you can continue to let POF know ( and I will put a message out on twitter. You can also connect with us on twitter at the new twitter account: @SpinPoetryPof


However, the focus of this blog will now be the SPIN project, or: Supportive Poets Ironing Network. SPIN is an experiment which will launch in February and is dedicated to British poetry. Poets on Fire focuses on poetry out loud. SPIN will focus on poetry on the page.


What is SPIN?


If you are a poet, no matter how long you have been writing, or what level you are at, you will need advice on your work, a fresh eye. There are plenty of places where you can get feedback on your work, and if you are an experienced poet you will need advice from poets who are just as experienced as you are, or more so. The question is, why should we have to pay for this advice?


What if you had a group of friends who were all on the same level as yourself, when it came to poetry? What if, as a group, you sent each other your work and received a hundred words or so of feedback? And all you had to do was return the favour, so for every poem you sent out, you would just need to give feedback to one other poem. And imagine these poems were anonymous, so no offence could be taken if you expressed an opinion the poet himself (or herself) had not anticipated?


Now imagine the group included not just your friends but all the poets from your town or city. Would it still work? Would it be better?


Now imagine the group included every willing poet in the UK? That could be 124 people from Norwich, 27 from Port Talbot, 90 from Sheffield and 42 from Dundee. Would it still work? Would it be better?


What could we achieve with just a little effort?


SPIN aims to find out.


From February, every member of SPIN poetry (membership is free, requires only an email address, and you will be accepted once you have introduced yourself via email and indicated your willingness to participate in the project and give and take in equal measures) will be able to send poetry in for critique, and respond to someone's poem in return, and get their own critique back in a matter of weeks. Members will be able to submit a maximum of three poems a week but wont be under pressure to submit at all once they have joined. Although members will never see the names of the poets whose work they are reading, you will probably find out soon enough who is involved in this project, as SPIN will promote readings and publications of our poets like proud parents, although the Poets on Fire tweets should mostly have that covered.


The better you get at poetry, the harder it is to receive worthwhile feedback, especially as a favour. The admin (me) at SPIN will ensure you receive feedback from poets of a similar level. Email to join or to find out more (or to offer to be a part of the admin).


In the meantime, please spread the word on Twitter @SpinPoetryPof and Facebook  et cetera.


SPIN on that,


Carl Griffin  


Thursday, November 14, 2013

An appeal

Does anyone want a well-followed poetry blog? Poets On Fire is going free, to a good home.

Over the last year or so, demands on my time at work have made it harder and harder for me to update Poets On Fire on a daily basis, as previously, or to try to develop it into a more general live poetry blog, with reviews, interviews, etc.

So, if anyone would like to take it on, I'm more than happy to pass it over. It currently has 230 or so followers, and gets a steady number of daily hits.

If you're interested, email me at


Sunday, November 10, 2013

CAMBRIDGE: Allographic - open mic featuring Tim Wells and Kaddy Benyon

Sunday, November 24th, 2013, 7.30pm for 8pm start, FREE (donations sought)
The Fountain,
12 Regent Street,

Open mic poetry and storytelling with snacks. Tim Wells – ‘a burly, tattooed ex-skinhead’, founder of persistent underground ’zine Rising – draws you in with a wry warmth. Award-winning Cantabridgian script-writer Kaddy Benyon’s haunting-yet-earthy poems have appeared everywhere, and she is Invited Poet at the Scott Polar Research Institute.
Contact details:; 07904 488009 

Friday, November 08, 2013

EDINBURGH: Rally & Broad present Heroes and Anti-Heroes

Friday, 22nd November, 2013, doors 7.30pm, cabaret 8-11pm, £5
The Counting House,
West Nicholson Street,

With Ross Sutherland, Jonnie Common, Theresa Munoz, Jenna Watt, and introducing Rachel Amey
Hosted by Jenny Lindsay & Rachel McCrum.
Contact: 508 436

We need a hero. Do we need a hero? Are we in fact heroes? Are you? Bet you are…who knows? What’s in a hero anyway? But, it’s cold, we have a fancy dress box full of masks and spandex and we read a lot of books. So, this month, Rally & Broad bring you a literary treat on the theme of Heroes and Anti-Heroes. Bring your allies and enemies (and possibly a cape!).


Ross Sutherland: Ross Sutherland was born in Edinburgh in 1979. He was included in The Times’s list of Top Ten Literary Stars of 2008. He has three collections of poetry: Things To Do Before You Leave Town (2009), Twelve Nudes (2010), and Hyakuretsu Kyaku (2011), all published by Penned In The Margins. Ross is also a member of the poetry collective Aisle16 with whom he runs Homework, an evening of literary miscellany in East London.

Jonnie Common: After winning everyone over at our End of Term Party in June, we simply had to have the man back to do it again. He’s bloody marvellous.

Theresa Munoz: Poet and critic. Munoz’s first publication, “Close” (Happenstance Press) contains poems about Canada and Scotland, streets and snow, lakes and trains. She discusses relationships, travelling and multi-culturalism. Her poetic forms range from fragmented vignettes to longer narrative works. And she’s darn guid, likes.

Jenna Watt: Award winning Live Artist / Theatre Maker/ Director originally from Inverness and currently living and working in Edinburgh. Her work Flâneurs was awarded a Scotsman Fringe First in 2012 during the Edinburgh Fringe. Her live art happening “It’s Ok, It’s Only Temporary” (the apple smashing piece) gained her notoriety after she was temporarily banned from a Scottish venue. This piece went on to tour the UK to venues including the Forest Fringe, The Basement, Brighton, and Out of the Blue, Edinburgh.

and introducing

Rachel Amey: Edinburgh favourite for her polemical poetry and slick performances, Rachel Amey is the Bongo Club Slam champion 2013 and was also a finalist in this year’s BBC Festival Slam.
Hosted by award winning poet and promoter Jenny Lindsay (The Big Word/ Is This Poetry?/BBC Slam Winner 2012) & Rachel McCrum (Callum Macdonald Award winner 2013/ BBC Slam Finalist 2012/ 2013).

Thursday, November 07, 2013

GALWAY: November Over The Edge: Open Reading

Thursday, November 21st, 2013, 6.30pm-8pm, FREE
Galway City Library

The Featured Readers are Niamh Boyce, Audrey Dinneen and Padraic McCormack. There will as usual be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished.

Audrey Dinneen’s initial foray into the world of creative writing was through a Diploma in Childrens’ Literature while resident in the USA. She continued to attend creative writing classes in England and does so now in Galway. She is an avid reader and a member of two book clubs. She was thrilled to be invited by Susan Millar DuMars to participate in her first public reading at Over the Edge.

Padraic McCormack is a retired politician having represented Galway West from 1989 - 2011. He was twice chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and a former Mayor of Galway City. He has recently published his memoir The Rocky Road To The Dáil - politics from the inside. Since he retired from the Dáil, Padraic has taken part in creative writing classes at both GMIT and Galway Technical Institute. He is planning to publish a book of short stories, some of which he will read at Over The Edge.

From Athy, Co Kildare, Niamh Boyce's debut novel The Herbalist was published by Penguin in June 2013. She won the Hennessy XO New Irish Writer of the Year in 2012 for her poem 'Kitty'. Her short fiction has been nominated for The Francis Mac Manus Competition, The Molly Keane Creative Writing Award and the 2009 New Irish Writing Award. Her work can be found in magazines such as The Moth, The Stony Thursday Book, Crannóg, Boyne Berries, The Poetry Bus, and New Irish Writing Today Magazine. She blogs at

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always most welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details phone 087-6431748.

Over The Edge acknowledges the ongoing generous financial support of Galway City Council & The Arts Council.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

LONDON: Lumen Poetry Series

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013, doors open 6.30pm for 7pm £5/£4, WINE
88 Tavistock Place
Tubes: Russell Square, Kings Cross, St Pancras

Ruth O'Callaghan presents Cinnamon poets Rebecca Gethin and Omar Sabbagh.

Poets from the floor very welcome. Please leave the  poem you read to be considered for the next anthology.

GALWAY: Lux Aeterna

Sunday, November 17th, 2013, 5pm, €10
St Nicholas Collegiate Church 


St Nicholas Singers in concert with poetry from Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins.

A Requiem for modern times

In its first outing in November 2012, St Nicholas Singers performed one of the great nineteenth century Requiem settings, that of Gabriel Faure; this year it gives Galway audiences the chance to hear a thoroughly modern take on this ancient form.

Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna was written in 1997 and is a work of 25 minutes’ duration in five movements, setting various Latin liturgical texts, some of them from the Requiem Mass and all of them suffused with the notion of light. The composer himself says “I composed Lux Aeterna in response to my Mother’s final illness and found great personal comfort and solace in setting to music these timeless and wondrous words about Light, a universal symbol of illumination at all levels—spiritual, artistic, and intellectual.”

This is a poignant, quietly serene Requiem for modern times. There is no gloom or grim foreboding, no Day of Judgement lurking, but rather a generous radiance captured in the lush harmonies and haunting melodies.  It is a work that is as uplifting for listeners as it is to sing, and in the glorious acoustic of Galway’s medieval collegiate church promises to be a very special experience.

Interspersed with the movements of the Lauridsen work will be readings from acclaimed Galway-based poets Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars. Susan will read excerpts from her recent publication The God Thing, in which she writes with compassion and clarity about the terminal illness and death of a family member and her own resulting struggle to keep faith and love alive within herself.

St Nicholas Singers is an all-comers group of 40-60 voices which prepares its performances over two weekends of intensive rehearsals. It is open to all regardless of age or experience, and new members are always welcome.

The choir is conducted by Mark Duley and accompanied by organist Ronan De Burca.

Further information available from